Accidentally bought a salon


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New Member
Apr 18, 2022
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Lake Placid Fl
I appreciate adding me, and can surely use the advice.

Long story short, if possible. I purchased a building to put another business into.

That building also housed a Salon that has been there for 20 years. Steady clientele.

5 Stylists.

2 - Rent a chair for 150 a week.

3 - commission (55/45) from the person I purchased it from (60/40) according to the stylists

The salon has not been updated since 2000 and I was going to close it down and just use it for the other business

The stylists all said they needed the job and this is how they make a living.

I decided to keep the salon open and let them stay as they are for compensation

I have owned other business before and they all depend on online marketing, so having a salon

that is not online is giving up lots of customers.

Also did they not sell any product, so we are working to select a distributor, because we need product.

I met with the stylists last week and we disussed the condition of the salon.

It was bad, floors, old track shelves on the walls, no of them matching, old curtains from 2000, same with the paint.

I hired a crew and in the two days there were closed we put in new floors, removed the old decor, removed the old 40 year old waiting room furniture, replaced the floors, painted and made it look as good as we can without closing.

I ordered new ceiling panel for the 40 year old panels that are there now.

We also ordered new chairs and pads. The place is looking good for not having the ability to close for a long time , we have wet stations to replace and possibly add some nail services. We will have to replace the wet stations one at a time, in the evenings or on a long weekend. Neither is a good situation, but reality always trumps dreamland.

So now on to my original reason for joining this forum. I was looking for general advice on running a salon, but now I am afraid that it is moving into a mutiny.

At least there is the possibility that there could be a mutiny. For the two girls who rent a chair, I told them that while we are getting things together they did not have to pay rent. I thought that would help smooth things over.

I got a call from one of them last night and it was something like this, pretty short.

"Hey this is me, the salon chair renter, you got to tell us about your plans and how you want to go online but you did not listen to what our plans are. We want to meet and tell you want we want. We have all talked and we need to have a meeting"

I actually did hear them and spent about 20k showing I heard them.

This is the one stylist who during the meeting said, I don't have an email address and I am not going online.

I discussed about online bookings and how to get new clients, which they replied "we use word of mouth"

I asked when was your last client, and looked at each stylist. Nobody had a new client in a while.

I said, that is kind of the point of online. You can still do word of mouth but also online.

We then went into the backroom where there is a horrible room with a deep sink and an old table for the color and such.

Old plywood lockers. As we were discussing removing the deep sink and adding a counter with a color bar and real sink, putting in real cabinets for the lockers.

The same stylist who said she would not go online, made a comment that you might have all your stylists walk out.

WOW, I heard it but I ignored it and went ahead with fixing all the salon. Once the new chairs arrive I will have spent about 20k, and it looks ready to decorate.

WHEW, long winded I know.

I believe, but am not 100% sure I have a single person working against the whole going online and computerizing the shop.

I am new to the small town and also did not set out to purchase this salon, but I do see the benefit of having it for cross marketing.

If they all have gotten together to strong-arm me into not computerizing the shop then I think I have 5 options.

1. Forget about it close the salon, and concentrate back on the other business

2. Sell the girls the license and rent the whole space to them.

3. Let the whole staff go, Remodel and then recruit a new staff. (If they carry the costs I don't need to make much on this so I could offer 70/30 to make it attractive)

4. Acquiesce and don't go online (Hard to keep books legally)

5. Make my points again about online, and ask who wants to stay. Then let those stay and continue the remodel in the evenings and days off.

Small town, new guy in town, may be an issue so I need to know how to navigate this.

Any thoughts or questions are welcomed
If I just rented chairs it would be enough for me, since I really bought it for the donut shop, To have the chair rent pay for taxes, insurance and electricity would be helpful. We have a meeting tomorrow night and it will be interesting.
Good morning! I very much understand your predicament as I own a salon in Florida as well. My salon has been open since 2003 and is mostly been made up of booth renters. That said, my suggestion to you would be to go ahead and go online and allow whomever wants to use the system use the system, and those that do not, allow them to do things their own way. I had lots of pushback when I started with my online system. Many stylists are just plain old school and like to do things on paper. I actually had a couple of them finally switch over to the online booking. You need to ask the girls if they are interested in building clientele. The ones that are not, just let them be and collect their rent. If they are on commission you have more control of them because they work for you, renters are independent contractors. My suggestion to you is to just let the dust settle a little bit, hairdressers don’t do well with change. LOL. I’m happy to help you in any way I can as I have navigated over 20 personalities at a time successfully! :). I use Vagaro for online booking. They do lots of things and you can pick and choose what you use. My email is [email protected] if you would like to chat further. It can be a very good situation for you if navigated carefully. Hope this helps!
Gosh, that's a very interesting situation.
You'd think that they would all be really excited about having their salon refurbished!
I wonder what the real crux of the issue is - is it lack of IT skills and understanding or is it that their actual takings (and therefore rent to pay you) will suddenly be accurately recorded and calculated?
You definitely need to hold your ground about getting the salon on line for bookings and advertising etc.
I would go for a coffee and a chat with the lady that is against it. There could be lots of reasons as to why she doesn't want to do it. Maybe she is computer illiterate? Maybe her customers are older and she is worried that she will lose them.
Small towns have set ways and You need to become integrated with them and get them to try things a little at a time 😊
Let the deadwood go… they may be renting but seems to me… there scared of online but in the 20th century that is the way forward…. And as for word of mouth that’s great to a degree. But everyone wants to see online reviews and photos. Sounds like there trying to back you into a corner.
If you're working on a % based term Inwould insist on it , you need to be able to track the bookings and revenue.

If they are just renting a chair they need to be responsible for there own bookings , taxes etc getting payment from clients unless you have a separate agreement with them .

Unfortunately a huge amount of the therapists etc are just not comfortable with computers but of you have a fulltime receptionist that will sort that problem .

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