Well done! You did it, you’ve got your tattoo studio off the ground, and it’s time to call shots for what’s next to come. Almost every studio faces this dilemma, yet there isn’t a hard and fast formula that guarantees a thriving outcome.
No two studios are alike, and to be honest, there isn’t a clear-cut answer on the best practices to run a tattoo business. It thoroughly depends on your confidence and appetite for risk that helps you chalk out your upcoming actions.
So, when is the right time to expand your studio? Here are the top seven checkboxes to tick before you unfurl and stretch out your studio!
Are you meeting your goals?
Here’s the thing – a sustainable studio growth depends on your ability to set the right goals and meet them.
If you aren’t performing well, this isn’t the right time for you to expand. Try to set and attain measurable goals such as improving brand recognition (more branded keywords on search), increasing the number of reviews on partner sites, and growing social media followers across all platforms.
What’s your cash flow like?
There’s no doubt, the expansion will draw money into your studio, but it also costs money to expand. No matter what situation you’re currently in, be well-prepared for the possibility that you might need to backup your studio financially until it catches up with your clientele.
Make a note. Your cash flow doesn’t alone define a well-functioning tattoo studio. Cash flow and profits are two variants before expanding. Consider whether your studio is better regulated to generate cash flow or profits.
How is your local marketing?
Chances are, at the moment, your studio happens to be in your local area. You have a built-in network of clients, promoters, and referrals. The longer you stay around, the more people put the word out there for you, share their experiences, and feature your accounts on social media.
However, as you expand into a different region, you might not have the same upper hand. You’ll have to build your local network right from scratch. You’ll need to understand a different demographic within your target audience. It’s imperative to use tattoo shop management software, to ease up on your location-based marketing and advertising campaigns, and the overall running of your different studios as these will be paramount when expanding your studio and building awareness around it.
Is your head and heart in it?
There’s a reason why Michael Jordan is the GOAT despite being sacked from his high school team. His passion never burned out and he maintained solid relations with his peers and the brands he used to work with, throughout his career.
When it comes to surviving through expansion, it’s not just about the cash flow. Running a tattoo studio is a game of clients, reputation, and persistence. Expanding is unyielding. It’ll be a bumpy ride on your way to successful expansion, which calls for a need to be more than just business savvy. If you’re expanding exclusively for economic reasons, it will be tiring to find the energy for you to push through the challenges that are likely to come up with the expansion.
Have you estimated your expansion ROI?
Calculating your return on investment is momentous if your course of action for expansion comes to fruition. There’s no choice, and you need to deliver a healthy profit margin, the all-embracing profit that comes with expansion, and that it can continue to scale upwards.
Does your location measure up?
‘Location, location, and location’ should be your #1 priority when looking for tattoo studio premises. If you plan to establish your shop in a feeble locality, it is a surefire way to shoot yourself in the foot before you even begin with your expansion. So, zero in on a unique location to promote your studio and attract clients.
Are you actually ready?
It’s there, the yearning for expansion is there within us all. But be sure to uncouple the desire from the business logic. Even if you have access to all the requirements, your tattoo studio might crash without the red-hot motivation to pursue tons of work that comes with it.
Not to forget, that motivation isn’t just yours to have. Your entire team of tattoo artists needs to have it, as they’ll be the ones pulling it off. Growing pains are omnipresent, but if you’ve done your share of homework and are well-prepared for what’s to come. Then, it shouldn’t be that painful!