Becoming a barber is an exceptionally good move. It is a fulfilling profession, which also pays relatively well.
It is also more or less recession-proof. Having their haircut regularly is one of the things that people give up last when money is very tight. During the 2008/09 recession, in the USA, the number of small barbers and hairdressing salons increased by 8%. You can gain access to this historical data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, by clicking here.
However, opening a barber shop is only a good move if you do it right. Below, we explain how to do exactly that.
Finding the right location
For any business selecting the right location is a vital first step. If you do not do your research, you can easily end up with an expensive salon that nobody ever discovers.
Ideally, you want your shop to be located somewhere that the type of customers you are planning to serve visit, several times a month. If your shop and stylists are set up to provide the very latest cuts, opening up in an area where the demographic of the people is made up of mainly elderly, often widowed women would be a bad idea.
This excellent, short, yet highly informative, YT guide will help you to choose the right location for your barbershop.
Take your time when designing the interior
The way you decorate your shop sets the scene, so take your time when deciding what you want. Visit as many barbershops as you can and make a note of what you like and what you don´t. Where possible take photos and ask the owner about practical things like why things are laid out as they are. Also, go online and look at photos and videos of other barbers. Talk to a few shop fitters, as well.
Be sure to include a few screens in your design. This opens up the opportunity for you to tap into the power of modern digital signage software for barber shops that makes it easy to make your customers aware of new products, services and the advantages of your loyalty scheme. They are also great for telling them about exclusive offers, building brand awareness and creating social buzz.
Make your frontage eye-catching
Be careful not to blow all of your fit-out budget on the interior. Your shop frontage is a huge part of building brand awareness, so invest in it. You want your barber shop to be noticed by passers-by, to look good enough to tempt people to take some shots and post them on social media.
Keep your customers coming back
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. You have to keep them coming back. That means listening to them so that you can better understand them.
In this case, listening includes taking action. It is not enough to simply hear what your customers are saying and nod your head. You have to do something about what they are telling you or requesting.
For example, if a customer says do you know where I can buy such and such hair product and you don´t sell it, work out if it is worth stocking it yourself. If several customers have mentioned it already, you could get a box in and tell them you have it available. That could be via email if you have their address, WhatsApp or simply pointing out that you now stock it the next time they come in.
If, on the other hand, you decide not to stock that product, still try to help those customers who ask for it. You could find a good version of the product online and send them the link. Potentially, that could be an affiliate link, which would make you a small commission on the sale, without your customer having to pay extra when they buy. If you do decide to do this, simply set up a simple sales page for that product on your website and send a link to that page to your customer. Doing this creates a win-win for you and your customer, while at the same time demonstrating to them that you value, listen to them and are there to help. You can learn more about doing this and setting up other streams of passive income for your barber shop by reading this article.
Getting the above basics right, sets you up for success. Providing you with a grooming business that will thrive, regardless of what is going on in the world.