So, you've got the basics, now you need the space to create your magic. You know, that joy and happiness only you can give your clients?
Be patient with this process. IT'S. A. PROCESS.
And if you're in this process, haven't started yet, or have maybe "on whim" chosen a place that isn't for you, hear me out.
I have rented in both privately owned, and franchised suites. Hands down, a francise was a SUBSTAINTIALLY smarter investment. Let me tell you why.
Franchised spaces have much more access to financial help than privately owned business do. They have more money availible to fix things, and I honestly believe because they have access to a network of other franchisees, they have more support and run their business much more professionally than privately owned suites.
I AM NOT SAYING IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM THAT PRIVATELY OWNED/OPERATED SUITES CAN'T BE AMAZING. I am simply sharing my experineces with you, in the most transparent and honest way possible.
The first space that I rented was privately owned. I felt pressed for time and didn't spend enough time really weighing my options when I signed my first lease. I was so turned off by the idea of working in a franchised rental that I had completely closed my mind off to it. Hindsight you guys.
My first lease was pretty standard from what I've experineced so far. I singed a year lease, had to pay one months rent up front, and I even had to pay a proration to get in early to an un-leased suite and paint/decorate/set up. This lease gave me literally nothing besides the room. No incentives to sign the lease, a real janky washer and dryer, and a VERY unprofessional, passive aggressive landlord. Let me tell you something, knowing what I know now, I would have negotiated the crap out of that lease, or never singed it at all. This is why.
1. Your landlord is NOT your boss.
When you sign a lease it is a business transaction. You are absolutely allowed to, and should, negotiate your lease to make sure it benefits you, too. If your landlord is hesitatnt to work with you from the get go, get out. Find someone who is professional and understands that you BOTH should be benefitting from this agreement.
2. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
I once had a landlord ask me to sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement) because she had shared personal things with me, and didn't want me to tell any of the other tenants. I was not signing a legal binding document to cover HER, and she knew she couldn't make me. Once again, you do not work for your landlord. There are a lot of landlords abusing power out there, beware of this!
3. If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't true.
If you're offered someting extraordinary and incredible from a landlord, there's a good chance that they're expecting something along the same caliber from you. Please, please, please trust your gut here. If something feels off then get out.
4. READ YOUR LEASES. OMG, Read. Read. Read. I know, I know, we're creative beings right? We don't want to read all the business mumbo jumbo and do all the accounting and yada yada yada. Take the 4 and half minutes and read the damn thing. You'll be glad you did. I singed a Non-compete (too good to be true offer) and absolutely regret it. The funny thing? I didnt even realize it until my lease was almost up! *insert palm to forehead*
5. Negotiate. Again, negotiate your lease terms. Here in WI most leases are 12 months long. I have had many co-tenants tell me that in southern states, or east/west coast states, leases are month to month. If you feel more comfortable with this option, say it! Again, look out for binding things like non-competes and non-disclosure agreements. Also, look for hidden restrictions within paragraphs. I wasnt allowed to paint my own suite because my landlord was a little on the, shall we say, cray cray train? I had taken over her suite and because the ceilings were vaulted and she couldn't get to them she essentially forced me to pay someone hundreds of dollars to paint it. I wasn't allowed to, and sure enough, to my surprise, there it was, squished inside my lease. Sneaky sneaky!
6. Be Open. Tour all the different locations you can and find something that FEELS GOOD. My landlord now is incredible. She lives in a different state and still GETS.STUFF.DONE. She's quick to respond and is always smiling and happy. I love her, my co-tenants, and the day I leave will be a super sad one. Find something where the idea of leaving bums you out. The energy around you matters. Make sure it's good.
One of great things about finding your space is that it's a blank slate. One of the not so great things about it is that it's usually pretty small. Use your walls for as much product storage as you can, but try to keep things simple and uncluttered. I avoid having extra seating in my room, because i feel a bit claustrophobic when too many people are in my space. You'll come to learn that I'm a big energy person. Too many people=chaotic engery=a not so happy hairdresser.
Know that you can add things to your space too. I loved that my old space had a stand behind shampoo chair. My new happy space didn't have that, but my landlord was absolutely willing to let me install one. I had to pay out of pocket for this, but it was worth every penny to me. Great landlord points, again.
Before we finish up here, I want to revisit the differences I've experienced between franchised suites and privately owned suites really quick.
Usually a smaller space, has more a traditional salon feel
Has a very specific design/feel to it
Not maintained/cleaned often (one of my spaces was only cleaned once a month! Ew!)
Passive Agressive Landlords/controlling
Janky washing machine/dryer
Not willing to negotiate leases
No sign on bonuses
No free rent
You pay prorated rent
No structure for the owner
Landlords are slow to fix things (if they fix them at all)
Landlords are hard to get a hold of/don't contact you back
Sign on bonus' (Sola paid me $400 just to sign my lease)
Substantially more structure from the landlord
Problems/issues get resolved in a timely manner
On site management
Professional landlord/quick to respond
Business owner who understands a business relationship (both should benefit from an agreement)
The space is cleaned and maintained on a regular basis (ask about this before signing your lease!!!!)
Usually exist on a much larger scale (my current space has 20 suites!)
Has a sort of "franchised feel" (doesnt feel like a traditional salon)
If you make your choice on how the space feels, you cannot go wrong, whether it is privately owned or franchised. Remember that it is the landlords job to sell the space, but I promise you that you will know if it's right for you or not in that first tour. Be sure to show up prepared and ask lots of questions! This is just another extraordinary step in your journey! Yay You!
All the love,