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Salon vs. Booth Rental

A common question that many hairdressers ask themselves is – “Should I work for a salon, or should I have my own private clients?”

Working in a salon means that you are being paid a wage. For example, let’s say you style someone’s hair in 2 hours, and they pay you $375. Let’s assume that your hourly wage for working in the salon is $20 per hour. Well then you would have earned $40 for your work. The salon would have made $335.

Now let’s compare that to what you could earn with booth rental. Booth rental means that you have rented a booth from a salon, and you will service your private clients there. Let’s say you rented a booth for $200 per day. Then you service 4 clients for 2 hour each. Each client pays you $250 for styling their hair. At the end of the day, you have made $1000. Remember, you paid $200 to rent the booth, so you made a profit of $800 for 8 hours of work. Had you worked 8 hours in the salon, you would have earned a wage of $160.

Below are some points to consider when trying to determine whether working for a salon, or renting a booth is the right option for you. Keep in mind that these are points of consideration. Any decision regarding which is the best option will have to be determined by your circumstances and your goals.

1. Being a successful hair stylist involves building outstanding relationships with your clientele. You can be the most talented and creative stylist, but the “magic” happens in the relationship between you and your client. If you have built a loyal and “magical” customer base, then you are going to thrive better financially with Booth Rental. If you notice in the example at the beginning of this article, the same exact services that you provide to the client had 2 different costs to them. If they saw you at a salon, it cost them $375. If they saw you at your private booth, it cost them $250. The client is better served since you have developed a loyal relationship in which they will follow you away from the salon and visit you at your booth. In return, you will reap more rewards from a financial standpoint.

2. You should only consider the booth rental option if you have a large enough client base to support it. You do not want to rent a booth for $200 a day, only to see 1 client that day. If the client paid you $250, then you only made $50 for an entire days work.

3. Servicing clients after renting a booth involves keeping your clients notified of how they can contact you. Booth rentals can often change depending on scheduling and availability. Therefore, it is suggested that you obtain a cell phone, and keep your clients updated with that phone number. This way, they will always be able to reach you, and you can therefore make appointments for whatever booth you may be renting.

4. Many salons will make employees sign a waiver which prevents you from taking clients with you should you decide to leave the salon. Though it is not recommended that you “persuade” your clients to follow you, a strong loyal relationship will often cause them to follow on their own. Remember, building outstanding relationships will create “magic” for your hairdressing career.

5. Working in a salon will mean that you have less responsibility versus booth rental. At a salon, you will be required to show up on time, and service your clients satisfactory. When renting a booth, you will be required to do more things related to running a business. You will be responsible for renting a booth, scheduling appointments, accounting and bookkeeping, and servicing the client as well. Are you prepared to handle all of these things? These added responsibilities should be considered when weighing your choice.

As you can see, there are definite financial benefits to booth rental, however, there are added responsibilities. If you have built a solid reputation and your clients are loyal, then you can earn more money if you choose to accept the added tasks of booth rental.