So you’ve finished barbering school! Congrats! But now that you’ve finished, what is your next step? Here are 5 tips to create a barbershop business plan and promote yourself as a barber.
1) Start with Your Barbershop Space
Whether you work at a shop, rent a chair or own your own barbershop, make sure your space sends the right message. This will be a big factor in whether a customer will return. Make your space inviting to ensure that your customers are comfortable. It’s also important to consider convenience and service. Do you offer great service at a reasonable price? Are your hours comparable to other barbershops in the area? The more boxes you check yes, the more likely your business will promote itself!
Offer a Unique Experience in Your Barbershop
Provide a unique experience that your clients won’t find anywhere else. Offer them refreshments, like freshly brewed coffee, while they wait. Get to know them when they’re in your chair. Make small talk. Ask about their family or upcoming plans for the weekend. You might also offer a few freebies, like a facial hair trim with a haircut, or free product samples. The goal is to make your customers feel welcome, appreciated, and valued.
2) Know Your Market to Build Barber Clientele
You can’t grow your business if you don’t know enough about the industry. It’s important for you to be ahead of the curve with regard to hot styles and trends in barbering and men’s grooming. You’ll also want to understand how seasons, holidays, and even overall economics, could impact your business. If you want to advertise and promote your services, you need to understand the really big picture of men’s style and fashion. Once you understand the market, you can choose when and how to offer discounts and special promotions. These discounts and promotions will help you build barber clientele.
3) Take Word of Mouth Advertising for Your Barbershop
Word of mouth is still a great advertising tool—and now it doesn’t just happen person-to-person. It can happen online where a single client can share the good news about your shop with hundreds of their followers. So don’t forget to ask your current clients, especially those who rave about your services, to refer their friends and family to you—and to share their positive experiences online. Your own friends and family are a good network too. Ask them to pass out your business card to co-workers, roommates, and their friends. Tell them to boast about all you offer on social media. Every time someone hears about you, it’s another opportunity to get them in your chair.
4) Market Your Barbershop on Social Media
Word-of-mouth advertising has gone digital! Social media allows you to easily and effectively promote yourself as a barber. Most all your clients are probably on social media, but so are their friends—and theirs! Don’t miss this great opportunity. Create business profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram and then start sharing what you do and how well you do it.
Increase your reach on these social media channels. It’s a great way to show off the awesome work that you do (with your clients’ permission, of course!). On your Facebook page or Instagram account, post before and after shots of your great work. Announce special events and promotions on the platforms. Ask clients to post testimonials of your work. Create a YouTube channel and share video tutorials of new techniques and styles you’ve learned. Use the platform to demonstrate your skills in action. The more you put out on social media, the more people you can reach.
Get your clients’ permission and share before and after shots. Take video and still shots of barbering events and competitions you attend. Post info about new techniques in men’s grooming. And share it all on social media. Make sure to pay attention to users who like and share what you’re doing. And re-gram, retweet, reuse what they do. A single retweet or re-gram of your photos or stories has the potential to go viral. Even if you aren’t insta-famous, you can still get your shop out there, by posting regularly.
5) Hand Out Barber Business Cards and Network
Those events and competitions you attend? Don’t go without a barber business card. But even if you can’t get in the door to a conference, get online and network. Also reach out to bloggers and business professionals to see if they might want to check out your services and give you a positive review on social media pages. Connect with future clients but also with people doing the same thing you do. LinkedIn is a great place to make professional connections. Find out what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Always learn and you’ll always grow.
6) Offer a Promotion for Your Barbershop
What’s the best way to motivate someone to do something? Give them an incentive. Offer a discount, or a free shave with a purchased haircut to new clients. Create a loyalty program that offers customers a free service after a certain number of visits. There are digital loyalty program apps that you can use, including Loopy Loyalty and Loyalzoo, that can help you track your clients’ purchases and rewards. Advertise the program to current and future clients. Rewarding clients for coming back is good advertising and good business.
Ultimately, if you want to build up your profile as a barber, you need to put yourself out there. But before you can promote yourself as a great barber, you need to become one. Check out the barbering program at Salon Success Academy. We’ll provide you with hands-on training, extensive prep for your licensing exam, and tricks and techniques to promote yourself. Fill out the form to learn how you could get started on your dream career.