A barbershop is a great example of a sustainable business because people will always need haircuts. Styles may come and go, but hair cuts aren't a fad or trend. They are a necessity. Unlike many businesses, good barbershops have excellent customer retention. When customers find a barber they like, they rarely go somewhere else. If you do a good job, your customers will continue to use your services as long as your location is reasonably convenient to them. Barbershops also rank high on the list of businesses that benefit from customer acquisition through referrals and word-of-mouth. Starting a barbershop can be fun and financially rewarding.
Form a legal company. Your business entity can take many different forms, including a sole proprietorship, LLC, S-Corp. or C-Corp. Choose the form most suited to your needs. Contact your state for formation guidelines and regulations.
Develop a business plan. This will be your guide and road map to success. Put it on paper and refer to it often. A solid business plan will include a market study, marketing and sales plans, operational and management plans, and detailed financial plans. Update your business plan at least once a year.
Get licensed. Each state has its own educational and licensing requirements. Check with your state's commerce department, health department, or similar regulatory agency to find their specific educational and licensing requirements.
Find your space. You'll want to set up your barbershop in a high traffic area with easy customer access and plenty of parking. The commercial real estate market is wide open for negotiation, so make sure you ask for what you want and get a great deal on your lease.
Get your equipment. Shop for wholesale barbershop equipment the same way you would for any other big purchase. Compare price, warranties and service plans. Read reviews from impartial third parties. Visit other barbershops and ask for their opinions of today's available tools and equipment.
Set up your shop. Get all your equipment in place. Test everything to make sure it works well and meets your performance expectations.
Cross sell. Research and implement cross selling opportunities to enhance your revenue. Things like shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products can add value for your customers and profits to your bottom line.
Create your marketing materials. At the very least, you'll need business cards, letterhead, brochures and fliers. A website and branded email will contribute to your professional and competitive image. Make sure you highlight your strengths and professional differentiators throughout all of your marketing materials.
Be persistent and positive. Keep networking and marketing to build up a solid client base. Treat your customers like royalty and they will reward you with loyalty.
Marketing is the key to your success. Always be looking for ways to attract new clients. Reward new customers with incentives for them to come back.
Before signing a lease, make sure the space is legally zoned for a barbershop. Do not attempt to operate a barbershop without all appropriate licenses. Always carry appropriate insurance.