Do you mix chair rental and employing stylists

Well if you do, or if you are even thinking about it, let me warn you loud and clear


This could be one of most costly mistakes you ever make in your salon or spa business.
Let me explain. This area is very close to my heart as it caused me YEARS of stress ….and I mean STRESS!
Remember I am a working salon owner right now, not some guru telling you what you shouldn't do in your salon with no idea what its like to actually run a salon day to day.
I have been there and done it and now it’s my mission to share all my knowledge and experience with other salon owners like you so you can avoid all the mistakes I made.
When I started my salon business almost 10 years ago I was myself a chair renter who wasn’t happy in the salon I was in. The logical thing for me to do was to open up and rent chairs to other stylists like myself. In fact 2 of the girls came with me as they were not happy either.
As my business grew and the assistants developed I would use them to help me more on the floor with applying colours etc and although they were always replaced by another assistant this is when I began to realise it was not going to be smooth sailing mixing rental with employment.
Here are some if the problems you re sure to encounter when mixing
Chair renters will not be happy as you develop staff that were once there to help assist them. As assistant progresses and you start to give them more floor work for your business the obvious option is to then replace them with a new assistant to make sure your chair renters are still getting help. The problem is they want the trained girl who is great…they don’t want the new girl!
Trouble is if you don’t develop your staff they won’t stay with you. But if you are purely a chair renter salon you can employ a salon assistant who does not want to train to be a hairdresser. You can make it clear form the start the position does not come with training
There is also the risk that your staff will see the chair renters come and go as they please…make what they see as easy money and it becomes a natural option for them. I have had 2 of my busiest stylists over the years leave to rent chairs…I have also had chair renters encourage my employed staff to rent chairs.
Staff meeting are almost impossible to arrange as your salons not your own. You can’t just decide to close for a training day when you have people renting a space in your salon so it’s very hard trying to work around them
With offers it’s harder to control as your prices and offers won’t reflect the renters so it’s easy to confuse clients. They turn up with a char renter wanting your latest offer but it’s not valid with the chair renter so it can get very messy
Chair renters can expect all your staff to help them when they are not employed to do so. Because some of your staff may have once helped them before they were promoted they can still expect their help. For example if the assistant they use is off sick they may expect you to provide another staff member to help them. You can NOT let this happen as word can get around to prospective employees “I am not going to work there…you have to run around after the chair renters even when you are a stylist”
 Can you see how things can get very messy?
Divisions within the workplace are another thing to watch for.
Guys seriously I could go on and on but I can tell you that I have had some of the most stressful times of my entire life because I mixed both renting and employing.
One or the other can work very well but never both in one salon. Decide who you are going to be and do not be tempted to take on a chair renter when you are already employing. The extra cash you think it will bring you can actually be very costly as it has been for me.
And if you decide to be a chair rental salon…keep it that way and make sure you keep the guys happy. My friend had 3 rentals walk out in the same day…you have nothing to fall back on in this case. The clients are not yours so when they go…so do the clients and so does your income.
Please feel free to hit reply if you are experiencing similar things in your salon or if you want o ask me anything about this. I have experienced this for 7 years so I know just about every situation in the book that mixing can cause.