owning a barbershop without being a barber

Owning a Barbershop Without Being a Barber: Ownership Guide

Maria Ortega
23 Oct 2023

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Who says you need to wield a pair of scissors to own a thriving barber hop? In this guide, we'll unveil the secrets to running a successful barber shop without being a licensed barber yourself! 

We will be covering:

  • The key responsibilities and roles of a barber shop owner beyond cutting hair.
  • Learn how to assemble a talented team of barbers to provide exceptional services.
  • The secrets to creating an inviting and comfortable atmosphere for customers.
  • Navigate challenges and overcome obstacles commonly faced in a barbershop business

Let’s get right into it!

Why you need a solid business plan for your barber shop

Alright, future barber shop owners, let's talk about the importance of having a solid business plan before diving headfirst into your venture. Trust us, having a clear roadmap will set you up for success - whether you’re starting a barber shop from scratch or taking one over a successful business owner. Here's why:

  1. Turning your idea into a reality: Your barber shop might be just a brilliant idea in your head right now, but a business plan helps you bring it to life. It's like a blueprint that outlines your vision, goals, and strategies. It forces you to think through all the aspects of your barber shop, from location and target market to services and pricing.
  2. Focusing your efforts: A business plan helps you focus on what's important. It forces you to conduct market research, analyse the competition, and identify your unique selling points. By understanding your target market and competitors, you can develop strategies to stand out and capture the attention of your ideal customers.
  3. Attracting investors and securing financing: If you're seeking funding for your barber shop, a well-crafted business plan is your secret weapon. It shows potential investors or lenders that you're serious, prepared, and have done your homework. It demonstrates your financial projections, revenue streams, and the potential return on investment. A strong business plan increases your chances of securing the financing you need to get started.
  4. Mapping out growth and expansion: A business plan isn't just about starting your barber shop; it's about the long-term game too. It helps you map out your growth strategies, including future expansion plans, additional services, or potential collaborations. By thinking ahead, you'll be prepared to scale your barber shop when the time is right.

Top tip: Read more about how to create the perfect business plan to ensure you include all the essentials to run a successful barber shop business.

Now let's move on to how to make your dream come true without being a barber yourself!

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The key responsibilities and roles of a barbershop owner beyond cutting hair

In this section, we'll delve into the key responsibilities and roles that go hand in hand with owning a barbershop, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse aspects involved in running a successful business. So, let's explore the wide-ranging responsibilities that await you on this exciting journey of barbershop ownership.

Business management

As a barbershop owner, your ability to keep the gears of your business running smoothly is what sets the stage for success. While your talented barbers focus on their craft, it's up to you to handle the business side of things. Let's dive into some key areas you'll be taking charge of:

Financial management: Keeping a keen eye on your barbershop's financial health is crucial. You'll be juggling tasks like budgeting, tracking business expenses, and managing cash flow. Monitoring revenue, analysing profit margins, and setting financial goals will help you make smart decisions and keep your business plan stable.

Top tip: Discover how to open a business bank account.

Inventory management: Smooth sailing in a barbershop means having the right supplies at the right time. You'll be responsible for tracking and managing your inventory of hair care products, grooming tools, and other essentials. By keeping your inventory at optimal levels, you'll avoid the hassle of running out or having shelves overflowing. And, of course, this ensures your barbers are always ready to serve customers, and not worrying about stock!

Top tip: Regularly check your barbershop equipment to avoid any faults. Faulty equipment results in inefficiency, and makes it difficult to maintain high customer satisfaction when your barbers can’t give them their requested style.

Compliance with regulations: Rules and regulations are part of the barbershop game. Staying up-to-date with health and safety codes, sanitation guidelines, and licensing procedures set by your county's business office is essential. This means maintaining your county business license, getting your employer identification number, conducting regular inspections, and implementing protocols that prioritize a clean and safe environment for both your staff and clients.

Additionally, when you own a barbershop, you're responsible for collecting and remitting sales tax on taxable goods and services you provide to your customers. This means keeping accurate records, figuring out the right sales tax rate, and making sure those payments reach the tax authorities on time.

By tackling these crucial areas of business operations, you'll be the captain steering your barbershop toward smooth sailing and success. Keep those finances in check, inventory stocked up, and regulations in check, and you'll be on your way to creating a top-notch barbershop experience!

Continuous learning and growth

As a barbershop owner, it's important to stay updated with the barbershop industry trends, techniques, and best practices. Continuously investing in your own education and encouraging professional development for your team ensures that your barbershop remains relevant and offers the best services to customers.

