So, you’re thinking about opening your own barbershop? Maybe you’ve been working at someone else’s shop for a while and think it’s time to take the next step. Maybe you’ve recently graduated from barber academy training and are feeling inspired and ambitious. Either way, this guide from The Barbering School of Wales will give you all the information you need on opening and managing a UK barbershop!
Starting a Barbering Business
Now before you decide to open your shop, there are some things to think about and plan for first. Most importantly: do you have the necessary qualifications, money and time? A barbering business takes a long time to see success and keeping it running is hard work. You need to be prepared!
The first thing we recommend is buying equipment that needs replacing every five years or less. For instance, buy shampoo bowls as opposed to renting them as they will last much longer and generally cost around £50-£100. If you can afford it, this may even be something you want to take care of right away! As for your qualifications, you’ll need to see what barber training courses are available in your area. There’s both a 9-week NVQ course and 22-week part-time NVQ courses very soon from our state-of-the-art training academy. So, reach out if you’re located in Cardiff, or we even have students enrolled from other locations in the UK, such as Swansea and Bristol!
Important Factors to Consider
How much are your competitors charging?
You can use what similar barbershops charge for their services as an indication of what your prices should be (but don’t feel like you must replicate those prices).
Are prices high or low in your town?
Barbershop prices are generally higher in the south of the UK than in the north.
Think of how much time and money locals invest in hair and grooming. If they’re looking for a service like yours in their area, how much might they expect to pay? Alternatively, if you’re unsure, you might hold a focus group with local friends and family.
In what way does your brand image reflect your business?
What image do you want people to have of your barbershop? Is it going to be affordable haircuts or a luxury experience? You should price your products or services in a way that reflects the impression you want prospective customers to have of your company.
It’s important to keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better. For some customers, a high price can indicate quality.
What is your level of experience?
If you’re confident that you can provide a wide range of services at a very high level, why not raise your prices?
Now is also the time to begin advertising for clients
Fortunately, there are many options out there like social media, word of mouth, business cards or flyers. This is not something that should be rushed through; take some time to study what works best for previous barbers in your area (if they were successful). This will save you valuable time and money when starting.
Having a website for your barbering business is another marketing tool that is becoming more important by the day so it may be something worth looking into as well. People like to be informed and inspired before they choose where to get their hair done, so having your own site with barber prices and other information could be beneficial. Now you might say that’s all well and good for people living nearby but what about those who don’t live in the same city? We recommend using social media channels. Facebook is by far one of the most popular marketing choices since it allows us to target specific audiences based on age group, gender etc.
Finally, we want to mention some other useful tools you can use once you’re up and running such as email marketing software (Mailchimp helps). If you already have an idea of how many clients/friends/family members you expect to sign up, the software will help you keep track of when they’re up for their appointment and how often! You can set up automatic reminders and create your schedule.
Social media has become an important tool for barbershops looking to connect with potential customers. Now that there are so many platforms out there it can be difficult to decide which ones should receive your time and effort (and money). We recommend focusing on three at most such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; this way you’ll know where your audience is and not spread yourself too thin by investing in every single platform available.
Don’t Forget the Small Print
Lastly, we want to mention how important it is to check the legal side of things before opening your barber business. Ensure you have all the necessary permits, property documents and licenses required before you commit to a space!
That’s it for this article! If you’re looking to open a barbershop in the UK, hopefully, these few steps will help guide you through the process. Thanks for reading and good luck with your project(s)!