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With the risk of treading on some feet, because I know it might be considered "pushy" to ask people to "talk money" here but I'm asking as a new Nail Tech out there looking for work so I know what to expect.

I'm honestly not expecting the world; I'm not, but I will say this: I did help run a Salon right before I started nail school the first time and the cut that the Techs got was 50%, so, you can see my dilemma; I guess I was expecting that too but I've been offered way below that, like 30% which gave me total sticker-shock. Sad

I've been hearing that 'Times are a Changin', so I wanted to throw this out there:

Has the market changed?
Should I expect 30% now?
What's realistic out there for me to expect so I don't build up false hopes?

Thanks-
Almost everything is life is negociable. But you have to be willing to walk away if they do not want to play. Be honest and and polite and tell them what you think and that you will not work for 30%. If you area is like mine there are other opportunities out there.
The first and last time I was offered that my words were, " No thanks. I'm sorry you wasted my time." I had sent this place a resume and heard from them about a week later and they were all up on getting me in for the interview- like can you be here in an hour? I was there and then the owner didn't have the time to see me. She was sitting in the break room talking to her boyfriend. And I would have to furnish everything.
I know my opinion is not going to be the most popular one....but this comes from one who's worked in all different situations including owning. Please keep in mind this is my opinion based on my experience. I was hesitant to post due to some of the more recent postings on the forum but hopefully this will help some understand why all salons do not pay out at 50%.

First, you should understand that the % you are paid is going to be dependent upon MANY factors....
1. Your experience - don't expect high % just out of school
2. The clients you are bringing to the table - a tech coming with a clientele can demand a little bit higher % than one with nothing
3. Who is supplying the product - Don't expect 50% if the salon is paying not only all of the overhead in the salon but also providing all of the products you are using (particularly if the salon is using top quality products)
4. Salon overhead (rent, electric, phone, internet, scheduling/salon software, water, sewer, garbage, cleaning, toiletry items and paper supplies, administrative staff, etc) - this ads up very quickly and benefits every person working in the salon
5. What the salon is charging for services - Some area the prices for services may be able to be fixed high enough to give the salon owner a little more room to offer higher % commissions. However, these areas generally also come with higher overhead.
6. How much training you are going to need and if the salon is providing this training or not (not very many are completely prepared just out of school and do need training in most every area of the biz) - Believe it or not it does cost a salon to train new employees. It takes time, product, and potentially lost clients if the new hire is not up to par and clients are unhappy with the work they've had done on them by the "trainee"
7. How much you bring in the salon weekly
8. Your responsibility (are you managing, etc) - if you are managing, helping with protocol and/or training personnel then yes, you should expect a higher %
9. How much and how expensive the advertising and marketing is (that will benefit the salon and its employees) - this costs a load of money for any salon and can be as simple as putting occasional ads in a local newspaper to something more involved such as hiring a marketing firm and participating in local events (which all come with a price tag). But it's all a benefit to each employee.
10. What other amenities is the salon offering not only to the techs but also to the clients - coffee and other beverages all cost money, towel services cost money, etc.

You may be able to get yourself into a situation that pays out 50% or more in commissions and you may not. But look at it like this.....is it better to get a higher % of nothing than a smaller % of something? How busy is the salon? How much work and effort is the salon owner putting into building YOUR book? You could turn down a really good career in a really great salon if all you look at is the % commission paid out.

