Salon Suites: Everything For Your New Beauty Business
Starting a new salon suite is an incredibly exciting time in the life of an inspired beauty pro. You’re taking the reins and opening up your own shop that you have complete control over the operations. But renting a salon suite comes with its own suite of considerations before jumping in. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to the wide world of suite rentals.
Here, we’ll cover everything aspiring salon suite owners need to know before they sign a rental agreement and begin offering their services to clients.
Salon Suite Guide PDF + [Bonus] Business Starter Checklist
Enter your best email address and you'll get immediate access to a PDF version of this guide along with a business starter checklist to easily go through the steps of starting your own salon suite.
Salon Suites Everything For Your New Beauty Business
We’ve crafted the ultimate salon suites go-to guide for entrepreneurial beauty professionals out there who are looking to break away from the pack, do something different, and create your ideal, personalized business.
We’ll talk about rent, marketing, benefits, and yes, we’ll even talk about some of those super scary negatives that you’ve been avoiding in your head.
Brew up a cup of your favorite tea (or grab a bottle of wine, for all you people who know exactly what you’re about) and settle in for a while to have your questions answered, and your concerns met about getting into the salon suite business.
Salon Suite Guide PDF + [Bonus] Business Starter Checklist
Enter your best email address below and you'll get immediate access to a PDF version of this guide along with a business starter checklist to easily go through the steps of starting your own salon suite.
Introduction To Salon Suites
You may have been dreaming about opening up your own salon since you were little and now are finally exploring what you need to actually pull it off.
Congratulations on taking the first steps in starting a well-thought and planned out business venture. Salon suite rentals can be your ticket to actually having a thriving salon in your town, where you can employ a lifetime of skills and passion with whatever clientele you wish to cater to.
You get to call the shots and see how far you can take your new salon!
Perhaps the greatest aspect of renting a salon suite is that the possibilities are almost endless for where, when, and how you decide to grow your business.
The biggest shocker to most aspiring suite owners is just how many choices they have. Operate an entire suite or rent a booth? Build out a new salon suite or rent a fully furnished unit?
The good news is that there are so many resources out there to help you chart the best path forward for your unique situation and future goals.
At Elite Beauty Society, our entire mission is around supporting beauty professionals through whatever comes their way, including with renting salon suite space.
We’ve made this comprehensive salon suite rental guide just for all the cosmetologists, estheticians, and other professional beauty bosses that are wondering if renting is something they should consider. We’ll outline all the steps to take to help you get off the ground — from finding the perfect location to negotiating lease terms, all so you can have the best start possible.
- Chapter 1
- chapter 2
- chapter 3
- chapter 4
- chapter 5
Everything For Your New Beauty Business
While we’re sure some of you pros out there know all the basics, we’re going to get in-depth and start from the beginning.
That way, everyone who wants to start from scratch will be able to keep up with us later.
For anyone who’s feeling confused about the term “salon suite” we keep throwing around, that’s okay.
Let’s start right there to begin
What Is A Salon Suite?
A salon suite is when you enter into a rental agreement with a commercial landlord. The landlord owns the building and leases out space to businesses or individuals.
A salon suite can either be furnished or unfurnished, depending on the situation so keep that in mind as you start thinking about start up costs.
If a salon suite comes furnished and ready to go as a salon, it will generally cost far more than an empty space. There’s pros and cons with each set up.
The easiest and fastest method is going with a salon suite rental that’s 100% set up and ready to move in and start booking appointments.
The downside is the monthly rent for this suite will most likely be considerably higher.
On the other side is an empty space. With this set-up, you can take your time to build out a tailored space just for your unique business.
The upside for an empty space is that you can usually save money on monthly rent, as well as have a customized location that fits your business plan.
The downside is the time and expense of building out the space.
Whichever salon suite rental situation works best for you is going to depend on your goals and aspirations for the business, the location, clientele, and other variables affecting the business.
Going through the process of creating a solid business plan can help you work through these different factors and choose the best path based on your unique circumstances.
Why You Should Consider It
Salon suite rental means that you are your own boss. Whether you are renting out a booth to provide your services inside a larger salon or want to have your very own salon that you are renting from a commercial landlord, you alone get to decide how your operations are performed.
This can be incredibly advantageous since you are the one that knows your business better than anyone else. You know what services you are best at and may already have a dedicated client base that loves your work.
Besides being your own boss, setting your own hours, and deciding what services to provide, there are many reasons why cosmetologists and other beauty pros have decided to start renting space.
