Editor’s Note: I chose to share this wonderful piece by Melissa Weinberg because it’s chock-filled with great spray tan business tips. As a Sun Biz Weekly advertiser, she could’ve used this opportunity to push her spray tan solutions, products, and/or training program. Instead, she shared this vital information with spray tan technicians. Melissa gets it. She understands that sunless tanning pros need business-building information. She does a great job providing it with this and her other sponsored content.

Spray tan technicians need to have cancellation policies and cancellation fees. You can establish these business practices using these spray tan business tips.

Cancellation policies and cancellation fees are touchy for some spray tan technicians. Some don’t know which policies to use while others don’t enforce them because they’re afraid of losing tanners. You’ll actually lose more by letting clients take advantage of you. This is why it’s better to have a cancellation policy for your tanners and a cancellation fee that enforces it.

Establishing Your Cancellation Policy

When setting your policy, base the amount you charge upon the value you place upon your time and your market demographic. For example, many spray tan technicians require 48 hours notice for cancellations. Tanners who cancel appointments outside of this window forfeit their $10 deposit. This policy also applies to late tanners, no-shows, and last-minute cancellations.

For your cancellation policy to work, your tanners need to know you have one. They also have to be familiar with your policy. Post your cancellation policies on your business’s website. You also should email and text your policies to tanners after they book a session. This way, they can’t say they didn’t know about it after they miss their appointment.

Enforce Your Policy

Cancellation policies are half of the battle. Once you establish your policy, you have to enforce it. I mentioned charging tanners a fee if they’re a no-show or cancel after your grace period. Get your tanners’ credit card information at the time of booking their appointment. This way, if they violate your policy, you can charge them.

As spray tan technicians, our time is extremely valuable. If someone cancels at the last minute or is a no-show, it’s difficult to book another appointment in that time slot. If you do, you risk pushing your other appointments and inconveniencing those tanners. The same thing happens if the tanner shows up late for their appointment.

Many sunless tanning pros are self-conscious about asking tanners for their credit card info up front. Some believe this deters people from booking appointments. I disagree. Most customers are used to having to use their credit cards to pay a deposit. Many nail and eyelash technicians require this, for example. Also, if you think you can collect that late fee some other day, keep in mind that many no-show clients never come back. Now you’re out the money you would’ve made if you booked someone else in that slot.

Your Policy for Clients Who Purchase Packages

Do you have tanners who purchase many spray tanning packages? Perhaps they spend more than $200 at a time. You might be nervous about enforcing your cancellation policy out of fear of losing these tanners. I believe these clients buy these packages because they love what you do. They also will respect you and your time.

I’ve let package clients slide in the past and regretted my decision. Your policies must apply to everyone. That said, there are always exceptions to the rules. For example, if you have a long-term tanner who has that rare cancellation, you can let it slide. These things must be handled on a case-by-case basis. For the most part, it’s best to keep your cancellation policies in place and enforce them. Your tanners will respect you and you’ll respect yourself, too.

No “Tanner Drama!”

Don’t get involved in your clients’ drama. It’s one thing to care about your tanners, but it’s another thing to turn every appointment into a therapy session. If you allow yourself to get involved with a client’s family drama, you cross the line and become their friend. Once you do, these tanners won’t worry about missing an appointment and you’ll find it difficult to enforce your policies.

Respray Policies for Spray Tan Technicians

Do you have respray policy for tanners who require touch ups? You should! Mine is simple: I will respray any client within 24 hours of their appointment. I’ve heard of some sunless techs doing re-sprays on clients up to five days after their session. This is not a respray issue. This is a client who didn’t pay attention to aftercare instructions or wants a free spray tan.

If you have tanners who have problems within 24 hours of their session, you might be the problem. You might need more training and education. Take a quality spray tan training and certification program to improve your technique. This helps you develop confidence in your spray tanning technique.

Stick to Your Policies!

when I started spray tanning, I made a lot of mistakes. I’ve had some clients take advantage of me. Now, I stick to my cancellation policies and fees and you should, too. This is your business, not a charity. It’s how you pay your bills and feed your family. When someone cancels or is a no-show, it takes money out of your pocket. This is why it’s best to have a cancellation policy and a fee for those who break it. Remember, your tanners won’t respect you or your time if you don’t!

The Best Spray Tan Training Program

If you like these tips, you should try my Perfect Glow Sunless Spray Tan Academy. Whether you’re new to sunless tanning or are a veteran spray tan technician, this training program helps you improve your sunless spray technique and much more. Our hands-on training seminars and online course are available internationally. If you have any questions, or would like to book your spot, call me at 561-801-4569 (GLOW).