When you run a salon, there are plenty of choices that you find that you need to make. One of the biggest is whether you solely employ your staff, or whether you rent out your chairs to self-employed stylists or therapists.
Unfortunately, this really isn’t a straightforward choice. In fact, there are pros and cons to both sides. To help you to make the best decision for your salon, we’ve put together some of the advantages and disadvantages, so that you can come to the conclusion on which is right for you and for your salon.
The benefits of renting a chair
One of the biggest reasons that salon owners decide to rent out a chair in their salon is because it saves them money in the long run. You won’t be responsible for paying any salaries, which means that what the stylist or therapist earns, is theirs to keep. Consequently, as you’re not employing them directly and not paying their salary, you also don’t have to worry about National Insurance tax, sickness pay, maternitsy pay and holiday pay – all things that can be costly for an employer and give you a little bit of a headache.
As well as this, there’s the benefit of not being legally bound by employment law if you’re renting a chair to a self-employed therapist or stylist. As you’re not their employer, you don’t have to worry about things like the legal dismissal procedure, maternity rights and holiday entitlement. If things don’t work out with the stylist or therapist you’ve rented to, you’re able to make a straight-forward decision about the arrangement in the best interests of your business. This means that if things turn sour, you can quite easily cut them loose at your discretion.
Another benefit worth considering is the level of motivation a would-be chair renter might have towards their work. All employees have good and bad days, and on those bad days, your employees may not pull their weight. But, the benefit of having a self-employed stylist or therapist in your midst is that as they’re working for themselves, it would be logical to assume the standard of their work would be high, and possibly even higher, than your full-time salon employees, as the results of their work go directly into their pockets. If you’ve made a percentage arrangement with them, this can ultimately lead to more money for your salon, but even if you don’t have this in place, the higher level of professionalism will still keep the clients flooding in the door and reflect well on your business.
The disadvantages of renting a chair
A drawback of renting a chair out within your salon is that you lose a small amount of control, including your brand, your culture and, of course, the experience that your clients receive when they walk through the door. If you like to make sure that these things are just the way that you like them, then maybe renting a chair isn’t the best option for you.
Another reason that some salon owners are put off of the idea of renting out a chair is that they may be concerned that their self-employed stylist or therapist won’t keep to the opening hours of the salon, or maybe just won’t come to work at all. Even worse than that, they may be worried that these stylists will even try to poach clients and then end the arrangement with a list of potential people to contact.
A good way to try and protect yourself from this happening is to have a service contract between the two of you, setting out the rules of the rental and ensuring that you are both protected in the long term.
You can also ensure that you create a team ethic within the salon. Try to arrange team bonding sessions between full-time and self-employed staff to bring stylists and/or therapists together to discuss how best to put forward the brand’s core values to your customers. After all, leading by example is one of the most important things that you can do within business.
Regardless, whether you choose to rent out a chair or not, one thing is for sure – having a team of amazing stylists and/or therapists behind you is a sure-fire way to make sure that your salon will be the success that you want it to be.
Salon Gold provides insurance for salons across a range of sectors, including hair salons, beauty salons, nail salons, tanning salons and even spas. For further information, please visit our Salon Insurance page.