While money in no way guarantees happiness, it sure can provide a safe and sustaining career in an industry you love. Planning is key, however, and part of planning is effective risk management.
For beauty professionals, risks are unfortunately all around you.
Remember all the classes in safety and hygiene you took at cosmetology school to get a license?
Safe work habits are taught and retaught because one slip can be all it takes to really hurt someone who was trusting you to keep them free from harm.
By far the best protection possible for any professional in any line of beauty is comprehensive beauty insurance.
When renting your own salon suite, you’re keeping 100 percent of the rewards and bringing in all the profits.
Not having insurance before you rent a salon is like driving down the highway blindfolded and hoping for the best. For a fraction of what you will pay in rent each month for a salon suite, you can get millions of dollars of coverage, great benefits, and support from the leaders in insurance just for beauty professionals like yourself.
Who Should Do It?
Salon suite rental makes many people automatically think of hair or nail salons but there are salon suite rentals for every kind of beauty professional. No matter what your brand of beauty may be, you too can benefit from renting salon space to provide your services to paying clients.
Of the many different professionals who have found it to be highly advantageous to take the rental salon suite plunge you’ll find:
- Estheticians - these skincare professionals offer top-notch regimens to cleanse, strengthen, and beautify their clients’ skin. Primarily centered around the face and neck, an esthetician works to provide cutting-edge skin treatments like microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, algae peels, light therapies, and more.
- Microblading Professionals - microblading requires the use of specialized tools, equipment, and training to pull off the perfect shape for clients’ eyebrows. Microblading professionals need steady hands to apply semi-permanent pigmentation directly to the skin. EBS has a tailored policy just for microblading professionals or those who provide this service as an add-on in their salon suite.
- Cosmetologists - cosmetology is a broad vocation where a license is required in most states to operate. From hair to makeup, cosmetologists are like the swiss army knife of the beauty world. Going through cosmetology school exposes students to a wide array of different beauty aspects that can be deployed either independently or in conjunction in a full-service salon.
- Makeup Artists - these talented artists are responsible for finding the right product and the right application to pull off the perfect look for their clients. From bridal makeup artists, model photoshoots, or just special occasions, makeup artists can be in high demand year-round.
- Spray Tan Artists - spray tanning is a very popular option for clients wanting to showcase a beautiful glow no matter what time of year it is. Far from a simple process, spray tan artists take the time to find the perfect hues to complement their clients’ features and the desired look.
- Nail Technicians - nail technicians employ great skills on the nails of the hands and feet to both beautify and strengthen what can be rather sensitive areas. From manicures and pedicures to acrylics, a skilled nail technicians can design the perfect look to match their clients’ expectations.
One of the prevailing themes with all the above professionals is that each requires a unique set of skills, as well as equipment to provide a great session. With so many products used in cosmetology, something every beautician should be aware of is product liability protection.
This important provision is one you will find in all EBS beauty insurance policies and protects a professional in the event a client has a bad allergic reaction to a product you use during a session. It’s a good idea to compare beauty insurance plans to make sure you have this in place before beginning a session.
Now that you have all of your homework done and are ready to start the lease process, it’s time to compare your options around you.
Just like shopping for beauty insurance, comparing options helps you understand what’s available and how much it will cost so you can figure out the best value.
Three key areas to look at when comparing salon suite rentals include the lease terms, the cost of the space, and how the location will work for your services.
Where to Look: Finding Your Salon Suite Location
There are so many great resources out there for anyone who is considering renting a salon suite. Choosing a location can be tough and you may be limited by your budget and even the options available in your city.
That’s where professional salon suite rentals can really be clutch.
Of the many salon suite rental companies out there, here are a few of the most well-respected in the industry and worth checking out before you choose a location:
Salons by JC: This is one of the most prevalent salon suite rental companies with 100s of locations across the U.S. and Canada. They offer tailored salon rentals and even complimentary concierge services to help get you started.
Sola Salons: An easy way to start is with these turn-key salon suite rentals. You get a move-in-ready unit along with all kinds of educational tools and technology to really boost your business.
Phenix Salon Suites: On the luxury side is this boutique salon concept. There are hundreds of locations with many more on the way and can be a great way to distinguish your new salon.
My Salon Suites: Also gearing more towards luxury is the My Salon Suites®. They offer private spaces and high-end amenities for all kinds of health and beauty professionals.
