Monday, July 30, 2012

Booth Rental - Renter's Perspective

Booth Rental

The most popular post on this blog (by far) and probably the post that brought you here initially is on How to Pay your Technicians. In it I touch briefly on Booth Rental, Commission and Hourly/Salary plans. Because of that post's popularity, I'm going to go into more detail on each of those methods, beginning with Booth Renting.

We'll look at it from both the technician's and the salon owner's, discussing the advantages and disadvantages to each party.


Booth rental is a very popular salon model in many parts of the country. In my area, about 75% of salons are chair rental. In some states the practice is illegal. With booth rental the technician pays the salon owner an agreed upon amount for a station at the salon. The rent, usually weekly, may include salon supplies, color, receptionist, etc. or may not - it depends on the salon. 

Renter's Perspective

There are several things to consider when deciding whether to booth rent:
  • Do you have the clientele to support your rent payment, supplies and your lifestyle?
  • Does the salon do any marketing or are you responsible for bringing in your own clients?
  • Is there walk-in traffic and if so, how it is allocated among stylists?
  • Does the salon provide any education?
  • Do you possess the necessary level of technical expertise or do you require additional training to be successful?
  • Are you organized and responsible enough to manage your tax liabilities as a self-employed individual?
  • Do you have the discipline to work the necessary hours to succeed without a boss setting your hours and requiring your presence?
  • Do you prefer working as a part of a team, or as an individual?
  • Are you responsible for booking your own appointments or is there support?
  • What products and supplies are provided as part of your rent?
If you are just beginning your career, do not expect to build up a large enough clientele for successful booth rental for at least two years, probably more. Regardless how busy you are at your "starter" salon, a much smaller percentage of clients will follow you than you think. 

Also, at the beginning of your career your beauty school has provided you with the basics needed to succeed, but your technical skills are far from developed. They are so under-developed upon graduation that you probably don't even have a concept of how much better you will be in 3 to 5 years, with proper training. Don't rush things. Work in a salon with a good training program or apprenticeship program, or assist for an established stylist and learn all you can. You are not ready to leave the nest yet.

The key item to remember is that as a booth renter, you are self-employed. You may share space with other independent business owners, but you will not receive the support and training provided at employment based salons. Booth renting is for the very established, very disciplined and very independent-minded stylist.

To read more on this topic, Jon Gonzales of Hairdresser Career Development Systems has a great blog post at

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