The Strengths & Weaknesses of a Unisex Barbershop

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

When you are planning to open a barbershop, one of the main things you must determine is your clientele. Barbershops usually target male customers, leaving the ladies at the hands of so-called "hair salons." However, you can also run a unisex barbershop, servicing both male and female customers. Each option has its own pros and cons and the choice depends on the costs you are willing to incur to broaden your customer base.

Broadening Your Potential Client Base

A typical barbershop is bound to attract male clients, automatically leaving out a large part of your potential customer base: women. "Opening" your business to all sexes and ages means that you can benefit from customers who were left out because of your "only men" policy. In addition, you can market your business targeting all members of the local community — a move that can attract more customers to your barbershop.

Increasing your Earnings

Women arguably go to the hairdresser's far more frequently than men. In addition, they use services, such as elaborate hairstyles and hair coloring, that are more expensive than a simple men's haircut. Operating a men's-only barbershop means that you exclude customers who are willing to spend five times or more what a man spends for a haircut. Therefore, a unisex barbershop can help you boost your income.

Hiring Experienced Staff

Women have different needs than men when it comes to hairstyling, so you cannot have barbers with no proper training or experience to deal with the ladies. Instead, you either need to hire staffers who can cope with both male and female customers or divide your staff into men-only and female-only stylists. Either way, the move is going to increase the costs of running your business, as you must pay your more expensive staff periodically.

Specialized Equipment

Just adding a "unisex" on your sign does not mean that the ladies will trust you immediately. As a unisex barbershop, you need backwash units, dryer banks, straighteners, hair dye and brushes for the hair coloring tasks, for example. You don't need this set of expensive equipment if you are operating a men's-only salon, and it is an additional cost you have to bear for a unisex barbershop.

References

Resources

About the Author

Tasos Vossos has been a professional journalist since 2008. He has previously worked as a staff writer for "Eleftheros Tipos," a leading newspaper of Greece, and is currently a London-based sports reporter for Perform Sports Media in the United Kingdom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media from the University of Athens.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images