Some salons, mine included, pay out on a sliding scale dependent upon what your gross income into the salon is. This percentage is going to vary from salon to salon and is ultimately up to the salon owner. Something that techs need to understand is that it doesn't do anyone any good for a salon owner to pay out at 50% and be out of business in 6 months to a year because the percentage the salon takes in is not covering expenses. Believe me, the salon is not making the owner into a millionaire. In many cases, techs do not fully understand all these concepts until they've actually owned a salon and had to pay out all of the expenses that come with salon ownership. And every situation is different, every area is different and ever tech & salon owner is different. What one owner may be able to bear in commissions another may not. This is something that you should sit down and discuss with the owner of the salon you are wanting to work in.
I politely declined, but not knowing because I'm new, I kinda got worried that maybe that's all there is out there and I should prepare myself for that (and get ready to sling coffee/waitress at night on the side, lol).
melhand :
> I know my opinion is not going to be the most popular one....but this comes
> from one who's worked in all different situations including owning. Please
> keep in mind this is my opinion based on my experience. I was hesitant to
> post due to some of the more recent postings on the forum but hopefully this
> will help some understand why all salons do not pay out at 50%.
>
> First, you should understand that the % you are paid is going to be dependent
> upon MANY factors....
> 1. Your experience - don't expect high % just out of school
> 2. The clients you are bringing to the table - a tech coming with a clientele
> can demand a little bit higher % than one with nothing
> 3. Who is supplying the product - Don't expect 50% if the salon is paying not
> only all of the overhead in the salon but also providing all of the products
> you are using (particularly if the salon is using top quality products)
> 4. Salon overhead (rent, electric, phone, internet, scheduling/salon software,
> water, sewer, garbage, cleaning, toiletry items and paper supplies, administrative
> staff, etc) - this ads up very quickly and benefits every person working in
> the salon
> 5. What the salon is charging for services - Some area the prices for services
> may be able to be fixed high enough to give the salon owner a little more room
> to offer higher % commissions. However, these areas generally also come with
> higher overhead.
> 6. How much training you are going to need and if the salon is providing this
> training or not (not very many are completely prepared just out of school and
> do need training in most every area of the biz) - Believe it or not it does
> cost a salon to train new employees. It takes time, product, and potentially
> lost clients if the new hire is not up to par and clients are unhappy with
> the work they've had done on them by the "trainee"
> 7. How much you bring in the salon weekly
> 8. Your responsibility (are you managing, etc) - if you are managing, helping
> with protocol and/or training personnel then yes, you should expect a higher
> %
> 9. How much and how expensive the advertising and marketing is (that will
> benefit the salon and its employees) - this costs a load of money for any
> salon and can be as simple as putting occasional ads in a local newspaper to
> something more involved such as hiring a marketing firm and participating in
> local events (which all come with a price tag). But it's all a benefit to
> each employee.
> 10. What other amenities is the salon offering not only to the techs but also
> to the clients - coffee and other beverages all cost money, towel services
> cost money, etc.
>
> You may be able to get yourself into a situation that pays out 50% or more
> in commissions and you may not. But look at it like this.....is it better
> to get a higher % of nothing than a smaller % of something? How busy is the
> salon? How much work and effort is the salon owner putting into building YOUR
> book? You could turn down a really good career in a really great salon if
> all you look at is the % commission paid out.
>
> Some salons, mine included, pay out on a sliding scale dependent upon what
> your gross income into the salon is. This percentage is going to vary from
> salon to salon and is ultimately up to the salon owner. Something that techs
> need to understand is that it doesn't do anyone any good for a salon owner
> to pay out at 50% and be out of business in 6 months to a year because the
> percentage the salon takes in is not covering expenses. Believe me, the salon
> is not making the owner into a millionaire. In many cases, techs do not fully
> understand all these concepts until they've actually owned a salon and had
> to pay out all of the expenses that come with salon ownership. And every situation
> is different, every area is different and ever tech & salon owner is different.
> What one owner may be able to bear in commissions another may not. This
> is something that you should sit down and discuss with the owner of the salon
> you are wanting to work in.


**

You bring up really good points and I thank you for being brave enough to post. Smile No, you're absolutely right. I'm new. I know it's unrealistic to expect the world. I did turn it down mostly because I'd be commuting on a good day, 30 mins each way, on a bad day, well over an hour and a half (the area isn't directly near a freeway) and I just wanted the chance to try to make a little more in terms of commission, maybe 40%. I am perfectly comfortable marketing myself and that's what I'll do immediately when I get situated in a Salon I want to stay in but I wanted to avoid more "sticker-shock" moments because of my lack of Information....

So, thanks! Smile
AnnaElliott :
> Almost everything is life is negociable. But you have to be willing to walk
> away if they do not want to play. Be honest and and polite and tell them what
> you think and that you will not work for 30%. If you area is like mine there
> are other opportunities out there.


***

I did attempt to negotiate, it was a no-go. But the Owner was very polite. Smile The Area is full of Salons, I just need to keep looking.
The commission question is always going to come up and always going to be a challenge to answer. It helps if you look at the bottom line and determine how much you need and want and whether that is reasonable for the industry.

The bottom line is figured like this: How much are they charging? 30% of a $70 full set is about the same amount of money as 50% of a $40 full set. Estheticians make more money than nail techs on average, yet make less commission. The higher bottom line is a reflection of the price difference.

