Business Practices

Before even starting in the tattooing business, the material in this chapter should be given some serious thought. For example, how will you ever start tattooing if perhaps it is against the law in your community? Since it is a tattooing career that you wish to make it in, it would be smart to make sure no authorities will visit you and permanently shut you down. Whether doing business at home or at a shop (which will be the eventual goal), certain local and state ordinances should be looked into in depth.

The first step would be for you to investigate into the local laws at City Hall to see whether there are any conflicts with what you plan to do, and meet what they require on this subject. This also should involve a visit to the Sheriffs Department to check on other requirements and law stipularions. A trip there should be on your schedule regardless, just to clear things up like wining and businesses.

Another important place to go see would be the Health Department to find out what they require. Be prepared to answer their questions like a pro. Knowing all the information in this book down pat would be an excellent start, and you should practice all the information in this book too, like a professional. Meet all the regulations that are required of you. You want to set upa respectable and permanent husinessand not be a gypsy outlaw. State, local and health laws vary greatly, so be sure to check them out and any other establishments that they point you to. There are some other things to consider also,aboutother general business practices, Before diving right into a shop, you better know exactly what makes upa legal shop and be prepared to meet those requirements. Also, some knowledge on real estate would help, so you don't getstuck paying off ashop you can't use. Look up zoning laws to be sure you can tattoo in the area. Once the shop is located and the deal is going through, it is wise to have business insurance on your shop and your equipment, in case of fire, theft or accident, you will be covered. If you are not covered, it could cost you the shop. An insurance policy is a small price to pay to be protected today.

Just in case you don't think you can handle all this on your own, employ the services of a good local attorney. He will always know people in the right places and whom to contact for the information you require. Let him do the leg work, after all, that's what you will be paying him for and he won't get the run around as you might get in some instances.

Business Procedures

Always keep a receipt for all of the work that you do. Even for the smallest tattoo or whatever services you render. Remember that you are self-employed and you have to pay taxes. A course on bookkeeping would be practical in addition, just to keep your head on straight. There are a lot of deductions a business person can legally make, and one book on small business and another on tax information (from the I.R.S.) is a must. You have to know what you are doing here. It is not as complicated as you might think, but it is absolutely necessary to understand these things if you are going to survive as a self-employed business person.

One more thought about insurance. Today is the day of the lawsuit. People are very excited about getting a tattoo and will brag about them and pay large sums of money for them. But if something ever goes wrong, these same people will not give it a second thought to turn around and sue you right out of business. Some type of thought should be given to protect yourself from this ever happening. This type of protection is called the "trade form." This is a legally binding piece of paper between you and your customer, waiving any kind of responsibility on your part for damages or lawsuits of any kind after they leave the shop. It must be signed before you commence tattooing. An example of such a sheet is included at the end of this chapter. It should not be directly copied, it is just an example. Since it is such a great legal document, it is up to the tattooist and his lawyer to make one up. The price paid for this paper is worth it. Once made up. it will last you forever. .lust have them copied or printed in quantities. Basically, the release form will cover topics like age and physical requirements, it will release you from liability from lawsuits and damages after the visit and anything else you and your lawyer can think up to protect yourself and keep yourself covered at all times. If a person takes one step into your shop and trips and falls and chips his teeth, you just might be liable (this even before the signing of the release). A sign "Enter at your own risk" in front of the store is at least some kind of coverage releasing you from a possible lawsuit. This kind of "insurance" is a must to have, but remember, it still does not release you from your responsibility. You owe it to everyone to do your best. You must follow all the procedures in this book such as bandages and sterilization techniques and it is your responsibility to see to it that you perform them.

Along this line of thought is another form of policy called the "care sheet." This is made up by you and handed to every customer after they receive a tattoo. Just you telling them about the after care and a big poster in front of the chair outlining the steps is not enough. (Which you ought to have anyway.) You must make up a sheet with each step printed on it explaining the care of a tattoo and the customer's responsibility in taking care of it. This is important because the healing is critical in the quality of the tattoo and the health of the customer. Every precaution should be taken to ensure that they do this. An example of a Care Sheet can also be found in the end of the Chapter on Bandages. Study it carefully, and add anything else that you may feel is important. I certainly would not subtract from the information though. It is advisable to post a notice in a prominent area of the shop stating that you don't tattoo people who are afflicted with sugar diabetes (they are prone to infection and heal poorly, or not at all). It also won't hurt to include hemophiliacs on the same notice. Such a notice will provide you with some more legal protection.

Being in business for yourself has great benefits. One of these is that you are your own boss and you are responsible for making the money. In other words, you are writing your own check. But, just like an hourly wage, in the business world, time is money and time means money. You never want to be in a position where you are unnecessarily holding yourself up or finding yourself doing things twice. This costs you money or will keep you from making more money, and believe me. this is not professional.

