Going into business for yourself in a salon suite for the first time is an exciting step in a professional beauty career. It can also be a little scary to think about working alone, without a boss or manager to turn to for help. But guess what? You really aren’t alone! You will create relationships with important vendors who will support you every step of the way—with products, education and even inspiration! Here’s a look at the most important connections to make as a solo artist, and how to make the most of them.
Real suite stories: Suite Elite Member Jessica Lea Marine has built a comfortable retreat for her clients, where she has the freedom to cultivate her own brand.
Your Professional Beauty Distributor
It’s time for a shift in perception when it comes to your relationship to your product distributor! “As an entrepreneur, you are no longer the beauty supply shopper with the ID card you’ve had since graduating from cosmetology, esthetician, nail school or any other respected program,” explains Kelly McCarthy, Director of Training and Member Development for MY SALON Suite and Salon Plaza. “It’s time to open a new account as an owner under your business name.”
Of course, you can still shop at your favorite professional store, but it’s important to know that your store also has an outside sales force with a wealth of knowledge to share with you. These distributor sales consultants will visit your business and offer a wide range of benefits including:
- Cost-saving, one-time purchase introductory deals for new accounts that will help you stock your salon with everything you need.
- Ongoing information on the latest products and trends to help you offer your clients the newest and best of everything.
- Opportunities to take part in a variety of educational opportunities in your area allowing you to network with like-minded professionals.
“MY SALON Suite and Salon Plaza nurture a variety of relationships with industry partners that provide great resources and preferred pricing for our Suite Elite Members,” says Kelly. “Partners include Salon Centric, Redken, Sam Villa Professional and Brazilian Professional just to name a few, all chosen to give our Suite Elite Members important financial and educational advantages.”
Real suite stories: As a solo artist, Shayna Welty has more than doubled her income. “Leap and the net will appear!” she advises.
If this is your first time as a solo artist, your checklist for the many items you need (and may have never purchased before) might seem overwhelming. Your list includes towels, cotton, gloves, bowls, brushes, clips, combs, and on and on! “It’s important to shop around for these items,” advises Kelly. “There are great prices and vendors for you to find. Online vendors definitely offer convenience, but it’s also important to remember there are suppliers out there who love to connect with their customers in person and can be very helpful. Our Suite Elite Members have access to exclusive promotions with The Industry Source for help with all of their sundry needs and more, such as for spa, nails, waxing and lash and brow needs.”
Insurance is another aspect of business you may not have thought about until now. As a solo artist, you need to protect yourself, your business and your brand. Liability insurance is an affordable way to do just that—it’s a security blanket from the unexpected. “MY SALON Suite and Salon Plaza have an incredible relationship with Elite Beauty Society and Associated Hair Professionals,” Kelly reveals. “These insurance agencies provide our Suite Elite Members with an array of choices for the right coverage for their businesses, as well as with exclusive pricing.”
When it comes to running your business, the right software can do most of the heavy lifting for you—managing everything from scheduling, online booking, reviews and payment processing to inventory, reporting for your accountant, filing taxes and even your marketing efforts for new and existing clients. With the best software tools, you’ll be able to start your business easily and maximize your earning potential.
“In 2018 we sent out a survey and found that the majority of our Suite Elite Members preferred using Square as their salon software of choice,” says Kelly. “So, we headed to the negotiating table and forged an incredible relationship with Square to honor our Suite Elite Members. It’s not easy to find all software needs in one place, that allows you to set it and forget it! With Square we have provided just that for our Suite Elite Members.” Beth Garner, a Suite Elite Member in Grand Rapids, MI, is a fan. “Square does the hard work for me and makes running my business a breeze,” she says. Agrees Ereiol Gamble of Charlotte, NC, “Square is like my virtual CFO. Without it, I’d be lost.”
Real suite stories: Meet the Suite Elite and hear why embracing solo artistry has changed their lives.