If you had every model and type of float tank you’d be running the Burj Khalifa of float centers, with an estimated 38 unique float tanks, which include pods, custom open pools, cabins, vertical tanks, and inflatable or portable float devices currently on the market (not even counting older models).
This is all to say that there are a ton of options out there when considering tanks for your center.
Whether you’re opening a two-tank center, or a bajillion-tank center, do you want all the same model, or will you have some variety?
As it turns out, the distinction of where the benefits lie is fairly clear. Operating just one model of tank ends up being easier for a float center to manage, while having a range of options is more attractive from a customer’s perspective.
Float Center Perspective
Let’s start with the float center’s perspective. If you’re a center owner or employee, the option of having only one type of float tank in all of your rooms is quite attractive. If you decide to buy only one model, this will make running and operating your shop easier.
Streamlined Sales and Service
First, it’s understandably attractive to work with only one manufacturer when buying tanks. It gives you one point of sale, one place for customer service questions, and one source for replacement parts, saving you the hassle of coordinating with multiple contacts when you need something.
From a financial perspective, getting all of your tanks from the same manufacturer opens up the very real possibility of getting a bulk deal. Depending on how many tanks you’re getting, this can amount to significant savings.
All the Tanks = All the Parts
Each tank will come with its own set of filtration parts. In our industry, difficulty in some form is inevitable, and you always want to have spare parts for each of your tanks lying around. If you have a few different types of tanks, this means you’ll need to stock up on all the relevant lights, pipes, o-rings, bolts, filters, etc.
If you’re rocking just one type of tank and, therefore, one filtration system, you have a much simpler and smaller inventory of spare parts that you need to maintain and train your staff on. If you have enough identical units, you can even consider having a full backup filtration system, which you could attach to any of the units in a pinch.
This is a good moment to point out that some manufacturers have both pod and cabin-style tanks available. This makes it possible to work with just one manufacturer and streamline parts and service needs while still providing design options for your customers.
Standard Tub Volume
The salt solution in your tank is highly sensitive and needs constant monitoring. Because the chemistry and sanitation methods are complicated, doing measurements and treatments correctly is crucial towards the success of your business. When it comes to specific gravity, pH, and other measurable data for a float tank, dosing or altering your solution to the correct levels all depends on the volume of the tub.
If you only have one size across all of your tanks, this makes your calculations and treatments much more straightforward, decreasing the likelihood of mistakes. With multiple tanks with multiple volumes, however, you need to train your staff much more extensively, investing more in education and perhaps providing extremely specific treatment charts.
Alright, let’s flip over to the customer side of things.
At Float On, we like to have a variety of tanks for our floaters. They can choose from 3 different cabin-style options, 2 open float rooms, and 1 pod. While we don’t have any of the hatch-style tanks, these are popular options as well for many centers.
While floaters are pretty easy going customers, they still have personal preferences (like any other human being). Some people prefer the expansiveness of the open pools, others like the cozy womb of the float pod, and some don’t care about size at all as long as the tank has specific light fixtures or audio options. When considering tanks, pay attention to what you enjoy, but keep the broad spectrum of customers who’ll be coming your way in mind as well.
It’s Groot to Have Options
If you limit yourself to one model or style of tank, this reduces the options available to new floaters, and it can ultimately can limit the range of customers. If you do have multiple tank styles, it’s nice to have at least two units of each style if possible. Some customers who float together for the first time really enjoy being able to compare their floats, and it seems to put them at ease knowing that they’ll be exposed to the same type of tank and experience.
You Want Me To Get In What?!
For anyone who identifies as even moderately claustrophobic, the idea of a float tank can sound kind of intimidating at first. In their mind, it’s like mad scientists from hell designed their perfect torture device when, in fact, the float tank is an environment designed to integrate and relax those very stressed out impulses. Rather than a cramped box, most “claustrophobic” floaters are simply taken with the vastness of the inner expanses of their mind and bodies, quickly forgetting their trapped-in-the-tank blues. Those of us who are used to these conversations can easily explain that there’s plenty of space and that everyone is in full control of their own experience.
“The light is right there, and the door opens like so.”
The range of options you provide can be a powerful ally to ease claustrophobic concerns. Some people who are new to floating have an image of a tiny, restrictive tank you need to squeeze into. It can be productively disarming when you show them a cabin or open style room as an antidote to their worries. Even with smaller models of tanks, though, assuring potential floaters of how easy it is to control their experience usually does the trick. Sometimes, being able to feel nurtured in a smaller space actually increases their connection with the experience and decreases their overall tendencies towards claustrophobia.
People with claustrophobia often end up loving floating, coming back again and again. Rather than a scary place, the float tank becomes a safe sanctuary where anxiety can melt away. We believe that the option of an open pool or large float cabin can be an asset to quickly assuage the worries of claustrophobic clients, but we know plenty of successful centers with only smaller tank models who totally make it work.
Honing in on Preferences
Another advantage of having multiple types of float tanks is that, if someone has any sort of complaint during their first experience or isn’t convinced about floating, you have more options to refer to them to.
Perhaps someone tries out a pod and it feels a little stuffy — “Here’s a discount for your next float — we recommend trying out our open float room, which some people find better for stuffiness.”
Maybe someone got a little chilly in an open room and they heard rumbling or other noises — “We’d love to offer you a discount for one of our cabins to see if you like that better. It holds its temperature a little better and is further from the street. Perfect for floaters with bat-like hearing.”
Ultimately, it’s your decision —
It’s your float center after all!
From an owner’s perspective, tank uniformity is less of a hassle and provides some up–front options for savings. Be sure to weigh those, however, against the benefits of having a diverse array of float tank options and what that can provide for your customers.
Be sure to download the Float Tank Comparison Guide for a look at all of the models floating around and to have a better informed decision.
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