What Every Barber Needs to Know Before They Open a Barbershop
Are you planning to open a barbershop? You may already have a vision as to what your business will look like. You’re going to want to jump ahead and open your shop as soon as possible. If you jump too far ahead of yourself, you’ll find that you missed a lot of small details. That could hurt your business down the road.
Small businesses like yours face a lot of risks, and about half don’t survive beyond the first five years. Keep reading to learn how you can open a barbershop that’s successful for many years to come.
1. Create an ‘Open a Barbershop’ Business Plan
If you have an idea for a barbershop, your first step is to create a business plan. This will be essential for you for a number of reasons. The first is that it forces you to look at every detail of your business, from monthly expenses to projected revenue.
The second reason is that if you plan to seek a loan or another type of funding, lenders will require that you have a business plan.
A business plan serves as your road map as you start your business. Here are the components of the business plan that you need to address:
- The Type of Business
- Legal Structure (Sole proprietorship, LLC, S-Corp)
- Target Market
- Competitive Research
- Startup Expenses
- Operating Expenses
- Projected Profit and Loss
- Marketing Strategy
There is a lot to write and research. You may be tempted to gloss over a few items. The more depth your business plan has, the more likely it is that you’ll get funding. You’ll also understand your market inside and out. That will help you make strategic decisions down the road.
2. Set Up Software For Your Business
Whether you run the barbershop on your own or have employees, you’ll want to make sure that everything runs smoothly. The best way to do that is to have systems set up from the beginning. You’ll want to consider the various steps you’ll take when working with customers. For example, how will they set up appointments? How will you send out appointment reminders? How will payments be processed? You will want to have one client management solution that can handle all of these tasks.
Start your Barbershop operations right and eliminate your headaches with an all-in-one front desk solution that integrates all of the functions a modern barbershop needs to manage staff, please clients, track inventory, market their business, and analyze and report on their performance. Keeping your check-in/ out process streamlined should be addressed when planning your booking and payment system in your new shop.
Setting up your books properly from the get go is an initial hurdle all new entrepreneurs need to work through. There is no standardized process as you must consider the laws in your own jurisdiction. Connect with your counties business office and get familiar with your state’s Board of Barbering/Cosmetology as these regulatory bodies will provide you with your business license. This process varies but will likely require registration forms + fees that will align with the type of business you apply for, here are some business type definitions that will help direct your business plan:
- Sole Proprietor – Use this model if you’re planning to be the sole owner and operator of your barbershop; you won’t have any employees and you will be doing everything.
- LLC-Limited Liability Company – Use this model if you’re planning to act as the main boss and hire employees. On your taxes you can report your earnings as personal income, while at the same time maintaining a certain degree of protection from things like lawsuits. If you are planning on opening a franchise (buying a shop under corporate governance, like Supercuts or Fantastic Sams) you may want to use this model too.
- Corporation – Use this model if you’re planning to start a large barbershop business, opening multiple locations, hiring many employees, and attracting investors.
4. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Your business plan should also include a SWOT analysis. This means your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Starting a business is a risky venture, even if you have everything in place. Once you open your doors, you’ll find that there are many things that you can’t control. Bad reviews can happen, which could have a negative impact on your business.
Understanding the risks and opportunities before you open a barbershop will help you be prepared to meet those challenges and take advantage of any opportunities.
Strengths and weaknesses are about what’s happening inside your barbershop. These are things that you can control.
A strength is that you have a list of clients already from previous work experience. A weakness is that this is your first time running a business.
Opportunities and threats deal with outside factors such as the economy and increased competition.
5. Look Over Your Financial Numbers Again
Entrepreneurs are optimistic by nature. When you wrote up your business plan and your financials, you probably wrote what you hope to earn and spend in the first couple of years.
There’s a good chance that you’re too optimistic in your projections. Be incredibly conservative in your revenue projections. If you find that you overestimated your revenue and you don’t meet those projections, you could put yourself in financial trouble.
You’ll also want to increase your startup projections. You want to make sure that you have a contingency fund in place in case things cost much more than you project. This will also give you a cushion of money in case it takes longer to attract more customers.
6. Open a Barbershop in a Good Location
The location of your business will determine a big portion of your success. You want to make sure that it’s in a good area that’s accessible and has plenty of parking.
Before you sign the lease on the space, you want to make sure you know what business licenses you’ll need to operate in the area. You’ll also want to make sure that you sign up for business insurance to protect your equipment and property.
7. Use Smart Marketing Strategies
There are various ways to market your business. In the beginning, you’ll want to invest heavily in digital marketing and traditional marketing methods. Both will work to get your name out in the local community.
Here’s another way they work together. When you’re using traditional or in-person marketing, such as networking or sponsoring community events, people will look up your barbershop online.
If you can easily be found, they’re more likely to book an appointment. You’ll want to invest in social media and search engine optimization. They take a while to build momentum, so you need to be patient.
8. Always Deliver an Excellent Experience
It’s much easier and less expensive to keep your current clientele than it is to get new clients. Customers have high expectations, and you’ll want to meet them from the start.
You can’t afford to have people write negative reviews or tell their friends about a bad experience. Your job is to make sure that all of your customers are so thrilled that they rave about your barbershop.
Open a Barbershop That’s Profitable from the Beginning
It’s a big decision to start a business and open a barbershop. There are a lot of things that you need to consider before you open your doors. You want to have a solid business plan, conservative financial projections, and deliver a great customer experience every time.
The customer experience depends on the systems that you have in place. You want to make sure that everything runs smoothly, from appointment reminders to payment processing. If you want to make the process simple, take a look at our software solutions for salons and barbershops today.