Being a Booth Renter vs. Working in a Salon
Are you ready to take the big leap and open the doors of freedom and independence? Or do you like the comfort of knowing you can depend on coworkers and salon management to keep you going? What's right for you?
Either journey can lead to experiences that will ignite passion for your career. However, spending your first few years in salon life will help you to fully understand the way the business is run and prepare you for running your own business if you ultimately choose that route.
The people you work with become your mentors and educators who help to shape and polish your skills. You'll take their knowledge with you as you set out to discover your own style of being a beauty professional. Without some salon experience, you'll truly miss out on an abundance of wisdom and day-to-day involvement that is crucial to the growth of a newborn professional. Those first few years can give you insight into unfamiliar horizons, career choices and networking opportunities that will lead you to the next level and give you a foundation to grow on.
strengths of structure
Everyone works more productively with a little structure. The structure is what sets the tone of the environment, since it puts a system into place that everyone is requested to follow. Structure encourages a team to work together. With no structure or a very loose structure, every team member creates his or her own set of rules; the salon atmosphere becomes unmanageable and filled with a negative attitude.
So if you understand the value of structure, your salon life can be a great experience for you. You may even use the system as a blueprint for your future. If you are a very disciplined and organized person, this may not be an issue for you.
people and their strange ways
Working in a salon is an excellent way to watch, listen and learn the creative way to handle all the different personalities you will encounter in this career. Salon work gives you a clear view of how to approach people with confidence, which will help you to develop your retail sales business.
Communication is the biggest tool you use every day; without developing this skill you will have a very hard time in this business. Learning how to talk with your clients and peers takes constant and consistent effort in order to feel confident when handling personality differences. Remember: our business is a people business first, so you have to become comfortable with all age groups. The success of your business will rely not only on your craft, but also on your personal style with people.
pushing paper or opting out
Having someone do all the behind-the-scenes work is a gift to hairdressers. We tend to be artists; the world of bookkeeping, payroll and inventory does not interest most of us. If you are a "let me go and create" kind of person, then working in the salon will be great for you. Your only paper responsibility will be to yourself, to calculate what you earned for the day.
On the other hand, perhaps you feel confident handling all the paperwork that goes with running a salon. If you enjoy numbers and figures, and if you're proficient at keeping good records and devising strategies for growth, then being independent can work out well for you.
lifelong learning and growth
The beauty industry is extremely progressive. If you plan on creating a life for yourself in this business, prepare for lifelong learning. "Change" is the word that comes to mind about the hair industry; you must be able to move forward in order to stay with the times.
Working in a salon environment routinely keeps you up with the latest trends and techniques, because you are around a variety of coworkers who share with you their personal styles and techniques. Working with all of the different people provides inspiration; it influences you to become more creative in your own work and guides you to discover your own uniqueness. Not to mention the fact that a little competition never hurt anyone!
Being an independent requires you to be your own motivator and seek out inspiration on your own. Your intuition will develop over time, but meanwhile you must keep your energy high, especially when you are working alone. Maintaining top professional skills demands continual education, and your success will be largely determined by how well you keep your mental, spiritual and professional image vibrant.
challenge and freedom
It is only natural for people to want to grow and feel in control of their lives. Isn't that the goal? To be able to learn as you go and move on to the next challenge? We all desire the freedom to express ourselves in our own way. That's one of the best reasons for going solo.
But like everything else in life, we need certain aspects of experience that supply us with the necessary tools to withstand all of the challenges that arise when we are on our own. Time, people, environment and a shared common interest all play key roles in the confidence level you'll need to become an independent.
No matter what path you choose, believe in your success!
Kathy Jager is author of As The Chair Turns, tips and snips of advice for your journey behind the chair. Visit her at www.kathyjager.com.