What Would You Do: Are You Booth Rental-Ready?
You established a loyal clientele and are almost always 100 percent booked. Is it time you switch to chair rental, giving you more freedom personally and financially? When one hairdresser’s boss suggested she give booth rental a try, she reached out to the BTC community for advice:
“I work at a busy salon, and I’m basically 100 percent booked most of the time. The owner has told me that I’m at the top of my commission scale, and that it would make more sense for me to switch to a chair rent in the salon—it would be better for me, the salon and for tax purposes. Does this make sense?”
What advice did the BTC Community have to offer? Check out some of the best responses below.
First And Foremost, It’s A Numbers Game
“Do the math—what the salon gets from your service total vs. what the rent would be. Know your numbers. You can stay commission and raise your prices if you’re that in demand. I’m surprised the owner would give you an option where they’d make less money off you.” – @cantyoutellimsmiling
“Do the math first. I don’t regret renting as it’s amazing to be my own boss and set my own hours and pay scale. However, it has proven to get expensive at times. Not sure how it works in the U.S. but in Canada I’m not only required to pay my chair rent, but I also have to pay my own taxes, buy all my products, I have no benefits or pension and no unemployment insurance. The pros can outweigh the cons for sure, just make sure it’s something you can afford first. Then, maybe you can work a deal with him in terms of getting walk-ins during your slower times.” – @kristendana_
“When in doubt, do the math! Go back and look at a complete month, specifically what services your clients got and what products you needed. Also, you have to figure out how much money you would have to put aside for your quarterly taxes, insurance, products and rent. It is much more time consuming, but you really are your own boss. What you need to figure out is if it’s right for you and your lifestyle. It sounds like you have a great boss, but remember, if you decide to rent he is now your landlord and you are your own boss.” – @pjshairart
“You have to look at the numbers. First, how much is the chair rental per week and what does it include? Second, what are you making in a week total? And third, figure out how much expenses you would need to supply yourself. Usually the first time is the most expensive since you have to buy almost everything a salon owner would need minus the chair and station. The numbers don’t lie.” – @saulorozco
You Need To Make The Switch Yesterday!
“He’s basically telling you that you’ve met your potential as an employee. Yes rent! You know your worth. If you have a full clientele and are booked all the time, the time is now! I did that very same thing 7 years ago, and it was the best decision I ever made for myself. You can’t go wrong!” – @jessica_salerno_
“I’ve worked commission most of my hairstylist life, but I’m now renting for the first time and I wished I did this years ago. That is a respectable boss to realize that you have reached your goal as an employee and to offer you a renters position.” – @marcyhairndipity
“Renting seems scary at first but it’s the best! Not for tax purposes, but if you are already booked and stay at the same place, that’s a sweet deal!” – @hotsaucehair
“Renting is the greatest! Check out other salon rentals in the area so you know the going rate. It’s owning your own business, and working for yourself, without any headaches.” – @casperwestfall
“Rent, friend. You can write off your health insurance, as well as other important expenses. You can eventually get employees to work for you, you can expand and maybe be a small owner yourself! But you have to be in the right frame of mind and ready to be responsible.” – @125marshall
But know this…
“You will not, in fact, pocket 100 percent of your money. You will have to pay your own taxes quarterly, and trust me when I say to do this quarterly. You will also have to pay for your supplies unless that’s somehow included in your rent. Sometimes these things are a total hassle and taxes will get you in trouble if you aren’t on top of it. If you think you can keep up with all of that, go for it.” – @chris_nicole_
“It’s a major accomplishment to go booth rental, but be wary if those clients belong to the salon or you. If you ever leave, be sure you can take them with you. If not, all your money is tied up staying in that salon. I’ve rented at many salons and always made sure my clients stayed my clients.” – @harlowquinne
Enlist In Some Extra Help
“Yes, as a commission stylist you can only make so much for it to be fair to the owner. The only way to make more is to booth rent. You have to be good at managing yourself though, and I would recommend paying taxes quarterly and hiring an accountant to help you with expenses and payments. You are responsible for all costs, insurance and most importantly, education. Good luck! Booth rental isn’t for everyone.” – @lizzofrizzo
“Yes! Rent always! If you’re making 50 percent commission, it’ll be doubling your pay overnight. Just make sure you have a great accountant so you make enough in your quarterly payments, and to help you figure out all the business stuff that’s different from commission.” – @gorgeousdish
“If the anonymous poster decides on booth renting, be sure to educate yourself on managing your taxes. You don’t want to be in for a huge shock come tax day!” – @happyharta@veralucile_
“It’s absolutely the best way to make the most money! I did it and my income doubled. You get a lot of tax breaks, just get an accountant to help you and you will be fine.” – @lovemydogs87