Mary Ericsson is a long time beauty pro and experienced owner, who is about to open her second booth rental salon. We sat down with her to get some insight into what makes for a successful booth rental business. Here are her top five pieces of advice for anyone looking to get into this aspect of the business.
Be Clear & Specific
Set very clear expectations with new renters, so it’s a matter of fact, not debatable. Things to keep in mind to spell out clearly are: How would you like your salon maintained on a daily basis? What supplies do they need to contribute? For example, do they need to keep their area picked up after each client? Be very specific with what nightly duties and morning duties you expect to be done.
Go over your lease agreement in detail and have every new renter initial any areas that you feel are important to running a successful salon. I always tell my new renters that I only give three warnings if these expectations are not met. This sets a definitive expectation and black and white ground rules.
Talk It Out
Excellent communication skills are important to manage a salon successfully. As an owner, I manage different people with different personalities, including co-workers, customers and vendors. I deal with plenty of complaints and problems. I listen, then make 100 percent sure that I understand what the issues are and then work with each partner to come to a resolution. It’s my responsibility, as the owner, to remain professional and look for a fair, constructive resolution. I value feedback from both clients and renters and try to maintain an upbeat atmosphere in the salon. If communication is a weak area for you, I would suggest taking a business communication class at a local community college.
Setting the tone and modeling being a team player is so important in a booth rental salon. Even if there are several separate businesses running under one roof, you are only going to be as successful as your weakest station. The more you are willing to pitch in with your renters, the more success the salon will experience as a whole.
Be willing to help others. I greet everyone who walks in and I make sure they feel comfortable, regardless of whose client they are. I appreciate and respect my renters/co-workers and I expect them to, as well. I lend a helping hand if someone is behind. Some of my stylists love for me to jump in while others prefer to handle things on their own. When everyone works together, the whole salon benefits, including the customers.
It’s Everyone’s Success
Creating an atmosphere separate, yet together. As booth renters, stylists have their own business within your salon, which can make it difficult to establish ground rules and divide up responsibilities. In my salon, we all pitch in on cleaning duties and supplies for the salon, equally, and even have a calendar to keep track of who has what duties on which days. To reinforce the “team” atmosphere, I also have a salon lunch-in on holidays. During the busy times, people appreciate having food available. Food is always a great way to foster a team and bring everyone together.
Take The Emotion Out
When it comes to selecting or keeping a potential renter, you have to think in terms of assets and liabilities. At the end of the day, is he/she an asset or a liability? If an asset, keep him/her. If a liability, let them go. While this approach is oversimplified, it has applicability for management as a salon owner. Does this problematic booth renter still add value to the salon? Some stylists are very difficult, but the benefits they bring to the salon outweigh the problems they cause, so they are still an asset. If on the other hand, they became disruptive, then they are a liability and it would be time to let them go at the end of their lease agreement.
Remember, ultimately it’s your salon and your decision.