So you are considering starting your own spray tan business and you feel a bit overwhelmed. From everything you have heard and read, you feel that there is great potential for you to succeed in the business.

You have done some research on Google and social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You see the potential for the business after hearing from some friends that there is a great opportunity to not only get started for a low cost but also to make money.

The good news is all of this is true. The fact of the matter is that the spray tanning industry is growing by leaps and bounds – and the opportunities are nearly endless. If you search in your local community you will more than likely find a significant number of businesses offering spray tanning as a service, and you can be one of them.

We want to go into a little detail about the sunless tanning industry. If you want the business plan, simply scroll to the end of the article to download it.

Spray tan industry facts

Below we created a table to show you the potential return on investment (ROI) from a mobile spray tanning business. We created some arbitrary pricing numbers and wanted to show you how much you can make from the business.

Mobile spray tanning income potential

*The information is based on 5 tans per week, 4 weeks (20 days/month) working per month and pre-tax income.

As you can see above, there is potential to make some great money from starting a mobile spray tanning business. In general, these businesses have great margins because you can get products for such a good price. In addition, the startup cost for a spray tan business is relatively low.

Your business plan

We have put together a great business plan teamplte for you to use to help you get started with your mobile spray tanning business. Instead of writing a business plan that included pages and pages of (useless) information, we boiled it down into 5 sections:

  1. Overview of the business
  2. How we will make money
  3. How we will get customers
  4. How we will determine success
  5. Obstacles & challenges

Need help filling out the business plan?  No problem, below is a list of information we would include in our own business plan.

Overview of the business

  1. What will you sell?  We are planning to sell spray tanning services to the local community.
  2. Who will buy it?  We plan to market to people who currently go to tanning bed salons, sit out by the pool/ocean or people who are currently going to a salon for sunless tanning services.
  3. How will your business idea help people?  Our focus will be on providing safe & natural looking spray tans and preventing people from spending hours in the sun or in tanning beds.


  1. What will you charge?  We will charge $40 per mobile spray tan.  Our introductory offer will be $25 for the first spray tan and our goal will be to sell people a package of spray tans.  The packages will be 3 tans for $100 or 5 tans for $140.
  2. How will you get paid?  We will sign up for Square to allow us to easily charge clients when we arrive at their location.  We will not take cash or check becasuse we don’t want to deal with possible faulty checks or fake money.
  3. How else will you make money?  We will sell retail items offered by the spray tan solution provider that we decide to use.  Secondly, we will upsell packages to try to create longterm income, versus one-time appointments.


  1. How will customers learn about your business?  We will create a website for our business, Facebook page, Instagram account, Yelp account, Google My Business account.  In addtion, we will go out to local service providers that don’t offer sunless tanning services, but do offer complimentary services.  Some examples are hair dressers, estheticians, wellness spas/resorts, wedding shops, bridal planners, and more!
  2. How can you encourage referrals?  We will make sure that we cross refer people and send people to our referral partners as much as possible.  In addition, we will offer free tans for anyone who is a referral partner.  We will receive more word of mouth marketing if they are wearing our tan as much as possible.


The project will be successful when it achieves these metrics:

  1. Number of customers – 10/week
  2. Annual net income – $19,200 (10 tans/week @ $40/tan)

This is simply a side business at the moment, so $19,200 is a great “side” business!

Obstacles and Challenges

  1. Specific concern or question #1 – Will a spray tan turn me orange?
  2. Specific concern or answer #1 – No, spray tans no longer cause the “orange” effect that they are so well-known for.  Spray tan solutions have advanced significantly and most people who are seen on TV are wearing a spray tan.

This is our quick overview of how we would fill out the one-page sample business plan.  It took me about 10 minutes to fill this out.  While there is A LOT of things to consider when creating a new business, we recommend using this method of the one-page business plan so that you do not waste too much time on specifics that may not matter as much.

Sounds simple, right? The truth is that it really can be easy to get started with your own mobile spray tanning business.

Most people that create businesses either overthink or underthink what needs to be done. If you are like most of the population out there you might come up with an idea and sit on it for weeks, months or even years. At that point, you then decide that “it must not be for me”. We want to prevent that from happening which is why we like to focus on creating a business plan using this idea from the $100 Startup.


  • I am interested in possibly starting a mobile spay tan business. However, there is still so much more I need to research before I jump into it all at once… If I decide to do it, I will need help from happytans to start my own website as well as advice and guidance throughout the process…

  • I’m a High School teacher. A few of my seniors have been asked to come up with a business plan. How much do people typically spend on set up ( ie ) what type of vechicle is used?

    • Most people use their personal vehicle! The average startup cost is around $500 – $1,000. You can spend more, or less depending on your budget.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top