Want to Own Your Own Barbershop? Start here:
Starting a barbershop business is just like starting any other business. Basic business knowledge and money management skills will be central. It will be difficult. It will also be FULFILLING. We’re here to tell you the major pros and obvious cons of barbershop business ownership.
Making the Big Time Decisions: Pros and Cons
Are you just starting your barber stylist career and keeping an eye on ownership as your future? OR are you a seasoned professional looking at the next step?
The following facts and suggestions are the basics to keep aware of.
Do you want to be the boss? Consider why. Alternatively, there is no shame in renting from someone else’s shop. Here are some pros and cons of being a business owner:
FREEDOM. Being the boss means no more answering to someone. Tired of the BS coming from authority? Think you can do better? Well, you can learn from all your irritating or inspiring bosses and become a reckoning force.
Have a shining personality? That’s a big PRO. The importance of a social personality cannot be emphasized enough for a business owner. We don’t know any famously silent haircutters. Do you? An empathetic personality is necessary to build strong client AND colleague relationships.
Set your own rates. A perk of writing your business rules is being able to choose your service rates. You will need to carefully evaluate the area you are located in.
Being the boss means answering to yourself. It means being available to your employees or fellow barbers. It also means, if there is negative feedback to your rules and authority, you have to be able to take it as an opportunity to learn, adapt, and strengthen your business.
The responsibility is heavy. The risk is high.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” ~Mark Zuckerberg
You’ll need to constantly be aware of what’s going on with your business. You can’t just check out completely. Especially the first few years, it’ll take much more of your time initially until people know who and where you are. It takes time to smooth out your operations and get into a flow. This isn’t really a Con if you have the PASSION and want to put in the TIME.
Questions to ask yourself: Eliminate some obvious questions before taking the leap.
Am I good at what I do?
WHEN YOU OPEN UP YOUR OWN BARBERSHOP, BARBERING MUST BE THE EASIEST PART. You can’t be trying to perfect your barbering and styling knowledge when you’re paying attention to running a new business!
Have you built followers or have a plan to do so?
Your followers and fans are what makes your business. Yes, you can rely partly on walk-in business if you are in a great location. The market, however, fluctuates. You want to fill slots in your appointment book with regular, loyal clients.
As far as followers go:
Are you going to try and make ends meet? Or are you looking to BE KNOWN?
Your followers are your currency. The barbershop market is saturated, like many other business markets. You need to do something to stand out and your loyal following is going to get you there. Give them priority and consistent reliability.
Do I have enough knowledge?
Here’s the reality. HUMILITY WILL GET YOU TO THE TOP, NOT YOUR EGO.
You’ve decided to go for it. Are all your bases covered? You’ll need to consider the following:
- How to source products and equipment that work best
- Find competitive rates for your products
- Where are your clients online? So your promotions can find them.
Do I have enough training or do I need to know more?
- Make sure you know the latest research on customer satisfaction. There’s always something new on top of the staple.
- Is my marketing strong to acquire new customers? If you don’t know, hire or partner with someone who does.
Seek help in the departments you need help.
Owning a franchise is not a bad idea as a jump off point. If you have no experience owning or no direct mentor to do so, a franchise can be that mentor.
A big company like Supercuts is not a bad place to start at all. They give you a space, guidelines to follow and meet, and reasonable freedom to see if you can make the numbers.
You don’t have to go it alone. Share the load. Find someone whose been thinking along the same lines. Two minds are better than one.
Partnerships are stellar for beginners who need to fill gaps in their business knowledge. Find someone reliable. Share the startup costs. Split the responsibilities and hold each other accountable.
Own a chair or a share
Instead of renting a chair, you can own it. Many salons or barber shops are made up of multiple owners who market their own chair in the shop, individually. Essentially, they each have their own business within the same space.
Alternatively, there are companies who sell salon spaces in a building full of individual salon spaces. There may be a building full of spaces consisting of nail techs, stylists, barbers, makeup artists, etc.
Basically, you can reach out to corporations or businesses wanting you to buy out a space or share of your own.
Go all the way if you did your homework. Whether you’re a beginner to business ownership or tried and true. Enough said.
Something to consider as a sole owner is, what are you offering your barbers and stylists? Is their income commission based? Remember where you started and the options you’ve considered. They can rent a chair from you. You can offer shares.
Most importantly build your team, work as a team, supporting each other.
Factors that vary your profits:
- Prime location
- Know your demographic. Offer the services they are looking for.
- Add-ons. Learn how to upgrade your rates with that extra service that will benefit your customer. They add up.
Location Location Location!
We really can’t emphasize this enough. If you’re buying a space, survey the area, organic traffic the surrounding businesses are getting, seasonal trends, etc. Many smaller town barbershops have $8-$10 haircuts whereas metropolitan area locations have prices from $28-$34 a cut. KNOW YOUR LOCATION. Tip: weight your direct competition in your area. Don’t avoid them. Learn how competition can be good for you.
The serious stuff:
Be responsible! Keep accurate books. Budget. Minimize unnecessary spending. Money management skills should be honed and respected, which can be difficult in a business where cash is a common source of revenue.
Learn to save money. Decide how much to reinvest into your business. Learn about business itself and set short and long term goals. For example, 3-5 year revenue plan. Technicalities to consider are:
- Overhead. Weigh your startup investment against your revenue plan.
- Business licensure. Go to your county’s business department for requirements.
- Accounting. Some parts can be dull. Know where to hire someone to do what you don’t like.
The fun stuff:
You get UNIQUE design freedom of your own shop!
There are so many popular themes and types of salons and shops out there. Pick one or CREATE YOUR OWN. If you take the business ownership step, take advantage of your style and branding freedom.
Come to your ‘OWN’ conclusion:
Ultimately, check yourself in all of the ownership boxes. It can seem like a lot but, just like becoming an expert in any field or endeavor, it takes time for it to feel like second nature.
Put YOUR NAME out there. Keep focus on the constant reward, the fact that your name, your BRAND is becoming its own entity day-by-day. The more work you put in, the more recognition you’ll have to the talent you have turned into a self-made business.