How to Start a Barber Shop, Get Customers, and Stay in Business

Starting a barber shop can be an exciting venture for those passionate about grooming and providing excellent customer service. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to get your barber shop up and running, attract customers, and ensure long-term success.

1. Planning and Preparation

A. Conduct Market Research Before opening your barber shop, it's crucial to conduct thorough market research. Understand the local market, identify your target demographic, and analyze competitors. Look for gaps in the market where you can offer unique services or a distinct atmosphere.

B. Create a Business Plan A solid business plan will serve as your roadmap. It should include:

  • Executive Summary: Outline your business concept and goals.

  • Market Analysis: Detail your market research findings.

  • Services Offered: Describe the range of services you will provide.

  • Marketing Strategy: Plan how you will attract and retain customers.

  • Financial Projections: Estimate your startup costs, ongoing expenses, and revenue projections.

  • Location: Choose a strategic location with high foot traffic and visibility.

C. Secure Financing Determine how much capital you need to start your barber shop. This includes rent, equipment, supplies, marketing, and working capital. Explore different financing options such as personal savings, loans, or investors.

2. Legal Requirements and Permits

A. Register Your Business Choose a business name and register it with the appropriate government authorities. Ensure the name is unique and reflects your brand.

B. Obtain Licenses and Permits Depending on your location, you may need several licenses and permits, including:

  • Business License

  • Barber Shop License

  • Health and Safety Permits

C. Compliance with Regulations Ensure your barber shop complies with local health and safety regulations. This includes maintaining a clean and hygienic environment and proper sanitation of equipment.

3. Setting Up Your Barber Shop

A. Design and Layout Design your barber shop to create a welcoming and comfortable environment. Consider:

  • Waiting Area: Comfortable seating and entertainment options like magazines or a TV.

  • Workstations: Ample space for each barber with high-quality chairs, mirrors, and tools.

  • Decor: Choose a theme or style that reflects your brand and appeals to your target customers.

B. Purchase Equipment and Supplies Invest in high-quality barbering tools and equipment, including:

  • Barber Chairs

  • Clippers and Trimmers

  • Scissors and Razors

  • Combs and Brushes

  • Hair Products and Towels

C. Hire Skilled Staff Recruit experienced and skilled barbers who share your passion for excellent customer service. Provide training to ensure consistency in service quality.

4. Marketing and Attracting Customers

A. Create a Strong Brand Identity Your brand identity should reflect your unique selling points and resonate with your target market. Develop a professional logo, choose a color scheme, and create a catchy tagline.

B. Build an Online Presence A strong online presence is essential for attracting customers. Create a user-friendly website that includes:

  • Information about your services and pricing

  • Online booking system

  • Customer reviews and testimonials

  • Contact information and location

C. Utilize Social Media Leverage social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to showcase your work and engage with potential customers. Post high-quality photos of haircuts, share customer testimonials, and run promotions or contests.

D. Implement Local Marketing Strategies

  • Flyers and Business Cards: Distribute them in local businesses and community centers.

  • Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses to cross-promote services.

  • Special Offers: Attract new customers with discounts or special packages.

E. Encourage Word-of-Mouth Referrals Provide exceptional service to encourage customers to refer friends and family. Offer referral discounts or loyalty programs to reward repeat customers.

5. Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

A. Personalized Service Treat each customer as an individual and tailor your services to their needs and preferences. Remember their names, preferred styles, and any specific requests.

B. Professionalism and Courtesy Maintain a professional demeanor and treat every customer with respect. Ensure your staff is well-groomed and dressed appropriately.

C. Consistency in Quality Ensure that every service provided meets high standards. Regularly train your staff and stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in barbering.

D. Customer Feedback Encourage customers to provide feedback and use it to improve your services. Address any complaints promptly and professionally.

6. Financial Management and Sustainability

A. Keep Accurate Records Maintain detailed records of all financial transactions, including expenses, revenue, and payroll. Use accounting software to streamline this process.

B. Manage Cash Flow Monitor your cash flow closely to ensure you have enough funds to cover expenses. Plan for seasonal fluctuations and have a reserve for unexpected costs.

C. Pricing Strategy Set competitive prices that reflect the quality of your services and cover your costs. Consider offering tiered pricing for different levels of service.

D. Control Costs Keep a close eye on your expenses and look for ways to reduce costs without compromising on quality. Negotiate with suppliers for better rates and buy in bulk where possible.

7. Staying Competitive and Growing Your Business

A. Continuous Learning and Improvement Stay updated with industry trends and continuously improve your skills. Attend workshops, take advanced courses, and participate in barbering competitions.

B. Expand Your Services Consider expanding your range of services to attract a broader customer base. This could include offering grooming products, spa services, or barbering classes.

C. Community Engagement Engage with your local community through events, sponsorships, and partnerships. Participate in community events or host your own to increase your visibility.

D. Customer Retention Strategies Develop strategies to retain customers and build loyalty. This could include loyalty programs, personalized follow-ups, and exclusive offers for repeat customers.

E. Adapt to Market Changes Be adaptable and ready to change your strategies based on market trends and customer preferences. Regularly review your business plan and make necessary adjustments.


Starting and maintaining a successful barber shop requires careful planning, dedication, and a commitment to providing exceptional service. By following these steps and staying adaptable, you can build a thriving barber shop that attracts loyal customers and stands the test of time. Remember, the key to success lies in your passion for the craft and your ability to connect with your customers.