Remember, while you may not be the one behind the barber chair, your role as a barbershop owner is vital in creating a thriving business that offers exceptional experiences to both barbers and customers alike.

Assembling a crew of stellar barbers

Alright, barbershop owners, let's talk about assembling a killer team of barbers who will take your barbershop to the next level! It's all about creating an environment where exceptional services are the norm. Here's how you can make it happen:

Hire barbers with a purpose

When it comes to finding the right barbers for your team, it's more than just looking at their cutting skills. Look for individuals who align with your barbershop's vision, values, and atmosphere. Seek out passionate, skilled, and personable barbers who can bring their unique touch to your shop.

Struggle to hire the best barbers in your area? The other alternative is to offer guest spots for notable barbers to come and briefly offer their services at your barbershop. It’s a great way to get some extra customers coming in if they know a famous barber will be at your shop for a limited time. And it gives a chance for your staff to learn from these barbers too - whether it be techniques on giving fades or sharpening up trims.

Showcase your barbershop business culture

Let your barbershop's personality shine through during the hiring process. Emphasize your shop's vibe, the type of clientele you serve, and the values you hold dear. Prospective barbers should feel excited about joining your team and contributing to the fantastic atmosphere you've cultivated.

Important tip: Ensure each of your employees has their own cosmetology or barber license before they start working in your business to avoid any legal issues.

Promote growth and development

Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Offer training programs, workshops, and educational resources to help your barbers stay updated on the latest trends, techniques, and products. 

If someone in your team is interested in how to run a barbershop - of course this is where you can offer some one-to-one training, utilizing your experience and getting them through the ropes of understanding everything from accounting to people management.

When your barbers have opportunities to grow, they'll be motivated and inspired to deliver exceptional services.

Foster a good team environment

A successful barbershop is like a family, where collaboration and support are the keys to success. Be understanding when people need to change shifts due to unforeseen emergencies, and make sure to minimize stress for your team. Encourage camaraderie among your team by organizing team-building activities, creating a comfortable break area, and promoting open communication in your own barbershop business. 

The goal here is to reduce stress and improve relationships. A united team will provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for your clients - as well as reduce the need to keep recruiting new staff!

Streamline actions to help your team run smoother

Being a barber isn’t all about cutting hair nowadays! It’s very easy for your team to get caught up in admin, taking valuable time away from customers. From phone calls for appointments to scheduling mishaps, marketing to keeping accurate client records - it all takes time.

As a great barbershop business owner, try to reduce these tasks as much as possible for your team, so they can carry on with what they do best. Using tools to automate processes. For instance, all-in-one barber shop point of sale systems can reduce errors like double bookings, while also being a central, secure place for client records and marketing activities. This reduces team frustration and improves your service - a win-win!

Recognize and reward excellence

Celebrate the achievements of your barbers. Acknowledge their hard work, dedication, and exceptional skills. Implement a recognition program that rewards outstanding performance, whether it's through incentives, bonuses, or public appreciation. When barbers feel valued and appreciated, they'll go above and beyond for your barbershop.

Top tip: If you want to learn further about efficient staff management, check our managing employees in a small business blog for the full guide!

Secrets to a customer-friendly barbershop

Let's dive into the secrets of creating an atmosphere that customers can't resist! It's all about making your barbershop a welcoming and comfortable space where customers feel like they're part of something special. Here are some effective tactics to follow:

Designing the perfect ambiance in your barbershop

First impressions matter, and your barbershop's interior design sets the stage. Choose a theme or style that reflects your barbershop's personality. Just don’t compromise on the need for space and movement around your customers!

Also, consider factors like lighting, comfortable seating, and appealing decor to create a space that makes customers feel relaxed, pampered, and eager to come back for more.

Building customer loyalty

Loyalty programs are your secret weapon for cultivating a strong customer base. Offer incentives like loyalty cards, referral rewards, or discounts for repeat visits.

Make your customers feel appreciated by going the extra mile to provide personalized experiences and remembering their preferences. When customers feel valued, they'll keep coming back for the excellent services you offer. The best POS systems will include areas where you can add notes on clients, including their preferences and access to their last purchases.

Top tip: Learn how to reinforce your loyalty strategies by integrating apps such as Loyalzoo into your barbershop POS system for more effective marketing campaigns.

Elevate your customer service with a business website

While you may not be the one cutting hair, providing excellent customer service is paramount to the success of your barbershop. It involves greeting customers, addressing their needs and concerns, managing appointments, and ensuring a smooth and pleasant experience for each client.

