Opening your own barbershop is an exciting prospect, and as an up-and-coming professional you should be prepared to make an investment in your future. On top of all the time you will spend learning about the business end of barbering, you’re also going to be putting down a significant chunk of change on a building lease and equipment like a barber chair, an inventory of barbering products, and other things like waiting room accessories- magazine subscriptions, a TV, a coffee machine, and the list goes on. Because barbering is an esthetic trade, you’ll undoubtedly want to make the interior of your shop look impeccable.
As you embark on opening your own barbershop, consider these two words: barbershop business. You need to understand these two separate aspects in great detail and depth.
The “Barber” in a Barbershop Business
Only a barber with years of experience should consider opening a barbershop. You need to know the ins and outs of the tonsorial arts, including the best tools, supplies, and products. You need to know what works and what doesn’t for satisfying clients and attracting new customers. By the time you are thinking about opening your own place, barbering should be the easy part.
It goes without saying that you also need to be a pro barber. While the importance of finding a great high-traffic location can’t be stressed enough, when you’re considering your own shop ideally you will already have a large list of regular clients you’ve built up over time.
At this point you should also be ready to make a long-term commitment to your art and trade. Opening your own barbershop is a long-term investment that pays off over time, so you need to go into this endeavor fully committed.
The “Business” in a Barbershop Business
There is a reason why “business” is its own major in college, why there are business lawyers, why there are business accountants, and why there are business advisors: starting and running a business is complicated. This holds equally true for a barbershop business.
Start by making a business plan. Calculate all the expenses you will incur getting your shop ready for opening, as well as your monthly and yearly reoccurring expenses. Figure out how many clients you have to see each day, and how you have to set your prices to meet your expenses. By doing this you can see if you can turn at least a small profit by charging prices your clients will pay.
You’ll probably need around $5k-$10k to get started, depending on how expensive things are where you live and how many supplies you need to get. Depending on who you ask, you should either first save up this initial investment, or speed things up with a business loan. If you’re planning on taking out a loan from the bank you’d better develop a very solid business plan you can show them.