Having your own spa business and a part time job in the field at the same time...dilemma?

Hey everybody, so this post is mainly for feedback for purposes. I'm having a little bit of a dilemma, and I would love to hear what other etsy's or business owners who have gone through this, or are going through this have to say...

As I've posted before, I am starting my own small spa business doing treatments on my own..I plan to gain more clientele and just really get this going so I can eventually make this business huge and own my own full upscale day spa, yes I'm a little girl with big dreams and determined to make them happen....however, as we all know making a business happen, and actually getting the income takes quite some time, I don't expect to start making the money as soon as I start having clients.

Now of course I have lots of other bills to pay too, I am 24 with my own apartment, car, food, phone, life etc etc....I definitely need a part time job again on the side right now. It's just time.
The thing is...I obviously want to find a job in my field, doesn't necessarily have to be a spa, but somewhere dealing with skincare or make up, whatever...but working at a spa for even more experience woulddd really be ideal, however.. at the same time I feel like I'd kind of being competing with myself? And I just wonder if I went for an interview at a spa, now that I have my own spa business, would they all not want to hear that I have my own spa business? Would that be a no-no? At the same time I don't want to be totally dishonest, what if they find out anyway? I obviously wouldn't go taking their clients back to my business, that's deff a no-no although it would be a little bit hard not to tell the clients I have my own thing, I just know that's a line I shouldn't cross, at least until I leave eventually, and THEY choose to come to me..but how would the spa owners know and believe that....I know my true intentions, but how could they know...

Same question even if I apply at a place like Saks Fifth Avenue, or Sephora, somewhere that doesn't offer facials but does skincare..where do I draw the line in the interviews when it comes to speaking about having a business? I'd figure in a setting like this, it would be a good thing for them to hear, but maybe not..

I had an interview at a spa over a year ago, when I was still in school, it was for a receptionist job with the possibility of eventually moving up and doing treatments once I finish school, I mentioned starting my own business eventually, and I knew after I said that, before they could even respond, it maybe wasn't a good idea. And sure enough, they didn't like hearing that, they said they don't like hiring people who have or are starting their own business because then I wouldnt be bringing any clientele in, That I'd want to bring people I know/clientele to me instead, when I should be referring everyone I know to them....do all spa owners think like that? I mean it does make sense but at the same time, I've heard of plenty of etsy's with spa businesses that work at another spa part time too, and it works just fine for both the etsy with their own spa business and the spa they work at...so I'm wondering what did they do that I should be doing when it comes to actually getting a part time job elsewhere in the field again...I might just be over thinking this all, however I feel like its an important topic that's not often discussed..

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It really isn't an issue if you haven't yet started a business. It's fabulous to have dreams and plans but sometimes I think people "overshare". 

Some spas do have a non-compete clause...usually it's that you will not work for anyone else within x miles, and may also include opening your own biz, and may include something about seeing clients of that spa.

I have my own business and I also have a part time job at a spa.  I purposefully chose a place that was in the opposite direction from my house. They are so far apart that I am not in competition at all...needless to say I do not give details of either one to clients. The spa is well aware that I have my own biz - I was upfront about this. In the past, if I was working at more than one place, I always made sure that I was honest with everyone about that.

Best advice - don't worry yourself into an anxiety attack over things that haven't happened and might not ever happen.  Keep pursuing your goals...make a plan and take positive steps towards realizing your goal.

Only tell trusted people about your plans...you don't have to tell everyone!

Good points Cindy. Although I haven't actually started the business yet, it'll be ready to start in about another week, or 2 tops. I do have some clients already, But either way, I'm still just starting so I'm assuming then maybe I really don't need to say anything about it, just yet.. I appreciate the feedback and advice, thank you for responding.

As an employer, I assume everyone who works for me either has or wants to have their own business -- be it massage or skin care.

So long as you are up front about it with me and behave honestly and professionally, that is all I can ask, But often, that is too much to ask of too many people these days.

This means NEVER mentioning to clients you have your own business.  They don't know, they don't care, and they won't ask, so don't volunteer, just like you would not start discussing your dating life with one of my clients.  When you work for me you only represent me and my business to MY clients.  Yes, they are MY clients if you met them under my roof.  You will have YOUR clients when you actually start your own business and spend the money on client acquisition, and you can tell them all about your business, dating life, favorite color and whatever you think is appropriate to talk about with YOUR clients.

This also means treating my business on par with your own. No calling out sick/ coming in late because you had a client request during time you are working for me. You have to be able to keep your business and your aspirations SEPARATE from your role as my employee.

Yes, I do agree with everything you just said, I am very aware of what not to do, what lines not to cross when it comes to this, I know when I will need to hire people one day, these are all things I would expect from them as well. it's just about getting the job in another spa environment being that I have my own thing, having them believe that I know better not to cross these lines. I guess that one interview I had at a spa awhile ago, when they told me they don't like hiring people with their own thing, kind of put some worry in my head; and I may have over thinked it a bit, because I do know not allll spa owners think like that; obviously because many etsy's are doing the same thing that I want to do, and its good to hear from another business owner here that they actually would hire someone with a business, and on that note, do you have any tips on the interviewing process for a situation like mine?

