I’m going to repeat myself real quick for people that might have stumbled on this post without having read any of my other posts:

As the owner of a booth rental establishment, you are a landlord. You collect checks and make sure the building is safe to work in. That’s it. This means you can’t set schedules or prices, require uniforms, enforce a code of conduct, distribute chores, or force your renters to go to training or mandatory meetings. You also can’t require their clients to pay at a central reception area or require them to use a central booking system. They are business owners.

Many owners have tried to exert some kind of managerial control over their renters by writing contract terms that give them control they are not legally entitled to. Just because you’ve written it into your contract and some silly fool has signed her name to it does not mean that your contract terms are enforceable. As a matter of fact, those terms effectively void that contract entirely and the document itself serves as incriminating evidence against you, making you responsible for reimbursing that renter for her employment taxes.

Now that I’ve addressed that, I’ll share ways to encourage your booth renters to be stellar professionals and to operate as if they’re a team instead of individual businesses operating under the same roof.

1.) Hold training classes as a courtesy. This helps to keep your renters inspired and up-to-date on the most recent trends. They aren’t required to attend, but they can if they would like. Have a registration sheet at the front of the salon where they can sign up. If you really want them to attend, you can give them incentive to do so by offering to reduce their rent for a week. Alternatively, you could charge them to attend. Instead of finding different educators to teach (or teaching the classes yourself), you could have other renters volunteer to teach a class for free or reduced rent for that particular week. The possibilities here are endless, but in the end, these classes will give your renters the opportunity to learn, grow, and bond as a group.
2.) Hand out weekly or monthly newsletters. In them, you could include tips on how to build their businesses, new product releases, upcoming classes and events in your area, and other interesting news.
3.) Host competitions/contests. Again, these are all fun events they can choose to participate in. They are not mandatory and you should make this clear in the footers of every handout you give. The contests should require registration and can be based on skill (an updo contest, for example) or based on performance (like retail boutique sales, if your salon has one). Again, this promotes a team atmosphere and keeps things fun in the salon. The rewards are up to you. One owner paid for her renter’s car magnet sign from Vistaprint, which I thought was pretty cool. Another idea is to have a place reserved on your salon website for “featured” renters. The winner of the competition gets her business information placed in that area of the website for the month.
4.) Offer rewards for great service and conduct. If you have a renter that dresses nicely, conducts herself appropriately, pays rent on time, and sends her clients out looking fabulous consistently, give her an award for being a great representation of what clients can expect from the independent business owners at the salon. A certificate and a gift card will suffice. Other renters may want to participate as well. Never underestimate the competitive nature of salon professionals, lol.
5.) Coordinate trade show visits. Sell them tickets and offer packages for room accommodations. Arrange for group dinners if you’d like.
6.) Participate in charity events. Host a cut-a-thon, create a 5K team, have a canned food drive contest. Get your renters involved in their community. These events make marketing and networking fun and emotionally rewarding.

The key to managing booth renters is NOT to “manage,” but to offer fun incentives to get the renters involved in their own success as a group. The renters can do business however they please, but a successful booth rental business needs to have all of the renters on the same page in terms of how they approach client care and how they conduct themselves while at work. They can be a team without being employees. The goal is to have a group of renters that don’t just work in the same place for their own welfare, but work independently together, not only for their own welfare but to ensure the continued success of the business overall.

Get rid of that “survival of the fittest” mentality in your booth rental salon once and for all. The only thing required of you is a little effort.

32 COMMENTS

  1. I have worked at the same salon, as an employee, for 20 years. I love the salon, the clients and my co workers. Recently, the owner has been thinking about switching to booth rental instead of commission paid employees. I am just curious what a fair weekly rate is. I understand that there are variables. We have not had a price increase in 8 years. Our community is steadily growing. My commission is 58.5% plus 10% comm. on any retail I sell. And of course tips.

    • Holy crap! No wonder she’s thinking of switching to booth rental! When she’s paying out nearly 60% of gross in payroll, she won’t be able to survive. That absolutely unsustainable.

      As for a fair rate, you’re right. There are tons of variables. There’s your local economy, your specific location, the amenities the salon offers, the square footage you get, and about twenty others (including her overall operating costs). Without knowing any of that, I can’t give you an answer. A fair price is one that you can afford. Every locale is different and every business is different. Nobody on the internet will be able to give you an accurate answer to that question without the data needed to formulate one.

