The Salon Industry and Its Growing Number of Independent Stylists

woman with long blond hair getting a trim at the salon

In recent years, the beauty industry has become heavily reliant on individuals referred to as independent contractors. This is largely because many salon owners have adapted the business model wherein having stylists, regardless of specialisation, work in their salons does not necessitate having them as permanent names on the payroll.

This model works in favour of both stylists and owners, seeing as stylists can dictate their hours. They also get to choose their location based on what booths they rent help in building up clientele in multiple areas. As for owners, a few tax exemptions can be enjoyed when they opt to hire independent stylists. These include certain business and occupancy taxes depending on the location, as well as worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance.

While being spared from having to pay a few taxes in the UK may sound great, it is important to note that working with independent stylists may bring a few complications. It is more than just being evaluative about your equipment being handled by these stylists, from your salon trolleys to your hairdryers. It is knowing that you walk a thin line between how much control you have over these stylists, and what kind of insurance liabilities you may be responsible for when collaborating with them.

Remember, independents run their own separate business, which means they set their own hours, have different contact details, and charge their own rates. Other salon owners even offer them their own keys to the salon. Maintaining a business relationship like this one may turn out to be trickier than expected when the practices of the stylists interfere with how you run your business.

So, in order to have a business that is running smoothly, you have to keep tight hold of the reins while giving the stylists a few liberties at the craft. Below are two things to take note of while running a salon enterprise that is reliant on the work of independent stylists.

Draw Up a Contract

Business agreement signing

In drawing up a contract for your independent stylists, ensure that there is a specified required flat rate for booth and chair rental that exists outside the percentage of their sales that goes into salon profit. This not only preserves their role as an independent stylist but also prevents you from having any issues come tax filing seasons.

Additionally, the existence of a monthly, if not weekly, flat rate removes any worries about their work schedules or the clientele since your salon will still be receiving profit regardless of how often they come to work.

Aside from the fees that need to be settled, it is important to note in contracts that you, as a salon owner, are getting paid to perform business duties for the stylist. This proves that your business does not consider booth and chair renters as your employees.

Be Critical in the Hiring Process

Like in all manners of business, it is important to carefully choose whom you are renting out your booths to. Remember to follow up on references, as these will let you know more about a stylist’s work ethic and level of professionalism.

While managing your business might mean being strict in most aspects of the job, it is important to remember to also treat your independents well. Stylists have the liberty to leave once the contract runs out, so it is important to be professional, and perhaps give some incentives come contract renewal time in order to maintain business relationships.

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