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Best Compensation for nail techs. HELP PLEASE!!!!
Hi guys, I am new to the forum but have been reading it for a while now. I love all your effort.
I am looking to open a nail bar in toronto canada, but I am afraid that I am not so sure about the pay structure for new nail technicians.
what about the compensation for booth renters if I supply all the products?
I want to have maybe 2 booth renters to bring in clients and the rest I want to have employees that will build clientele for the salon. I want to provide both booth renters and nail techs all the supplies.
I will also provide 10% commission on sales to both booth and nail techs.

Can anyone please help me?
I would not give booth renters commission. Especially If you are providing supplies. They should be able to set their own prices and collect their own payments. (not go through you) For employees if you pay 10% commission you need to figure what their hourly salary should be. Look into what other nail techs in the area are making.
THanks for your reply. What I was thinking is to only pay the nail techs commission and or maybe a salary. The booth renters will not be paid either commission or salary.
What is the ussual pay structure for nail techs with 2-3 year experience?
The 10% commision will be for retail products only.
Booth renters set their own prices??? How good will that be for the salon??

Please help and thank you for the reply!!!
It sounds like some more research needs to be done before you are ready to open a salon. Why exactly are you interested in opening a salon? If it is for financial reasons, this business is not very lucrative for most owners, and often owners must "work the floor" (service clients) in order to turn any profit. Working in the biz for at least 5 years is not a must-do, but it certainly helps. If you don't have a license in anything, you may want to consider getting one, or working in a salon at the shampoo bowl or front desk. This will help you get your feet wet. You will learn about salon politics, common concerns, how other owners work, and the needs of clientele, among other things.

Keep in mind, if you double the cost of retail product, that 10% commission is 20% of your profit (before taxes, credit card fees, etc). You may want to have a sliding scale product commission starting at 5% and increasing the percentage based on sales performance. This will be an incentive for the employees to sell more. You could also offer to discount the rent if the renter sells a certain dollar amount of product. This would have to be written in the contract, and you will probably need a clause not to compete written into the contract to preserve your retail rights (meaning only you can retail in the salon).

Renters will probably want to supply their own product, although it is common for salons to include backbar in the cost of rent. If you want everyone to use the same products you may want to consider an employee only salon. An alternative is to charge a flat fee for the product. This would be in addition to the rent and the fee would have to be included in the contract. The renter would essentially be paying you as a supplier. Some renters may love this (especially if supplies include towel service), but I have a feeling you would be met with much opposition if you went that route.

Commission varies depending on the area, prices, type of salon. You would be surprised how little the top salons pay. That is how they get to the top. I pay my regular massage therapists $30 per 60 minute massage and charge clients $60. Massage Envy charges $49 for a 50 minute massage (about the same price per minute as I do), yet only pays the massage therapists $15 per massage. Massage Envy calls their session "1 hour" but that includes dress time. Then, they lock clients in by forcing them to sign a contract to get what I have as my regular rate. And guess who is rich? Massage Envy. You have to decide what kind of owner you want to be before you can even think about commission.
As Footie says, it sounds like you may need to do more homework....

The salon I'm in is a mix of B.R. and employee.....there's seven spaces for B.R. and then 3 employees. The main salon is open 6 days a week with stylists given 2 days off a week. All employees work on Sat. They get 60% of what they do. I'm not sure how the owner pulls it off but if the employee doesn't make enough for a min. wage 40 hr. wk., she doesn't make up the diff. I think that's wrong, but evidently she's researched it and says it's legal.

She charges the's $125 a week, and furnishes electricity, water, and you're able to wash and dry your towels on premise. We have a key and can come and go as we please and set our own prices and we furnish ALL of our own products. I would NOT like it if the owner wanted me to use a particular product, tho. I'm used to what I use and I get the best results from it. To have me use something else, I would think the owner would need to provide a series of classes with the product of her (the owner) choosing to make sure everyone understands the correct way to work it. That should be the expense of the owner, not the nail tech, IMO. Not sure if you're a nail tech but not all products work the same.

Done this way, the owner is assured that she's got someone working the salon when it's supposed to be open. Even on slow days for the main salon, the's bring in a steady supply of cash, so that she doesn't have to depend solely on what her employees bring. IMO, she's got the best of both worlds....with all 7 rooms filled, she's got all her main expenses paid, leaving pretty much a decent profit margin for the what she makes from her and her employees income.
Donna in Huntsville, TX. :
> All employees work on Sat. They get 60% of what
> they do. I'm not sure how the owner pulls it off but if the employee doesn't
> make enough for a min. wage 40 hr. wk., she doesn't make up the diff. I think
> that's wrong, but evidently she's researched it and says it's legal.

If they make tips that may be how that works.
No, I actually asked one of them if they didn't make min. wage, did she make up for it and she told me that if only did 4 ppl all week then that's how much they got paid.
Hey guys, thanks for the reply.
THis is part of the research and I appreciate your comments.
Maybe I can share a little more of what my concept for the business is.
I am looking to open a nail bar with only manicure, pedicure, waxing, facials and a nail bar plus a couple more add-ons, no gels or acrilycs.
Its not going to be very big, and I plan on opening more of these specialized salons as time goes on. I do not have experience in the nail business but i am business savy and my wife is very artistic and loves to deal with clients. I want to open a salon because it matches both my and my wifes skills, plus independence from the rat race.
I would like to have employees and 1-2 B.R.'s, that is it.
Footie, you mean, the more cutomers the nail tech has, the more commission on retail that nail tech should get??
I will look to hire at 2 nail techs and maybe 1 BR at the beginning. The nail techs will be focused on bringing more clients and retaining them and the BR will bring more clients to the store and do a little more advertising.
I will open the nail bar downtown and there will be lots of foot traffic.
What do you guys think of the nail bars in general??

Thanks for all you comments, i appreciate them.
manag00 :
> Footie, you mean, the more cutomers the nail tech has, the more commission

The more product they sell the higher commission they get.

Example on total monthly product sales:
Sell $1-200 in product, get 5%
Sell $201-350 in product, get 7%
Sell $351+ in product, get 10%
Ohhhh I get it. That is a great way to compensate. Thank you.
What do you guys think of the nail bars in general?? Do they work?
So neither you or your wife have any training for doing nails? I strongly suggest one of you take courses so you know exactly what needs to be done to supply the services to a client. It'll give you a better perspective on what the nail tech's responsibilities are and will help protect you from less than honest techs who claim they know what they're doing. Even then, it can take a while to really know as much as needed to make sure the biz is a success.

If your wife is artistic, sounds like she might be the one who needs to take the training courses, jmo.

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