Total Salon Studios: More of a “co-op” set-up these locations will group many different independent salon renters within a single commercial space. The spaces are designed to foster both creativity and collaboration for the benefit of all.
No matter what route you choose, another important element to consider is whether or not your beauty insurance policy has rental damage insurance.
With EBS, our members get a full $100,000 to help cover the costs of repairs to a rented space like those listed above.
What to Look For Once You've Found Your Salon Suite Location
Salon Suite Rental Prices
Top Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Salon Suite Lease Agreement
- How much do I have to pay upfront? Security deposits, first and last month's rent, and other fees can add up quickly so make sure you know the exact dollar amount upfront.
- Are there any other fees? Many salon suite rentals charge a base rent then additional fees for things like cable/internet, electricity, water, pest control, etc. Know the total before signing.
- How can I get out of the lease if I need to? Sometimes you need to walk away. Be sure to read the fine print on what happens if you break a salon suite rental agreement.
Being in the know before you sign a lease can save a lot of time and money down the road. If there are any provisions in the lease you aren’t sure about - ask. The cost of your salon suite ultimately depends on your state and location, however, many salon studios fall between $235-$500/week to rent.
Salon Suite Lease Term Agreements
The cost of the leased space needs to be front and center in your search. For new salon suite owners, your income levels can be low for many months as you get the business started so you really need to be cost-conscious at every level.
In looking for salon suite rentals, weigh the cost versus the benefit of each space you have in mind. Are extra amenities provided for the location?
Does it come furnished?
Are utilities included?
Do you have access to laundry facilities? Parking?
Understand to the penny the costs to spot the best value.
Salon Suite Location
Location is a key ingredient for success so you need to be weighing this as you look at your options.
You’ll most likely be able to charge more if your location is in a popular and trendy shopping mall versus a strip mall on the edge of town.
However, the costs will also vary.
Again, weigh costs versus benefits to see which scenario provides the best overall value.
Salon Suite Licensing Insurance
An absolutely critical aspect of renting a salon suite is going to be your beauty insurance coverage
If your policy doesn’t include rental damage coverage, you may be left having to pay completely out of pocket if damages occur inside the space.
Elite Beauty Society members rest easy in this department with a full $100,000 in rental damage insurance included with their policy to help cover the costs of any necessary repairs to a rented space.
Salon suite renters and chair or booth renters are all functioning as their own small business that’s operating inside of another business.
Therefore, they can be held liable when there’s an accident or mistake that causes an injury or property damage.
These liabilities extend far beyond rental damages including general and professional liability, as well as product liability.
That’s why having a stout salon insurance policy in place before getting started offers the best protection possible for new salon owners.
How you rent a salon suite can differ greatly based on the type of business you set up.
There’s sole proprietorships, LLCs, corporations, and other legal entities that are taxed differently and which your landlord may have different stipulations for.
These options should be covered with a tax professional to understand all the implications for your situation.
- A sole proprietorship is similar to being an independent contractor. All of your income and expenses are taxed on an individual level and there’s really no separation between you and the business. When you go to sign a lease, your landlord may ask to see your license and insurance and you would be personally responsible for paying the rent.
- A limited liability corporation (LLC) is a business you form by registering with your state’s business regulator and any local agencies or tax authorities that are required. An LLC provides a legal shield between an owner and the business. Taxes for an LLC are paid by the company and owners would then also file their own personal tax returns separate from the business. When renting as an LLC, the landlord can require what’s known as a personal guarantee which says that even if the business can’t pay rent, the personal guarantor (i.e. you or whoever is signing) would still be legally responsible.
- A corporation (Inc.) is also formed when you file with your state and local authorities and they also protect the corporation’s owners from liability for matters related to the business. However, corporations have different structures, are taxed differently, and have different record-keeping requirements. Bear in mind, a landlord may still require a personal guarantee with a corporation.
The right path to business ownership depends a lot on your personal circumstances and aspirations.
If you’re setting up a simple shop that helps pay the bills for a little while then a sole proprietorship offers one of the fastest and easiest ways to get started.
If you think you might grow this venture into something more and may be looking at selling or passing on the business at some point, a more formal form of business like an LLC or corporation can prove beneficial.
Cosmetology State Board Requirements
The state board for cosmetology in your state is going to be the authority for all licensing requirements.
The amount of education you’ll need and even the type of education that’s accepted can vary greatly across state lines so you need to be well aware of what all is required from your state in order to ultimately own and operate a salon suite.
