As a cosmetologist, in some way, shape, or form, you are a business owner. Whether you are renting a chair at a local salon or you rent a suite, you are in charge of getting your clients, scheduling appointments, and managing your finances.
That being said, depending on where you are in your career or where you aspire to be, there are some distinct pros and cons.
What is the first thing you notice when you walk into an appointment? It’s obvious, it’s the appearance. It is more crucial than ever to keep up with the current trends. The aesthetic of a sleek modern studio is ideal right now. If you admire the appearance of a salon, a suite will benefit you because you have complete control over how you personalize your space. Many salon suites will give you a design book with inspiration and allow you to fully design your suite the way you want. When potential clients are looking to find a beauty professional, they will more than likely look at your social channels. Creating an Instagram-worthy salon suite will bring clients to your location. One disadvantage of renting a chair is you’re not in control of the full customer experience, this could be the difference between them coming back or not. That being said, having your own suite means it is in your hands to provide a professional experience to your customers to bring them back. You now take on that responsibility along with the small cost associated with decor, equipment, and beauty supplies, as when renting a chair that would not be in your hands.
One of the first things you might ask yourself is, “Are salon suites profitable?.” I can tell you that there is a great opportunity to make more money within a salon suite. Renting a chair includes splitting all of your revenues with the salon you are working at and, in most cases, can be up to 50% of your profits. Renting a suite entails that you are the salon owner and will be receiving 100% of the profits. Of course, there are expenses you are going to have as an owner, but you will be able to expand your profits by utilizing your salon. This includes selling retail products and providing additional services you are limited to when renting a chair.
You can calculate late how much more you would make by renting a salon suite here: https://cosmosalonstudios.com/own-your-salon/ (scroll down to the bottom to check out the calculator).
Many people associate the marketing component of a business as concerning, due to it falling into the hands of the business owner. However, social networking is now easier to use than ever before. There are many simple programs like Canva and Adobe Express that can aid in producing content and establishing your brand. If marketing is not your strong suit, a chair rental could be beneficial as you have the opportunity of gaining walk-in business from your salon’s marketing efforts.
The environment in which your clients come to see you can either strengthen or weaken the customer experience. Many customers love the salon environment, you’re surrounded by other stylists, customers are getting their makeup done for their big wedding day, and the social environment can be invigorating. However, there are cases when the customer prefers privacy over a busy workplace and may not be as comfortable in an open environment. They may not be as comfortable with the work they’re getting done. They may find the social chatter of a salon to be unpleasant. In this case, renting a salon suite can go a long way with your clientele. I would suggest asking your current clients if they have a preference on if they would prefer privacy or if they enjoy the social environment of a traditional salon.
Both Salon suites and chair rentals have their advantages and disadvantages. When making such an important decision, I think the most important thing you need to consider is how deep into your career you are. If you are just starting in cosmetology then renting a chair is your best option as you begin your journey into your career. Let the salon manage the marketing, help you gather a strong clientele base, and allow you to learn from other cosmetologists around you.
If you’re an experienced cosmetologist with a consistent client list, then renting a suite is a no-brainer. The financial benefits alone make this decision easy. Being your own boss gives you the freedom to make decisions that can better your business. You get to build the environment, you get to build a brand, and you get to benefit from all your hard work.