Some of the better hair stylists out there are shying away from the traditional salon, and going into business for themselves with their own salon suite. Salon suites appeal to hair stylists and others in related businesses like spa services because they get their own distinct space, and don’t have to deal with just renting a chair in a drama-filled salon. While they may not get any walk-ins, they also do not have to split their income on each hair cut or service with the salon owner. Instead, they pay a monthly rent for their own distinct suite, which is walled off. They can design and decorate the space to their liking, and typically rely on booking apps and their own merchant account or similar payment services like Square. They are their own boss when it comes to everything from pricing to retaining clients to obtaining their own business insurance policy.
Investing in salon suites consists of either signing a lease for a purchasing a large space that can be chopped up into individual suites. Because each tenant essentially runs their own business, you don’t need to be nearly involved as someone who owned a traditional salon. You don’t have to hire and fire receptionists, stylists, and others because they didn’t show up for a shift or brought their dating drama to work. You don’t have to deal with customers that want to complain about a bad haircut or coloring. You don’t have to set prices or worry about walk-in traffic or maintain inventory or spend money marketing your salon brand to retail customers.
You just need to keep your tenants happy and continuing to pay rent. By picking the right location, spending money building out the master space, and by maintaining the space (HVAC, bathrooms, lobby, etc.), you can be pretty confident that the tenants will continue to renew. After all, stylists don’t just start from scratch when they lease a salon suite. They typically have built up their clientele over several years. They move from a traditional salon to a salon suite with a reliable source of income already in place.
From a real estate perspective, there are several appealing aspects to salon suites. The biggest one is probably the fact that hair styling is very resistant to Amazon.com and Internet retail. Also, with suites as small as 100-200 sq.ft., salon suites owners are able to spread their risk over a number of tenants. If one tenant is late paying rent or walks away owing money, it generally won’t be catastrophic. Salon suites also tend to work in larger markets and in good locations. It forces you to be very diligent in choosing a location. Running potential locations by prospective tenants can give you a very good idea of what will and won’t work. For those who desire more structure, there are several salon suites companies that are offering franchises; they share things with you like operating procedures and branding help in order to build and operate your salon suites.