How To Write A Tattoo Shop Business Plan in 2023

If you’re getting ready to open a tattoo shop, then one of your first steps will be creating your tattoo shop business plan. This plan is a roadmap for your tattoo business’s present and future.

What You Will Learn

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of the tattoo parlor business, why business plans are necessary, what to include in yours, and provide a free tattoo studio business plan template.

Jump to the Section You Like

  1. What Type Of Business Is a Tattoo Shop?
  2. Why Does Your Tattoo Shop Need a Business Plan?
  3. Key Elements of a Good Tattoo Shop Business Plan
  4. Free Tattoo Shop Business Plan Template
  5. Conclusion

What Type Of Business Is a Tattoo Shop?


Tattoo shops are often run by either experienced tattoo artists or a non-tattooing business owner.

In most states, they’re required to adhere to strict health and licensing standards as they use specialized, sterile equipment to apply permanent art to clients’ bodies. Many shops offer body piercing in addition to tattoo service, and have a trained piercer on staff.

These businesses can take many forms (each with its own marketing strategy and target customers). These include:

  • Traditional Tattoo Studio: These often have multiple tattoo artists on staff and multiple rooms/ chairs, and often take a mixture of appointment bookings and walk-ins. Location is important when attracting customers here.
  • Home-Based Tattoo Shops: Often run by one artist looking to save on additional rent expenses, but sometimes a talented artist will establish a home studio for an exclusive target audience.
  • Mobile Tattoo Shop: These businesses are easy to spot at tattoo artist events or tattoo conventions, attracting potential customers by showcasing their art and portfolios. Sometimes, private groups will book them for special occasions.

Why Does Your Tattoo Shop Need a Business Plan?


A tattoo business isn’t the only business that needs a plan- in fact, all businesses need to track their progress and stay organized.

Documenting your tattoo business strategy, understanding market trends, having a plan to attract customers and getting a handle on your expenses and financial statements is crucial for any new business- it also makes it much easier to secure a loan and be taken seriously by potential investors.

Business plans are important documents that help organize your ideas, create and adjust your marketing plan, hold effective staff meetings, evaluate expenses, and check that your tattoo studio is heading in the right direction and in line with your values and target market.

They’re also not set in stone- a good business plan for tattoo shop owners can be revised and updated as needed.

We recommend you to check our our post on tattoo shop decor.

Key Elements of a Good Tattoo Shop Business Plan


Every good tattoo studio business plan will have some things in common:

They’ll explain your objectives, identify your target customers, specific services and retail offerings, detail your projected revenue and expenses, give an overview of your marketing strategy and financial plan.

Remember, this is an analysis of where your business is now, and where you’d like it to be in the future, along with how you hope to get there.

Your tattoo studio business plan will contain:

Your Cover Page

This introduces your business and its tattoo services to everyone with a financial stake in its success- think managers, potential investors, and financial advisors. Make sure it includes your:

Do not miss our post on tattoo shop names.

Table of Contents

This will make it much easier to find what you need quickly, especially if you add things at the end like market research, graphs, art portfolios or financial statements.

Executive Summary

This is your opportunity to make a solid, professional first impression. Be sure to include:

  • Your Mission Statement (your business’s goals and how you plan to achieve them)
  • Your Vision Statement (where do you want your tattoo shop to eventually be in the future)
  • An Overview (of the business itself and a short summary of what the plan contains)
  • Keys to Success (what you’ll need to start and run your tattoo shop successfully)

Business Description

This is a brief overview of your business and its primary service, specialties, and needs:

  • Your location (or ideal location, if you’re still looking into your options)
  • Your services
  • Any staffing needs
  • A general overview of the tattoo industry in your local area

Target Markets

Describe your prospective tattoo customers, and why you chose them:

  • What’s their average age? Are your prospective customers mostly young people with disposable income (professional young adults are a fast-growing market in this industry), or are you aiming at older people with multiple tattoos?
  • Does your target group live, study or work locally?
  • What kinds of tattoos or services do they want?
  • Why did you choose them, and how will this affect your sales strategy, marketing, branding etc.?
  • What can you provide that sets you apart from the competition?

Competitive Analysis

This is the industry analysis section- you’ll need to do some research and explain the following things:

  • Identify your local competitors (this includes indirect competitors)
  • How does your business compare to other tattoo parlors?
  • Will you be competing for the same clients?
  • How do you foresee the market growth potential in your area?
  • What sets your tattoo designs or services apart and gives you a competitive advantage? Some examples might be offering customized tattoos, tattoo maintenance, laser tattoo removal services (if you’re trained), cover-ups, or body-piercing services.

Management Plan

As the shop owner, you’ll need to explain the management structure, including:

  • The company’s structure (in small business where it’s a sole proprietorship, this will often be fairly simple)
  • Management strategy (major goals and milestones for the business- where should it be by its third year, for example, and what’s the plan to get there?)
  • A staffing overview of team members and roles

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Key elements of a good tattoo shop business plan
Key Elements of a Good Tattoo Shop Business Plan

Products and Services

This is the fun part. You can show potential revenue sources here and help get an idea of your later expenses. Some of the products and services of a tattoo shop include:

  • Standard tattoos
  • Customized tattoos
  • Tattoo removal or cover-up services
  • Piercing services and jewelry
  • Aftercare products
  • Art and merchandise by talented artists (either local on onsite)

Marketing Plan

Explain how you’ll reach new clients and expand the business, along with approximate costs. This includes:

  • Your marketing budget
  • Information about market segmentation
  • Your advertising plan- will you place ads in local papers, use email marketing and social media pages (a must-have for reaching younger generations), and make use of search engine optimization via articles and blog posts?
  • How will you follow up on customer satisfaction?
  • Explain your brand identity and why it’s marketable

Sales Plan

This part covers both products and services. Explain the following:

  • What are your sales goals?
  • How will you present products and your service menu?
  • Your projected income from each category
  • If additional training is needed, how will you finance it?

Financial Plan

What are your expenses, and how do you plan to make the tattoo shop turn a profit as soon as possible? A tattoo shop financial plan should include:

  • A detailed analysis of your expenses (both at startup and recurring ones)
  • A breakdown of your projected cash flow (you can update this with a cash flow statement once you’ve been in operation for a few months)
  • Profit and loss projections
  • Your break even point
  • Any loans and debts involved with the business

Pro tip: if you don’t have direct experience with finance and accounting, it’s a good idea to have a professional look at your plan and go over all of the details with you before you create the final copy.

Operating Plan

The basic details of running the business, including:

  • Location information (if you have at least one tattoo shop already, you can describe each location)
  • Management information (how you plan to run it, and whether you’ll employ other managers, for example)

Additional Information

In this section, you can attach and explain any addition, relevant documents and append things for reference.

Do not miss our post on Tattoo Business Cards.

Free Tattoo Shop Business Plan Template


Putting together your own business plan from scratch can be time consuming, but we know how important it is to have one in place. Using a premade tattoo shop business plan pdf is a great way to get started.

We’ve decided to help by creating a tattoo shop business plan sample template that you can save, use and adjust to fit your needs.



Getting started in the tattoo industry is an exciting journey to be on, and we’re here for it. We wish you the very best of luck!

Remember, just like most business ventures, a little bit of planning now will save you a ton of time and stress later on. Having a tattoo shop business plan is one of the best ways to be ready to make decisions, approach investors and handle the unexpected.


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