Remember as a general rule, if you can’t pay the rent yourself for your own barbershop then you shouldn’t be opening one. The time to consider employees is after you’ve got your shop established.
If you want to expand into hiring employees then you can consider making them salary, commission, or booth/chair renters. Each state has its own regulations about these types of employment arrangements – check with your local board of barbering to find out exactly what you need to do when you hire employees. Each type of employment arrangement also has its own tax obligations, so make sure you are aware of these too.
Salary/Wage/Commission – If you’re hiring employees on a salary, wage, or commission basis you can hope to build a non-competitive team environment. Your employees work together to give walk-ins the shaves of their lives, and don’t get into arguments over whose client is whose. Expect to be very involved in the daily operations of your shop, including advertising, marketing, and promotions.
Renting Barber Chairs/Booths – If you take this approach you will have a more hands-off approach to running your overall barbershop, leaving you with more time to focus on your own clients while you are guaranteed a fixed amount of income from your tenants. Ideally you can also enjoy a sense of camaraderie from your colleagues/renters who are cutting heads in the chair next to you. Remember that New Jersey and Pennsylvania do not allow booth/chair renting.
Combination Chair Rental and Commission – You might find you like this approach, which gives your employees/tenants the maximum amount of working options. With happy employees or chair renters, you are more likely to retain talent over the long-term and the clients who come into your barbershop will also appreciate a workplace that exudes satisfaction. However doing taxes for several types of business arrangements might give you a headache.