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Tablature Tattoo

Market Analysis Summary

Tattoos are no longer sought out only by fringes of the market. A fall 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 36% of Americans aged 18 to 25, and 40% of those ages 26 to 40, have at least one tattoo. In a working-class town like Greenwood, NJ, these numbers may be higher.

Some other statistics about the market:

  • The National Geographic News stated in April 2000 that 15% of all Americans were tattooed (or approximately 40 million people)
  • Esquire Magazine estimated in March 2002 that 1 in 8 Americans (12%) was tattooed.
  • A 2003 Harris Poll found that 16% of all adults have at least one tattoo.
  • The highest incidence of tattoos was found among the gay, lesbian and bisexual population (31%) and among Americans ages 25 to 29 years (36%) and 30 to 39 years (28%). Regionally, people living in the West (20%) are more likely to have tattoos.
  • Democrats are more likely to have tattoos (18%) than Republicans (14%) and Independents (12%) while nearly equal percentages of males (16%) and females (15%) have tattoos.

The market is segmented into:

  • Tattoo newbies or dabblers (those who get one tattoo)
  • Tattoo collectors (those who get numerous tattoos)

Market Segmentation

The market segments in the Greenwood, NJ area include residents of Greenwood and surrounding towns who may travel to Tablature Tattoo. Collectors who like the work of the artists featured at Tablature Tattoo are especially likely to do this, making this number 10,000 individuals.

Tattoo newbies: May seek out a tattoo for the experience of receiving it, to simply say they’ve done it, to commemorate a specific relationship or affiliation, or for the danger associated with it or with those who have tattoos. These individuals may become tattoo collectors, but most simply get one tattoo in their life, especially in their younger years (late teens or twenties). The popularity of tattoos among celebrities also further encourages this group to get tattoos.

Tattoo collectors: This group connects with the lifestyle associated with having tattoos. Many seek to cover large portions of their body with tattoos. This group will appreciate the work of specific artists and seek them out again. This group will seek custom designs, eschew standard, simple designs, and become used to the pain or discomfort involved.

Tattoo parlor business plan, market analysis summary chart image

Market Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
Tattoo Newbies 4% 30,000 31,200 32,448 33,746 35,096 4.00%
Tatoo Collectors 4% 10,000 10,400 10,816 11,249 11,699 4.00%
Total 4.00% 40,000 41,600 43,264 44,995 46,795 4.00%

Target Market Segment Strategy

Tablature Tattoo will seek to serve both of these key market segments in order to remain viable. Serving tattoo collectors alone may not yield a large enough market. Furthermore, it is difficult to inspire new tattoo collectors in the area without first serving tattoo newbies with introductory tattoos. The business will seek out both markets by advertising both its introductory designs and the elaborate design work they are capable of. The shop will be appropriate for tattoo collectors, with entertaining music playing and products available for sale.

Service Business Analysis

There are an estimated 20,000+ parlors operating in the United States, according to a U.S. News & World Report article, which said, on the average, an establishment is being added in the country every day. This translates into a tattoo parlor for at least every 10,000 adult Americans. The article ranked tattooing as the sixth fastest growing retail venture of the 1990s, right behind Internet, paging services, bagels, computer and cellular phone service.

Tattoo shops are generally independent ventures run by tattoo artists. Some feature just one artist and some feature a number of them (three or four is common). Generally, tattoo artists do not want to work for owners who are not artists themselves. The artists are generally freelance contractors working on 1099 and controlling their own hours and schedules, which is in keeping with the freedom they desire. However, tattoo studios are under increasing legal pressure from tax authorities to reclassify these artists as employees as most work primarily in one studio. $100 is a standard market rate for one hour with a tattoo artist and the artist generally makes 40-50% of that amount per hour. Customers are attracted through internet advertising and their websites, referrals and word-of-mouth.

In the Greenwood, NJ area, Tablature Tattoo will compete with:

  • Target Tattoo: This shop is located in an area mall and focused on introductory tattoos and short sessions. It features a revolving door of artists, as artists generally have higher aspirations than working at a shop like this. However, its price of $50 for a basic tattoo is competitive.
  • Rat-a-tat-tat: This shop features three successful artists focusing on tribal styles. This limitation of the store gives it a successful niche, but turns away customers who are interested in a wider range of styles.

Competition and Buying Patterns

In choosing between competitors, those seeking tattoos consider:

  • The body of work of the artist – Beginning with the tattoos on the body of the artist (if a customer doesn’t like these designs and the taste of the artist, he or she may have second thoughts) and including the flash art created by the artist
  • Comfort talking to the artist – Customers want to know that their wishes are understood and that the artist will work towards the goal they want and not their own ends.
  • Price – Customers are often bargain hunters, and it is up to the tattoo artist to explain the safety precautions taken and experience he or she has which explains the price charged. When customers understand that a higher price sometimes means no shortcuts are being taken, they may feel more comfortable and price becomes less of a concern. Of these concerns, price is more of a concern for tattoo newbies than collectors.