The most common stress inducers in tattooing

a stressed out tattoo artist

Every business comes with its own fair share of stress, especially those in the service industry. All it takes is a treatment gone wrong, a rude customer or managerial issues and presto, you’re stressed out. Oftentimes, stress like this comes and goes – after all, you’ve got bigger things to deal with – but for body art businesses, especially tattoo studios, it doesn’t just disappear. Here are the most common stress inducers in the industry, and what you can do to overcome them!

Difficult clients

They plague every business in the service industry, and the worst part is, they come in a variety. Difficult customers in the body art industry range from the bargain hunters and hagglers to the interrupters. Every tattooist has a unique tattooing style which they take pride in, and asking for a discount or haggling for a better price is outright disrespectful. The specialist not only tattoos the design onto a customer, but they also have to sketch it and plan how to fit it onto the client’s body, which takes a good eye and skill. However, not every customer respects this. Sure, losing one penny-pinching client won’t stress you out, but if a number of potential clients are turned away due to your prices, you might begin to consider lowering prices in order to avoid losing potential profit. The whole situation can get you stressed about your work and whether or not it is overpriced. 

However, chances are you may have also run into interrupters, which bring their fair share of stress as well. Not every tattooist enjoys talking with their clients while they’re working – some prefer to stay focused, whereas others have no trouble tattooing and chatting away. Now here’s every tattooists nightmare – while a client is chatting, laughing or moving around (even though you’ve asked them twice not to), you make a mistake. Either you’ve tattooed out of the lines or used the wrong colour ink in the wrong part of the tattoo, but no biggie, you’ve dealt with worse. However, your customer notices something is wrong and demands that you hand them the mirror so they can see for themselves. If this happens during the customer’s first tattoo and they notice your mistake, get ready for the rant of a lifetime.

In order to avoid stressful situations caused by working with clients, make sure to:

  • Educate bargain hunters and hagglers
  • Ask them why they feel they should receive a discount
  • Be assertive with interrupters
  • Apologise and fix your mistake at no cost

Potential clients who look for discounts usually don’t know what goes into creating a quality tattoo. Inform them about your techniques, how many years you’ve been an apprentice and the quality of your ink and instruments. Take pride in your work and let others know what you put into it! As far as interrupters go, be assertive with them. If you’ve asked them not to disrupt you during work, and they continue to do so, ask them kindly once more to stop talking or moving around. If they continue to do so, stop your work. However, if you make a mistake while tattooing a client, consider fixing it at no cost to the client in order to avoid any uncomfortable situations.

Low periods

Nothing creates more stress for businesses than low periods – especially ones that seem to drag on. During this time, you’re losing profit and experiencing a sharp drop in customer retention and have difficulty attracting new clients. Aside from hurting your wallet, low periods take their toll on your confidence, which eventually leads to stress and a lack of self-motivation. Let’s get things straight – almost every business in the service industry experiences low seasons – they’re unavoidable. However, their effects can be mitigated by:

  • Inviting celebrity artists
  • Encouraging clients to promote your brand
  • Being more socially active

Celebrity artists are renowned for their tattooing styles and hosting one in your shop is the perfect way to attract clients. Once the artist has agreed to your terms and you’ve arranged a timeframe for them to work in your studio, get the word out! Post on Facebook, Instagram, send a bulk text message to your clients and consider investing in social media ads to inform customers. An artist with a reputation comparable to Banksy’s will definitely reel clients in through your studio’s doors!

If you’ve been in the industry for some time, then you’ve probably made a number of friends and close clients along the way – and it’s these people who are the ace up your sleeve. A strong and supportive customer base is usually all you need in order to give your studio a boost during a low season. Clients who are close to your business are more likely to get the word out about your business and share your work! To encourage them to help your business during low periods, simply ask them and make sure to reward them for referring friends and family with either a discount off of their next purchase or something entirely different!

When it comes to stressing out about low periods in the studio, you’re not alone. Attend tattooing conventions and meet industry celebrities or just other tattooists who share the same struggles. Chances are you might get some good tips for improving your business and even make a few pals along the way.

Lack of organisation

A reputable tattoo studio should run like clockwork. During the regular workday, you’re usually busy tattooing clients, preparing your workstation, creating content for your social media pages, managing your team (unless you work solo or rent chairs) and sketching clients’ desired tattoos. On a perfect day, everything is going smoothly, but all it takes is forgetting to write down an appointment, running out of steel blue ink or a no-show and you’ve got yourself a domino effect. It’s situations like these that cause long-term stress and can throw you off. As the saying goes, better to prevent than to cure – so in order to avoid organisational disarray in your studio, try:

  • Encouraging the team to work together
  • Making use of Versum’s managerial tools

If you work with other tattoo artists in your enterprise, then you know this situation all too well. Most of the time, working with a team of like-minded artists can be a dream come true, however, there are days when all of that comes crashing down. If you rent out chairs, chances are the artists who fill them focus solely on their work and are in and out as they see fit (unless they’re apprentices or actually hired as an employee), which in turn can create chaos in work schedules. Instead, have them mark the days they are off or are working in the Versum digital calendar.

Lastly, making use of Versum’s inventory tracking tool would truly work wonders in improving organisation in your studio. Aside from automatically sending appointment reminders, the system also tracks your backbar product levels and even generates sales reports – keeping you informed on how your business is doing, allowing you to take action before an organisational disaster occurs.

Stress in the body art industry can be unavoidable at times, however, with the right approach and tools, it can be mitigated if not prevented altogether. Easily manage and run your businesses with Versum! Grab your account and run your studio with less stress!

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