This usually comes up in discussion when you are going over your available days and hours.

First thing I get clear on is WHEN I am available to work for them.  I tell them that I have a see private clients on the other days. If they don't need me those days - or if they would be more interested in someone who would be available more, then they have the opportunity to pass on me right then.  Neither one of us wants to get all the way thru the interview process for nothing!

I have been part-time at a spa for almost a year....I haven't added any additional days or hours. But I HAVE had a few clients ask me why I am not there more days...so you do need to be prepared with an acceptable answer once you are working there.

Really - in this business it is extremely difficult to make ends meet with just one "job". Business owners need to be realistic...if they want someone available ALL the time, then they need to make sure that they are offering a living wage or have enough business to offer a real income.  Not everyone lives with their parents or is married with a spouse's additional income.  There is a real disconnect between what most are willing to pay and what they expect from an employee. (IMO)

GREAT points Cindy, thank you for the feedback.

Cindy you are sooooo right about employers being realistic about livable wages.  Truth be told you could be living with your spouse at your parents house and still struggling.  Back to the issue....Nina everyone I've ever worked with in this business has a second job or is still in school. Not all jobs have non-compete clauses but most do. I had to choose between two job offers before and it's not fun.  Weigh your options or leave it out of the conversation completely.

Cindy you are sooooo right about employers being realistic about livable wages

Just out of curiosity, what do you consider a livable wage?

Business owners need to be realistic

Employees need to be equally realistic and understand a business has to be profitable, or there is not job or wage or income.

Employees also have to understand that when the text out of work with no explanation and don't return a text for two day, the person left holding the bag and having to comp pissed of clients is the business, not the technician who groused about a "living wage"

The reality is, jobs pay what they are worth.  When people won't take them, then they end up being "worth" more.

If someone is married with a supporting spouse or living at home and will take the job for $8/hour + commission, why should someone else get $12/hour + higher commission?

There is a real disconnect between what most are willing to pay and what they expect from an employee

What specifically do you see as the disconnect between what is being paid and what is being expected?

I know this question was not to me, but I definately agree with Cindy about the disconnect, if I understood correctly.

For example, I was working at a medical spa about 6 months ago, this was before I started seriously preparing my business, and they expected me to be fully available 100% of the time. Sometimes they would even make appointments the night before, and thennn ask if I could come in the next morning. Even if I made plans for that morning already, I obviously felt like I had to come in for the appointments, not to disappoint the clients. Situations like that happened way too often there, leaving me with no real way to make any other money elsewhere. And it may have been okayy, if I was making good money there, but they did not want to pay me what I should have gotten considering the fact that I was constantly running back and fourth like that to meet their expectations, and This is only one example of a high exception they put on me.
So basically, a good amount of these appointments, I wasn't even getting paid for. They were "free mini facials"; the spa had barley any clientele for facials and skincare (most of their clientele were laser), so when I got the job, I agreed to their request, that in order to build up clientele I would do free mini facials for the first few weeks. "For the first few weeks"; however 2 months later after I had build up enough clientele for full facials (keeping in mind I really had no help with promotion-they pretty much left it all up to me), they still refused to pay me for any mini facials. And often, these free facials were the ones being booked very inconveniently. Not only that, but originally they had promised me a livable hourly salary, and despite the fact that I held up to my side of the bargain, that never happened, the manager would literally avoid talking to me about it. So I was stuck doing free mini facials and making only 20% of what they charged for each full facial, that's it, no commission on the very large amount of product I was selling, (which was promised too), and I did not get paid for no-shows, so considering the fact that I pretty much had to be fully available all of the time, for pay that wasn't even close to livable.
...I see that as one example of the huge disconnect Cindy is referring to.

I know there are many employees who experience similar situations, and on the flip side, some employees get paid way beyond what they actually do as well. I ended up leaving that job because promises were broken, and it wasn't going anywhere, their expectations were beyond what they wanted to pay, and that's just the reality of it that I needed to face..

Another good example is when employers hire an employee and don't want them working at any other spa, they even have them sign something saying they won't , but then they don't want to pay them enough and/or give them enough hours to be able to afford to work just for them..I see this happen often too.

and they expected me to be fully available 100% of the time.

Were you an employee?  What was the agreed to compensation structure?

Sometimes they would even make appointments the night before, and then ask if I could come in the next morning. Even if I made plans for that morning already

Did you not have a set work schedule? I thought they wanted you there "all the time"?

but they did not want to pay me what I should have gotten

Then you should not have taken the position.  If you agreed to the pay, how is it NOT what you should have gotten when they told you it was what you would get?

the fact that I was constantly running back and fourth like that to meet their expectations

Again, I am confused. If you were expected to be there all the time, where were you running back and forth from?

no commission on the very large amount of product I was selling, (which was promised too)...

