Going Backwards? Rental –> Commission


When we get to a place of renting we have “arrived”, it is an indicator of success and a level of achievement.

Everyone wins with rental, right? Independents can do as they please buying whatever products they want to making their own schedule to not having to follow anyone’s rules but their own. Owners are no longer responsible for the things that tend to bog us down as owners…taxes, management, large supply orders and employee issues.

Salons that have gone from commission to rental breathe a collective sigh of relief, unburdening each other with the ties that bind in formal employment structure. Owners feel free to live their lives and stylists love the independence.

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Every day more salons go from commission to rental. Every single day. Booth rental salons in Kansas City far outnumber commission and hybrids combined. Rental salons offer the freedom and some have awesome perks to entice new renters and stand out from the other rental salons.

What happens to booth rental salons and stylists over time?

Some rental salons and stylists skyrocket to extreme success and are admired all around the country for their achievements and sustainability. “Independence” and “freedom” certainly suit some owners and licensed professionals who were previously “stifled” in a commission environment.

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MOST independent salons and licensed professionals experience a rush of happiness, fear and success in those first transitional years of renting.  2/3 of those who rent or offer rental options experience attrition, become complacent, slow down, sometimes stop attending industry classes and ultimately lose clientele because we are no longer willing to accommodate evenings or weekends and are not in a stimulating environment.

As stylists and other licensed professionals flow through life changes, become parents, priorities shift as does the need for additional income change over time. The allure of freedom to control your schedule is attractive as children often take precedent over the evening or weekend clients. There are few careers where parents can take a step back, have more control over their schedule and make relatively the same money by rearranging the flow of appointments. 

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The addition of parenting into our professional lives is a wonderful thing and ever changing as our children grow. Those who have children and have taken a step back to concentrate on parenting often find themselves lost in the abyss of rental after the demands of parenting change. Our thriving careers of yesteryear can seem unreachable and unrealistic, especially as an independent renter. We are faced with revving our careers back up or settling into mediocracy.

The difference in career commission environments

Stylists and other licensed salon professionals who remain in commission or team-based pay salons do not tend to experience the same challenges with life changes and progressions throughout time. Education, income, accountability, and expectations remain constant throughout careers as an employee.

When you are sick or unable to get to work you have support in a commission salon. Maternity leave, vacation or family leaves tend to be more relaxing and full of quality time when you are not dealing with the stress of ongoing client relations and aspects of running a small business. Benefits like insurance, 401k and consistent marketing remain intact throughout the span of a career commission stylist.

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What works best for you?

With modern day commission salons’ ability to offer stability, flexibility and departure from a regular work week are welcoming former renters in droves who crave a consistent paycheck and less stress. Renters who tire of the hassle of being a full time stylist, owner and crave a balance in personal life are reconsidering what freedom actually means.

Freedom of choice

Freedom or perceived freedom comes in many forms… some yearn to be free of ordering supplies, making client phone calls and dealing with business aspects as formerly trained business professionals. Freedom can mean leaving work behind when you leave the salon. Freedom is a perception and commission salons are often overlooked as the path to freedom and success.



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