The ability to set your own work hours and act as your own boss sounds pretty appealing to most stylists. Good news—becoming a stylist of one is getting more and more common in the industry!
Salons are capitalizing on this change by turning to salon suite or studio salon models. In these models, stylists rent a chair or suite and tend to their own clientele. The most common formats are:
Stylists pay a rental fee to operate their business inside a shared space with other stylists, nail technicians, massage therapists, or other beauty/health and wellness professionals. While some equipment may be provided, stylists are truly independent contractors and owners of their own businesses. They have their own business names, hours, pricing, and products. They may also be responsible for their own scheduling and point-of-sale systems. Owners of studio salons need to understand the city and state regulations outlining what services they provide to stylists.
Stylists are part of a salon collective. The owner of the salon sets the salon name, hours, pricing, and products carried. Stylists can set their own working hours and compensation rates and are considered independent contractors. They benefit from salon branding and name recognition, while owners have stylists on hand without worrying about employee turnover. A clear contract outlining expectations between the stylist and salon owner is needed.
Insurance for these salon models also differs, as you are no longer part of the larger salon's policy. Acuity’s Bis-Pak (businessowners package) insurance offers a combination of liability and business property coverage that is perfect for small businesses. Barbers’ and Beauticians Professional Liability insurance provides coverage for damage related to treatment, advice, or instructions (some exclusions do apply). This optional coverage is available to stylists as well as owners of salons, including those who offer co-workspace and chair rental opportunities. It is important to work with your agent to determine what coverages work best for you and your business needs.
Now, with your insurance needs met, it’s time to start thinking about the compensation model that is right for your new stylist-of-one business.
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