  2. I recently started renting at a salon and love the people and location. I have not signed a lease yet which was brought up last week. I’ve been there for 6 weeks now, going into week 7. Five weeks ago I found a line of products that are absolute magic! The salon owner recently (3-4 week ago) committed to a product line that’s very expensive and not at all what I or my clients want. She is telling me it’s in her policy that I can’t not sell products from my station and wants the salon to focus on this line. I’m renting! I’m not quite sure how to handle this situation as I’ve not signed anything just yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Well, I’d refuse to agree to her terms. She can’t control your retail practices unless you have a written agreement with such a provision in it. You’re a tenant, not an employee. You can run your business how you please so long as your rent is paid up. If she doesn’t like that, she needs to draft proper leases.

  3. Hi… I have a question about my booth rent contract. It says that it is a independent Contractor Boith Agreement. I pay a fixed weekly rent. I am confused if they view me as an independent contractor or a Boith renter. In the agreement they say that we need to follow a dress code. To have proper hair and make- up and what you cannot wear. I read where you say they cannot force us to adhere to a dress code. Also they carry retail which we can sell and they give us a commission for. But it also says that we are not allowed to sell any products from our station that are not supplied by the salon. Is that legal? Also they did fire a Booth renter and gave her 2 days to leave. Are these events in violation of any laws? Do any void the contract I have? Or can you direct to any sites to find out more info. Thank you

    • It depends on the state’s commercial landlord-tenant laws. Some states have them, some rely on contract law (so, your lease would determine whether or not what she did was legal in the arrangement). For more information on the independent contractor classification, read this post and this post. As a booth renter, you can’t be fired. You have to be properly evicted in accordance with the state’s laws or the lease agreement. If your “contract” doesn’t have eviction provisions, that’s a big problem.

  4. I work in a salon where I am a booth renter the owner charges $60 a year for insurance that i cant get a copy of the policy . I pay $430 a month for booth rent and she says it is mandatory that we clean the shop or pay $10 more in rent .What I want to know is can she demand that from me as a booth renter

    • Nothing about that is proper. She can’t demand that you clean her salon or pay more rent. That’s absurd. You need a copy of the insurance policy–for all you know, she doesn’t have one. You could be working without protection at all.

  5. Does my landlord/owner of the shop where i rent my space need to have a shop phone or can thelandlord post her personal # and the building?

    • If you’re a renter, you should be conducting your own business separately of the salon entirely. That means you’d be giving away your phone number, making your own appointments, and collecting your own money. Read this post for more information, and search “booth renters” in the blog’s search bar for more information on that.

  6. I like to dry cut 60% of my cut, I’ve been told by management it is the salons standard to shampoo first, I am not to dry cut even if ive shampooed and dried, but u am an independent contractor. Is this how it is in every salon? I do not get paid hourly…

    • Lol, you’re misclassified. Since you’re an “independent contractor,” legally you’re “self-employed,” which means you’re your own boss. They can’t tell you how to do your job at all. The salon’s standard isn’t your problem because you’re not technically employed by the salon. You should read this post, then this one, and tell them they can’t have their cake and eat it too. Either you’re an employee and obligated to obey (in which case they have to compensate you legally and pay employment taxes like they damn well should have been doing this entire time), or you’re self-employed (in which case you set your own hours, take your own payments, manage your own books, and do things your own way).

  7. Hi, I’m a booth renter and the owner is telling me to pack up they no longer would like me as a renter. Reason is that an employee, who btw is a renter, stated that I was telling her I was going to make a copy of the key and was asking about the alarm. Ive been there just over two months and have not had a key. I had an issue with the door being locked during business hours and no one was at the salon. My client and I were locked out. I missed out on a good $200 day. So I asked for a key. Owner stated that she is taking away everyones key because she went out of town and another stylist, who watched her house, took her office key and put 300 balloons in her office for her birthday. Yes, that is the truth! She established a sign out form for the key. I signed it out Saturday to come in early on Monday. I received her crazy text Sunday. She had said to come in Monday at noon to pickup my stuff. I have not and I have a client Thursday…….how is this possible.

