Do you have artistic tendencies?  Do you have passion for tattooing? Are you interested in taking your tattoo design skills to the next level? If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then below is an in-depth guide on how to start a tattoo design business from home.

I love tattoos, especially beautifully designed ones. I don’t know about you. But unfortunately, I don’t even have a single tattoo on my skin. This is due to religious and cultural beliefs. Hmmm… well, there are many people out there who are crazy tattoo lovers.

Tattooing is popular and can be found in many cultures. In fact, Tattooing is trending for girls especially in Nigeria. Everywhere I go, I see girls with tattoos and this trend is more common among high institution students. So rather than sit by and watch the trend pass, you can make some cool money by starting a tattoo design business and meeting the various demands.

Before I move on with the main subject of today’s topic, let me quickly walk you through the steps to becoming a KICK ASS Tattoo artist

How to Become a KICK-ASS Tattoo Artist

1. Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program:

To become a certified estate manager, you need to spend 4 years in College. The same applies to become a professional tattoo artist. Tattooing is synonymous with skin piercing, and it is not something you just wake up and do. You need to be properly trained on it.

Some apprenticeship programs may take you up to  1 or 3 years to complete; but you will gain experience, and starting a tattoo shop won’t be a big deal because you already know the ‘’nitty gritty’’ of the game. Mind you that obtaining the needed tattooing education could also be very expensive, but well worth it! The education acquired will help you prepare a tattoo shop business plan.

2. Get a Good Location

Before looking for an office space, you must bear in mind that tattoos are more common and accepted by the younger generation, so you should consider them when choosing a location for your business. If possible, I will advice you open up shop either in the heart of town, or better still; in a vicinity dominated by college students.

Don’t set up your shop in residential areas. Set up your shop in an area where there’s high pedestrian traffic, so that passersby can walk in. When people can see your business from the road, you won’t even need to market for a start. They are more likely to remember it and visit later….

3. Contact your Local Health Department

Tattooing and skin piercing come with some health risks and hazards. So before starting your business, it is necessary that you contact your health department for the licensing you need for tattooing.

There’s no big deal about it; you just need to obey the law and do the right things so you won’t bite your finger in regret in the long run. You must also ensure that you maintain high standard with respect to personal hygiene and cleanliness.

4. Get the necessary equipment

To start a tattoo shop, you will need tattooing tools and equipments like needles, ink, transfers, a record book, cash register, tattoo gun, and some furniture. If you are just starting, you don’t need to buy everything at once (it’s cool if you have the funds. But if you are just starting on a limited budget), you can get the things you need gradually and don’t buy them brand new… (But you must make sure you sterilize each piercing equipment after use).

Now that your tattoo studio is situated in a high traffic commercial area, it’s time to advertize your business. When it comes to advertising your business, you need to be careful as to how you spend. If you are working with a limited budget, you should start small and walk your way up. That’s how to advertise as an entrepreneur!

3+ Advertising Tips for a Tattoo Shop

  • Purchase a Large Banner  or design to display outside your studio

A large banner sign will help passersby know what you do and also help pull the curious ones into your tattoo studio. However, you must ensure you register your banner ad with the appropriate advertising agency. You must also make sure that your Business Name and special price offerings are boldly displayed on the billboard for passersby to see.

  • Write a Press Release

If you are a good writer, then you should write a press release and distribute it to local newspapers and radio stations. You can also hire a press release writer to carry out the task.

  • Distribute Flyers

If you can afford it, place flyers throughout the town and contact local radio stations to announce that you are giving a special giveaway price, and cash award for the first 100 people who patronizes you.  This will result in more publicity for your business, and bring more ‘’fungolas’’ (money) in the long run

  • It is also important that you connect with potential customers on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.

5+ Additional Tips for Starting a Tattoo Shop

Note: You must keep it at the back of your mind to always seek written parental consent before piercing anyone below 18. You can talk to an attorney for more information on this.

You must also check the ID of your customers to ensure they are ripe to get a piercing. Most states such as Alaska, California, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, New York, Nevada, and Maryland. Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oregon and Philadelphia don’t allow tattooing. It’s illegal.

However, if you are planning to start a tattoo shop in South Carolina or Illinois, you must ensure you get a written parental consent from your clients. Failure to do so might attract penalty and lawsuits. It is also important that you provide after-care advice and instructions after piercing: Most tattoo artist don’t give after-care instructions. Don’t be like them. Be different…

  • It is important that you finish high school. This will enable you to have more exposure and people relationship skills
  • To get repeat clients, you must keep your studio neat. So always mop the floor….
  • Always offer help to your clients. Without them, you won’t be in business.
  • If you have an attitude problem, don’t even think of starting a tattoo business. You must learn to tolerate people. It’s very important.
  • Always renew your tattoo license and complete additional, tattoo design courses. It will help boost your reputation and credibility.

As a final note, it is advisable you consult professional artists who are more experienced to advice you on how best to run your tattoo business.

Ajaero Tony Martins