Salon Booth Rental: How to Get the Best for Your Money?

Hair salon booth rental

Are you a stylist who’s tired of earning less and working on someone else’s terms? If so, you may have considered going into business on your own. Owning a salon can take over your life and cost more than you expected. Fortunately, there’s a better way, a booth rental.

Many stylists turn to salon booth rental when starting their businesses. It allows you to be your own boss without the hassle of owning and maintaining a property. It also means you don’t have to invest in expensive equipment.

The question is, can you make it work?

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about salon booth rental, including:

  • How do you get the best for your money?
  • What does it take to run a salon booth (and what booking app makes running your business a breeze)?
  • How do you know if you’re ready to run your own business?

Let’s take a look!

What is a salon booth rental?

A salon booth rental agreement gives you access to a salon without the responsibility of salon ownership. Renting a booth is the same thing businesses do when renting office space. The difference is that instead of renting an office, you’re renting a chair and a workstation.

Depending on your rental agreement, you may also share the salon’s shampooing and reception areas with other stylists.

Booth rental vs Commission

Booth rent vs commission

The booth rental option

When renting a booth, you pay for a space in a salon as a tenant. Before getting the space you will enter into an agreement with the landlord, company or salon manager that owns the space.

The Pros

  • You have more control of your schedule.
  • You can bring your tools, supplies and styling products.
  • All the money you earn from your services is yours.
  • You work independently of a salon manager

The Cons

  • Unless you already have a clientele you must market yourself harder
  • You must buy your own insurance
  • You more business expenses to cover

The commision option

If you choose a commission-based agreement, you will be working as an employe of a salon. You will be paid by the salon owner a percentage based on the amount of work that you do. Your pay will vary based on the income that your bring to the salon. The percentage is usually in the range of 50% and up and can be negotiated.

The Pros

  • Commission-based employment is more flexible if you are fresh out of hair school.
  • You don't have to worry about buying supplies and business operations
  • You get the clients brought in by the salon
  • The commission can be negotiable with some owners
  • You can get employees benefeits

The Cons

  • Because you are employed by the beauty salon, you must follow the salon schedule.
  • You can earn less money that running your booth rental independently

What makes salon booth rental better than owning a salon?

The question of whether booth rental or salon ownership is best is a matter of personal taste. Still, owning a salon is a dream for many stylists. It can turn into a nightmare if you’re unprepared.

If you’re ready to strike out on your own, a salon booth rental allows you to learn how to run a business without extra hassle. Think about it. When you’re first learning to run a business, do you also want to worry about:

  • Property taxes and insurance? (Or would you rather concentrate on learning bookkeeping and quarterly tax first?)
  • Salon building maintenance? (Or would you rather devote more time to marketing?)
  • Buying and maintaining expensive equipment? (Or would you rather save your money and buy them later without going into debt?)

A salon booth rental allows you to build your clientele and your business skills before you take on larger responsibilities. Some stylists even decide that booth rental’s benefits exceed the advantages of salon ownership. They prefer to stick with rental permanently.

How does booth rental work in a salon?

When you rent a salon booth, you get a chair, workstation, and control of your business, but how does it work? Let’s look at some common questions you may have about salon booth rental.

How many days can I use my salon booth?

Unlike renting office space, when you rent a salon booth, you may share your booth with stylists who work different hours than you—and that can affect your space’s availability.

If a salon is small or already renting to lots of stylists, you may only be able to use it a few days a week. A larger salon with more rental openings will allow you more hours and flexibility.

But don’t dismiss a salon booth rental because the salon is small or has just a few openings. If you want to work part-time, that small salon which caters to clients like yours may be the perfect space for your business.

Also, remember that a readily available salon may have lots of openings due to a poor reputation or bad location. That’s why it’s best to do your research before deciding on a salon booth rental.

What is my contract length?

Your contract length will vary depending on the salon. Some salon booth rentals last for just a month, while others are for a year or more. You may want a salon that offers multiple contract length options. Some will let you rent for a smaller trial period and then renew your contract for longer should you decide to stay.

Will I sign a written agreement?

A salon booth rental agreement needs to be a written rather than verbal agreement. Not only is it essential for tax filing purposes, but a written agreement gives you legal protection.

Getting everything in writing helps ensure that the salon owner can’t make false claims against you. A written agreement also means you’ll know which obligations are yours and which belong to the owner.

Will the salon market my business?

Some salons market renters extensively. Others do little to no publicity for stylists. It’s nice to find a salon that will spread the word about your business, but you’ll still do most marketing yourself.

No matter how attentive, your salon booth rental’s owner doesn’t know your business like you do. She won’t know your special promotions, your latest services, or the things you want customers to know most. Finally, she’s also marketing the other stylists in your salon. To stand out, you need to market yourself regardless of your salon’s publicity. Instagram is a great place to start.

Social media is just the beginning, though. You’ll also want marketing that allows clients to find you regardless of the social media platforms they use. Ebena’s listing feature is perfect for posting your services online. It lets you list your services on page so that when clients can book you, your name and information come up.

Marketing with Ebena happens without daily status updates. It’s low-maintenance and comes with a free option, which makes it a great marketing choice when starting your own business.

Will the salon provide equipment and supplies?

Some salon booth rentals provide basic equipment such as hood dryers and shampooing stations. It’s best never to assume that this equipment is provided, though.

