By carefully scouting locations and turning revenue back into his business, Stracner was able to turn a single tanning salon into a San Diego area empire.
With an interest in business that goes back to his high school days in Oregon, Stracner knew he wouldn’t be satisfied merely working for someone else. After reading books on business success and how to make a venture profitable, Stracner started 20 companies, most of them revolving around marketing and the latest in telecommunications. He bought his first iTan salon in 2001 as a part-time hobby, but quickly realized tanning salons were serious business with the potential to make big profits.
With his thirst for knowledge, Stracner began poring over trade magazines, networking with other salon owners who operated multiple locations and attending trade shows. He turned his attention strictly to the tanning salon business in 2003, when he purchased his second iTan franchise location. Since then, he’s bought a new store every two years with more in the works. According to Stracner, “It’s all about having the best location. All of my salons are in good locations. I specifically look for salons that aren’t being operated efficiently or correctly. Those are the ones I target to use my system and management team. My goal is to double the revenues of the previous operator.”
Stracner believes in having the best people in the business working for him. “I can get a great location and offer a great product, but if I have terrible employees, I’m not going to be successful. The key to success is hiring the best people I can find, coaching them and training them to be leaders. I attract the best talent in the industry. That’s why my seven stores do so well.”
In addition to multiplying his presence in the San Diego area, Stracner also diversified revenue by the FIT® Bodywrap system to all his salons. He added a body wrap system to his first salon, when iTan franchise owners and FIT® Bodywrap creators, Michel Mikse and Faraje Kharse first introduced the product in 2006. According to Stracner, this was a very profitable decision, “From day one the results have been amazing. I have the system now in every store. In fact, my first store is the smallest one. It only had six tanning rooms. When I saw how great sales were in the other salons, I finally took out a UV tanning bed from that first salon and put in the FIT® Bodywrap system instead because it makes more money than a tanning bed.”
With great locations and an amazing add-on service, Stracner was headed for success. He employs a marketing strategy based on membership that provides client continuity. “We sell monthly memberships we call the Sun, Spray, Spa package for $99 a month. Clients come in to tan or spray and if they have an interest in getting a body wrap, they upgrade to the top membership tier. They can either do one body wrap session for $99 or get unlimited services with the top membership tier. That’s a great way to increase membership revenue each month. This also provides continuity because clients keep coming back again and again once they are members.” In addition to memberships, Stracner employs traditional marketing methods, “I’ve also run specials in magazines and done Groupon offers advertising the body wrap as a way to lose weight and inches. It’s gotten people to come into our stores. A lot of people are attracted to anything that helps them lose inches or weight. FIT® is very effective at getting clients into the salon.”
Now his clients ask for the FIT® Bodywrap system by name. “… [they] hear about it from their friends. It helps our tanning business because they come in for a FIT® Bodywrap and see other things such as tanning, sprays, products we have and sign up for a membership to do all those things. FIT® Bodywraps get people into the salons that wouldn’t normally come in to tan.” And because the FIT® Bodywrap system, which uses far infrared ray (FIR) technology, has benefits beyond weight loss, such as detoxification and pain relief, it appeals to a broader clientele. “I even have some young, 21-year-old employees who don’t need to lose weight but use body wraps. They get other benefits than losing weight.”
It’s clear that a sound business strategy and FIT® Bodywraps have increased Stracner’s tanning salon profitability. “I would say overall [FIT® Bodywrap] probably increases our monthly revenue about $2,500 per month per salon or about $30,000 a year.”
Stracner has no plans to stop growing his business now. When he buys his next salon, he will automatically order a body wrap system for it. “It’s about a third or a fourth of the cost of a big tanning bed and generates more money than a tanning bed. Any salon owner should have it in their salon.”
About iTan and FIT® Bodywrap
Faraje Kharsa opened up the first iTAN location in Encinitas on April 11, 2001. With the vision of creating long-lasting and successful salons, Kharsa invested in spreading the message of smart tanning. "Our mission at iTAN is this: Make the world a better place one tan at a time, for the benefit of our stakeholders:
Kharsa's passion for helping people live better has paved the way for iTAN to be voted the A-List Best Tanning Salon in San Diego for the past three years in a row.
iTAN has 28 locations to choose from. To find an iTan salon near you or visit any of Matt Stracner’s locations, please visit http://www.itansolariums.com/
About FIT® Bodywrap
The FIT® Bodywrap company has been in business since 2008. It is headquartered in San Diego, CA, where all iTan salons have the system installed. FIT® Bodywrap enjoys of thousands of satisfied customers who have used body wraps and the proprietary FIT® Booster Spray to add thousands in incremental revenue to their bottom line.
This revolutionary weight loss system was designed by salon owners Michel Mikse and Faraje Kharse, who were frustrated with the existing far infrared heat body wrap systems. They were looking for something new to provide an additional revenue channel in a product their clientele would rave about. This motivated them to design an innovative, less labor intensive, turnkey solution to provide a high margin revenue channel for tanning salons.
To learn more about FIT® Bodywraps and contact a sales representative to get the system into your salon with easy financing terms, please visit the company website at www.FITBodywrap.com.