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.