A Guide to Starting a Barbershop

Barber cutting hair

There are certain jobs that offer you the ability to become independent at many points in your career, and a barber is one of them. That's why there are over 14,000 barbershops across the US, and the number is only growing!

If it's that time in your career, you may be wondering how to get started. Let's talk about how to open a barbershop.

What Do You Need Before Starting a Barbershop?

With any business, you can't just snap your fingers and make it appear out of thin air with a steady stream of customers. There are some things you might need before you nail your first buzz cut.


If you've gone through schooling or an apprenticeship, you really don't need too much more experience than that to start a barbershop. However, that's not true for everybody. The amount of experience you need to start your own shop is exactly how much you're comfortable with. That decision is entirely on you.

However, it's good to have a little bit of financial experience before opening your own business. Start practicing good financial habits in your personal life, save money for a rainy day, or ask other barbershop owners for advice to teach you about that side of the job.

Some Funds

Almost every business requires some money upfront. There really is no way around it. For a new shop, you should expect to spend some cash to get started but luckily, it's not that much compared to some other businesses. Let's do a quick breakdown.


You'll need a place to do business. The most common way to do this is to rent a space for your shop. The price of this will vary widely based on the location, size of the space, and several other factors. If you buy a space, you may save money in the long run, but it will cost more in the meantime.


The next expense is equipment. You're not just going to get a cheap set of clippers and call it a day. You need quality equipment that will last you a while. If a pair of clippers you use for your own hair last you a lifetime, that same pair might only last you 6 weeks as a barber. You want quality equipment that you can trust, as well as backups to avoid having to temporarily shut down your business operations.


Will you have employees? Are you planning to bring in other barbers at the beginning or will it just be you? This is important because the upfront expenses can be expensive to add employees. A partnership might be the way to go unless you are the one fronting the cash.


What about insurance? Almost every business purchases insurance in order to help protect its assets but the items and materials that need to covered can vary widely from business to business. Insurance is undoubtedly an important part of any business, so make sure you're getting policy covers the things that are important to your business operations, including Workers' Compensation and more.


Lastly, you'll need to let people know you exist. Making yourself known can cost some money but if you know what you're doing, it's rather inexpensive. Make sure you're accounting for these expenses and saving up extra just in case you don't get enough revenue as quickly as expected.

How To Start a Barbershop

These things can help you get started. Once you begin getting customers, treat every one of them like your life depends on them coming back. Repeat business is what can help keep your shop afloat. Here's how to start getting more rolling in.

Crunch The Numbers

As we said, the costs are totally unique to your location, your needs, and everything else. You may need to take out a loan or get some other financial assistance. Calculate your startup costs and see if it's feasible for you to start a business on your own at this point or if it's best to wait.

Get Your Location

Start renting out a location or make one in your garage for free! There are some businesses to consider starting from home but remember it might be a little more challenging to find customers that way.

Set Your Prices

Figure out what services your shop will be offering, who your target market is, what services you can add for them, and how much you will charge. Once you have that, you might want to post it on your website or social media platforms.


Use local directories, websites, social media, and other tools at your disposal to get the word out. People love discounts, so you might want to run a discount promotion to introduce people to your amazing services.

Try to use local affiliates to help you get the word out and pass out business cards to your customers for some extra word-of-mouth advertising.

Build Your Revenue

Now that you know how to start a barbershop, there's no time like the present to get started. Just follow these steps, stay up to date with our latest small business news, and contact us to learn about our best business insurance plans!


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