Ask the salon owner before you commit to renting. Likewise, you’ll need to ask which supplies you’ll have to provide and which the salon covers. Here are just a few supply options you’ll encounter as you search for a salon booth rental:

  • Back bar products: Some salons require you to use products that they sell in their retail areas. If they do, the products may be included in your rent. If not, or if the salons don’t require specific products, you’ll have to purchase them separately.
  • Products and tools for styling: Most salons require stylists to provide their clippers, clipper guards, shears, etc. Typically, they also ask you to provide your product. Again, some require that you only use products available in the retail area.
  • Towels and capes: Some salons provide capes and towels, but others don’t. However, many salons provide laundry service or at least offer a laundry facility.
  • Retail: You may be required to promote products from the store’s retail area to your clients.

How to choose the best salon booth rental?

The checklist before your start

Salon booth rental may be ideal for your business, but that decision is only as good as the salon you choose. Before you pick, look for these three things.

1. Look for a good location

In real estate, they say it’s all about location. A good location will keep loyal clients coming back and make it easy for new clients to find you. Ideally, your salon’s location will:

  • Be close to highways (a salon that’s close to highways will have higher traffic than one that’s not)
  • Have other retail shops nearby
  • Get lots of foot and street traffic
  • Have plenty of parking
  • Be well lit
  • Have clear, visible signage
  • Be attractive

2. Look for a clean, updated salon space

A dirty, dated space will cause clients to quickly lose faith in your business. When considering booth rental, look closely at the salon’s appearance. Is the linoleum worn and chipped? Are the towels faded and stained? Walk into the salon as if you were a client. Would your clients feel comfortable and safe in this salon? If not, look elsewhere.

3. Look for a salon with a reputation for quality stylists

Your current clientele may follow you when you go into business by yourself, but will they stay? And will you attract new clients?
If you rent a booth at a salon known for poor or mediocre quality, your current clients may not follow you to your new space. Likewise, new clients will assume your quality is as low as the other stylists in the salon. Get a feel for a salon’s reputation before you sign a salon booth rental agreement.

How to find a good salon booth rental near me?

You know what to look for in salon booth rentals, but how do you find them? From searching “salon booth rental near me” to talking to salon owners, here are seven steps to finding the perfect salon for you.

1. Do a Google search

Search “salon booth rental near me” to find local salons that might work for your business. You might also search “salon booth rental (your city).”

2. Read reviews

When you search “salon booth rental near me,” you’ll also find articles that list your area’s best salon rentals. Read them. Also, search for reviews from clients who use these salons. This will give you a good idea of whether or not a salon’s reputation or clientele suits your business.

3. Check out websites

Visiting a salon’s website may answer many questions you have about the facility and its rental policies.

4. Download a good space rental app

In addition to googling booth rentals and checking out salon websites, you can also find salon booth rentals using a space rental app. Some are dedicated entirely to salon rentals.

A good space rental app will show you available salon booths and provide basic information about the space or a link where you can learn more.

5. Check out salon locations

Use Google Maps and Google Earth to check out locations and cross any you don’t like off your list.

6. Talk to salon owners and pay an in-person visit to the salon

Email or call the salon owner and ask the questions on your list. This lets you narrow your list of possible salon booth rentals even further. Not only will you learn if a salon’s policies suit you, but you’ll get an idea of what working with the owner will be like.

The best way to get a feel for what it will be like to work in each salon is to visit yourself. Ask owners if you can schedule a visit or if you can drop in anytime.

What is the average cost of salon booth rental?

The idea of starting your own business is exciting, but with every business, venture comes expense. What costs can you expect after your sign your salon booth rental agreement?

Pay rent

Your rental cost will vary according to your location. High-end metropolitan salons charge $1000 or more a month, while a small salon may cost $250. Overall, expect to pay on average $400 a month.

Pay utilities

Some salons include utilities in your monthly rent. Others charge a separate fee. Learn the utilities policies for each salon you’re considering and ask how much utilities cost per month. In the long run, you may find that a salon with higher rent is cheaper than one with low rent and higher utilities.

Buy supplies

In addition to the shears, clippers, etc. that you’ll supply upfront, you’ll also have monthly supply costs. Consider how much you’ll spend on hair products, detergent for laundering towels, and other supplies. Add this, your rent, your utilities, and your booking service costs to your monthly expenses.

Use an appointment booking app

We tried ebena ?! The hair salon online booking tool

Get Appointment Booking App

In order to book and track appointments, manage client contact information, and accept payments, you’ll need a booking service and payment management system. Determine how much this costs you per month. Some systems cost $30 or more per month, but you can even get a system for free.

How to run a salon booth?

Get Appointment Booking App

As important as they are, all the supplies and equipment in the world won’t run your salon booth. For that, you need an administrative service that’s built for stylists. One of those services is Ebena. With Ebena, you can:

  • Book appointments
  • Manage your calendar and schedule
  • Send automatic notifications and appointment reminders
  • Allow clients to put themselves on a waiting list
  • Accept payments
  • Manage clients
  • Build a keyword-rich website that brings in new clients

If you don’t have a system for administrative tasks, you’ll spend a lot more time managing your calendar—and a lot less time making money.

Is a salon booth rental right for me?

Running your own business with a salon booth rental is a big decision. No matter how exciting it is, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions before you take the plunge.

Now that you know how salon booth rental works and how to make it a success, consider these final questions:

  • Are you an experienced stylist? (You need experience and an existing clientele to meet your monthly expenses.)
  • Are you able to pay for your own continuing education? (You can no longer rely on an employer to pay for the classes you’ll need to renew your cosmetology license.)
  • Are you willing to learn about business management? (At a minimum, you’ll need to understand quarterly tax and your state’s booth rental salon rules.)
  • Are you ready for the responsibility of running your own business? (You’ll be putting in a lot more work and hours.)
  • If your answer is yes to all these questions, then a salon booth rental might be right for you! Do your research, get the best salon booth rental for your money, and enjoy the freedom and financial benefits of running your business!