April 2009

Build a Successful Business with Employees and Renters

By Kerrin Delaney

The beauty industry is made up of many diverse and dynamic professionals who each bring their own touch to their place of business.

It may be surprising to find so many available chairs in hair salons with so many professionals ready to settle in. As a salon owner, you have an obligation to build the best team that presents the image you have worked so hard to establish.

In this tight job market, you are often competing with every other hair salon in town as well as new start-up salons popping up each day. In an effort to develop business, maintain client retention and bring in new clients, many salon owners are torn with the decision of bringing in booth renters.

Utilizing these independents can be a perfect and positive solution to fill your salon space, yet there are several aspects that should be carefully considered.

Select Contributors ~ Not Competitors

A common fear salon owners have about renting booth space is losing control of business operations and client flow. This happens all too often when salon owners seek out booth renters who lack experience and business ethics.

As a salon owner, it is important to decide what services your personal salon team should offer. For example, if you rent space to a stylist who specializes in hair extensions, yet you have a senior hairstylist on your own staff that has certifications in hair extension application and a book full of clients, this may become an issue down the road. It is best to consider what services and products you do and do not want to provide before you rent to specialized professionals, as this may have an effect on how you expand your targeted clientele.

An example is The Art of Hair Salon in Arlington, Texas. This salon focuses exclusively on hair services offering haircuts, haircolor, hair extensions and other hair artistry. Owner Hanh Tran has extra space to accommodate booth renters, yet has been selective in the professionals she brings in. Whereas her regular staff works in the main salon area, she actually has private rooms for them in the back.

“Among our booth renters, there are massage therapists, nailcare professionals as well as professionals who offer hair services not currently on our The Art of Hair Salon’s menu,” Tran explains, “such as barber cuts, etching and other unique hair designs.” By selecting a group of professionals who bring something new to your salon, this will ease any potential conflict of interest between commission based salon professionals and booth renters.

Create an Extended Team

All salon professionals need more than just a space to work in. Build, nourish and maintain relationships with your booth renters by welcoming them as an extended team. It is important to develop a plan to help your renters successfully grow their business.

It is also important to remember that you are striving to create a win-win working relationship with your booth renters, because their success essentially is what pays the rent. Getting your renters on board with marketing and salon promotions will help solve many of these frustrations.

Contracts and Agreements

A contract between salon owner and booth renter is very important. Whether it is a business employment agreement or a space sub-lease for booth renters, getting that contract signed will help you secure a solid business foundation.

Just as important as the agreement is the manner in which you present the contract. A contract that is presented professionally will protect both parties in the event of a disagreement. A solid contract will most often alleviate those headaches, not to mention protect the business owner and the operator in the event of an audit by the state or IRS. The salon owner should have the contract with the booth renter clearly define the working arrangement between both parties. It is better to be covered for what might happen versus not being covered for what has already occurred.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Booth Renter!

To build a successful business relationship between you and your booth renters, certain things should be in place and understood. First, your renters must have a clear understanding of your business philosophy, goals, policies and procedures. When your renters are informed and educated, it keeps them in the loop.

Never make your salon booth renter feel like an outcast or the enemy. When you are open and honest with your booth renters, they will have a higher level of respect for you, your staff and your business. These factors should open up negotiable terms between you and your renters, which will allow the both of you to operate in a professional working environment that brings entitlement and growth to both parties.

If you are thinking about leasing space to booth renters it is always important to sell your salon’s strengths and points of difference. A booth renter can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. So, by thinking outside the box and looking at the positive aspects of booth renting, you will find hairstylists that will help your business continue to grow and thrive.