Our state requirements for cosmetologists page is full of useful information for initial licensing requirements, as well as continuing education for different states.
We mention licensing because it’s usually a necessary step of renting a salon suite—either from your landlord, state and local business regulators, or all of the above.
Once you are up and running, there can be other guidelines that you have to follow from various agencies in your city including things like having up-to-date fire extinguishers and displaying licensing credentials.
Understanding all these facets before jumping into a lease for a salon suite will help you avoid any potential regulatory pitfalls.
Professional Liability Insurance
Taking the First Step and Getting Insurance Online
Get an affordable, comprehensive, and incredibly straightforward beauty insurance policy in just a few minutes and you’ll receive instant proof of coverage.
So even if you’re at the signing table with your landlord and they ask for insurance coverage, in just a few minutes’ time you can show you’re fully covered.
Associated Hair Professionals
Health and Beauty Association (NAMT/ former IMA)
Professional & General Liability Insurance
$2 Million Per Occurrence
$6 Million Individual Annual Aggregate
$2 Million Per Occurrence
$3 Million Individual Annual Aggregate
$1 Million Per Occurrence
$3 Million individual aggregate
$2 Million Per Occurrence
$3 Million Individual Annual Aggregate
$2 Million/ occurrence
$2 Million/ occurrence
$2 Million/ occurrence
No Hours Required
No Hours Required
|✓||No Hours Required||✓||No Hours Required|
Required CE hours
|✓||No||✓||No Hours Required for Insurance|
Rental Damage Coverage
100,000 (Fire/Water Legal Liability)
General Liability Limits May Apply
|✓||$300,000 (Fire and Water only)||✓||$100,000|
|Stolen Equipment||✘||Optional—Add $95||✘||No||✘||No||✓||$1,000 *$250 deductible|
|Identity Protection Plan||✘||No||✘||No||✘||No||✓||$25,000|
$189 first year
$99.95 first year
$25 first year Student
|NOTE: The information in this comparison has been gathered from the websites of each organization and other third party sources. No guarantee or assurance is made by Elite Beauty Insurance as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Date that we confirmed this information 2/14/18||APPLY NOW|
|AHP?Associated Hair Professionals||Alt Balance?Alternative Balance||HBA?Health and Beauty Association (NAMT/ former IMA)||EBS?Elite Beauty Society|
|Occurence- Form Coverage||✓||✘||✓||✓|
|Professional & General Liability Insurance||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Required CE hours||✓||✓||✘||✓|
|Rental Damage Coverage||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Identity Protection Plan||✘||✘||✘||✓|
Salon Design: Planning Your Space
We made it through the foot-dragging-why-is-this-so-dang-technical-part of the ultimate salon guide, so we can give ourselves a pat on the back.
(Well, that’s what we’re telling ourselves – really guys, that part was so incredibly important and necessary, so don’t skip over it!)
You’ve signed on your own salon suite, you’ve worked out the details with your landlord, and gosh knows that you’re good to go on all your licensing and insurance policies (you’re welcome). So, what’s next?
The moment you’ve been waiting for. We’re on to the terribly fun section – how to design your own salon space.
Your salon suite decor needs to reflect your style, it needs to be functional and comfortable, but it also has to be overflowing with your custom personality and taste. So, how do you accomplish all these things?
Let’s take a look at some of the most important facets of your new salon space.
What is Provided Vs. What You Need
First, let’s talk about your bare-bones space.
Walk into the empty room and give it a good once over – what do you have?
Are you equipped with chairs? Is lighting all set up? How about salon equipment – do you have dryers and sinks? What about your storage situation – will you need to rent extra space to hold your products, or are you good with what you’ve got?
Make a list of all the things the room provides you with already, and then make another list of what you don’t have that you absolutely need. (We suggest making a third list for fun that lists all of your wants, that way if you have money left over in your budget once you’ve covered your necessities, you might be able to get the dream equipment you wrote down).
We suggest keeping the measurements of your space with you at all times. That way, when you’re looking for pieces, décor, and equipment, you’ll know what can fit and what can’t.
Stay realistic, stay within budget, and stay on theme with your personal style. We’re talking creative colors, gorgeous textures and patterns, wall décor, mirrors, lighting and more – keep it within budget, but don’t skimp on providing a comfortable, stylish suite experience.
