If you’re on your journey of being a successful professional tattoo artist, you might have considered opening your own tattoo studio as one of your life goals. In reality, opening a studio is an exciting venture but it’s no easy task.
According to market research conducted by IBIS World, the tattoo industry worldwide has reportedly generated a revenue of $1.6 billion. Over the past decade, this industry has been experiencing an annual growth rate of 10%. A lot of people are quitting their day jobs to pursue tattooing as a full time career because it’s become a very lucrative job.
With the right guidance and resources, you can run your studio successfully and keep it in business for a long time to come.
If you're new to the tattoo industry, it's crucial to be patient and gather knowledge before starting your own studio. Working under an experienced professional, who may become your mentor, provides valuable insights for the future. After gaining over two years of experience and working in someone else's studio, you'll be ready to confidently open your own and establish your reputation. In this blog post, we'll share important considerations to ensure a smooth journey in starting your own tattoo studio.
Before opening a studio, it’s a no brainer that you would need a lot of money to invest. The money will be spent on renting a place, buying good equipment and interior designing. On an average, you would initially require around ₹15 lakhs (around $18,500) to set everything up. If there’s a difficulty in arranging the funds, applying for a loan is an ideal option but it requires a very precise pitch deck. Take your time to figure out your business plan and the goals you want to achieve. Some also operate out of their houses and do freelancing by visiting clients but it doesn’t have a very professional appeal. Of course, when you’re low on funds it’s a very good way of making money but it isn’t the road that should be permanently embarked on for professional and financial success.
Equipment and Supplies
Make a worthwhile investment in trustworthy tattoo equipment, including tattoo machines, needles, inks, and sterilization tools. It is crucial to ensure that all the supplies you purchase are of excellent quality, sterile, and comply with industry standards. Cheyenne and Eternal Ink are trusted brands used by several artists worldwide. Make it a habit to regularly examine and upkeep your equipment to guarantee its proper functioning and to minimize any potential risks. Along with equipment, it’s important to invest in the right furniture as well. A lot of brands specialize in manufacturing chairs, beds and armrests specifically designed for tattooing.
Selecting the right location for your tattoo studio is key to attracting customers. Look for a bustling commercial area with high foot traffic, as this will increase the chances of walk-in clients. You can gauge the viability of a location by conducting market research, either with the help of a marketing professional or by using tools like Google Analytics to see the local demand for tattoo-related keywords compared to other cities. Accessibility is crucial, so choose a location easily reachable by your target audience, with parking and good visibility. While a central location is desirable, many successful tattoo artists operate outside city centres. Additionally, consider factors like accessibility and local crime rates to ensure a secure and convenient location for your business.
To take off your career, increasing the value of your work should be a priority. Once your value increases, people will notice it and choose your studio as their go-to destination to get tattoos. To increase the value of your studio in their eyes, it’s important to invest a lot on the décor of the studio. Create a clean, comfortable, and visually appealing environment for your clients. Pay attention to the layout, lighting, and overall aesthetics of your studio. Provide comfortable seating, maintain cleanliness, and display universally appealing artwork to enhance the overall experience for your clients.
It’s extremely important to attract the right clients to your studio. You can increase the value of your work by refusing to negotiate your prices and making a very strong portfolio. Schedule 1-2 big tattoos for free in a month that will showcase your talent. When clients see that you are capable of creating wonderful art of any size on their skin, they will trust you and always come back for more.
Services & Pricing
To succeed in the tattoo industry, get a better understanding of customer preferences. Offer additional services like custom designs, cosmetic tattooing, recoloring, and cover-ups. Consider providing laser tattoo removal, piercing services, or a mobile henna tattoo service (using pure, natural henna). Focus on a particular style of tattoo work based on your skill and experience, such as smaller stenciled tattoos or larger, intricate designs for serious enthusiasts. When it comes to pricing, try to match the price of reputed tattoo artists in your area or keep it a little lower.
Marketing & Branding
The quality of your tattoos won’t make a difference in your career if you don’t have the right resources to make your studio known. To attract even more clients from faraway places, it’s important to create a brand out of your studio by marketing it the right way. Advertising your studio with Facebook, Google and Instagram ads will help you reach potential customers in your area. Word of mouth is also a very powerful way to get more clients. Having your own website and social media pages is beneficial to stay connected and engaged with your clients. Having occasional discounts and promotions will help boost sales and keep clients on their toes.
Health and Safety Standards
Tattooing involves working with needles and body fluids, so maintaining strict health and safety standards is crucial. Follow proper sterilization procedures, use disposable and high-quality equipment, and implement hygiene protocols to protect both the artists and clients from infections or diseases. Make sure to wear disposable gloves as much as possible to ensure safety for both you and your clients. Needles are hazardous and need to be disposed of separately so it’s important to coordinate with local authorities to properly get rid of them.
Skilled Tattoo Artists
No studio can thrive without an incredible team. Don’t just employ experienced and talented tattoo artists who provide high-quality work, hire artists with good personalities and a good work ethic. Building a team of skilled artists with diverse styles and specialties will attract a wider range of clients and help your studio stand out from the competition. Conduct thorough interviews and review portfolios before hiring artists. Apart from artists, a studio manager is an important individual who oversees day-to-day activities in the studio. Ideally, for those just starting out, 3 artists along with a studio manager is your best option.
To open a successful tattoo studio, you need to plan carefully, pay attention to details, and provide excellent service. It’s extremely important to focus on quality, safety, and professionalism to build a strong reputation.