HI ladies,

A couple of questions:

The salon I work at is 50 yrs old, has an absolutely great location, but is known as an "old ladies salon" 

I love the people there and the atmosphere and would love to continue there is we could change the image.

We are trying to attract new people to the salon and also the younger ground. 

Our salon is also known as old, dirty and cluttery. I have fixed up the Esty room, totally redone, but they rest of the salon is pretty bad. 

The owner tends to get offended when we change things, yet has given us permission to do some things. We offered to pay for carpet/install in exchange for free rent, but the owner does not want to put any more money into the salon I don't think her heart is into it anymore.

Should we still install carpet etc  since it will benefit everyone. It will look clean and more appealing to the eye?

You know how we all have our strengths and also our weaknesses. Her weakness is what I've mentioned above.

Like I said, you couldn't ask for a better location, we just some how have to change what the salon is known for around our town. Also, I really need to get the word out that their is a new Esty in the place. It has been really slow these past couple of wks

so thankful for these boards 

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tough situation Tracy.  I would think all you can do is take pictures of your room and make sure they are posted on your website and maybe salon website.  Just continue to make suggestions but don't come at it like hey lets make this place look better.  Maybe say, oh I have such and such lying around my house and it would look great in the spa, etc.  I would not put your own money into their place.  I got burned last year doing that and walked away from $5k worth of upgrades. 

yikes, that is a lot of money, We've already put a grand in and doesn't seem to be appreciated. 

I agree maybe I will start posting some of the pictures from the new room etc.

thank you for the advice

Noooooo carpet in the salon!  Most states forbid it anyway, because it's gross!  Just think how it will look in 6 months when drips of hair dye, clumps of curly hair that tangle up with the carpet pile, etc. build up.  Stick to hard floors!

You say, "We've already put a grand in and doesn't seem to be appreciated," but I wonder why you are seeking the appreciation of the owner? Remember, it is your clients who you are trying to please with any improvements to your space.

I do agree that unless she allows you to buy her out gradually or something like that (written, signed, notarized), you should limit the $$ you put into the spa.  However, old, dirty, and cluttery are cheap fixes.  Just get on pinterest!  Cleaning could be free if you have time - or you could get a couple hours of cleaning in trade for a facial if you find the right person who would value it and work hard.  Paint is massively underestimated.  Even outdated stations, etc. can be painted and look awesome.  See: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  As for the clutter, what if you held a contest where the stylists could win points towards a treatment with you by redeeming x number of pieces of salon clutter?  Make it fun, and pretend the owner doesn't even work there (since she's practically checked out anyway).

Since you do love the spot, I think it would be worth seriously investigating a buy-out...  especially one that would happen gradually, allowing her to still feel in control, while insuring that your investment is secure.  It sounds like she's quite elderly, and she may just be hanging on as a point of pride.  I imagine her being burnt-out, having a bad back, bum wrists, chain smoking, and scrimping on products and supplies.  If she's really miserable there, it might also be worth talking with her adult children, if there are any, and putting the bug in their ear with regards to selling now while it has value rather than letting all the value drain out as she deteriorates and winding up with nothing.

I agree it should be for the clients that I am trying to please.

The carpet would just be on the steps. Think of a split level home with the entry way. It would just be carpeted leading up into the shop, with a door between the actual shop and where the carpet would be. There are hardwood floors in the shop.

We have thought of talking to her about the possible sale of her salon. She hates to throw anything away or take it home. i have stuff stored in my garage, only 3 items, because she didn't want to deal with it. I think she is taking everything very personal, yet has allowed us to do somethings, but still complains to her clients about it.

Maybe when a person has been at a place for so long they just lose the passion and vision that they once had?

Good ideas thank you

What if you gave it some time and then approached her in a different manner.  Tell her you really love the place, and you're concerned for your future livelihood.  Explain to her the reasons you love it, but the things that are giving you consternation.  Share with her anything your clients might have said about the place.  DO this in a very compassionate, concerned manner. Tell her you can also see that running the business is getting to be a struggle for her, and that you are in a position to take a lot of the burden off her.  If there's one thing business owners respond to, it's people who want to remove some of their burdens (I should know!).

I will do that. I know wording, tone, body language speak louder then words. 

Out of curiosity, can/do salon owners make good money. The reason I'm asking another stylist said salon owners only clear about 3-5%. I know there are tons of variables, but if that is true that doesn't seem like a lot of money.

I should have asked this in another thread

Thank you again

It's OK, I don't mind answering here.  The answer is that it is a very low profit margin business.  Up to about 10% if you have amazing staff who consistently sell products (about half of the revenue for the business needs to be product sales), and you happen to be in a great location, not in huge debt, reasonable overhead, loyal clients who refer...  you get the idea.  So yeah, 3-5% is pretty average.  I've been in biz 5 years and still am only able to make my own paycheck out for commission on my products and services (but I do have money left to reinvest, which technically I could pay myself if I didn't want to grow more).  BUT if the revenue is already decent (250K plus, totally my opinion, to make it worth the work) AND you think you can change things around without going into too much debt AND you think you can bring in a whole new clientele AND you're comfortable managing people AND you want to continue working behind the chair, THEN being an owner can be a great decision.  The other problem with what you describe is booth rental.  It's going to be verrrrry hard to come out ahead as a booth rental salon owner, so if you do buy it, I would make switching to %-based IC's part of your long-term plan.  Maybe not change the existing stylists' setup, but definitely plan to bring any new staff on as commissioned IC's.  Also keep in mind, with the exception of high-ticket hair services like full highlights and brazilian blowouts, you might find yourself drifting more towards spa, because the prices are higher.  See why she's not really succeeding now?

We aren't all ladies in this forum

But don't put a dime into someone else's FF&E

Get some estimates, make up a budget, then explain to the owner what revenues will come from the upgrades.

If it won't pay for itself fairly quickly, then there is no incentive to do it.

Make it a business case, not a matter of personal taste

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