...they had promised me a livable hourly salary, and despite the fact that I held up to my side of the bargain, that never happened...

I know there are many employees who experience similar situations

I disagree. If you are an employee, you MUST be compensated for your work. Period. They can't refuse to pay you or pay you less than was stipulated in your employment agreement.

Okay...when I had gotten the job, the original agreement was: I would be doing free mini facials for the first 2-3 weeks to start, to build up some clientele. Then they gave me two options of how I want to get paid: 1. $16 an hour, with a 2 month probation period (to get my full liscense) then they'd bump me up to $18 an hour (which is what I requested), -or- 2. I can get paid a good percentage of each treatment plus commission, the percentage was never discussed because I chose the hourly salary. I told them I had full availability...being that I chose the hourly salary and that they promised me a set schedule that usually comes with hourly salary, so yes I had full availability, but for a set schedule, that i knew of ahead of time, and could work around and plan my free time accordingly..

When the time came, when I filled out all the paperwork, and was put in the system, none of that ever happened...they continued paying me just 20% of the treatments, no commission on retail sales, and still kept booking free mini facials insisting I don't get paid for those, because in the beginning I had agreed to it, so pretty mch they took advantage of the fact that I had agreed to it for the first few weeks, thinking they might as well continue getting away with not paying me for them.

So the result was, I did not have a set schedule. But without a set schedule, how could I be fully available, how could I know when to plan anything else, make room for other jobs, being that I ended up not getting paid as promised...
However, they expected me to pretty much act like I had a set schedule, the set schedule being I would dedicate my time to them from open to close everyday of the week, even if I wasn't getting paid for that.

For example, it would be like this:
I would have let's say 4 treatments pre-booked for Tuesday, 2 appointments in the morning, and then 2 in the evening, so I would plan anything else I needed to do for the middle of the day. but then late Monday night, they would call me and tell me they booked 2 more appointments right in the middle of the day, for free mini facials, leaving me with not much other choice but to cancel whatever I had planned for the middle of the day to cater to them because "potential clients were on the line" and it would look bad for me if they had to cancel already.

So I would come in for my appointments on Tuesday, I would do the morning appointments, and then leave for 2 hours, then come back for my last minute scheduled midday appointments, and let's say 1 of the midday appointments would end up not showing, I didn't get paid for no-shows, so that's my loss on money and time. And so I would wait there for 45 min for my 2nd midday appointment to show up (because what else am I going to have time to do in 45 minutes)
So, I take my next appointment, and while I'm in my appointment, they book another appointment for the very end of the day (an hour apart from my other evening appointments) and tell me after the fact they already booked it. And they would tell me they also just booked 1 free mini facial, and 1 full paid facial for the next morning (Wednesday morning) even though all of my other appointments for were pre-booked and scheduled to my knowledge for Wednesday Night. Pretty much like I was on call, but that's not what I had agreed too. Don't get me wrong, I loved having appointments, I wanted as many appointments as I could get, but not in a way where I couldn't have any other space to make another form of money, being that the pay was so low there.

I had confronted them about this many times, and they would keep telling me they would come up with a set schedule for me, but that kept on never happening. And it was in-legit excuse after excuse why the hourly salary deal never happened. And regardless of the fact that its wrong or right not to pay me for free mini facials, they didn't pay me for them, they insisted that's part of the job and what I needed to do to get them more clientele, even after 2/3 months. And it was up to me to promote the skincare part of the spa as well, they really did not promote how they promised me they would.

It became just unlivable for me, and since I was so new to the industry, I allowed it to happen for much longer than I should have with their whole "this is the best opportunity for you, you have it so good here, other spas don't do this other spas don't do that etc etc". And I had built so many good relationships with clients there, it was hard to disappoint or leave. But eventually I knew I had to face the reality, it wasn't good for me, it wasn't livable, their expectations were way too high for what they wanted to pay back, and I was being taken advantage of.
Unfortunately, even though their way of doing things was totally wrong, I have spoken to a few other estheticians from the school I went too, who were, or already have went through a similar situation as well.

Now when looking for a new job, I take that as a learning lesson, I know to be more careful when it comes to agreements on pay and scheduling. But there are still many other jobs out there that want you to do so much, and dedicate so much time to them, but not want to pay their employees even half of what they should get. I have a friend whose working in a retail store whose going through it, she works 60 hours a week, been there for 4 years, pretty much manages the store and does more than she should, but she is still getting paid only a dollar more than what she started with. It's not because she isn't doing her job, because everyone praises her, it's because well in that case, they are just greedy. On the flip side, it is up to her to continue being stuck, or just find something new and better for her.
But the bottom line is, unfortunately many jobs just do not want to pay for what they expect of their employees, and a lot of the time, it's time they expect, time that could be used to make a livable salary. At least, that's what I see over here in New York. And that's the huge disconnect, that I see..


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