Theme & Brand – They Go Hand-in-Hand
Remember, above all else, this space is yours – so do what you want with it. That being said, make sure that you’re sticking to both your established brand and a consistent theme. Keep your reoccurring idea consistent throughout the salon so that it will resonate with your client in a cohesive way. Think about it – does your brand include you keeping it simple and modern? Do you have a more eclectic feel? Stay true to your personal style, just make sure you’re keeping it consistent.
Colors & Lighting – the Ultimate Style Decisions
We recommend always keeping your true color in mind, and that applies to both lighting and paint colors within your studio space. First, check with your landlord and ensure that you’re able to add one or both of these aspects to your studio.
Next, consider how the lighting you include will affect the colors you plan to implement. Will fluorescent bulbs make those blue lights too harsh? Should you go with a softer light or a softer wall? Should you paint an accent wall with one bold color instead of closing in your (possibly already limited) space?
Equipment and Layout – Keep These in Mind Before You Begin
Your layout matters – trust us. Remember what we said about keeping your measurements with you at all times? That’s to help you avoid buying equipment or other products that simply won’t fit in your space.
Make sure you plan out your salon first before you go through picking tables, chairs, art, and equipment. Develop a layout for your studio so you can use it as a sort of blue print for your space. Then, go through what would be a routine day with your clients.
Make a note of all the equipment that’s absolutely necessary for your customers to have a comfortable, functional, and out-of-this-world experience.
Salon Suite Supplies
We understand that you might be super pre-occupied with figuring out which accent wall needs that bright pop of peacock blue and where you need to place your chairs and mirrors, but it’s important that when you’re designing your space you’re not forgetting something super important – your retail product and your backbar product.
AKA, your moneymakers.
We don’t say that to be insensitive, we’re positive that you’re a great stylist who’s totally capable of making the profit you’re after, but let’s face it – your client needs the best products you can offer, and the profit that comes with a purchase is nothing to scoff at, either.
To ensure your salon suite is as properly equipped as possible, make sure you’ve got a great storage section and display for your products.
No matter what kind of salon you’re running or industry you’re in, it’s likely a guarantee you’ll need to sell products, so make sure you’re making efficient, productive choices with your products.
We cannot stress this enough – choose products you’re happy and confident backing. Consider how your products support your brand and your mission.
Do you want to sell products to your customers that you wouldn’t use yourself? Do you want to drive people away with retail products that won’t work?
We suggest that your retail products do the job they want them to, that you’re consistently using them on your clients so that they can see the results while you’re using them, and that you’d happily use them on yourself.
This way, you won’t have one of those awkward, “oh my gosh, I love that product – can I buy it here” situations where you have to shuffle around, smile, and give them a polite-but-firm “no.”
Those situations are weird and uncomfortable and honestly, why would you use something on your backbar that you’re not making available to your clients?
If the design of the retail products just so happens to complement your salon suite style, then look at you go, you’ve killed two birds with one stone.
Additionally. The way your backbar looks – and what’s on it – is far more important than you might think. If your backbar is in an open space, make sure you don’t have color or product oozing out of the bottle.
No client wants to be getting pampered in what looks like an unsanitary environment.
First, we suggest carrying all the products you will mostly use on your clients. This is crucial in the beginning stages of your business.
Don’t waste budget on “fun-looking” tools and products but rather invest in the bread-and-butter products that you know you need for your current clientele.
Once you have the budget, go on, and spend that money on those new exciting tools!
Second, we suggest that you go with a brand you trust that includes continuing education. Trends are always changing, and you want to be able to have the right products on your backbar and the education to go with them.
Maybe that means reaching out to your distributor asking about the latest and greatest. They can be a major help when you explain what majority of your client’s needs are.
They work on the front lines representing all different brands so who better to ask!
Many brands provide new user kits which are often a bundled package of some of their most popular products and many freebies included to get you started.
We find that this is the best way to try out a line you may want to carry in your salon.
You can contact them and get a catalog of their new user kits and specials.
Salon Suite Technology
When it comes to implementing plans for your salon, technology is going to be an enormous factor for your consideration.
You need to ensure that your salon doesn’t just have functional, affordable technology to help the day-to-day operations, but that you’re using top-of-the-line equipment that makes payment processing, scheduling, and routine functions a breeze.
You need a system that helps to schedule appointments, track receipts, maintain your schedule, and process different types of customer payments, so make sure you’re considering all these facets when you’re looking to implement a technology system for your salon.
Elite Beauty Society's choice for beauty pros is GlossGenius.