    • Unfortunately, most states don’t have laws regarding commercial landlord/tenant relationships, so you’re generally at the mercy of your lease. This is why I highly recommend having a super solid lease, otherwise, sudden evictions can happen and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. If you had a lease that outlined the operating hours, you could have held her responsible for the unavailability of your unit on that $200 day. Unless you’re willing to take her to court and likely lose, there’s really not a whole lot you can do in this situation. 🙁

  8. Ok, I am a Booth Renter, and have been for 18 yrs now. The past 11 of that being at the same salon. Had the same owners until this past Jan, and shop was sold. Renovations have been made. She has opened up a portion of the salon to an open floor plan, as well as kept some private booths. I am in a booth, and the previous owner allowed us to put our personal touch to it, no questions asked. Our salon has always maintained a Grade A upon inspections. The new owner with the renovations made and the money spent of course, has basically told us that we can’t add our personal touch to our room unless it stays with the color theme and style of the rest of the salon, which not a single thing she has decorated with has anything to do with hair. I personally think it’s awful, and would never decorate my booth with her theme. Basically, has decorated it as if it were her home And if we want to hang anything up, we have to get her approval 1st. Can she do that? Another one of the stylists, has the talent of being able to paint by hand just about anything. She is single, and struggles to make ends meet, so she does these paintings and sells them to get a little extra cash when she can. She just brought in some new ones last week and hung them in her booth. The owner asked her to take them down, because it did not go with the rest of the salon décor. The way I look at that, is her paintings are from a side job she has, and they are “retail”. I sell Avon, another stylist sells Mary Kay, so what’s the difference? So, we are really wondering what the guidelines are for the new owner towards us as a booth renter? And we do not have a written contract with her. She does leave notes from time to time stating why she took something down, or asking the other gal to take her paintings down, brings up another concern. Can those notes that are only signed by her, be used in a legal situation(if ever needed)? In other words, if the other stylist were to hang her pictures back up, even though she was asked to take them down via note, would it stand? Thank you so much for your time and hopefully you will help make things clearer for us.

    • Unfortunately, there’s no real recourse here unless you have it all outlined in your lease. Very few states have commercial landlord/tenant laws, and those that do don’t restrict the landlord’s ability to impose certain cosmetic and maintenance restrictions. (Your landlord likely has guidelines imposed on her by her landlord too, but regarding the outside of the building.) Whether or not a note would stand up in court is something that’s dependent on whether or not a judge would consider it admissible evidence.

  9. I recently was going to booth rent in a new town with no clientele but I’ve decided not to go through with it. It’s 200 a week, and I haven’t signed my “contract” yet. She refused to give me a lease, and I requested that she take out independent contractor in some of the areas of the said contract, because I’m supposed to be a booth renter. In the contract she states I cant use or sell anything but her product, it seemed like it was maybe shady.
    With that being said I signed a piece of paper that was hand written that said as of 8/27 I’ll owe her 200 a week for the first six months then 275 after that. I haven’t told her I’ve changed my mind but now will I still owe her 200 a week?

    • Send her an email RIGHT NOW letting her know you’re not going to be renting. Make sure you do it immediately. You want her to receive that before the start date on the paper. I’m sure it won’t matter so long as you don’t take occupancy of the booth, but do it anyway.

    • It should. It’s timestamped. I highly doubt that document would be binding (especially since it’s not a formal lease with termination provisions), but just in case, you want to make sure that you’ve made your intent clear before the stated start date.

  10. Hi I’m a booth renter and in the salon I work in the owner has rewritten our contract and requesting we sign it before Oct 1 2016. In the new contract it has taken out that either party has to give 30 days before termination and has added all of these opening and closing duties that are “not optional” they include vacuuming the front rug, restocking a fridge for clients, making sure wax area is stocked and clean for state board inspections, putting away freshly cleaned towels. Closing is sweeping the whole salon, wiping down retail shelves at our stations, wiping down shampoo bowl top to bottom, mopping if need be, wiping down break room/mixing areas. The list goes on. So basically deep cleaning before leaving nightly. We are expected to take home the salon towels and wash them (which I don’t mind Bc I did use them). Any way my question is do I have to sign this? I’m having a baby in Jan so I’ll be leaving by Jan first. it’s just a 3 chair salon so it’s small and the tension is there. But this needs to be addressed tomorrow ugh. I’m loving all of your info you’ve provided but where are these laws you talk about. Like how do I prove that I DONT have to clean every opening and closing? I’m really not trying to be lazy. Our little salon is cute and kept very neat Bc we all work well together. It’s just recently that we are doing things up to the owners standards. Thanks so much for this good info!

