How to Start a Barber Shop

A world without a barber can be unbearable, mostly for men and boys who want to walk out for their daily duties looking organised and clean. This is a grooming service that involves haircuts and shaves. Over the last decade, barber shops have increased, and so have the styles and trends.

 Barber shops are small enterprises that specialise in cutting peoples’ hair as per the revolving trends, and if done right, it is one of the most rewarding businesses that one can invest in.

This article acts as a complete guide to get you started. Let us read on.

  1. Setting up a Goal

For any business to thrive, there ought to be identifiable goals, whether long-term or short-term. Doing this will be an eye-opener towards prioritising issues so that you remain relevant in this business. When setting up a goal, put in mind the below steps for success.

  • Setting measurable goals worth your effort- For instance, if you want to reach out to long-term customers, set up a barber shop that is intended to last for years. In addition, ensure that your time and energy are equivalent to what you want to achieve. Otherwise, if you overrate your goals, you may get demotivated down the line.
  • Celebrate Your Achievements- Any achievement is worth celebrating. Do this by marking an occasion for the great milestone achieved. This has been made possible through the effort of your employees, and appreciate them too with a token.
  1. Analyze the Market and have a General Understanding

Because you are not alone in the barber business, do a competitive analysis to understand the market. For instance, knowing what other barbers do and what you can do to outshine their services.

This can be done through.

  • Analyzing the revenue generated by other barbershops from within and outside
  • Get to know their niches
  • Understand their pricing models 
  • Know how their profit margins figures range.
  • And getting to know the number of personnel in their shops is important to hire those equal to the task.

While it was hard to get such information in the earlier days, it is now easy to gather information.

Browse the barbershop’s website and get their pricelist or book an appointment for a mystery shopper with the shop. Doing this will give you a feel of their products and services.

Online research is another way to know the average revenues generated across barber shops in your area. If we get an overview of barber shops in the U.S., the revenues depend on the state. Therefore, reading articles and online forums will give an overview of this information.

  1.  Have a Target Market

Specializing in a defined niche can go a long way to see your barber shop succeed. Break down the services offered in a barber shop and identify a unique section in the market with which you can run with.

For instance, interview your teams and get to know what unique service they can offer, which should be on high demand. It is possible that the shops around do not offer these services and can be a gateway to your breakeven point.

  Niche identification can be made by.

  • Setting a specific demographic like the age group, neighbourhood, or community.
  • The cost
  • Type of service offered and
  • Quality of service.

Identifying your niche can be tough, but it can yield great returns if done correctly. Watch and identify other specialties you can work with to offer premium services and higher prices.

  1. Come up With a Realistic Budget

Once you are satisfied with the market research, the next thing is to prepare a budget since you cannot work without one when starting the shop. Amongst the costs, you need to consider include;

Registration Costs– It costs an average of $750 to   register a business in the U.S

Construction Costs– This includes electricity installation, setting up of mirrors, etc.

Workspace Cost ranges from rental expenses depending on whether it is leased or your own.

Insurance Costs– To get the best policy, liaise with a credible insurance broker.

Marketing Items– These include Newspaper Ads, gift cards, and business cards

Licenses– Avoid business closure or hefty fines by getting the necessary licenses

Stock- Stock inventories such as chairs, scissors, trimmers, mirrors, and blow-dryers are also necessary.

Shop equipment– You need to equip yourself with signages for directions, and cash registers for accountability.

Business Website– This is particularly important to advertise your business.

  1. Finances Management

Because of personal financial protection, it is important to open a bank account for easier record keeping or to get funding.

The first step is setting up the bank account, and getting a credit card for easier access to your account. It is advisable to open a business account to be safe if your barber shop is used; your bank account will not be affected.

After opening an account, the next big step is to go for funding which can range from your savings, a loan, getting a line of credit, or still seeking financial help from friends. If you opt to get a loan, research what the available lenders offer and settle for the ones with the best rates. Work towards repaying the loan in the shortest time possible as your business grows to become a debt-free person.

Tax Management- It is essential to see to it that you register for the applicable taxes to avoid your accounts being penalized. For instance, ensure that you have the employer Identification number, have your business registered as an entity, and ensure that you file taxes for your employees when due.

  1. Choosing the Right Location for Your Business

The location is the main determinant of how far your business will get. To achieve this, the below steps are essential to settle on the right facility.

Location- The place should be easily accessible to avoid wasting time trying to locate the area. Choose whether you want to buy or rent depending on the viability and attracting more customers.

The Layout– Have an idea of setting up a modest barber shop that is appealing. Get a good interior designer, an experienced plumber, and any other technician to have the job done right.

Competition- Conduct a competitive analysis test and ensure that the number of barber shops matches your target revenue. Ensure that the community within your area matches your needs., whether the business is in the city or the suburbs, and the age group in place.

Set up the barber shop in a busy area- If you want to succeed, setting up a business in a well-populated area is critical. You will get new clients daily, become co-partners in their businesses, and help your barber shop grow.

  1. Have a Solid Legal Structure for Your Business

It is important to have a solid legal structure to plan on income tax returns and timely remittances. 

This, however, varies on the type of barbershop you intend to put up. For instance, if you intend to operate the barber shop by yourself, then going for a sole proprietor is worthwhile, but opening a corporation will do well for you if you want it to be a separate entity.

If the business has shareholders, it is wise to open a limited liability account.

  1. Have your Licenses in Place

It is mandatory to have a license in a barber shop business. However, this depends on the state’s regulatory requirements and is therefore important to confirm. Below are the bare minimum requirements for obtaining your licenses.

  • Have a business registration.
  • Obtain a resale certificate- this is required in case you will need to resell your business
  • Employer Identification Number- For tax remittance purposes.
  • Inspection Certificate- The health department and building inspection corporations usually do this.
  1. Vetting the Right Candidates for the Job

Competence, relevance, experience, and exclusive customer service skills are key in setting up a professional barber shop early. Ensure that you hire staff who will complement your skills with the assumption that you will be part of the team.

This will be a catalyst for your barber shop business growth.

  1. Building a Clientele Base

Grooming your business with enough clients is the way to grow any business. There is therefore need to put up strategies that will draw more clients to your business without incurring huge costs. Some of these ways include.

Reaching out to your old clients– If you have previously collaborated with clients elsewhere, contact them to inform them about your new business and extend an invitation.

Create Local Listings- You can easily create local listings using Google my business to increase visibility. Besides, you can register your barber shop business with web directories such as beauty Seekers. This will enable clients shopping online for barber shops to find you easily.

Use Local dailies for Advertising your business, such as newspapers, TV, radio, posters, and many others.

Advertise Online– This can be done by creating a website and using social media pages. Facebook and Instagram accounts are good for such advertisements because of their popularity among young people.

Provide Home Services– Go the extra mile and offer home services to clients. When COVID-19 struck, it came as a revelation that you could offer services from home and still make money. 

Co-market with other Businesses– If there are other types of businesses in your operation, you can also discuss with the business owners for a co-marketing collaboration. An example is partnering with a café to offer special discounts on beverages for frequent customers if they get a haircut from your barber shop.


While it is a difficult task to start a barber shop, it is a profitable business to think about considering the long-term returns. It is more rewarding if you are passionate about the business—all the best in the new venture.

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