GlossGenius enables beauty pros and business owners to grow their business and maximize their income. GlossGenius's complete set of automated appointment scheduling, same-day payments, client management and built-in marketing solutions were designed to empower professionals to focus on being creators, not administrators.
Here’s a tip – when it comes to taking client payment, you can probably just use an attached system for your smartphone from companies like Square and PayPal.
Additionally, make sure you’re staying up-to-date on the latest salon software to ensure that you’re keeping track of your inventory, recording client information, and keeping your income and expense reports as pristine as possible.
Marketing Your Salon Suite
Marketing can be a broad term when it comes to advertising your business.
There are so many different marketing channels to get your brand name out there and there is such a thing as utilizing “too many” platforms.
You want to focus on providing quality content that will attract your target consumer. When it comes to beauty services, take many pictures and display your work!
Here’s a few tips on where to start marketing your business.
Marketing: You've Made The Decision, Now What?
One of the most popular and fastest growing marketing channels is social media. Having a strong social media presence will play a vital role in the success of your salon suite.
You need to first identify which social media platform(s) your ideal customer spends most of their time on. This should be your biggest priority for your social media marketing strategy.
Only once you’ve mastered this platform and have an automated, successful strategy is it appropriate to start marketing on a new platform.
For example, start with Facebook and Instagram (since they tie in together) and learn how to advertise on social media through Facebook and Instagram ads.
You’d be surprised how inexpensive advertising on social media can be.
Advertising your business on social media can mean more impressions and exposure.
With the amount of people on social media it is hard to reach your audience organically. As we all know Facebook and Instagram are constantly changing their algorithm so there is a chance that your posts are not reaching your target market.
Social Media Posting Strategy:
Be careful when posting on social media. You may just be selling rather than providing value.
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Most beauty professionals’ social media posts are riddled with sales and specials such as these. They don’t work—at least not at first. More than likely, your social media fan base immediately skips these types of posts .
Are you familiar with the term jab, jab, jab right hook?
This phrase was coined by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, who applied boxing terminology to social media strategy.
The theory jab, jab, jab, right hook for social media marketing is: Before you can ask your fan base for the right hook, or purchase your product or service, you need to repeatedly jab fans with either educational or authoritative content that delivers pure value for them.
Only once you’ve thrown enough jabs can you ask for the right hook.
Today’s beauty clients expect to be able to find you online, on relevant listings, and review sites. Remember, your website is your front door—so developing a website for your guests is crucial in booking new clients and referrals.
Also, you will have to make sure your website is mobile friendly.
In today’s digital world, optimizing your beauty and wellness business for the mobile marketplace is increasingly important for keeping your business competitive.
According to a report by Pew Research Center, U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015,” 64 percent of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35 percent in the spring of 2011, and this number continues to grow.
How can you make the most of it all? Start by assuming your clients live on their mobile devices.
Optimizing your website with mobile friendly web pages, creating opt-in communications for newsletters and using simple, searchable keywords are all ways to maximize your web presence.
According to a 2014 white paper by comScore, “Marketing to Millennials: 5 Things Every Marketer Should Know,” Millennials are the biggest mobile spenders, 39 percent of the demographic purchases more than $50 a month in services or goods via their smartphones. Creating a clear call-to-action button such as “Book Now” and eliminating distracting imagery and text can all work to optimize your homepage for the end user.
In today’s busy world, being able to schedule beauty appointments online is becoming more of a competitive edge.
Unless you or a staff member are available every hour of every day and are willing to make appointments at 2 a.m. when a client has a hair-color disaster, you need an online scheduling service or software.
Online scheduling allows clients to easily browse your available options and choose the appointment that best fits their schedule. This can easily be integrated in your website.
Advertising Your Business and Website:
The best way to make sure you pop up during a search is creating a Google My Business account. This is a free service that will post your business on Google with the location and add things like hours and photos.
Also, creating a Yelp account can give your clients a platform to rave about how awesome you are.
Guests are always looking at reviews when booking appointments, therefore, it is important display your five-star service for everyone to see!
Never underestimate the impression online reviews can have on your business.
“You are you and that is your superpower”—Leyla Milani
Branding is everything when it comes to your business. It is important to consider what your long-term goals is with your brand.
Are you going to be riding solo forever?
Do you want to eventually franchise your brand if it takes off?
What is appealing to your guests?
These are all questions you will have to answer through your brand.
