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What is better working commission or booth rent 

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"This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous"

For purely making money, once we have a fairly large, established clientele I would say Rental puts more in pocket.
But then again, in the right salon, where the commission is negotiable, and benefits are paid, or available at a group rate, and the salon generates traffic due to reputation, commission may ultimately be a better way to go.
Waaaay too complicated issue to be answered from the manner in which it is asked.

I just meant to work in not to own 
I personally feel that booth rental is going to be the ruination of the industry, and wish that more states, would ban it. I live and work in Pa., where it is not legal by virtue of the state cosmetology code, but some people still practice it and choose to wrestle with the IRS as to whether or not all the prerequisites are in place...

Let me tell you my logic....First, from the distributors standpoint, it's a nitemare. You've got sales people out there (and their distributors), who are killing themselves trying to make a living in this stand-still economy of ours.....We all know the routine...your account rep, who in turn represents the xyz distributor, comes in to make his weekly or bi weekly visit, see how your fixed for spit, tell you about education events, and, hopefully, help you with a bit of market planning....He or she is able to do this because YOU, as the salon owner has chosen to carry a certain color line or lines, backbar product, and of course retail product.....all eminating from the distributorship he is employed by....

On a related note, when and where is education brought into the salon?.....most education is distributor based, and all of the major color and prouct lines have people out in the field who are usually booked by the account rep to go into a particular salon that is devoted to those color lines and / or product lines and TEACH THE STAFF....if everyone is using different products because of personal choice and the fact that they are renting, then the whole premise of in salon education goes out the window.......
And let me tell you FIRST HAND, as a former field educator for several major houses, that particular area has been radically affected,....last year I lost a very high paying full time education position SPECIFICALLY because the overall requests for in salon education at the distributor level had dropped by almost 50%.....I was not a happy camper...

In most booth rental situations, since you are technically self employed, you are able to purchase and use your own choice of products and color. If a salon is all booth rental, the account reps are basically left out in the cold....grant it, they can visit salons and target those individuals who have personal accounts with their distributorships and sell directly to them, but the legwork and logistics have to be nothing short of staggering to keep up with.

And then, there is the whole issue of the salon as a "nurturing" enviornment for new talent, assistants, and those who are realatively young in the business. In a traditional salon structure, you have assistants, junior stylists, etc., right on up the line. You have a chance to learn, be mentored, start out on the floor, and build your clientele. As we all know, this is not an overnite process, and takes a number of years in most cases. If a salon is completely booth rental, then circumstances are such that in order for you to be able to rent a station, who HAVE to have a clientele, and, in essence that 15 square feet that you call your work area, is in effect your "mini salon" ARE self employed....and if everyone in that space is, as such, self employed, then where do the newbies go to learn their craft?.......Sure, the salon owner can specifically hire a couple of so called assistants to shampoo for the whole booth rental crew, but the whole process of "come-uppance" is just not there as it would otherwise be with a traditional
salon setup.

Above and beyond that, there is the whole element of "control", as it relates to the ability of a salon owner being able to excercise his or her vision of what the salon should be.....How should the stylists dress?, what are the hours of
operation, and all the other little sundries that make up the personality of the salon and are controled by the owner WITH FEEDBACK FROM THE STAFF.
In that regard, if you specifically look at the IRS mandates for being an independent contractor, the manner in which a salon owner can impose the usual mandates of work hours, certain elements of the work enviornment, rules, etc, is
severely limited, thus, he or she is, in my opinion, nothing short of a lame duck who just collects rent.

I think we have only seen the tip of the iceberg here.....the so called popularity of booth rental is really in its infancy yet, but in the big picture of things, it may be several years before the ramifications of it's rampancy are truly felt as well as realized by everyone......I think at some point, we (or "they", as the case may be) will be all standing around saying "Good Lord, what have we done? On the surface, it will appear to be a great thing from a standpoint of both earning and inividual freedom, but down the road. the ripple affect is going to be staggering.

i completely agree!! i am a new to owning  salon and went with booth renters,  today my last renter put her notice in and now i am working out the kinks to do commission only in my salon...all the above has happened in my salon and ive been the only "real worker" in my salon for the last 6 months and i want to mentor badly, but newby's right out of school are weary of booth rent so i havent had any luck getting anyone in the door to rent a chair too so i decided to go comission only!! thanks for the great insight!! 

I'm a worker bee, not a business owner. I don't really want to deal with all the necessary paperwork, taxes, ordering, reception, etc involved with being an independent contractor. I'm perfectly happy to give someone part of my service totals to take care of those things. I, like Patty, like to do my work and go home. That being said, I am working for someone else, by their rules. We have set schedules & dress codes to comply with, which could be an issue for some stylists. The saving grace of this fact is that there are so many different types of salons out there, you just have to find the right fit.
I agree with Antonio. He is educated and absolutely correct!

Honestly if a booth renter paid all the taxes, insurance, puchased product.....the he/she is to pay according to the law I believe you would actually make less money than commission salons.

