If you have an open-air rental facility with a diverse variety of self-employed creatives working in the same room, you know how nerve-wracking it can be to maintain a peaceful, professional atmosphere. Sometimes, it seems as if everyone has a different definition of the word “professionalism,” and an individual approach to customer service.
These differences between professionals typically go unnoticed in a suite facility, where microsalons are separated by walls and doors, but they can complicate the client experience in a booth rental salon with an open floor plan.
While you don’t have the authority to require your renters to attend training, dress professionally, or even treat one another courteously, you can encourage your renters to be stellar professionals and to operate as if they’re a team instead of individual businesses operating under the same roof.
I’m going to repeat myself real quick for people that might have stumbled on this post without having read any of my other articles:
As the owner of a booth rental establishment, you are a landlord. You collect checks and make sure the building is safe to work in. That’s it. This means you can’t set schedules or prices, require uniforms, enforce a code of conduct, distribute chores, or force your renters to go to training or mandatory meetings. You also can’t require their clients to pay at a central reception area or require them to use a central booking system. They are business owners, and your facility is not a sovereign state.
“I want my renters to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques.”
Hold training classes for your renters as a courtesy. If you really want them to attend, give incentives to do so—reduced rent for a week, for instance.
Instead of finding different educators to teach (or teaching the classes yourself), you could also have one of your renters teach the class, either for a fee or reduced rent.
In addition to reigniting their passion for their craft, these classes will give your renters the opportunity to learn, grow, and bond as a group.
“I want my renters to behave more professionally and make smarter business decisions.”
Distribute informative weekly or monthly newsletters. Include business tips, new product information, upcoming classes and events in your area, and other interesting news. Subscribe to trade magazines as well, and consider creating a salon library where they can borrow books about business ownership, money management, and other useful topics.
“I want my renters to be more than strangers who work alongside each other.”
Coordinate a trade show trip. Handle tickets and travel arrangements for renters who wish to attend. Arrange for group dinners if you’d like. Spending time together in professional atmospheres outside of the salon creates valuable bonding opportunities.
Encourage group brainstorming and sharing sessions by creating a time and space specifically for that purpose. (A break room with a white board will do.) During this time, those renters who attend can talk business, share tips and tricks, and exchange war stories.
Renters should understand that just because they’re self-employed doesn’t mean they’re completely alone.
“I want my renters to promote themselves more.”
Participate in charity events. Host a cut-a-thon, create a 5K team, or have a food drive. Encourage your renters to get involved in the community. These events make marketing and networking fun and emotionally rewarding.
Also consider hosting a social media marketing course, or investing in a dedicated selfie studio area. Give your renters the knowledge and tools they need to efficiently promote themselves, and they’re far more likely to do so.
By designing incentives like these, you can develop a cooperative atmosphere where your renters will feel inspired to collaborate and hopefully start seeing one another as colleagues rather than competitors.