For example, “Hair by Katrina” can be a great social media handle, however, not the best business name. You want to be as specific as possible in your branding. Ask yourself: What do you specialize in? Hair by Katrina may not express that you specialize in color, where as a name like
The Color Bar Salon will more likely attract guests that are looking for color services.
Also, if your goal is not to be behind the chair forever and you want to eventually hire someone on, the name no longer fits the persona of the stylist in the salon. These are things to consider when thinking about what to name your business.
Besides, your website domain, social media handle, advertising campaigns, signs, business cards and further branding will all contain this name, whew!
Make it a good one.
Your Logo and Business Cards:
You will want to invest in quality business cards when it comes to your business. Business cards can be the first impression for new clients. Try to order cards that match your salon theme and colors.
Order cards made out of a thicker material. This way the cards won’t have creases if they bend or sit in someone’s purse for a while. Your business cards should represent who you are and how you like to do business.
Think if you want a short logo for your name. If you are artsy Canva and Photoshop are great resources for building your logo, or you can outsource it to companies that specialize in logos.
Your business cards will want to have your business name, title, address and phone/email in addition to a brief description of services you offer.
Once you decide you are officially moving into your space, have your key in hand, and are ready to set an open date, communicating with your current clients will be critical in your success.
Pick up the phone and give your clients a call. Tell them how much you have appreciated their business and hope to see them in your new studio! This news can be so exciting for guests, and although some may not follow you to your new place, it’s okay.
Thank them for the time they have been with you and let them know where you are.
It’s as simple as that. If you have clients on the books for a future date, make sure to let them know early on that you will be at a new location.
One of the best ways to get more people in your chair is to offer referral programs.
For example, provide an incentive for every third person you referred.
It takes a few compliments to refer others to your salon/spa and BAM. You have a new client.
There is nothing like word of mouth so make sure each guest is leaving with plenty of your business cards to hand out.
Running specials or combining complimentary low-cost services with higher-cost services on the books can also be a great way to get more people in your chair.
For example, provide a complimentary deep condition with any new color service.
The cost is close to nothing for you, and it’s an excellent value for your guest.
You will have their hair feeling like silk by the time they leave. Even more reasons to love you!
If you are newer to the area and would like to have a bigger presence near your location the best way to meet people is…
Wait for it….
Introduce yourself. Mind blowing, I know.
So many professionals do not take the opportunity to introduce themselves when they receive a compliment or even when they are out of the salon and simply at the store. We see people every day, they are all around us!
Go ahead and compliment someone’s hairstyle or outfit, tell them about your new studio and that you would love to get them to come in.
Local boutiques and restaurants can also be wonderful places to hand out your business cards.
Rather than going into the store to chat with the consumers, introduce yourself to the manager and ask them to come in for a complimentary service (deep condition, blowout, etc.) and hand out your business cards to the staff.
Local businesses can be a goldmine when in the process of building a better clientele.
Show Me the Money: Revenue and Profits Within Your Salon Suite
Here, it’s all about the money, something that we’re sure you’re pretty concerned with, too.
We’ll breakdown some of the revenue facets you’ll have to consider when renting a salon and running your own business, as well as discussing some of the key questions that go along with running your own company.
Sales, Sales, Sales
We’re sure there’s a lot of stuff you’re wondering when it comes to the sales part of your business.
Can you say taxes? (We don’t want to, but we can). Let’s talk finances.
So, how do taxes work when you’re both running your own beauty business and renting space for your salon suite? Firstly, it’s going to depend on what kind of business you’re running. Do you function in an LLC? Are you considered a sole proprietorship? Or are you considered an independent contractor?
If you’re an independent contractor within your landlord’s space, you can treat your space rental the same for tax deduction like a salon owner can deduct rents for their business space.
Your salon space is deductible as a business expense against your income received on your tax return.
Additionally, as the owner of your own business, remember that supplies can be considered for tax deductions as well.
If you’re a cosmetologist who needs regular supplies – think brushes, shampoos, gels, etc. – then those supplies are direct business expenses that can likely be directly deducted against income on a tax return.
Above all, we suggest that as a business owner or independent contractor, you track all your expenses, all your supplies, all your income, and more for when it’s tax season.
Take a good hard look at what’s considered a deductible, and if possible, work with an accountant who specializes in independent contractors and small business owners.
Make sure that you’re really, really running your business. AKA – you need to be responsible for buying your supplies, managing your books and keeping track of your inventory.
