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How Profitable is a Waxing / Tanning Salon (2023 Stats)?

In a booming beauty industry, the waxing and tanning niche continues to shine, accounting for a whopping $4.69 billion in U.S. revenue for 2023 alone. While these numbers are certainly impressive, they don’t tell us much about how much revenue and profits a waxing and/or tanning salon makes on average.

In this detailed guide, we dive deep into data from 1,600 franchised locations, dissecting everything from average yearly revenues of $656,000 to startup costs that range between $371,000 and $637,000.

The piece also sheds light on a critical question: how profitable is a waxing and tanning salon? With an operating profit margin of around 30%, the answer seems promising but demands a nuanced understanding.

Keep reading as we decode the stats and facts that shape the profitability of this specialized beauty sector.

Waxing and Tanning market overview

As per IBIS, the waxing and tanning market in the U.S. represented revenue of $4.69 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to $5.44 billion by 2028.

Waxing service represents the largest share ($2.69 billion) followed by tanning service ($2 billion). Yet, with over 83,000 waxing and tanning businesses across the country, the competition is also fierce.

How much revenue does a waxing and tanning salon make?

Using the data from more than 1,600 franchised waxing and tanning salons, a waxing and tanning salon earns $656,000 in gross revenue per year on average. This number is the average gross revenue per salon from 1,600 salons of the largest 5 waxing and tanning franchises in the U.S.

With an average cost of $90 per session (for tanning), that’s a total of ~7,000 sessions per year. Assuming 250 working days per year, that’s on average 30 sessions per day per salon.

Yet, not all waxing and tanning salons have the same yearly revenue. Logically, some will earn more than others because of many factors like location, quality of services offered, popularity, pricing strategies, customer satisfaction, marketing effectiveness, and the overall management of the business.

How much does it cost to start a waxing and tanning salon?

On average, it costs between $371,000 to $637,000 to open your own waxing and tanning salon.

This includes various costs such as leasehold improvements, rent and utility deposits, furniture, fixtures, signage, tanning equipment, office equipment and software, initial inventory, licenses, permits, insurance, professional fees, marketing, training expenses, and working capital for the first few months of business operations.

  • Leasehold improvements: Enhancements made to the rented space, such as aesthetic modifications or structural changes.
  • Rent and utility deposit: Upfront payments securing the salon’s location and essential services.
  • Furniture, fixtures, and signage: Investment in attractive and functional furnishings, fixtures, and signage to enhance the salon’s aesthetic appeal and visibility.
  • Tanning equipment: Cost of specialized equipment for tanning services.
  • Office equipment, computer hardware and software: Cost of necessary technology and tools for smooth salon management, appointment scheduling, and administrative tasks.
  • Initial inventory and supplies: This includes waxing materials, tanning solutions, and other supplies crucial for services.
  • Licenses, permits, insurance, and professional fees: Covering legal and regulatory requirements, insurance, and professional fees to ensure compliance and protection.
  • Marketing: Cost of promotional activities to attract clients, establish a brand presence, and grow the salon’s customer base.
  • Training expenses: Cost of training and development of staff to ensure expertise in waxing and tanning services.
  • Working capital: Funds for day-to-day operations and financial emergencies for the first 3-6 months, mostly for salaries and admin expenses.
Waxing Salon
Tanning Salon

How profitable is a waxing and tanning salon?

A waxing and tanning salon has a ~30% operating profit margin (EBITDA margin) after operating costs (salaries, admin expenses, etc.) have been incurred.

Indeed, there are various recurring costs involved in running a waxing and tanning salon. The major expenses include salaries, followed by facilities:

  • COGS (10-20% of revenue): Costs directly tied to delivering services, including waxing materials, tanning solutions, and other consumables necessary for treatments.
  • Salaries (20-45% of revenue): Covers the compensation for skilled estheticians, support staff, and other employees.
  • Facilities Expenses (15-20% of revenue): Includes ongoing costs associated with maintaining a clean, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing salon space, such as rent, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Other operating expenses (5-10% of sales): Additional operational costs like marketing, training, licenses, supplies, etc.
Profit and lossAmount (US$)% revenue
Gross Revenue$656,000100%
Gross Profit$551,04084%
Labor expense$(203,360)31%
Other operating costs$(59,040)9%
Source: industry average

Beauty Salon Financial Model

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Beauty Salon Financial Model

Download an expert-built 5-year Excel financial model for your business plan