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How to Start and Run a Successful Tattoo Business [2012-01-09]


Being a great or skilled tattoo artist doesn’t necessarily translate into being a successful tattoo artist. Tattoo shops open and close like restaurants, and rarely for a lack of talent. Rest assured, there are things that can be done to give those who are just starting out a better shot at running a successful tattoo business.

One of the most important things an artist can do when he or she wishes to open a new tattoo shop (or parlor) is find the most suitable location. Like any new business, until you have a steady clientele through word of mouth and other social networks, you may be dependent on walk-ins. It’s important to give yourself the best chance to succeed by renting or purchasing space where your business can get exposure.

Location, however, isn’t everything. You also want to find a place that will suit your needs. The place should either be relatively clean or capable of being cleaned. It should have enough room to showcase your art and the art of others. It should have ample space for tables, equipment and glass cases for body piercing jewelry if you will also offer body piercing as a service.

Remember, in an art based business, appearances are everything. All too often, shop owners will put a crappy sign out front, keep an unorganized mess inside and show a complete lack of professionalism. Getting a tattoo is a serious decision, especially for first timers. If you don’t care enough about your business to advertise it, clean it, organize it and take care of it, why would a potential new customer let you permanently mark their body?

Another novice mistake that many artists make is being under prepared. Not having a wide selection of  tattoo needles, tattoo inks and a replacement tattoo gun or two at your disposal is a quick way lose business. You never know who will come through the door and what they might want, so be prepared for anything.