THE POPULARITY OF co-working spaces has been on the rise for years. Often viewed as a practical option for startup companies or a temporary solution for business owners looking to relocate, co-working spaces also make great environments for long-standing businesses. In fact, according to a Huffington Post article (“11 Incredible Coworking Statistics That Will Make You Leave Your Cubicle,” January 14, 2015), 90 percent of business owners who use a co-working space feel more confident while working, and 68 percent are better able to concentrate. Being surrounded in the workplace by people with similar goals uplifts people, encourages them and pushes them to achieve greater success.
Co-working spaces work well for entrepreneurs in all industries. My Salon Suite, a national franchise operation, offers co-working spaces specifically built for beauty and health professionals who want to own and operate their own businesses without opening a whole salon. At every My Salon Suite, multiple entrepreneurs, known as members, rent individual suites and operate independent businesses under one roof.
The model works well for both franchise owners and the beauty professionals who rent the individual suites. My Salon Suite empowers both groups of business owners to focus on what they do best. After all, when people are happy with their work environment, their efficiency and productivity typically increase.
Although all members have a private space in which to focus on their individual clients without the distractions of a traditional beauty salon, they are still part of a community of like-minded professionals. Salon customers enjoy the experience more than they do traditional salon visits, and often refer additional customers, thereby allowing salon members to grow their clientele. Members typically see a 10 to 40 percent sales increase in the first year of business ownership.
Each salon location is between 4,000 and 8,000 square feet, depending on the market. That space is subdivided into individual suites ranging in size from 120 to 220 square feet. This model allows for about 20 to 40 suites at each location. All suites are fully furnished with the tools required by its occupants. Cosmetologists, for example, have a styling station, color station, dryer and so forth, while hair stylists have a styling station, shampoo sink and hairdryer. The suites can be further customized to include other equipment, such as massage tables and nail stations, for more specialized health and beauty businesses.
All locations have upscale common areas including a lobby, restrooms and hallways. They also have security systems in place that monitor the common areas and suites. Once a customer enters the front door, he or she is restricted to the salon entryway until a member grants the customer access to a specific suite through a video-intercom system. Members have access to their suites 24/7.
Members can customize their suites according to their business needs and interests. They can paint, decorate and rearrange furniture however they choose. Corporate leadership also provides training for members on marketing and business ownership, which helps to create a sense of community and to empower members to become successful business owners.
The lease structure is dependent on the market; My Salon Suite currently operates in Denver, Houston and Metairie, Louisiana, as well as in about 35 other cities across the U.S. Each lease is for one year and includes all amenities and utilities; there are no other fees. In addition, building maintenance services are provided by the franchise owners and are included in the rent.
The franchise owner of each My Salon Suite location is responsible for hand-ling everything from technical issues to upkeep and general maintenance to heat and electricity. Salon locations are constructed of strong and sturdy materials, and furniture and amenities are chosen carefully to reduce maintenance issues.
Providing everything from physical space to business training empowers My Salon Suite members to succeed. The company has taken a real estate model originally designed to meet the needs of startups and freelancers and has customized it for the health and beauty industry, an approach that has proven successful in a variety of U.S. markets.
Ken McAllister, founder and president, My Salon Suite