Q&A: Massage and Payroll

I’m in the process of opening up a salon: Is it lucrative to offer massages or just keep the salon nail-focused, which is what we originally planned? Also, do you pay salary or commission?
Hi Jo,
We stopped offering massage. We had issues with our massage therapists. We also had trouble building a massage clientele, because it seemed like potential clients would either go to a half-price Thai massage place down the street or go to a spa like Burke Williams.
We pay hourly, plus commission. We’re constantly evaluating our compensation plan. It’s not ideal for us right now, and we’ve had a difficult time figuring it out. If I go straight commission, then I don’t have control over their hourly. If I go the booth rental route, then I have no control over what they do or what they use. But my overhead costs have been high, especially payroll.
—Robbie, ROB|B: An OPI Concept Salon, Studio City, Calif.

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