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  • Does the salon offer continuing education opportunities?

Advanced education will keep your skills as current and fresh as possible, in addition to opening up the opportunity to service new guests and new markets.  Find out if the owner will make you pay them back for education if you decide to leave the salon. It is understandable why owners have these clauses in contracts, but it’s important to read through the fine print to make sure you’re protected


  • If you’re just starting out your career in beauty, ask what their trainee assistant program looks like.

Does the salon have an outline for how their training will go, and a timeline for testing out to the floor, or are they winging it?  It is important that there is time made to train you on product lines and retail items sold before you start taking clients.  


  • What is the compensation?

Think about your income potential at the salon. Rather than focusing exclusively on an hourly wage or commission percentage, ask what you can charge for your services. If your work commands a higher ticket, it’s important to find out if the salon can accommodate that price tag.


  • Is there a benefit package?

In addition to health/dental/life insurance, get specific about certain benefits like annual vacation time, paid, retirement plans or any 401k contributions, and retail commissions structure.


  • Is there a non-compete agreement?

Non-competes are designed to protect the business owner from being hurt by a stylist getting a new salon job at a space in the same area, taking their clients with them.  Non-competes within a reasonable radius are to be expected; how you define “reasonable” depends on your demographic. A non-compete that raises red flags is when it is highly restrictive, such as a very large radius or one saying you, essentially, cannot do your job for a certain amount of time after leaving. A non-compete that allows a stylist to continue to work but outside of a certain area is understandable and smart on the owner’s part, however, non-compete agreements are illegal in some states.


  • Is there a non-solicitation agreement?

A non-solicitation agreement is a contract in which an employee agrees not to solicit a company's clients or customers, for his or her own benefit or for the benefit of a competitor, after leaving the company.  If you’re going in with an existing clientele, write it down on a piece of paper and attach it to your contract that those were your clients before you started working there.


  • What is the appointment setting process?

Who do walk-in clients go to first? Do you have access to schedule your own clients? Does the salon offer online booking? Does the ability to set appointments require some form of productivity requirement? Is it easy for clients to see you? All of these answers will help you understand how invested the salon owner is in the salon and what type of culture they carry.


  • How long have the current stylists been working at the salon?

This gives an insight into the staff turnover or staff culture.


  • When someone needs help, do others gladly step in, or is it every man for himself? 

Are the stylists rushing out the door at the end of the day? The salon needs to feel like a second home, so creating an environment that is genuine and positive is crucial.


  • Is there room for advancement?

This isn’t just about stepping your way up to management, but pay scale also.  Get a thorough explanation on how the commission scale works and what you have to do to receive raises.

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