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Booth Renting vs Commission employees
I'm going to stand back on what I say again. You're basically asking people here to "figure out" the details of your Business when in fact, you need a Consultant with experience to help you find your feet and plan your Salon properly so you can be a big success; knowledge is power. Smile

I can give you the contact information of my Nail School Teacher, he owned several salons in the past, and does consulting on the side for a Fee.

Otherwise, good luck.
Just a few thoughts... I was a booth renter for just over a year, and opened my own nail studio March of this year (I've been pretty much fully booked since the end of May), so I've seen both sides of that. I am currently considering hiring an employee, so I've crunched the numbers - do be aware that if you will be paying a fair amount of com. that will keep your employee techs happy, the profit margin on any given service is not terribly high, so you will be counting on volume to earn a decent profit. As mentioned by others, booth renters will be wild cards, as they are generally used to making their own business decisions.

Look at it this way, booth renters are at risk for losing money or just plain not earning a decent living - so they would be taking that risk while handing over control of their "business" to you. Definitely not something I would do, and I imaging you'll have some bumpy roads ahead of you with the scenario you've described! However, I do think that solid business experience and customer service skills give you an excellent backbone for the business, as long as you (in whatever fashion) become knowledgeable about the nitty gritty of the services so that you would be able to keep techs to the desired service levels.

One other thought, I would be in terrible pain by the end of the day doing manicures and pedicures with the client sitting on a sofa that is on the ground, so I highly recommend that you put the sofas on platforms to save the bodies of the techs!
Nail Tech/Owner
You are going to have to find what is best for you. Unfortunately, in this biz, some things are trial and error.

Renters will bring you a guaranteed income, but you still have to find a renter. That could be difficult. You can't accept just any renter, but must wait for one who does good work. The public may not separate the renters work from the salon. The same is also true for renters. They want to rent at a place with a good reputation, so make sure you set high standards to attract the best professionals. You will still have to screen candidates. In addition to being skilled they should also be clean, have integrity, be a team-player, and have all the other qualities you look for when you hire an employee. Although loss of behavioral and financial control is an issue with renters, you can avoid feeling the need to exert control with careful screening. There are renters out there who will be a good fit.

The income from a renter may be somewhat stable but there is nothing stopping her from leaving besides a contract. Would you really take her to court for it? That is another thing to worry about.

After you get into a contract with her, if she turns out to be not so great, you will have to honor the contract unless she breaches it. So, be specific with the contract.

For me, in my shop, the benefit of renters is not the rent. That money is capped. I cannot make any more than that unless I raise their rent, so I prefer not to do it. The benefit at my shop of a renter is the clients they bring for my commission employees. A massage therapists brings in clients who then get manicures, waxing, hair services, and more. A hair renter would bring in clients who might get massages, manicures, etc. I will not rent unless the renter has a full clientele.

I do prefer employees. I can offer them health care, dental, vision. I can advertise my way, to bring in more clients. I am even going to start a dress code so everyone will have their own shirt with the shop logo.

Of course, you run the risk of having terrible employees. Then there are the taxes. With renters you don't have to worry about the employment taxes. You really need to test the waters to find out what works best for you, and that may even be a combination of renters and employees.
As I am putting my business plan together, I enjoyed reading this thread.
@Manag00Rude I began my journey like you.I wanted to open a salon and EVERYONE told me, get ur license and work a salon first. I went against this for a while and finally gave in. I'm so glad I did, I'm finishing my courses soon and even though I researched for a long time, I have learned so much from going to school. Even better the teachers (I had although I've heard some teacher horror stories) were previous salon owners so I really got the back end story and it has helped me reshape areas of my plan. I also went to a consultation that was helpful.
@ Everyone Else, I'd prefer to have employees because I want to run my business but is minimum wage +tips+sliding scale on retail enough to keep them? I would like to offer Paid Time Off but I also need to eat. What are your preferences?
NY Licensed Nail + Waxing Tech
Owner/Developer Suite Tee
Instagram: @SuiteTee

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