But customer service actually starts the moment a customer wants to make a booking! And nowadays, that’s not just by phone, but by using your website.

Make your website as easy to navigate as possible, as well as have a clear, simple booking process. Not only does this mean you can easily create a calendar of your bookings (so you reduce overbooking), it will help your clients have a slick experience with you from the beginning - meaning they’ll be more likely to keep coming back.

Top tip: Create an online presence for your barbershop business with Epos Now's website builder to manage appointments easily

Harnessing the power of effective marketing

Let the world know about your incredible barbershop! Develop a strong marketing strategy that showcases your unique selling points to make your business name known.

Use social media platforms to engage with your audience, share before-and-after transformations, and promote special offers. You could also collaborate with local businesses to cross-promote, and use eye-catching visuals and witty captions to create a buzz.

Top tip: Don’t overstretch yourself by trying to be on every social media platform from the very beginning. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and lose momentum. Instead, see what your competitors use and get the most success on, and start there. Get used to posting frequently and consistently to help build your brand presence. Once you’ve mastered one platform, then you can experiment with another social media channel - but take your time!

Engaging with community

Connecting with your local community is a powerful way to build a loyal customer base. Participate in neighborhood events, sponsor local sports teams, or host charity drives.

By demonstrating your barbershop's commitment to the community, you'll attract customers who appreciate supporting local businesses.

Listening and responding to customer feedback

Pay attention to what your customers have to say. Encourage them to provide feedback and reviews, both online and offline. So you can actively listen and respond to their suggestions, addressing any concerns promptly.

By showing that you genuinely care about their experiences, you'll foster trust and loyalty.

Creating an inviting and comfortable atmosphere for customers is all about the little details. Go the extra mile to make every visit a memorable one, and customers will keep coming back for more.

Navigating barbershop challenges and solutions

Now, let's talk about the challenges that come with running a thriving business in this industry. Don't worry, we've got your back!

By being aware of these common hurdles and having a plan to overcome them, you'll stay one step ahead.

Intense competition

The barbershop scene can be pretty competitive, with new shops popping up left and right. To overcome this, focus on what sets your barbershop apart.

Create a unique selling proposition, whether it's your signature services, a specialized niche, or an exceptional customer experience. Differentiate yourself and your brand, and consistently deliver top-notch quality to keep customers loyal.

Staffing and retention

Finding skilled and reliable barbers can be a challenge. But, you can overcome this by investing in a robust recruitment process. Build relationships with barber schools, attend industry events, and tap into your network.

Also, offer competitive wages, benefits,  and provide your team with opportunities for professional growth. By being a supportive and attractive employer, you'll attract and retain top talent.

Top tip: Learn more about techniques to motivate your staff to maintain high productivity levels in your business.

Seasonal fluctuations

Barbershops often experience seasonal highs and lows. So, prepare yourself for the slower periods by implementing strategic marketing campaigns, special promotions, or loyalty programs during off-peak times.

You can also offer attractive packages or collaborate with other businesses to keep the momentum going year-round.

Top tip: Prevent any slumps in your barbershop sales by mastering retail sales forecasting.

Adapting to changing trends

The world of hairstyles and grooming is constantly evolving. Stay on top of the latest trends by investing in ongoing education and training for your barbers.

You can attend industry conferences, follow influential stylists on social media, and create a culture of innovation and creativity within your shop. By staying ahead of the curve, you'll be able to cater to the evolving needs and desires of your customers.

Managing and improving cash flow

Like any business, managing cash flow can be a challenge. Stay on top of your finances by implementing solid bookkeeping practices and tracking your income and expenses diligently. Set aside funds for seasonal fluctuations, unexpected expenses, and future investments.

The best POS systems will help you with bookkeeping and staff management (and more) - they can integrate with your favorite accounting software to save you time. Similarly, your POS reporting capabilities are so important here - get your reports to work the way you need them to, so you don’t spend hours on admin.

Top tip: Consider using a POS software that integrates with accounting tools such as Sage to help you stay organized and make informed financial decisions.

Our final thoughts

Congratulations, barbershop owners, on reaching the end of this exciting journey! We've covered a lot of ground, from the responsibilities of a barbershop owner to creating an inviting atmosphere, overcoming challenges, and the importance of a solid business plan. Running a barbershop is no easy task, but armed with knowledge and passion, you're ready to take on the world.

Schedule a consultation with our expert to learn how our Point of Sale (POS) system can revolutionize your business operations and drive growth.

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