Renewals on Insurance and Licenses
This is a factor that you absolutely need to consider and work into your financial planning.
While there might be tax deductions at the end of the year that relieve the burden of some of these fees, you’ll need to be prepared to pay renewal fees on your insurances and your business and professional licenses.
It’s important that you do this on time, every time, as your business cannot legally function without renewals on your licenses and insurance.
Make sure you’re working these fees and dates into both your financial planning and scheduling for the year.
Your finances are going to be one of the biggest responsibilities that you take on when you rent your own space and start your own business.
That means you’ll need to consider expenses you didn’t have to previously, set an appropriate pricing regimen, and ensure that you’re not just making ends meet, you’re eventually turning a profit.
Handling your finances is going to include a lot of tracking, a lot of calculation, and a lot of running your own books.
When you own your own business and rent from a landlord at the same time, there’s a lot to consider.
Financially speaking, you’ll need to maintain your own set of books, pay your own taxes, and set aside the cost of overhead, rent, and products you purchase for inventory.
You’ll also need to include finances for your own marketing, tools, and related supplies, as well as setting accurate prices and collecting payment from your clients for the services performed.
You’ll need to know the national and state laws that go hand in hand with running your own business, managing your finances, and paying taxes, too.
We suggest working with a CPA to get in the know as quick as possible.
Inventory is a huge consideration when it comes to running your own business.
Not only are you in charge of purchasing the tools and products you need, but you’re in charge of tracking, maintaining, and accounting for every single item that’s included with your inventory.
Consider running an inventory software program that helps you keep track of what you have, alert you when you’re running low on something, and keeps a financial record of every item you purchase in order to keep you on track and on the book.
Taking the Next Step in Your Career
When it comes to running your own business in your rented space, it’s important to remember that the key to your success is avoiding staying stagnant.
You want to continuously improve, provide a better experience for your clientele, and be the best professional in your industry that you can be.
Sometimes, that means continuing your education through an accredited school or gaining specific certifications.
Knowing When to Take the Next Step
Often, running your own business means that you’re looking to grow and expand.
You already have an entrepreneurial spirit, so it makes sense that you’d only hope to run a successful business with the hopes of expanding.
Because of that, it’s important to know when you should change your location and when you should add staff.
If you’ve developed a client base that you simply cannot fit into your salon suite space location, it’s time to start looking around for a bigger suite to rent – if that doesn’t seem like a possibility, you might want to take the next step and either rent an entire building for your salon, or purchase your own building for your salon.
Another key point to examine within your business is when to add staff to work for you. If you notice that your clientele has expanded so much that you’re having to turn people away, it might be time to start adding staff to work with you.
The last thing you want is to turn clients away, especially when they can’t get enough of your talent. If this sounds like an issue you’re dealing with, start considering candidates who could partner with you in your salon space.
Overall, don’t be afraid to let your business grow!
You set off on your own for a reason, and you never want to stifle your creativity, progress, or success as a professional.
Don’t let change scare you!
Salon Suite Rental and You: There's So Much to Love
There are so many benefits that come with renting your salon suite space and running your own business. Sure, there are some cons that come along with it – you’ll have to budget for some expenses you wouldn’t if you worked in someone else’s salon, you have to establish your own marketing plan, you have to learn how to be the big boss – but personally, we think the benefits dramatically outweigh the negatives.
For example, renting a salon suite gives you the chance to become your own business owner.
You run the show, you do things your way, and you can finally establish a business you’ve likely dreamed about for years.
The best part?
You can do that all without the risk and expense that comes with owning a building or buying an enormous salon. Taking on your own salon suite can be as temporary or as permanent as you make it – the flexibility truly is something else.
Beyond that, you’ll be taking the next step in your career. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit with a heart for your industry, it’s time you expand and grow into the next step.
Even more, you’ll be gifting yourself the opportunity to potentially make more money than you ever dreamed possible.
While you’ll be solely responsible for rent, marketing, and product overhead, you’ll also be keeping 100 percent of the profits you make.
We hope our ultimate guide answered all the questions you might have about renting a salon suite, starting your own company, and more.
Further, we hope we could give you the confidence to start making the right steps toward renting your own salon space.
We wish you the best of luck!
Revisit our guide or download our e-book below which includes additional perks such as our “Salon Suite Owner Checklist” with tips and tricks you need to build your perfect salon-rental business!
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Contributing Writers: Hanna Marcus, Sanita Rizvic & Chad Lio