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What to Charge for Chair Rental

By Simon Clark, Simon Clark Hairdressing, Port Elizabeth

I have noticed some debate on what is an appropriate charge for renting a chair in a salon with some arbitrary amounts being suggested. The most important point to remember is that you are renting out a resource that you are paying money for.

Let’s start with the basics.

Say you have a salon with 3 working hairdressers, a rent of R12,000.00 a month, and a water and electricity bill of R3,600.00 per month.

If I am being practical, I would say that the base rental for the chair should be R4,000.00 per month just for the space in the salon. You are not a charity and do need to run at a profit, so R12,000/4 + 30% gives R4,000.00 just for the space. However this is not all you should charge for.

Remember it is your name on the lease and you carry the can for paying it! You need to take into account the wear and tear on your furniture and fittings at 5-10% so R200-400 on top of the R4,000 gives R4,300.00.

If you add an extra hairdresser who is just as busy, it is logical your water and electricity will go up proportionately so you will need to charge at least R1,500 for the water and electricity. R1,200 pro rata for the increase plus a margin to cover your costs. This brings us to R5,800.00 at a minimum and that is just a chair with water and electricity.

Are their clients going to be paying via your card machine? If so will you be charging them the commission on the machine? As a simple example R100k through the machine at 2.5% commission will cost you R2,500 per month and that is not counting the machine rental. While we are on it you should also be charging a pro rata rate for the salons telephone and wifi of say R350.00 a month.

At this time tea and coffee in the salon is not advisable, but at a future time when refreshments are allowed again, will the stylists be serving their own tea and coffee or will they be using yours? If they see 100 clients in a month at R5 a cup of coffee that is R500.00. Remember coffee shops charge R20 a cup and there are plenty of them that are struggling!

Will they be supplying their own capes, towels, PPE etc or will you?

How much are you going to charge for that?

Do you have an operator or cleaner?

Will they be using their services too?

A support staff salary of say R6,000.00 a month is a pro rata of R1,500.00 but remember you have all the responsibilities of employment so the percentage should be R2,000.00.

So, if we add all of this up a reasonable charge to rent a chair in a middle of the road salon in Port Elizabeth should be in the region of R10,000.00 a month. If you are offering most of the above and charging less, it is no wonder so many people want to rent a chair. It makes good business sense to have someone else pay your costs for you! It might be time to rethink your charges so that you know your costs are all covered and that you are able to remain profitable in the longer term.

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