Booth renters are notorious for not paying taxes on 100% of their income. The IRS is finally becoming hip to this and I believe eventually will put the brakes on booth rental. It really will be the best thing for our industry.
Booth renting vs. commission.
It's a lonely life in booth renting. It's a perfect situation for someone that just wants to do some guests and not live the life of what a team can do.
There is something amazing when working with a team focused on the growth of everyone, including the salon. We all want to be a part of something, it goes way beyond money.
Lots of money can be made in a commission salon and you have a crew of people that believe in a vision. There is nothing better than looking like ROCKSTARS when walking with 30+ people in an airport going to the next hair show.
I get 40% commission on every service i do. its a commission salon for stylists which i hesitated at first. BUT, now thinking about how much I CAN PROFIT im all about commission .. you can have your own clientele, advertise yourself, the salon etc, no matter WHAT your making 40% of what you do. (depending where you work) thats a nice chunk of money monthly. I put GOALS for myself each day of the week, MOTIVATE myself. lets say you make $200 a day, 6days a wk. that's $1,200 salon profit just from you, & 40% of that is $480 a WEEK. That's $1,920 a MONTH. (of course they take out a couple hundred because of taxes) & this doesnt count your TIPS. This is just by a LOW goal rate. Imagine the more you do, the more you make for the SALON & YOURSELF! You will get experiance! be hands on.
THE biggest difference between booth rent & commission, simply stated is... growth.
(Most) booth renters are there because they want to make more money & have a flexable schedule, these folks are not usually spending their own cash to take classes, seek out the best education, and spend the time necessary to continually develop technical excellence and learn new skills. Unfortunately alot of these folks are not moving forward in their careers, but more so running a mini business.
Here's a sample job description; accountant, book keeper, payroll, marketing, inventory, maintenance, receptionist, office manager, oh yeah and stylist. Frankly, when do you really have time to focus on your career and growth and I'm sure youv'e heard the term JACK OF ALL TRADES, MASTER OF NONE.
Stagnant is the one word that comes to mind when I think of booth rent. It is alot easier to sluff off when there is no-one else on your team. From a personal stand point, there are alot of great Stylists with talent in go nowhere booth rent salons.
Most commission salons are in business to grow a successful company. They set goals to continually grow & develop (themselves as leaders & staff as the best in their field and the business as a whole) as stated by Antonio commission salons do get alot of kickbacks from distributers in the form of education which is key in advancing the skills of their staff on a continual basis. When your only job is "Stylist" imagine the possibilities,you could be soley dedicated to developing YOU. Growth.
Business is a dance, it takes a village to make a salon run & operate efficiently.
The one certainty in this industry is change. If your not continually learning and mastering techniques & skills your not moving forward.

thanks love this  really so much 

I agree with Antonio.

I have done both commission and booth rental. I know I paid $120 weekly over 17 years ago and that's the going rate now. (Scary-I'm not sure how that has not gone up with everything else ) and there wasn't many doing it back then. Its weird back then peers looked down on it. Like we couldn't possibly be good at our craft. But to have enough clients to make that work meant we did actually know a thing or two. Not to mention possess the initiative to reach for more and take risks by trusting what we could do says a lot. Its funny how its was once shunned in our industry but, now it's all the "rage".

It's defiantly hard on stylist that are "people pleasers" to keep boundaries.When they go out on their own. By nature we (not all of us) struggle with being the " bad guy" by raising prices, saying no to people that want special pricing breaks, keeping our schedules that work for us not for that client who doesn't prebook and now they are desperate to get in. So of course we change our lives to accommodate their lack of commitment. We also forget how very helpful the desk staff is till you don't have one anymore cuz its you doing it all. It's funny but we end up thinking we are "Free" from all the rules a employer puts on us. But truth be told those rules protected us from all those nightmare clients. By having a owner that puts down rules it helps to get us and the clients to seeing our worth by not under charging, giving us a schedule that clients will have to commit to if they want us to do them (which by the way remember that they want us more when they can't have us at their beck and call.Its called respect) we don't have to spend nights awake worrying about self employment taxes, insurance, inventory sitting on shelves, back bar sitting around getting old, advertising, getting help if we are to sick to call clients to reschedule ect...

It's also interesting how some of change in our professionalism too. Even if you don't notice the clients do. Such as not dressing like a stylist who is successful, (get to comfortable because you don't have the accountability to "look the part" both with your hair, makeup or your clothing. PS flip flops are never ok) ) I notice the clients turns into too close of friends which means the respect for each other usually breaks down, ( such as its just "Joe" he won't care if I'm late, or I only have "Karen" I'm not changing out of this for 1 color and cut , not to mention the feeling "I m the boss so why should I take a cutting class? I'm too busy to go over what I already know" we forget our career is forever changing and it's our responsibility to be more current then our clients that google all the trends and have access to utube.

We don't get near the support as a individual from our product companies either. There is strength in numbers for good reason .

Stylist are not typically "structured" individuals by nature. It can stunt our "creative side" for most. Unfortunately the business side needs that component to flourish. The taxes, inventory management, profit loss statements, insurance, supply cost, cost of doing business are all very structured realities of being an owner. They are things that can really take us out of business quick if not properly managed. I'm afraid many are not seeing the big picture. To how important these things are.

I now own a salon that has lost many wonderful stylist to the "renting craze". Which is so hard to have happen. But, in reality I think it's a "faze" because many will find its not so "freeing" on the other side.(I've been there so I do know) Matter of fact it's actually a lot harder work and less money when you are wearing all the "hats" of an owner. You get paid for being a stylist behind your chair but, the truth is there is a lot of 'behind the scenes " meaning additional work to be done on a regular basis which is the unpaid necessities of being the owner (the not so "fun" or "glamorous" part)

This of course is my "opinion" please do not feel threatened to "prove" to me your different. I "BELIEVE" and welcome "DIFFERENT" so don't waist time in responding to this with harsh words. SHOW me by being that person that makes it work. I love seeing others success! If you are that person its probably time to look into getting others to work for you. I love empowering others to be all they can be. But this is something I've seen come full circle because of being apart of the industry since 1985 (I started beauty school and was done early spring of 1986) so I have actually some history to draw from. I'ld feel bad if I never told others about some of the cold hard truths of renting. You don't actually take home the half of you earnings that you gave your employer. NOPE, I know it's hard to believe but the cost of doing business is substantial. And you should be aware of that.

These are just a few things to think about before you follow the rental movement. Educate your self on all your unexpected expenses.


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