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5 Reasons to Start Your Own Salon Suite (And Be Your Own Boss!)

Lauren Salapatek | November 20, 2014 | 1:21 AM

It's one of the fastest growing segments in the salon industry -- salon suites. The concept is definitely a buzz-topic today, and everyone has their own opinion of whether or not this phenomenon is hurting the salon indsutry or helping some stylists find other roads to success. For those who fantasize about being their own boss and in control of their own money, the option of moving to a salon suite can be enticing.

Whether it’s increasing your profits, becoming independent or having the option of decorating your own space, stylists are joining the “salon suites revolution” because they are looking for more control.

According to the 2013 Chair and Suite Rental Study conducted by Professional Consultants & Resources, a leading strategic consultancy and salon industry data source in the U.S., by 2015, nearly 50 percent of ALL U.S. salons will offer some form of the booth rental/leasing model. Do you see your business moving in this direction? Discuss your opinion with us on MODERN's Facbeook (appropriately please!)

MODERN SALON recently reached out to Gina Rivera, founder and president of Phenix Salons, and asked her why the emerging trend in Salon Suites is beneficial for the stylists ready to make the switch. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine's Topp 500 Franchise List last year, Phenix has grown from fewer than 10 to more than 100 locations in less that two years. According to Rivera, she predicts the number will double next year.

Here's Rivera's story:

"I remember sweeping hair as a little girl in my parents’ salon. I learned so much about the business, watching them cut and color hair, listening to them laughing and chatting with clients. Again and again, my mother and father would tell me about how important relationships are to the business … about how important they are to anything that matters. I became a stylist, worked in a number of traditional, open-floor salons and eventually decided that there had to be a better way of doing this.

What I loved about the business was the artistry, the creativity and the wonderful relationships between stylists and their clients. I loved our family gatherings with friends and colleagues. What I did not like were the hassles of owning a salon and the sometimes exhausting drama on the salon floor.

The solution is at the heart of a positive new trend that I am sure will revitalize the entire industry. What we are seeing is a fast-increasing focus on the needs of the stylists and other salon professionals. One product of this focus has been the emergence of the salon suites that are sweeping the nation, but this is about so much more than providing stylists with private salons. This is about putting their needs first and foremost in making any business decision.

I have been blessed with a number of great salon experiences in my career, beginning with my parents’ salons. That’s where my inspiration comes from in building a business. We’ve all heard about the tyrannical salon owners, and some of us have worked in those oppressive settings. That’s going to change because this trend is better for everyone … when the stylist succeeds, everyone benefits, clients and salon owners included."

As I said, this is not simply about building salon suites. This is about empowering stylists by providing them with:

  • Free, in-house training, offered where the salon professionals work for their convenience.
  • Opportunities to sell product lines with great deals for building salon revenue.
  • Carefully screened and trained salon owners and managers, who truly understand and embrace the need to put salon professionals first.
  • Non-profit foundations and campaigns that support causes important to our stylists.
  • Branding and marketing that promote their businesses.
  • A family atmosphere and events that support camaraderie and mutual support.
  • All of this, in addition to the private salon suites where stylists cater to their clients exclusively, express themselves through custom décor, set their own hours and chose the products they use and sell.

This is not a complete list. It never could be, because it will always be refined in pursuit of that same goal: finding the best thing for our salon professionals.

Here are five reasons to move to a salon suite:

1.  Freedom: Freedom to be your own boss, which allows the salon professional to be in control.  Freedom from salon drama, and freedom from mandatory salon meetings. The salon professional is the boss and works the way she or he wants to work, and not how a salon owner wants them to work.  
2.  Ownership: The salon professional owns their own personal, private salon without the expensive build out needed to open a full-fledge salon.  
3.  Increased earnings: The salon professional has the ability to build income by promoting services and
building clients. They are not giving up 45% or more of their income by working on commission. They can sell any products they chose to build a new revenue stream.  
4.  Private, customer attention: Customers love the one-on-one attention they receive in a private salon suite. They value the peace and tranquility of a salon suite. Stylists can focus on the client without distractions around them.  
5.  Phenix offers all of this and one other thing in particular, an education platform. We have an International Art Team that we pay to travel and teach. Most recently this team put together our 2015 Hair Collection, titled "Reflections".  These are some of the best salon artists in the World.  Phenix
Salons provides education to the stylists for free in the salons, providing professional enrichment, a fun event for camaraderie and an opportunity for salon professionals to move up the ranks and become one of the International Art Directors for Phenix Salons.  

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