Q&A

How do I evaluate a booth rental situation?

Q.

I’m shopping around for a booth rental situation. What questions should I ask a prospective salon owner? What factors should I consider?

A.

A great booth rental salon will offer a clean and safe environment to work in, enough parking for all workers and clients, outside maintenance, a waiting area for clients, a breakroom area, microwave, refrigerator, washer/dryer, salon cleaning supplies, great lighting for after-dark clients, salon advertising at least once a year (individual advertising is your responsibility), and storage space for your items. It must also follow all state board rules/regulations. Optional items would be a telephone with extensions throughout the salon and a receptionist desk — or even better a receptionist. Also I would look for a busy salon. You can build a clientele more quickly and it helps with referrals.

I would ask the owner the hours you can work, whether the salon is available to you 24/7, and if you have your own key. For your financial safety, make sure there is a contract that you both agree to. Other questions are:

> How are gift certificates handled?

> How long have you been in business?

> What is the average length of time each booth renter has been here?

> Am I allowed to talk to others that work here?

> If there is a problem in the salon with the renters, who handles the issue?

> Do you communicate with the renters on a regular basis, for example, at meetings or with newsletters?

I have owned an employee-based salon, been an employee, and am now a booth renter. I love to booth rent. I’ve found the secret for successful booth renting is to find a great salon owner who knows the difference between employees and renters.   

— Diana Bonn is a nail tech at Identity Salon in Muncie, Ind., and a member of the Indiana State Board of Cosmetology.

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