Sunbed shop start up


New Member
Hi everyone! I am new to this site xx

I am currently applying for a government business start up loan to start my own sun bed shop. I am just wondering if any one can help answer these questions that I have to help me build a cash flow forecast. Also if anyone has any advice or has gone through this way of funding before it would be much appreciated.

1. How much is the insurance? What insurance company are you with? I have heard that the insurance is very expensive.
2. Good companies for shop signs? Prices?
3. How many sachets of creams shall I buy for a month? I'd pick a few brands then stock however many numbers of these rather than having multiple different ones.

If anyone has ever completed a cash flow forecast for a 12 month period and can lend a hand that would be great! I am stuck on how to estimate the electricity usage as I don't know how to predict the customers average visits and minutes :(

Thanks so much xx


New Member
Also... I have calculated the costs that I can think about for the month:
rent of sunbeds
rent of premises
card payment machines

In addition to this I know I will need to add insurance as well as the loan repayment but already this comes to £1405 without. How much do the shops generate a month??? Are there any ways of reducing this and is this the norm???xxx


Well-Known Member
IT sounds as though you have no experience and haven't yet done your research.

You need to thoroughly research your locality and this particular business. None of us are making a living doing what you are planning so we are not going to be able to share more than ideas and opinions.

You need to do something called market research, where you engage with your potential client base and estimate the demand for your proposed service. How many people will visit up to the government recommended maximum a year. How many clients will come >less than 5 times before a holiday or event. What is the ratio between regular users and occasional users? You need to hang your cash flow on your research. Otherwise it's just a classroom exercise and about as realistic.

You also need to try and find out what the competition are doing. Look at business accounts posted on companies house to see turnover information. Take off 20% if the turnover is over £90,000 as they will have to pay VAT and then take off 10% for retail sales. Divide the remainder by their prices to get approximate customer numbers.

Do pavement footfall surveys. Monitor the visitors to a sun bed shop on different days of the week and times of day. I did this to a nail salon that I couldn't understand how they were making money - it turned out they were human trafficking slaves...their customer numbers, rent and prices didn't add up to a viable business.

Next do a footfall survey of the area you are planning to move to. It may be possible to get this information off CCTV footage if there is a business group in your area that you can join - it won't be free but the reports are useful.

There is a tiny sun bed shop near me. They have a tie in with fitness first and offer a membership scheme. Within 8 months they were up for sale. They are still trading after 3 years so they pulled through, but it hasn't been easy for them. They've been in touch with me a few times asking if I want to rent space for nail techs and so on so they obviously want more income and customer footfall.


Well-Known Member
Other capital costs include refurbishment, website and electrical installation.

Regular outgoings include
Water rates
Broadband etc
Rates - You should allow another 50% on top of your rent unless you can find a small space for under £10,000 a year
Periodic electrical inspection costs, (you'll need to ask an electrician how often you need your equipment checking, it might be twice a year it might be more frequent),
Advertising - maybe 10% of your turnover,
VAT - you won't be viable unless you turnover more than the VAT registration threshold.
Accountancy fees and book-keeping costs
Booking software
Staff costs - allow forecast minimum wage in 2020 +10% for employers national insurance, holiday pay and pension for every hour that you are open. You can't open a business if you can't pay yourself a profit equal to minimum wage.
Waste collection - it's not free
Window cleaning
Repairs and replacements
Licence fees for playing music and TV
Finance costs - your card machines will also take a percentage of your income, it's tiny, but still 1.65% is still £165 on a monthly income of £10,000. Your banking won't be free after a year.


Well-Known Member
I have a small salon open standar working hours 6 days a week. We don't have sun beds. Just keeping the place warm in winter, well lit all year round, the computer and wax pots on etc costs an average of £250 per month. We don't have air con and use fans in the summer. Everything is super energy efficient.


New Member
Thank you so much x think I need to re think all this xx


I don’t mean to sound negative but I really think sunbed shops are a dying trade, my dad is a doctor and reckons they’ll be made illegal in the not far off future. I wouldn’t place my bets on something that people know is unsafe and probably quite an old fashioned way of getting a tan how about a spray tan business?