    • Personally, I wouldn’t unless the rent were dropped significantly to make up for the additional work. As a manager and eventually as an owner, I either did the cleaning myself or hired a crew to come weekly. (I’ll be honest here, because I just fucking lied–I ALWAYS hired a crew, lol. I maybe did the cleaning myself for a week or two total over the course of my 15 year career.)

      The laws related to how booth renters are to be treated are in the IRS statutes. You should read this post. You’re self-employed. That means you can’t be told what to do or how to do it. You’re a tenant, not an employee. You pay rent and do business your way. Period. If she wants a cleaning crew, she has to pay for one.

  11. I am a booth renter with a set weekly rent or monthly rent at a bit of a discount (which I personally do not understand why she even offers). Right now the salon owner is the only one who carries retail products. I am thinking of putting a small retail cabinet at my station. I was told that if I start selling retail, my booth rent will have to be raised. Is this legal or right?

    • It’s legal, but you don’t have to sell through the salon to be able to retail. Rental owners often use boutiques to keep rent low for renters. (The product sales help offset their rent and other operational costs.) However, if you want to retail, you can do so by selling online. A lot of renters do this because their landlords won’t invest in the line they use for retail inventory, and won’t allow them to sell product directly without giving the boutique a cut. Just understand that if you’re selling outside of the salon and the owner runs her numbers at the end of the year and realizes her retail isn’t doing enough to cover expenses, you’re in for a rent escalation.

  12. I just recently left a salon where I was classified as an independent contractor. Lots of drama in this place, generating from the owner herself. In our year lease it doesn’t state anything about early termination. It’s very basic. She’s claiming she is going to sue me for the remainder of my lease agreement, which would be about $2700. She also has already filled the station with a new girl who signed a lease therefore she isn’t at a loss at all. I’m trying to know my rights here. Can she sue me?

    There’s so many other factors that would take me a book to explain… but she would make us attend monthly mandatory meetings, buy sodas, beers, wine, and more for the clients, take days off to go to a the pool, tell us what products to use.

    I personally left after being assaulted by the owners husband. A coworker is trying to leave now and the owner is stating she can not leave unless she pays at least $1500 towards the remainder of the lease.

    I’m hoping you can point me in the right direction! Thank you in advance.

    • Anyone can sue anyone for anything in America–whether or not she’ll win is debatable. I’m not an attorney and I have absolutely no clue what state you’re in or what your lease terms were. You’ll want to talk to someone qualified to guide you on your specific situation, so you may want to arrange a free consult with an attorney with a specialization in either commercial landlord/tenant law or contract law.

  13. I work at a salon that is all booth renters. The owner opened a spa right next to our little salon and hired a girl right out of school and she is on booth rent with no clientele. She has grown busy because of Christmas season and the owner has noticed how much she is making and told her she needs to give him $200 more a month starting next week. Is this okay? It just seems crazy to me to think you can just change the price of someone’s rent out of no where.

    • No, that’s completely inappropriate, however, without a written lease, there’s very little she can do about it. All of you need to have written agreements to protect yourselves against these kinds of ridiculous, arbitrary increases. Very few states have laws protecting commercial tenants (which is what you guys are, on a very small scale), so those contracts will be all you have to stop landlords from taking advantage of you.

  14. I am an independent contractor in a salon that uses a central terminal for credit card transactions. The fees are very high, so a handful of the stylists wanted to switch to the Square. The owner forbids that. She says we are only able to take credit cards through the terminal. She says that it is her rule for the salon, and that it is written in the contact. She feels that if we use the Square and someone uses a stolen credit card, somehow, the blame would fall on her. How do I approach her to let her know what she is doing is against the law.

    • You should read this post, then this one, and then this one.

      The first will tell you how to approach her, and the other two will give you the information you need to form a solid argument she can’t form a reasonable counterargument to. If you’re legitimately self-employed, the primary benefit of that arrangement is that she has ZERO liability. The method she’s using now crosses a line that defines her as an employer, as it gives her an inappropriate degree of control over your income. It’s not benefiting her in the least (or you). I hope that helps! 🙂

  15. Im at a new salon in florida and the lady told me its 150 a week or 50% commision…so i started and made major money and now shes saying i can only do commission and at the same time shes offerring everybody else booth rent at 150 and i even offered her 200 a week. Can she do this.

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