How to Start a Booming Barber Shop

Barber Shop

Are you interested in opening your own barber shop? If you’ve finetuned your skills sculpting the perfect haircuts, it’s time to start a successful business. But to do it right, you need to create a brand — and find the perfect space!

Read on to learn how you can start a booming barber shop business.

Start with a Business Plan

One of the first steps to opening a barber shop is coming up with a business plan. This is where you map out your budget, expenses, and sources of funding. It’s also wise to account for salaries and supply needs, too.

A good business plan will outline short-range and long-term goals. How many clients do you hope to have in one year? What marketing strategies will you implement, and how will you measure their success?

Make sure that you hold yourself accountable for what you outline in the business plan. Establish benchmarks and schedule quarterly meetings to assess progress. If you’re not on track to meet revenue goals, you can always readjust.

Get the Right Certifications and Permits

Before you open the doors to your business, you’ll have to get the right permits and coverage. Talk to your city’s business office to determine what permits and licenses they require. This may vary by state, so don’t make any assumptions.

You’ll need to meet the requirements of your state’s cosmetology board, too. They’ll need evidence that you are licensed to practice as a barber. And they’ll want to see that your shop meets the facility requirements.

If you plan on serving alcohol in your shop, check on licensing requirements for that, too. It’s become a popular practice to offer guests a drink while they wait for their appointment. But you want to make sure it’s legal first!

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Look into barber liability insurance, as well. Barbering is a safe profession, but accidents do happen — and you want to be protected if they happen in your shop.

Find the Perfect Space for Your Barber Shop

Among the biggest things you need to start a barber shop is a space. Consider whether leasing or buying makes sense given your location and financial status. And consider whether choosing a space in a more visible location is worth the added cost.

You may only need one chair to get started, but give yourself some room to grow. Map out a space for product displays and seating while customers wait. Try to find a space with ample light, too.

Are you going for a woodsy and nature-inspired look? Or is a contemporary look focused on neutrals and polished surfaces your plan? Take the time to consider how the materials you choose can impact your shop’s appeal.

It can pay off to pay attention to personal touches, like complimentary beverages. You may even want to feature the work of local artisans to add a homey or masculine vibe to your shop. Looking at local leather products and charcuterie boards will keep people interested while they’re in your shop.

Build Your Brand and Aesthetic

When you’re owning your own business, you want people to know about it. That starts with having a unique and memorable brand identity — and promoting it well. Begin by developing a logo, or hiring a skilled graphic designer to do it for you.

The logo should be crisp, fresh, and easily recognizable. Reflect your logo in all social media accounts, and incorporate it and its colors into your shop’s look. The goal is to be consistent so that potential clients can remember to seek out your business.

Leverage social media to your advantage. Start accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and commit to posting every day. Show off your latest haircuts, and advertise incentives to bring in new business.

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Start Small to Grow a Successful Business

While it may be tempting to hire an army of personnel to get started, don’t do it. You need to give yourself time to recoup start-up costs. And you don’t want to take on too many expenses all at once.

You may have to put in some long hours initially before hiring another barber or assistant. You could look into working with a bookkeeper on a part-time basis if you need help tackling the financial side of things. While it may be cheaper to handle bookkeeping responsibilities yourself, it will free up time by handing off the responsibility.

Additionally, talk with a business consultant after your first 6 months. This could be a good short-term investment to figure out your next step. Or enlist family members skilled in art to help freshen up your shop’s look — and pay them with a free haircut.

Collaborate with Other Businesses

When it comes to tips for starting right, networking needs to be in the mix. You’ll be busy with your shop, but be intentional about connecting with neighboring businesses. You may be able to help each other out with promotional efforts.

For instance, if a florist leases the space nextdoor, why not display some of their flower arrangements in your store? You’ll make the store a more inviting space and give them free advertising. In return, they could display business or gift cards from your barber shop in their store — and encourage clients to give your business a try!

Open Your Barber Shop

Running a barber shop can be a fulfilling career move. Not only do get to make your customers happy with a snappy new haircut, but you also get to manage your destiny. With some planning, evaluation, and branding, you can set up a successful business!

For more strategies to get your business off the ground, check back for new articles.

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