How to Start a Barbershop: Guide to Essentials

Barbershops are experiencing a grand return to the public. Instead of going to a regular hairdresser, men can to a place created and designed specifically for their needs, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere while having a perfect cut. Besides, men nowadays are more conscious of their looks and haircut, therefore, the need for professionals grows exponentially. A barbershop serves two main goals – functional (grooming) and communicational. In order to reach these goals, the barbershop should meet certain requests. Let’s follow the step-by-step guide to make sure your barbershop is ready to welcome the clients. 

The Skillset

If you are a barber, and you want to work independently, make sure you are the master of your craft since you will be the face of the barbershop. The advancement of your skills is the key to success. You can also expose the diploma of proficiency, however, all the certificates of participation in workshops shouldn’t be presented to the public as it’s just your process of learning. Besides, the quality of your service will be the best proof of your skills, not the framed certificates. 

The Place of the Barbershop

The placement is essential in terms of the number of clients and price policies. The main things to consider:

  • Location

– The central parts of the city or town are always more appealing, as they’re more people and thus, more possible clients. However, the rent is significantly higher than in the outskirts or residential areas.

– If you settle for a place near the office buildings, you will quickly gain local clients, as such proximity is just a perfect combo for them in terms of time management. 

– If you choose a location closer to schools or university campuses, the rent price will be significantly lower, as well as the profit. You can definitely have student discounts and attract new clients, however, the financial side will suffer significantly. 

– Getting closer to the markets will also do the trick with the number of clients, yet, they may not be looking for something exquisite and atmospheric, just a simple haircut.

– New residential areas may be a perfect solution, as there are typically on the outskirts, and people are not willing to spend too much time looking for barber services anywhere else. Proximity matters a lot, especially if the person works from home.  Besides, the number of clients will keep growing with the increasing number of new inhabitants in the area. 

  • Businesses around

First of all, take a walk around the place and see what businesses work in the area. If there are a lot of places for entertainment for your people or families, the barbershop may be a perfect fit, even if there’s a hairdresser. However, if there’s a barbershop in the area, you need to think twice, as the demand for your service can be lower than expected. In this situation you just need to go and experience everything yourself: if they provide men with a top-notch service, just look for another place; if the level is quite mediocre and you feel you will make the difference, off you go. 

  • The ambiance

A barbershop is about the feeling the clients get while visiting your site. If it is located in a damp building, or this part of a town is always windier than others and somewhere on the hill, the excellence of your skills will not win over all the commute to you. Besides, the coverage of public transport and proximity to transport stops matters as well.

The Design

The design is what attracts the clients, as it creates the whole atmosphere and image, something you are recognized by amidst others. 

  • Style

The style of a barbershop must be defined by the target group. Classy and modern style will attract the business class, and bold and brave patterns of a barber wallpaper will attract more young people. The style must unite every detail of the space, including the tools, business cards, and uniforms. Such consistency creates the whole impression and it is the most persuasive factor for the client’s choice. 

  • Lounge zone (waiting area)

A waiting area or reception area must be a welcoming and comfortable zone where the clients can enjoy their time while waiting for their appointment. The activities you can offer depend on the space: mini-billiard tables, magazines, books, TV, etc. Yet again, the activities may be corrected by the target audience. 

  • Branding

Branding is an essential part of your image. Every detail matters and makes a part of an overall image. Personalized mugs, logos on the tools, t-shirts with the printed logo – everything is noticed by the client and tells them how serious you are in developing your business. 

  • High-end supplies

Nothing speaks louder than the quality of your skills, tools and overall surrounding. All the tools must also be ideally-organized and clean, with no signs of dust on the bottles or on the shelves. The whole place must be sparkling as well with no exceptions. 

Development strategy

By having a development strategy you plan and anticipate all steps to take in the future, and all the possible obstacles. It makes you prepared for various situations. While elaborating on the strategies, you will need to work on the pricing list, which is the basis of your income and further development. 

The price list is based on a few factors:

  • Experience – your experience doesn’t come out of nowhere, it’s years of practice and relevant education to hone your skills. Don’t sell it cheap to attract customers. 
  • Pricing strategy of competitors – check what the competitors offer comparing it to the level of service they offer. This will give you a general look into the financial matters in the neighborhood. 
  • Target audience – if your target is an average citizen, you can’t set the price list for a luxury level. In case you target the luxury service, develop the brand respectively, and don’t be shy about setting the price for the perfection of the service. 
  • Rent and equipment – the price for the services must cover all the expenses for regular updates of the place, and equipment.
  • Salary for the staff. 


Depending on the country and province (city, district) there may be various regulations regarding the work of barbershops. The smooth functioning of the business (without legal issues) requires:

  • You, being licensed as a barber with the local authorities;
  • Barbershop registration;
  • Insurance  – although it is often ignored to save money, it may come in handy in emergency cases. 


High-end barbershop requires investments for development to conquer the market. You can go for startup or business loans, compare the interest rates and all the upcoming expenses and then decide on the most fitting variant. While making the list of essentials, don’t forget about the emergency fund, as no business is protected against unexpected turns of events in the global and local sense. 


Your staff is your work-family. It’s crucial to have one team of like-minded people who aim for prosperity together. Their experience matters a lot, however, it’s important to see through people, maybe a less skillful worker will make an extraordinary barber, yet lacks practice. One of the basic skills, along with the grooming ones, required for a barber is communication as people share a lot of hearty worries or happy moments expecting to have a response as well. It’s like a conversation with a psychologist while having the cut. 


Obviously, the word of mouth is the best advertisement, and it creates the basis of loyal clients. However, in our digital era, it’s impossible to underestimate the influence of social media:

  • Build your Internet presence – Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter. If you aim to expand your business, you need to be active in the digital world as well, targeting the local population. Besides, communicate with the clients-to-be, and don’t keep them waiting for the responses. 
  • Offer discounts and personalized offers to attract customers. 
  • Offline creativity – your barbershop should be visible and noticeable when in line with other businesses. Be original with design, and let it do the talking on your behalf. 


Every time the client enters your premises, they should feel expected and welcomed. The whole atmosphere and feeling of the place should help them relax and just have a moment for themselves. From the reception till the moment of leaving the place. If the professionalism of service is combined with the inviting atmosphere, the clients will come again, even if your pricing rate is higher than average.  

Barbershops are gaining popularity, setting new standards for male grooming services. The main difference between a regular hairdresser and a barbershop is the atmosphere. The professionalism of a barber combined with the right atmosphere of a place will attract new customers and turn them into loyal after the first visit. It’s important to define the strategy of business development and behavior and stick to them, as such consistency is always attractive for the clients. Loyal clients who highly appreciate your work will inspire you to even more productive performance, which is the best basis for further development.