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What is the Difference Between Booth Rental vs. Traditional Salons for Stylists?

Woman at a hair salon getting her hair styled.

Both traditional salon and rental booths have their advantages and disadvantages. Stylists have to choose what works best for them.

Earning a cosmetology license is the first step in what will be a long and successful career. Today stylists have more options than they ever did in the past. To be sure, hair stylists have always had the choice of opening their own shop or working for a salon. For many, the salon setting made it easier to learn the ropes, enjoy the camaraderie and the assistance of other stylists as well as having the basic business functions handled.

However, as time goes by, salon stylists often yearn to be their own boss. The expense of opening their own shop is an obstacle for some of these new entrepreneurs. Today, there is another way to meet the goal of being your own boss. It is called booth rental. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of booth rental versus working in the traditional salon structure.

Booth Rental vs. Traditional Salon

In the present salon market, booth rentals account for roughly 47 percent of salon structure and bring in 36 percent of the revenue. While certain clients favor the professional, traditional salon, a move is underfoot to allow stylists to rent their own chair or suite and work for themselves.

That is a big departure from what it was up to now. This evolution is on the upswing as strict salons where all the stylists work for the owner are on the decline. In fact, a representative of Professional Consultants and Resources, a strategic consultancy for the salon industry, said that the majority of the salons will move toward a hybrid structure with some private stylists mixed into the traditionally structured salons.

Pros of Booth Rental

One positive facet of booth rental makes a strong case for business-minded stylists in that the business is theirs to mold. They decide when they are going to see clients, something that works for stylists with busy lives. It also makes it possible to control the products they want to use without an employer’s influence.

In addition, if the booth stylist has a new idea on how to increase their clientele or other changes they would like to see implemented, it is up to them. No waiting for approval. For those who prefer to work alone and be in total control of their shop, renting a booth or suite could be the right choice.

Woman at a hair salon getting her hair cut.

Rental booths can make a stylist feel like a real boss; however, that can become a problem if the stylist becomes ill or faces another situation where he or she cannot work.

Cons of Booth Rental

The downside is that a lot of extra work is necessary to make a business work. From ordering products they need to paying taxes on the business, the booth renter is responsible for it all. Other necessary aspects of the business include upkeep on the suite or booth plus training and marketing. There is no more leaving the shop when the last customer for the day is finished.

The trouble with having your own booth is that you might find it difficult to provide clients with the ambiance they are accustomed to. Since an operator runs their booth from start to finish, clients may feel less catered to when they are waiting without the support staff they are used to in salons.

Also, if the stylist is ill or has a family situation they must attend to, their clients will be left hanging as there may not be another stylist that can fill in. The stylist won’t be able to use sick time and protect their salary in this scenario. Continuing education becomes the stylist’s responsibility without any input from the salon.

Traditional Salons

Stylists who work in traditional salons reap other benefits such as leaving the business end of their work to the employer. In short, when the day is done, they are done. However, traditional salons are able to structure the stylists’ hours and days off to suit the business, not the other way around.

The salons also provide continuing education that stylists need to keep their cosmetology license and stay up-to-date with new techniques. Some stylists also enjoy the input of other stylists working at the salon have when it comes to using a different color or envisioning a new hairstyle on a client.

The stylist also knows that someone will be available if they are running late, and the color needs to be rinsed off. In addition, if a stylist has a family emergency or becomes ill, another stylist at the shop can take over for them, keeping customers happy.

Hair stylist dressed in black smiling.

Working in a traditional salon does not have the freedom of a booth, but does offer some advantages.

Cons of Working in a Salon

The negative aspect of working in a traditional salon is the lack of freedom booth rental provides. For some stylists with a strong business sense, a booth rental may equal a higher take-home pay.

Continuing Education for Cosmetologists

Whether you work in a salon or rent a booth, you need to take continuing education classes to maintain your license. Beauty Academy makes it easy to do that. Download the course online, and read through the material in your spare time. When you are finished, just download the test if you are required to take one and submit the answers. You can even download your certificate of completion. For busy cosmetologists, this is what they need.

Call us if you have any questions. Our experienced representatives are waiting to answer your questions.  Check out our courses to learn more.

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