The pros and cons of suite rental have been debated for decades. Now, two facts have become evident. One: stylist self-employment is the way of the future. Two: renting a suite beats renting a chair in a standard salon because there is no “standard” way of doing things in most salons, and fully equipped, individual suites involve a clear-cut arrangement that eliminates legal confusions.
But, if you rent it, will greater income come and will existing clients follow? According to a 2016 survey of Salons by JC tenants, the answers are a resounding yes. The survey also reveals key indicators of success, which come down to experience, number of days worked and client convenience.
Why Rent a Suite
The most common reasons for going solo in general are to make more money and free up time. Sure enough, of over 375 of the survey respondents (not all answered all questions), 33.9% said they moved to a suite to increase their incomes, and 29.6% said they did so for the freedom of hours that suites allow. However, the number one reason respondents gave for choosing a Salons by JC suite in particular was location. The survey showed that 36.5% of tenants chose Salons by JC because the location was convenient, which is as important to pros as it is to their clients.
When Clients Follow…and Follow
The more experienced the salon professional, the more likely it is that his or her clients will follow from location to location. Of survey respondents, 64.1% had 11 years of experience or more, while 19.3% had 6 to 10 years of experience. This is in keeping with other surveys that show fewer than 20% of renters have 5 years of experience or less. Experience correlates directly to the surprisingly high percentage of clients who will follow a pro to a suite. According to the survey, 65.8% of respondents said 80% or more of their clients followed them to a Salons by JC suite, and notably, 46% had 90% or more follow.
The Upshot: veteran stylists can expect that over 80% of their clients will follow them to a suite.
The Convenience Factor
Location is indisputably tied to one of the major concerns over going solo because no matter how much clients love their stylists, they will only travel so far. The majority of survey respondents (66.4%) live within 10 miles from their suites, and 37.3% live within 5 miles. Combine this with the percentage of clients who followed them, and it’s an indicator that Salons by JC renters were able to move within reasonable proximity to their previous salons. So, it was convenient for clients to follow them. And, the majority (69%) work 4 to 5 days a week, while another 16.7% work 6 to 7 days a week, adding to client convenience.
Most suite renters say they enjoy their new ability to contact clients directly—it solidifies relationships. How do they communicate most, besides in person? Salons by JC tenants primarily use text messaging (50.1%,), while another 30.2% use the phone, and 17.2% use online booking.
The Take Away: if it’s convenient for clients, they’ll follow an experienced pro, most likely because there’s a relationship of trust.
Survey Says: Suite Rental Increases Incomes
The bottom line that everyone wants to know is whether or not renting a suit puts more money in stylists’ pockets. Naturally, number of days worked and clients who followed play a significant role here, and with those numbers as high as they are, it’s no surprise that over 75% of Salons by JC suite renters said their incomes increased by as much as 20%. A significant 24.3% said their incomes increased by 21 to 30%.
While the bulk of respondents came from commission salons (41.2%), the fact that 28.1% came from “booth rental” and another 13.9% came from other salon suites goes to show that choosing the right rental situation can affect both income and success. Set prices right based on 80% of your clients following you, compare it to costs and you’ll have a good idea of what suite rental can do for you. For Salons by JC suite renters, the advantage is clear.