Learn How to Hair Stylists A Booth In a Beauty Salon


Did you know there are over 80,000 hair salons and barbershops throughout the US?

It goes without saying that stylists have terrific long-term job security. After all, everyone needs haircuts on a regular basis.

Just because new clients are out there, though, doesn't always mean you know how to find them. And no matter how talented you are, you may not have the circumstances (or the budget) to open your own private hair salon.

For these reasons, salon owners and stylists alike often work off the salon booth rental business model. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement that allows new stylists and established salons to succeed.

Are you a salon owner new to the idea of renting booths? Are you a stylist trying to grow your clientele? Either way, you have a lot to gain from a salon booth rental agreement.

In this post, we'll dive into how booth rental salons operate, as well as salon owner responsibilities to booth renters. We'll also provide some actionable tips you can use to advertise and build your brand. Keep reading to learn more!


How Does Salon Booth Rental Work?

First of all, let's define the concept of a salon booth rental. 

If you work at a "traditional" salon or barbershop, you're hired on as an employee. You work under the direct supervision of the salon owner or manager. Like other standard jobs, you'll work a set schedule and earn a salary or commission (or both).

Booth rental salons operate differently than this traditional business model. Rather than forming an employer-employee relationship, stylist rent their chair or "booth" and work as independent contractors.

Basically, each stylist operates their own business within their rented space. They pay rent to the salon owner (daily, weekly, or monthly) in exchange for the workspace and shared amenities. It's up to the stylist to bring in their own clientele, buy their own products, and handle their own taxes.

Pros & Cons of the Booth Rental Business Model

When the right owners and stylists come together, salon booth rental can be a wonderful and profitable working relationship.

However, this business model is not without its risks. A stylist needs to be not only talented but also business-minded. And a salon owner or manager must know how to find stylists with both of these important traits.

Let's discuss some potential pros and cons of booth rental salons for owners and for stylists.

Pros for Salon Owners

If you're looking to reduce the amount of time you spend in the back office, switching to a salon booth rental business model is the perfect solution. Rather than forming employer-employee relationships with your stylists, it's essentially a landlord-tenant relationship.

This means it's not your responsibility to monitor them, their work, or their schedule. There's also less paperwork involved since the stylists will handle their own finances and taxes. This can provide you with more time to devote to other aspects of your business.

Another plus is that you can reduce your expenses and stabilize your income at the same time. Why do we say that?

Each stylist will provide their own supplies and products, which equals less expense for you. You also save on salary costs, since stylists work for themselves, as well as taxes and employee benefits.

And since you're renting out space to each stylist, you'll collect that set amount of rent each week or month. That amount stays the same regardless of how busy your salon is. If you're trying to cut expenses and rebuild your business after the pandemic, this could provide the stability you need.

Cons for Salon Owners

Before you start drafting a salon booth rental agreement, it's important to consider some potential drawbacks too.

The first one is obvious: you give up a lot of control. Because each stylist works for themselves, you have very little control over when and how they work. They're free to use whichever products they like and manage their clients however they choose to.

If you're the "hands-off" type, this might sound appealing. And it can be, provided you find a team of like-minded stylists.

This brings us to our second potential drawback: lack of unity.

When you hire employees directly, it's your chance to build a brand and deliver a consistent customer experience. Employees generally work similar schedules, spend more time together, and function as a team. You oversee your team and decide which services and products to offer.

Stylists who rent booths set up "their own business" within your business. They work the hours they want to work, so you might not see them around much. Their personal style of dress, grooming, and addressing clients may also be different than what you're used to.

Pros for Stylists

Now let's switch gears and focus on stylists. What are some potential benefits of renting a booth in an established salon?

Freedom and flexibility are the biggest advantages of salon booth rental. As an employee, you have to conform to the salon's image and expectations. You have to use their products and offer the services on their menu.

As an independent contractor, you're free to build your business any way you like. You can use the products you prefer and offer the services you like. This is a huge plus if you're interested in building your own brand as a stylist.

Because you're not stuck with a fixed schedule, you can work as much or as little as you like. If you want to take some vacation days, you don't have to ask for permission. You simply "close up shop" and hit the road.

Of course, you also have the potential to earn a lot more money as an independent contractor. Rather than getting paid an hourly wage or commission, you keep 100% of your earnings and tips. The only bill you're responsible for is your booth rental fee.

