Booth Rent or Commission?

Since you clicked on this blog, I’m going to take a wild guess that you have been considering Cosmetology as a career option. I started classes for cosmetology when I was 16 years old at a technical school, went on to collage, and spent 12 years working in salons. In this post I’m going to go over some important key things no one talks about when choosing their first salon job.

So here’s the big question: Booth Rent or Commission?

When you are first starting out I highly recommend taking a job that is commission based. This option is the best for new stylist who do not have built a clientele yet- because if you don’t have clients you can’t pay rent! Many chain salons are ran on an hourly or commission based pay. Working commission has its advantages:

• If they pay hourly you are always guaranteed a paycheck- this could be a big deal starting out especially for moms/dads that need some income flowing in.

• Commission based salons almost always cover your supplies such as color, perms, shampoo, conditioner, styling products, etcetera. Part of the commission they keep off your sales/services help to cover these items.

• It a good place to start your clientele! At most chain salons they have a lot of people walk in without an appointment (hence why we call them walk-ins). This gives you a good opportunity to show them your skill and to start building your client base.

• Benefits benefits benefits! If commission is the route you choose to take do you research! If you don’t currently have any coverage you are going to want to find a chain salon that offers benefits like health insurance. Coming out of pocket to pay for insurance is HIGH, if you have the opportunity to obtain cheaper insurance through your work, take it.

• Tax time. Working under a company makes tax time a absolute breeze because you get a W2- you will see why this is so important when I start discussing booth rent…

Now let’s talk about the negatives:

• If you are working for a big company you may be expected to meet certain sales goals and could be at risk of being written up if you don’t.

• You don’t get to make your own schedule.

• There will come a time when your clientele grows so large that you would profit more by renting a booth (if you’re in the right location).

Now let’s talk alittle bit about renting a booth! Here’s some things to keep in mind when booth renting:

• You have to have everything you need the day you start- if you don’t have equipment or chemicals, you can’t preform the service and won’t make any money.

• Unless you live in a congested area, walk ins might be few and far between. If you don’t have clients you won’t have money to pay rent, that is why I recommend building a clientele first. For most people it takes a few months and sometimes even a couple years to build a clientele, so you have to manage your money wisely especially if you’re living on a single income. Make sure people know where to follow you by keeping in touch- creating a Facebook Page for your work or have business cards is a good idea.

• Booth renters have to supply their own products. Keep this in mind when you cash in at the end of the week- you have to set aside enough to replenish your stock.

• You have to provide your own health insurance, which can be very costly.

• There is no paid time off, if you take off work you’re not making money (and many shop owners will still charge booth rent).

• You don’t get a W2, which makes tax time dreadful. It is so important that you keep up with all your income, mileage, and receipts. Receipts are going to be vital to how much your going to have to pay in at the end of the year (since you don’t automatically have taxes taken out).

• You’re going to have to come up with your own retirement plan. When you booth rent there is no set retirement fund nor 401k.

Okay okay, I know it seems like I am hating on booth renting but it’s defiantly got its perks. Now, let’s shine a light on the positives of booth renting!

• With a built clientele you have the opportunity to make a lot of money. Just remember to deduct your work expenses before you do anything else.

• You have the ability to choose your own hours, which is wonderful for moms who have kids in school activities. If you need to leave an hour early it’s ok! If you want to work a little longer (with permission of the salon owner of course) go for it!

• You get to choose what brands you use on your clients. Not all brands are created equal, and all brands have hits and misses. This allows you to work with what you’re comfortable with and create your best work.

• You don’t have to worry about meeting corporate sales and risk getting wrote up if you don’t. You pay your booth rent and the rest is up to you on how much money you want to try and make.

So there it is ladies and gents! Some pretty important things to consider when choosing between working for commission or renting a booth. I hope this post was helpful in your decision- keep in mind this is all based on my own experiences. The choice is yours!

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