4 Ways Tattoo Shops Can Save Money

Little costs add up in any business, but especially in those with high-ticket services. You could be throwing away hundreds on fees and supply costs without even knowing it. But it’s easier than you think to save money. Here are 4 ways you can do it at your tattoo shop.

Research New Suppliers

Restocking on necessities like gloves and paper towels can cost more than they need to if you’ve stuck with the same vendor for years.

It pays to look into new suppliers. When you research these new vendors, keep discounts and deals like bulk orders in mind. And make it a point to talk to at least 3 different suppliers. If vendors know there’s competition for your business, you stand a better chance of getting a better deal when you request a proposal.

Price Shop Your Payment Processor

Did you know that you may be overpaying for credit card processing? Every time you run a credit card charge, you pay the credit card company and the payment processor a piece of that. If you’re running payments through your accounting software or your bank, you may be paying a higher rate than if you went through a third party processor.

Because tattoo shops have such high tickets – anywhere from an $80 shop minimum to thousands for large pieces – payment processing is one of your greatest opportunities for savings. Even if your cost per transaction was reduced by .5%, you could save thousands per year. 

Sell Apparel and Aftercare Products

Expand your shop’s offerings with branded t-shirts and tattoo aftercare products for your customers. These new offerings, especially aftercare products, are good add-ons to bring up to your customer after they’ve gotten their tattoo. A common strategy is to offer the products at checkout. T-shirts, sweatshirts, or other merchandise promote your shop on the street while opening you up to new revenue opportunities.

Reevaluate Your Policies

If you created shop policies when you opened but haven’t reviewed them lately, it could be time for a refresh. Make sure that your deposits are in-line with current shop costs and reflect current industry norms. If supply costs or your rent have increased, consider if it’s time to increase hourly rates to cover this. And make sure that your markup on merchandise and aftercare products have kept up with your costs. 

Before making large changes to your policies, make sure they’re well communicated with your artists and customers. Honor the existing pricing for those who have already made appointments, and make it clear when your new policies begin.

It only takes a few changes to save money at your business and generate more revenue. Hidden costs in your supply chain and processing can add up in the thousands each year. But beyond cutting costs, adding new offerings can show a huge return on your investment as add-on purchases to customers. You’ll save money and earn money at the same time with a few adjustments to your shop’s operations.


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