January 25, 2012

How To Decide: Work in a Salon vs. Rent a Booth

The Beauty Buzz wants to get you ready for life after graduation. That’s why we’re writing a five-part ‘Get Hired Series’ that’s dedicated to giving valuable career advice to new stylists. In this fourth post, we’ll examine the differences between working in a salon versus being an independent contractor, so you can make an educated decision when it comes to your career path.

In last week’s post of the five-part ‘Get Hired Series’, we gave you tips on how to wow a salon owner during a formal interview. But maybe working in a salon isn’t exactly what you had in mind for yourself. Maybe working independently is more your style.

Booth renters, also known as independent contractors, lease space from a salon.  If you choose to go this route, you won’t be an employee, you’ll be your own boss and pay the salon owner either a flat rate or a percentage of your business.

Whether you’d be better off working for a salon or renting a booth is mostly a matter of personality and personal preference.

Structure or Freedom – Some people work more productively with a little structure in their lives. Structure sets the tone in the salon environment and puts a system in place that everyone must follow. If you value structure, working in a salon would be a great experience for you. Other people don’t like conforming to the rules and feel the need to have more control in their own lives. If this describes you, then renting a booth would be right up your alley.

Pushing Paper – Renting a booth is like running your own business, so there’s a lot more paperwork involved. You’ll be responsible for buying your own supplies, managing your books, keeping track of your inventory, paying your own business taxes, and marketing your services. If you enjoy crunching numbers and brainstorming business strategies, you’ll make an excellent independent contractor. But if you can’t be bothered with paperwork, then working in a salon would be a much better fit.

Lifelong Learning – Trends and styles in the beauty industry are constantly changing. If you truly want to have a successful career, your education must not end when you graduate from beauty school, you must be committed to continuing your education. When you work for a salon, continuing education classes are usually mandatory.  You’ll also be working closely with your coworkers, who will likely share their latest styles and techniques with you. If you work independently, you’ll need to enroll in (and pay for) continuing education classes all on your own.

When you’re in a salon for the first few years, whether working or renting, you’ll gain new professional experiences and have networking opportunities that will lead to the next level of your career. The experience should also help you fully understand the way the business is run and prepare you for running your own business if you ultimately choose that route.

Coming up in the final post in this five-part ‘Get Hired Series’ on the Beauty Buzz, we’ll give you some valuable tips for client retention.

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