Opening a tattoo shop: What you need to consider

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One outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic that isn’t perhaps talked about so much is the number of people looking to change careers. This was a necessity for some; put on furlough or with no job to return to. Others, meanwhile, were forced to deal with greater workloads and seemingly endless video calls. Either way, the pandemic ended up creating the chance for millions to take a new path. And, for those with a passion for body art, opening a tattoo shop was that chance.

Taking up a skillful, creative, and artistic career

In theory, there are no specific qualifications needed. Of course, it’s highly likely you’ll have an artistic eye and a creative streak. And tattooing will surely be more than just a passing interest – otherwise what makes it the right option for you. But these attributes alone won’t catapult you to success overnight. And you will need to obtain a licence in order to eventually start inking.

Plan your way around obstacles and to success

If you see the above less as obstacles and more as the starting point of your journey, the next step is to plan. Any new venture – including your tattoo shop – must be backed up with a solid business plan. You’ll need to cover everything in this plan too. Who’s your target audience? Do you have enough cash to last the first few months? What will your pricing structure be?

It must go into a lot of detail because it ultimately maps out how your tattoo shop business will take flight. An important part of this will also involve picking the right location. Having your site in the right place will feed into your overall business plan. But it’s a big decision in its own right too. So, don’t be in a hurry to open your tattoo shop without doing the necessary planning first.

Essential equipment and marketing must-haves

Equipment. You can’t open a tattoo shop without it. And you’ll need to make sure all equipment is high quality and up to the task. Otherwise, it could make the difference between success and failure. Tattoo machines and needles are must-haves on your shopping list at the very start. So too is furniture (e.g., beds), a cleaning kits such as an ultrasonic cleaner like those sold by RS, and basic safety clothes.

Don’t forget the need to keep all your equipment sterile for health and safety reasons.

You’ll also want to get your marketing on point too. You can rely on passing customs to a certain extent. But tattooing can be a niche market and you need to make sure your target audience is aware you’re here. Website costs, leaflets, and maybe a little bit of paid social media marketing could all be part of your marketing mix. Of course, it’s totally up to you how you tell the world.

Make it official and sign the right documentation

Last, but by no means least, is the slightly dull bit. We’ve spoken about the need for you to get a license to operate as a tattoo artist. But there are other legal bits and pieces to take care of – otherwise, your career change could come to a premature end. Be sure to know exactly what is required of you from your local authority.

There will also be insurance to consider, while steps should be put in place to ensure you don’t serve anyone under the age of consent. In the UK, no-one under the age of 18 can get one.

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