Pointers for Starting Your Tattoo Business

You work as a graphic designer for large printing services. To generate the additional income, you also moonlight as an artist/designer for various businesses outside of town. Your part-time gigs include working for a small digital marketing outfit doing website design and a small brick-and-mortar retail store where you consult on window display artworks. But one of your favorite side hustles is doing design work for a tattoo parlor shop. You like the vibe of the place, and you’ve become good friends with the business owners. You now even have your ink on your back and your arms.

You’ve been interviewing them about how they started their business because you are also interested in putting up your own tattoo shop business.

An Overview of the Tattoo Industry

The tattoo artist industry registered an astonishing $2 billion in revenue as of April 2019. There are more than 47,800 businesses across the country employing 54,400 people. The sector boasts a 6.1% annual growth rate for the past five years.

The tattoo industry is no longer for a fringed audience. It has now permeated mainstream popular culture as a legitimate art form and a thriving business.

tattoo artist getting ink

What You Need to Do

You’re pretty nimble using a mouse and digital pen for your graphic design work. You also paint, so you know how to use a brush on a canvass and an airbrush on pretty much any surface. A tattoo machine might be a different story altogether. Here are more things you should take note of about the business:

  1. Learn the trade. You first need to learn the business of becoming a tattoo artist. Completing a formal apprenticeship program takes one to two years to complete. The hands-on training you will receive is a must for you to run your tattoo business.
  2. Recruitment and licensing. You need help. Part of the main steps you need to take is to recruit talents or tattoo artists. Make sure that the artists joining your shop know the latest trends in tattoo art. Another important aspect as part of your recruitment is ensuring that you get all the necessary health permits and professional licenses, which guarantees that your business operates under the law. Note that the law can also vary depending on which city or state your shop is located. Make sure that you also consult a legal expert for this process.
  3. Equipment. While you won’t need to buy all the supplies and equipment in one go, but you will, at some point, have to have them in your shop. These include the following items:
    1. Autoclave sanitizer;
    2. Tattooing machines;
    3. Needles;
    4. Latex gloves;
    5. Ink towels; and
    6. Plastic spray bottles.

You need your necessary office equipment, like a desk and a computer. A waiting area with beautiful furniture is also essential to present an aura of professionalism.

  1. Building a reputation. Make sure that you proactively engage your clients by sending them regular updates or directing them to your websites. If they allow providing testimonials, then that will be the best marketing gimmick you can come up with, which will help build your reputation. Make your social media presence consistent and strategic.

These points are just some of the primary considerations you need to think about for diving head-first into this business. Draw up a sound business plan that will guide your operation.

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