How much you want/need: What does it take to support your current lifestyle? What does it take to support your goal lifestyle, if your current lifestyle is not your goal?

Being reasonable for the industry is found by: Looking up statistics from reliable sources such as government census websites and labor depts. Does the mean salary provide enough income to meet your lifestyle goal? If not, how will you meet the high end of the spectrum.

There are also other things that may be more important than money, such as work environment or advancement opportunities. Everyone has different values, you just have to define your top values and find a salon that will be a good fit.
Footie :
> The commission question is always going to come up and always going to be a
> challenge to answer. It helps if you look at the bottom line and determine
> how much you need and want and whether that is reasonable for the industry.
>
>
> The bottom line is figured like this: How much are they charging? 30% of a
> $70 full set is about the same amount of money as 50% of a $40 full set. Estheticians
> make more money than nail techs on average, yet make less commission. The higher
> bottom line is a reflection of the price difference.
>
> How much you want/need: What does it take to support your current lifestyle?
> What does it take to support your goal lifestyle, if your current lifestyle
> is not your goal?
>
> Being reasonable for the industry is found by: Looking up statistics from reliable
> sources such as government census websites and labor depts. Does the mean salary
> provide enough income to meet your lifestyle goal? If not, how will you meet
> the high end of the spectrum.
>
> There are also other things that may be more important than money, such as
> work environment or advancement opportunities. Everyone has different values,
> you just have to define your top values and find a salon that will be a good
> fit.


**

Footie, you bring up very good points.

I hadn't thought of everything you said here, thanks! I do want an Environment where I can learn and hopefully be taught a few Tricks.

I think my decision was based on commute AND the fact that they don't do Gel Sets which is something I want to specialize in. They use SOGP's...that's close, but not quite the same. Smile
Please let me add....
The salons in the area that paid commission were paying 50% or more. A year before, I had worked at another salon nearby that paid 60% and taxes. I had 10 years experience. The salon had contacted me to send a resume because of my experience and references from this other place, and recomendations from some of their clients. The area was a resort area, not to mention full of real estate wheelers and dealers, doctors, and lawyers that paid top dollar. (And it was a few years ago before everything went to pot.)
I agree with things Mel and Footie say. I have owned my own salon and know.
I think starting out, there are things to consider that you don't think about after years in the business. Is the salon willing to advertise. Do they offer client amenities. Do they pay for products and are you allowed to choose what you want to work with. What is the pricing structure- I too would rather have 30% of $75 instead of 50% of $40. Do they offer continuing education. There are things to consider starting out.

sobeit

I don't know of any salons paying out more than 35% on a new tech with no clientele. Its hard to hear and it seems discouraging. But when you get your books going your pay can be increased. The max the employees as the salon I am at is 50% and they are hair stylists in the biz for 20 years. So even then the commission has to be fair on both parties. If the salon is paying for everything, and keeping out taxes, and paying out more taxes, their % needs to be higher when the tech is not at a full book yet.
BUT you will get your tips and per hour that will up your income a great deal.
sobeit :
> I don't know of any salons paying out more than 35% on a new tech with no clientele.
> Its hard to hear and it seems discouraging. But when you get your books going
> your pay can be increased. The max the employees as the salon I am at is 50%
> and they are hair stylists in the biz for 20 years. So even then the commission
> has to be fair on both parties. If the salon is paying for everything, and
> keeping out taxes, and paying out more taxes, their % needs to be higher when
> the tech is not at a full book yet.
> BUT you will get your tips and per hour that will up your income a great deal.
>


***

Thanks sobeit and everyone. At least I have a realistic View now on what to work towards.....it is hard to hear but I'm glad I'm hearing it truly. I'll try to shoot for the higher-end places so that the 30% is bearable.
wow, this is very interesting i think i am WAY too nice! LOL! i pay my hairdresser 75% commish. and a new tech i start out at 50% but she can work up to 75% also. i do have low overhead as my shop is on my property.
pampered1, if I paid out that much in commissions I'd be out of business in less than 3 months. LOL
pampered1 :
> wow, this is very interesting i think i am WAY too nice! LOL! i pay my hairdresser
> 75% commish. and a new tech i start out at 50% but she can work up to 75% also.
> i do have low overhead as my shop is on my property.


***

Wish I lived near you. That's my goal someday, doing a build on my own land (Salon).