Cons for Stylists

All that freedom and flexibility sounds awesome, but let's take a quick reality check. Unlike an employee who just shows up and gets to work, independent contractors are responsible for all aspects of running their business.

This means it's up to you to market yourself and advertise your business. It's up to you to manage your finances, including paying and filing your own taxes. You have to buy your own products and supplies.

And you have to pay your booth rental fee on time, no matter how busy (or slow) your month was. This means money can be tight if you're new to the area or still building your clientele.

Keep in mind that you're also sacrificing a lot of perks of being an employee, such as paid vacation days or a 401(k). You'll also need to take care of your own health insurance and liability insurance.

Negotiating a Salon Booth Rental Agreement

So, you've weighed the pros and cons and decided that salon booth rental is the right choice for you.

Fantastic! Your next step is to understand the terms and conditions of your salon booth rental agreement. This is the contract between the salon owner and the stylist that confirms their business relationship.

The agreement should include:

Contract length

Rental rate and payment schedule (daily, weekly, monthly)

What is and is not included with the rental

What is and is not allowed on the premises

Salon owner responsibilities to booth renters

Details about shared equipment and amenities

Details about how and why to cancel the contract

As the owner or the stylist, it's vital to read and understand every aspect of the contract. If anything is unclear, ask for clarification. If you'd like to change something, try to negotiate an arrangement that works for both parties.

How to Succeed With a Salon Booth

The contract is signed and you're ready to get to work. What should owners and stylists do to maximize their chances of success?

Here are our best booth rental salon tips.


Booth Rental Salon Tips for Owners

Experts recommend that booth rental salons should aim to have their rent be no more than 25% of their expenses. Crunch the numbers and make sure your costs are under this threshold. If not, you need to find ways to reduce your expenses or increase your revenue (or both).

It's a good idea to have a lawyer take a look at your rental agreement, especially if you're new to the business concept. Your stylists aren't technically your employees, but it's still within your rights to lay down some ground rules. If you have any expectations as far as cleanliness or conduct, be sure to include those details in the contract.

As much as possible, try to build healthy relationships with your renters. Even though you're not their "boss," you can still foster a warm, friendly work environment. 

Organize team meetings or fun outings so your stylists can get to know each other. Be willing to assist if they need practical help with setting up their booth or advertising their business.

Remember: You're all on the same team!

Booth Rental Salon Tips for Stylists

The salon you choose to rent from can make or break your business, so choose wisely. When you arrive for your interview, you should get a good vibe from the establishment. It's important to feel comfortable with the owner, the other stylists, and the overall style of the salon.

Location is an important factor as well. No one enjoys a long commute, but you need to be within a reasonable distance from where your target clientele lives or works.

After these considerations, it all comes down to dollars and cents. Can you afford to pay the rental price and buy your own products, especially if it takes longer than expected to build your client list? Make sure you've done the math (or spoken to a financial expert) before you sign on the dotted line.

Most importantly, make sure you're prepared for the "business" aspect of running your own business. Keep detailed records of your income and expenses, as you'll need those for your quarterly and annual taxes. We also recommend hiring an accountant or, at the very least, using a bookkeeping app to keep track of your finances.

How to Market Your Salon Services

As a salon owner or an independent stylist, it's up to you to build your brand and market yourself. How can you get the word out about your business?

Start by creating a website that showcases your salon or brand. Include your credentials, philosophy, and a list of services, as well as plenty of before-and-after pictures.

Next, sign up for business accounts on Instagram and Facebook. Social media is the perfect place to showcase your talent, interact with current clients, and find new ones. You should also list your salon on sites like Spreeberry.

Claim your Google My Business listing so you'll show up in local search results. And don't forget to go out and network with other local businesses in real life too.

The more visible you are in the community, the easier it will be to build your client base.

Looking for Salon Booth Rental Available Near Me?

The salon booth rental business model is a popular one — and for good reason.

It gives new stylists the chance to build up their clientele without the expense of opening their own salon. It gives established salons the chance to grow and expand their business. In most cases, it's a win-win situation.

However, there are plenty of things to consider before signing up for this arrangement, whether you're a salon owner or an independent stylist. Before you commit to a rental agreement, make sure everyone involved has read (and understands) the fine print.

As long as you're all on the same page, you can start working together to build a better and more profitable salon business!

Does your salon or barbershop need new stylists? Are you a stylist looking for new clients and the opportunity to collaborate with other salon professionals?

Either way, we're here to help. Click here for more information about salon booth rentals in your area.



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