In the tattooing trade, payment for tattoos is in cash and in advance. It is hard to take back a tattoo if the customer won't pay. Same deal for checks. Accept only cash in advance - non-refundable. A sign up front, "no checks," also helps. Also, if you do work by appointment, deposits are required to secure it. The appointment goes into an Appointment Book the minute a deposit is received. This deposit is non-refundable if they do not show up. Usually, a twenty-four cancel notice is required and then deposits are returned. The deposit for an appointment can be taken off the top of the tattoo price. Sometimes a deposit is necessary in the case of special design requests. This is to cover the time involved in the design or the extra to pay an artist to draw one up special. When doing a large piece that requires more than one sitting, always gel fifty percent up front and divide the balance up between the following sittings.

Sometimes people will surprise you with really outrageous requests for tattoo work. Usually in weird places that are out of the ordinary. Once again, payment in advance, and for appointments. If you don't feel comfortable tattooing, let's say, genitals, for instance, set your price extremely high and out of range. If the customer agrees to pay it, well do it. A private booth or section may be essential when doing bashful customers or women. Some people do not want to be stared at. and you should honorall requests and do your best to please the customer at all times. Never tattoo minors, even when they have parental approval. It is just bad policy and stay away from it. It is also not too smart to tattoo certain exposed body parts. Reconsult chapter on "Skin" for more wisdom on this.

Do not latum people who for whatever reason are not capable of making a free informed choice in having a tattoo or not, such as the mentally handicapped. Don't tattoo minors even with written permission, it isn't very professional. Tattooists who tattoo small children need counselling and help.

Don't tattoo pregnant or nursing women. It's also not a good idea to tattoo vulgar words or dirty pictures. "Rittooing should bean honorable art. not a barbaric ritual. A professional attitude draws a line. Never compromise or cross over it. Business is business and don't deviate from the rules. Names anil biker club insignias are a definite no no. The only exception is if you have undeniable proof of biker club membership. Remember, these fellows are very proud of their designs and guard them rather jealously. You are responsible for indiscrete tattooing and will have to answer for it

It is best not to tattoo in the window of your shop. Regardlessof what you may think, there are people out there who consider tattooing obscene. If you flaunt your wares in front of their face, they will remember you for the wrong reasons. It's not good to attract bad attention to yourself.

Don't exhibit reptiles, white rats, shrunken heads, skeletons, etc., in your studio as come-ons. The reaction of most people to such props are negative and they are usually repulsed. What you intended as a come-on may be a turn-off. Tattooing can stand on its own merit and such window dressing announces to the world that you may be involved in some strange seel besides tattooing. That hardly inspires confidence In the people you seek to do business with.

Establish a regular pattern of working hours. During your slow periods, you II find many ways to occupy your time. If and when you have a day when yoii're tired distraught or ill, go to bed or go fishing, tomorrow's another day.

On a busy day. work customers on a rotation basis. First in. first our Don't offend anyone by taking on someone else before their turn comes,

Youll find it better to do large pieces by appointment outside your regular office hours. Some artists work exclusively by appointment, but they are usually well known and established. It's not a good idea to work more than two or three hourson a large tattoo anyway, tt is advisable to spread the work over several or more sittings. Don't touch it again until the previous work Is healed

You will be approached by peopleyou would prefer not doing business ivith There is always one out of ten that are just plain trouble. Don't be arrogant with ihem just explain in a firm way that if you're not accepting their money, you don't owe them anything.

From time to time, you might be approached by the media looking for what they like to call a human interest story. While it may be in your interest to cooperate witli them don't forget that publicity isadouble-edged sword. Once they get their foot in the door they can write it the way they see it. There are Uiose who swear that publicity promotes business, but il would he hard to prove that those customers wouldn't eventually have foil nd their way to your doorstep anyway. Give It your hesi thoughis, because In the end. it's a decision you'll have to make whenytiu are confronted with it.

Spend some time building good public relations in your community, having friends on your side always helps.

A question that comes up is one about utloo removal. TStttooists all have their special removal techniques, but you should be advised to stay clear or them all. The best answer is to have the name anil address of a reputable dermatologist who specializes in tattoo removal, and send the client there. Your thing should be putting them on correctly. Let someone else's thing be in removing them correctly.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Tattoo Shading Techniques

Tattoo Shading Techniques

Black with grey shading tattoo arts are like a representation of who you are and they have a power and magic of their own. This Tattoo tutorial is covering how to do black and gray portrait tattoo techniques. Learn about black with grey shading tattoo art and explore the exceptional techniques of making some beautiful designs.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment