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
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Introduction To Salon Suites
You’ve been thinking about it, tossing and turning about it in your sleep, and fantasizing about it for what feels like weeks. Scratch that, it’s been months.
Wait, scratch that, too. It’s been years!
It’s possible that you’ve been thinking about embarking on your own adventure and becoming a salon suite renter for much of your professional life, and who can blame you?
The chance to run your own suite as an independent contractor, create your perfect business, and operate your salon the way you want? It’s a dream come true.
The truth is no matter how long you’ve been fantasizing about renting a salon suite and crafting the perfect independent contractor business within a rented space inside a salon, the transition can be exceptionally scary.
There are numerous pros to renting a salon suite space (can you say, “I’ll be my own boss?” five times fast?), but there is an overwhelming bundle of tricky considerations, too.
The good news?
We’re here to address all of that for you and get you on the right track to living the suite life (we never made you any promises about corny puns, so keep a look out for those and strap on your sense of humor).
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 essentially a mini salon that allows beauty professionals (from all industries, we’ll dive into that later) to own their own salon without the risks, overhead, and expenses that come with owning an entire building.
So, in short, a salon suite is a place that you rent from a landlord – the business within that room is yours and you’re in charge of how you run it, but the room itself belongs to someone else.
Makes sense? Great.
With a salon suite, you get the luxury of running your own business without the headache, risk, and cost of taking on ownership of an entire building.
The landlord and property manager will take care of the building’s upkeep, running the facility, and maintaining a beautiful property.
You’re responsible for paying rent, abiding by the rules, and running a kick-ass salon within your suite.
Often, people get salon suites mixed up with the term “salon booth rental.”
They might sound similar, but they’re actually pretty different.
A salon booth rental implies that you’re paying someone to let you rent space within their salon suite, or rather, you’re literally renting a booth/station within someone else’s salon.
You’re not exactly running your own business with a booth rental, but you’re also not exactly under a boss, either.
You’ll typically be confined to the established rules of the person running the salon, though you won’t always be considered their employee.
With booth rental, you don’t make decisions about the space, and you’re certainly not in charge of how you decorate, organize, or operate the entire space.
In a way, a salon booth rental agreement is like working within a salon, having to abide by established rules, without the support and benefits of working with an employer of your choosing.
Why You Should Consider It
Now that we’ve established exactly what a salon suite renter is, you’re probably asking yourself something along the lines of, “is that something that would make sense for me?”
It’s a fair question, and honestly, renting a salon suite is often an excellent choice for talented professionals who have an entrepreneurial streak.
For starters, renting your own salon suite means, in no uncertain terms, that you’re a certified, professional, don’t-mess-with-me-I’m-awesome, business owner. That alone is enough to consider it.
Think about it – you’d be your own boss, you’d run your salon the way you wanted, and you’d only have to abide by certain landlord rules.
Renting your own salon suite space for you and you only means you’re not going to have to worry about shared revenue anymore. Consider this – no matter how many clients you attract into a salon where you work, part of that money is always going to go to the salon owner.
It makes sense, right?
They’re running a business and they deserve to get some of the profit if you’re working for them. But working for yourself, in your own salon suite space, means that you get to keep all the profits that come from bringing in clients.
When renting your own salon suite, you’re keeping 100 percent of the rewards and bringing in all the profits.
That’s a hard point to beat, right?
While being your own boss and keeping all the profits you make are definitely some of the biggest pros in the renting your own salon suite argument, it’s also important to mention that renting your own space means that you’ll have the creative freedom you’ve likely always desired.
Working for someone else can be a wonderful experience, but often, established salons have a specific way they like to do things, and they typically ask their employees to abide by them.
You control your customers’ experiences from start to finish, you can decide which niches you cater to, and you can develop your own guidelines for your salon.
Who Should Do It?
If any – or all – of those points above appeal to you, your mind is probably really turning with thoughts of renting your own salon space. That said, you still might be wondering if your profession is the right fit for a personal, rented space.
The remarkable thing about renting a salon suite as your own space is that it can, most of the time, cater to several different professions.
One of the most popular professions that tends to dive into renting salon suites are hair stylists. But the list certainly doesn’t begin and end there.
Cosmetologists, nail technicians, estheticians, barbers, makeup artists, massage therapists and more will often rent their own salon space in order to run their business the way they want, without any of the risk, overhead, and cost that comes with purchasing their own salon space.
We’d hate to think we’ve twisted your arm into looking into renting your own salon space (no we don’t, we love it),
but if you’re still reading, it’s probably safe to assume you’re a bit more open to the idea of renting a suite space.
That said, there’s a ton that goes into renting salon space, and we certainly don’t plan to leave you on your own to get the ball rolling.
Check out some of our tips below on how to get going on renting your salon suite.
Where To Look: Finding Your Salon Suite Location
The first step in guaranteeing you’re going to find a sweet salon space is obvious – you have to look!
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve decided to offer a few suggestions.
Check out places like:
Salons by JC: Salons by JC has close to 100 locations nationwide in over 20 states and in Canada. In 2018, Salons by JC was ranked the #1 Salon Suite by Enterprise Magazine’s Franchise 500. Salons by JC is committed to developing over 200 stores in all major markets over the next several years.
Salons by JC prides itself on empowering and inspiring beauty and wellness professionals with salon suite ownership opportunities. Its key point of distinction is being the only salon suite concept that offers complimentary concierge services.
Sola Salons: Turnkey, move-in-ready studios alongside support, educational resources, and cutting-edge technology solutions that are designed exclusively for our community of independents.
Phenix Salon Suites: Phenix Salon Suites is the first “Boutique Salon Suite Concept” that offers luxury spacious salon suites for the independent salon professional and others.
Phenix Salon Suites is the fastest growing “Salon Suite” concept in the U.S. The company began expanding in 2012 and opened 26 new locations in 2012. The company now has 200 new locations with over 300 locations slated to be opened in the next couple of years
My Salon Suites: Every MY SALON Suite® location includes private spacious suites that are well appointed with high-end luxury amenities and top-of-the-line salon equipment for different specialties of health and beauty professionals, ranging from hair stylists to nail technicians, massage therapists, spa professionals and skin treatment experts.
Total Salon Studios: Total Salon is replacing the traditional salon industry business model with a revolutionary new and innovative one—make it affordable for any beauty professional, who wants to be in control of their financial future and success, to own and operate their own business.
Every Total Salon studio is thoughtfully designed to create a work environment that nourishes creativity, will elevate your passion and talent, and absolutely overwhelm your clientele with amazement at the amount of luxury your salon provides.
All of these names are corporations that specialize in renting out studio spaces to stylists, professionals, and other artists. Its franchisees lease large retail spaces, then subdivide them into individual salon shops.
That means, within one building, you could have dozens of stylists and other professionals running their own, individual businesses. Those artists pay rent to the franchisees, and voila!
They have their own business without having to own their own salon or building.
What To Look For Once You've Found Your Salon Suite Location
Sure, where you rent and who you rent from is important when it comes to choosing your own salon suite space, but there are dozens of other factors you’ll need to keep in mind, too.
Salon Suite Rental Prices
Consider for a moment what your salon suite pricing should look like. Talk to your prospective landlord about weekly charges.
- Does this include just the cost of the space?
- Are you expected to pay for utilities?
- Laundry facilities?
Now think about all those costs.
Consider how much profit you’ll expect to make after you’re done paying off those costs. Does the salon suite rental price make sense for you and your business? Could you find a better deal with a different landlord?
It’s important to consider what you’ll be paying for in your own salon – products, linens, manpower, etc. – that you wouldn’t be paying if you were working for someone else.
Ask yourself – do all these costs line up with the price of the salon studio you’re hoping to rent? 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
This is something that people often overlook. When you’re discussing all the terms with your landlord, it’s important to iron out exactly how long you plan to rent that space.
Does your landlord expect a 2-year commitment? Do you only have a year in mind? These are things that should be discussed and detailed in the paperwork.
That said, will you landlord consider a discount if you plan to stay for more than a year? Are you able to pay month to month?
No question is too silly, and no detail is too small when it comes to lease term agreements, so make sure you’re as open, honest, and upfront as possible with your prospective landlord.
It's important to work out what your least term agreement entails as it relates to benefits. Will you be paying for Wi-Fi? Will you be paying for water and utilities?
Work with your prospective landlord to get the answers you need.
Here are some important questions to ask:
- How long is the lease term for?
- How much is the security deposit?
- What move-in specials are you running?
- Can I sublease my unit?
- What happens if I need to break my lease?
- Do you provide business marketing classes/continued education?
- Are there any other fees in addition to my weekly rent (annual maintenance fee, cleaning fee, etc.)?
Salon Suite Location
You’ve heard that adage “location, location, location.” It’s cheesy, we know, but it wouldn’t have such a reputation in the real estate industry if it weren’t true.
Where your salon studio is located is going to matter significantly.
You could be the best stylist in the industry with the fairest prices and the most wonderful customer service experience, but if you’re 30 miles out of town in the back of a retail space that even you can’t find on your off days, you’re likely not going to get the best business out there.
We recommend finding a balance somewhere between price of rent and location. No, you might not be able to afford a salon suite somewhere right on the corner of everything-happens-here-downtown, but you also don’t have to settle for something no one wants to commute to.
Consider working a good location into your prospective rent prices – sometimes it pays to be a little more generous with the rent for a prime spot.
Make sure you understand where your clientele is coming from as well. When picking a location and moving your clients over you want to stay within a 5-7-mile radius of your previous location.
This makes it as easy as possible for you clientele to commute and stay committed to you as the professional!
Salon Suite Licensing and Insurance
We’re going to dive a little deeper into some of the down-and-dirty details.
Which means we might have to get into some terms that potentially scare you a little.
Forgive us, but we have to talk about licensing and insurance for a second—gasp!
These are important things to discuss when you’re looking to rent your own salon suite space. Fear not, though—we’ll break down the scary terms piece by piece so as not to get you too riled up.
Before we get too deep into this though, it’s important to make this distinction: Every type of salon is going to require a different form of licensing, so make sure that you’ve established the parameters of the salon you want to open, how it will operate, and what you want it to do before you begin applying for your licenses.
This is a term you definitely need to be familiar with if you’re planning to own and operate your own business. A sole proprietorship the simplest business form under which someone can operate a business.
In this type of business, your company has no separate existence from you, meaning the income and the losses your business experiences are taxed based on your individual personal income tax return.
The neat thing about sole proprietorship is that I can operate under your name, or under a fictitious business name – take note, though, even if your business is operating under a fake name, you’re still linked to it.
In layman’s terms, you’re the only owner of your business and you call the shots. But that also means that you’re going to take all the heat and the losses if your business experiences them.
Sole proprietorship is something a lot of salon suite owners end up doing when they rent a salon suite. Even though you have a landlord – who you rent your space from – you’ll be running your own business and making your own decisions as far as your business is concerned, so you’ll need to understand how a sole proprietorship works.
You’ve already obtained your professional license – congratulations by the way – this is the one that verifies you’re a pro in what you do. Running a salon business out of your rented salon suite means you can’t slack on lots of things, and that includes your professional license.
A professional license is a certificate stating that you, the beauty professional, have met the required standards of your state to claim that you are, in fact, a licensed professional.
Make sure your license is covering you for every service you offer.
For example, if you are an esthetician without the proper licensing for nails, you cannot perform nail services in your salon suite.
This is certainly something you’re going to have to hang loud and proud in your rented salon suite, so make sure your professional license is up to date and ready to be laminated.
Now comes the trickier part. This one isn’t actually as scary as it sounds. A business license is a permit you’ll need to obtain to run your own salon. This permit is a permit you get from a government agency that has gone through and approved your company within their own jurisdiction.
Picture this – you want to start your own business and rent space from someone who can offer you your own salon suite.
Beautiful! You’re working out all the details with your landlord when he or she asks you, “All right, can I see a copy of your business license?”
Just because you don’t have a business license right this second doesn’t mean you can’t get one. Simply get in touch with your local government (we suggest trying city hall) and get the name of the department that grants business licenses.
It’s a breeze to accomplish and required if you plan to operate your own business.
You’ll also likely be required to apply for a salon license from the state board of cosmetology/esthetics in whichever state you’re located. Again, super easy! You will just need details on your location and your professional license to apply online through your states licensing board.
Don’t worry, most salon suites will provide you with details on what they require before you open your doors!
Cosmetology State Board Requirements
This is one of the most important factors when it comes opening your own space within a rented building because it will likely require a scheduled appointment with the state board to physically come in and check off a list of requirements they have established.
This means that you’ll have to know what these requirements are beforehand to ensure they’re properly implemented in the first place, so study up.
You’ll need to meet standards like sanitation requirements, licensing display requirements, and making sure you’re up-to-date on things like consumer complaints procedures and commission laws.
Professional Liability Insurance
We’re nearly to the end of the big-word section, so don’t fret. We’ll get back to some of the fun stuff in a moment. Before we do that, though, we have to discuss cosmetology insurance.
We’re sure that you, as a professional, would never be faced with any kind of complaint, lawsuit, or impending legal battle, but things can happen and, you can never be too careful, right?
Ensuring that you’re covered by professional liability insurance is going to be a major step in keeping your business on the straight and narrow.
Professional Liability Insurance – also called errors and omissions insurance (E&O insurance) – is a type of coverage that protects the name on the door (your salon) and you from claims about your professional services.
For example, if a client of yours claims that they experienced an allergic reaction to your product or that you caused them to suffer some kind of harm (financially or physically), your professional liability insurance can help cover the cost of lawyers, civil suits, and certain damages that could be awarded to your client.
Professional Salon Suite Liability Insurance Must-Know
- Purchase your own individual aggregate policy. This means that the amount covered per year is only for you and not all the professionals at the location. When you sign your lease term, salon suites sometimes provide insurance options for you with a high limit. However, this option includes everyone at the location and does not travel with you.
- Go with an occurrence policy. This states that even if your policy expires and your client develops a reaction one week later, you are still covered. Your clients are legally able to file a claim up to two years after the incident. Whew! Stay protected.
- Make sure your liability insurance coverage follows you wherever you go—if you work outside of the studio part-time (i.e. trade shows, weddings, events, competitions).
- We’ve laid out a comparison grid for you to choose the best option for you and your new brand.
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.
Some of the most popular platforms for beauty professionals are: Vagaro, Square, Millennium, Booksy, Booker, MindBody, Squire, and Clover.
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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Gift Certificates for the Holidays Now Available!
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.
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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!
Contributing Writers: Hanna Marcus, Sanita Rizvic & Chad Lio