It’s no secret that owning a salon is a vibrant business—filled with opportunity, creativity and passion. While there are different types of salon ownership—sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), commission and booth rental, each comes with its own set of perks and challenges.
Owning a booth rental salon has brought me those perks and challenges, but most of all, it’s brought a whirlwind of success over the last three years—more than I could have ever imagined! While there is no true recipe for finding that success, there are some tried and true secrets to build your “dream team” in a booth rental salon environment.
Essentially, a booth rental salon means each stylist runs their own business right from their chair. Each stylist is responsible for his or her own taxes, liability, health and disability insurances—but this independence doesn’t have to equate to a solo work experience in the salon. Finding stylists who are likeminded and possess that desire to work together for a common goal is what every salon owner wants.
So how exactly do you get there?
Create your culture. Before hiring your team of stylists, ask yourself what you stand for, what makes your salon different, and how you want clients and stylists to feel at your salon. Identify that and nurture those answers throughout every single thing you do. Write it down and make this salon culture your mission!
Hire for a “dream team” desire. Building that “dream team” of stylists will give you big wins; so avoid hiring just to fill chairs. Get referrals from your team. Look within and ask your stylists if they know anyone who might be a good fit. Of course, it’s inevitable that stylists will come and go for various reasons, and at times, as a salon owner you can feel desperate to fill those empty spots! But wait, give it time and find the right stylist who has the same mindset for customer care, quality, teamwork and positivity. These people will make all the difference in your success. When you have that “dream team” of stylists, clients notice and business soars!
No drama policy. No drama, no problem. This is pretty clear. Even if you’re my best stylist, if you’re creating drama, you can go elsewhere. The littlest bit of negativity can be a cancer to your team, your salon, and ultimately your clientele. You invest so much time and energy to create the opportunity to work in a positive and happy environment, so it’s crucial to follow this rule!
Communicate…and then communicate more! Like any good relationship, communication is key. Monthly or bi-monthly meetings keep the ideas flowing and glitches at bay. The people on your team all have great strengths and a unique point of view, so it’s important to set aside regular time to listen to how you can improve or hear what is working well. After all, a salon owner is just one person, so we cannot see everything, do everything and be everything.
Keep the learning constant. Education is the most important part of a stylist’s long-term success and career longevity, so as a salon owner you must be the central “hub” of education. Bringing in that career development keeps moral high, quality work higher, and inspiration highest! At my salon, we use our earned points through retail sales or divide up costs, so we can bring in the education the stylists want. It’s also helpful to have a little “friendly competition” for stylists to earn tickets to hair shows or other educational events. One of our newest ways of offering learning is bringing education to our own clients—we offer “how-to-hair” classes at the salon to show clients how to best style their own hair. In turn, it builds client loyalty, trust, and retail sales as we teach clients how to look their best. Anything to keep the educational offerings coming!
Love your retail. Retail what your stylists love, and the sales will follow. Stylists in a booth rental salon are not required to sell the salon’s product, but if the salon chooses products people can get behind, everyone wins. Retail is usually a booth rental salon’s only opportunity to profit or invest back into the salon, so selling that retail contributes to bettering the salon home.
Lead to serve. I always say this, and I believe it to my core: my team owes me nothing; I am here to serve them and our clients. Leading to serve your clients and stylists is the best way to lead and create positive momentum in the salon. Try this stylist and client centric approach for just one week and you will see the difference in your team, guaranteed!
Owning any type of salon is an enormous undertaking, but by following a clear set of guidelines and practices consistently, you can truly build that dream team you have always wanted.
Hair, love and happiness,
(Anna Peters, Sam Villa ArTeam Member)