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How to Go from Tattoo Artist to Boss

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You’re in the midst of a successful career as a tattoo artist. You’ve learned the ropes, earned your stripes and have a good sense of what it takes to excel in the tattoo industry. As a motivated entrepreneur, you have an eye to the future, and the idea of opening and running your own tattoo shop sounds like the logical next step but do you have a tattoo shop business plan in place or know how to start one?

Becoming an employer comes with several perks. You get to run your small business, your way—bringing to life how a tattoo shop should run (which may or may not be how your current boss operates). While this may sound like a dream come true, ambition and vision are far from the only ingredients you need to succeed as a small business owner.

Take these steps to make your tattoo shop business plan:

Do Your Research and Define Your Niche

Look at trends in the market and in your community to understand where your business will fit into the landscape. What need(s) are you meeting? What can you do that your competitors can’t? Are you located more closely to your customer base? Do you offer [product-specific service] that they don’t? It will be crucial that you can articulate the specific value that your business offers as you sell investors, prospective employees and eventually customers on your brand.

Make a Tattoo Shop Business Plan

As you determine where your tattoo studio fits into the market, it’s time to focus on a tattoo shop business plan. Making a business plan will force you to consider every aspect of your business idea before it comes to fruition. Make sure your plan includes the most essential components:

Ask the Right Questions

Your expertise is in tattooing, and while you may understand what it’s like to work for a tattoo shop, you likely have a lot to learn when it comes to running one. The first thing you should task yourself with is weighing risk versus reward. Ask these nine questions to determine where you stand in starting a small business.

Tap Your Network

Starting a business on your own doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Tap your network for experts who can give you the advice you need to get started—from industry veterans to lawyers to financial consultants. Your community—including friends, family, and neighbors—are also key players in growing your reach for prospective customers. Once your business is shaping up, get your brand on social media. Connect with everyone in your network to start growing your presence and getting your name out there.

Don’t be afraid to show up at industry or community organizations. Face-to-face networking can be very effective, and fostering relationships up front can lead to long-term customers and referrals.

Invest in the Right Tools

As an entrepreneur, you will want to focus on marketing and sales to grow momentum for your tattoo shop once it opens. It’s up to you to recruit customers, keep a steady cash flow and build the brand over time. Yet it’s also your responsibility to manage your employees, clients and the financial health of your business. You will be forced to wear several hats and keep all the balls in the air. In fact, this shift in responsibility—worrying about overhead and salaries and YOY revenue—will be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome as a new business owner.

Investing in the right tools and software can take all of the business complexities and manage them in one place. When shopping for the right business management software, look for offerings with the below capabilities to meet business needs.

For business challenges:

For customer experience:

By taking the time to answer the right questions, establishing a thoughtful tattoo shop business plan and investing in the right tools, you can intelligently make the transition from employee to business owner. Learn how Daysmart software can ease this transition by visiting our features page.

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