The booth rental business is growing. According to recent reports, booth rentals now make up 47% of the hair salon business and 36% of salon revenue. While the growing numbers would suggest it is a great way to work, there are a number of downsides to the booth rental business. If you are planning to move from a commission salon to a booth rental, or you are just starting out in the business, you should know the downsides before you make the decision.
Booth rental can be an expensive proposition, especially in bigger market. Besides the booth rental, stylists who decide to go it on their own also have to provide their own tools and supplies. While it might not seem like a big deal, the expenses can add up quickly and will cut into the bottom line in no time. The expense can be especially high for new stylists who have not yet built up a clientele. As an independent contractor, you'll also have to pay for all your own training and there is no paid time off. This can be a difficult pill to swallow for some workers, and leads many to dismiss booth rental as a viable option for their career.
Hair stylists who decide to rent a booth rather than work for a salon owner encounter the same problems that other small business owners encounter. One of the biggest downsides is the fact that there are no guarantees. You can choose to work when you want, however, you only make money when you work, and your weekly and monthly income can vary greatly from one period to the next. Some might find this an acceptable trade-off for working for themselves, but it can be a stressful situation for those who aren't used to earning vastly differing amounts from one period to the next.
Renting a booth means that you are self-employed. The salon you work through only provides a space for you to work, so you'll have to do your own marketing to bring in your own customers. Often times, new stylists find this aspect of the business particularly difficult, as they do not have a loyal following to rely on. Marketing can be a rather expensive process, and for those who don't have a marketing background, getting the word out can be a rather daunting task.
If you have any further questions about working for a salon versus working for yourself, feel free to call The Salon by Lora Brown. We are a commission-based salon offering a mentoring atmosphere and advanced training to our stylists.
Lora Brown is a master stylist and the owner of The Salon by Lora Brown. She has worked in the salon industry for 30 years.