Your barbershop is your mancave-- a sanctuary where guys can escape, groom and relax. But more importantly, this home-away-from-home is your business. No matter how much love and passion you invest in this place, sometimes you need to take a step back and think more like an entrepreneur. You might have the most talented barbers in the city, but without the right goal-setting plan, your business won’t scale. To help you raise the bar, we sat down with the most successful barbershop owners in Canada and asked for some valuable tips.
Here are five ways to increase sales in your barbershop.
- Be smarter about internet marketing
Every barbershop has room to grow. The only problem is that when you're stuck in your comfort zone as a business-owner, you stick to the same stale marketing routines that feel safe instead of taking new risks. Just like what you’d tell clients who repeat their old hairstyle, it’s better to be current and fresh.
Even if you update your website or use Facebook marketing, your sales won’t grow if there’s no strategy. These moves are only meaningful when you’re reaching your audience. Take this scenario, for example: you create a paid Facebook ad, targeting the cool urban millennial, but your shop is located in a suburb with lots of middle-aged dads. Here, you’re not being smart about internet marketing.
Here’s something you could do instead: reach out to five local guys with a decent following on social media. Offer them a full grooming service (and maybe a free product) in exchange for promotion. They’ll post a photo on social media, showing off their dapper look, along with a link to your website and a recommendation for your services. Chances are that a few of their buddies will flock to your barbershop.
Always have a strategy and know your demographic. Being creative and calculated with your internet marketing is key. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how much you use Instagram or make tweets if you’re not targeting your audience.
So channel your inner artist and consider how to be more inventive and meaningful with how you use social media. Don’t forget about platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest-- two very underused marketing opportunities.
- Keep updating your skills
Does your staff stay up-to-date with the latest grooming trends? When styles are constantly changing, clients prefer barbers who know how to perform the latest techniques. Even if your barbershop mainly caters to older gentlemen, these guys still appreciate the chance to look modern and handsome.
To offer this caliber of service, your staff need to stay current with their knowledge base and skills. That’s right-- back to class you go! Every six months or so, send two staff members to a training workshop. When they return, they’ll teach these new techniques to your other barbers. The luxury of having well-trained staff who are committed to professional growth is vital for attracting customers.
If there’s an overseas workshop being led by a world-renowned barber, try to seize this opportunity. Having your team trained by the best makes your barbershop the best.
- Hire more barbers
As your customer base increases, you must hire more barbers. Yes, these updates will cost you money, but it’s all part of increasing your sales over the long-term.
You can expand your team gradually, making the process safer on your pocket. Perhaps at the beginning stage, you’ll hire one extra barber for just two days per week. Then, as the new recruit attracts more clients, you’ll increase their work schedule.
Do your best to support your most recent team member in growing their customer base. Your receptionist is a great place to start. When new customers call to schedule an appointment, have your receptionist endorse your new barber, helping to build their client roster. And if your budget is still raw, your new barber can double as an assistant until they gain more customers.
- Extend store hours
If you can't increase your team, increase your hours. This move, although simple, can be one of the cleverest ways to increase sales in your barbershop. Why? Because on average, your competitors close by 5 pm on weekdays and even earlier on Sundays.
The downside to this schedule is that working clients have to coordinate their haircut with their lunch hour. This approach makes weekends the most popular day which jam-packs your schedule. If your barbershop is one of the rare few that’s opened until 9pm, that’s a huge incentive for customers. And if the late hours might worry the client’s wifey, you can always give out appointment cards to prove their alibi.
- Carry the right products (i.e. Rocky Mountain Barber products)
A barbershop is only as professional as their products. When your shelves are stocked with top-of-the-line products, your customers will invest more trust in the quality of your overall service. Not only will you enhance the image of your barbershop, but you’ll also boost sales.
You can secretly promote the products by having your barbers use them on clients. It’s free advertising! So while the barber is applying pre-shave oil or lathering on the shaving cream, they should casually boast about the product’s unique qualities. The barber can follow up by asking the client which products they use. Many men stick to simple and accessible stuff, usually the average drugstore variety. By enticing them something more premium and handsome-smelling, you’ll see your sales rise.
To build the right product stock, do your research and network with other entrepreneurs who specialize in high quality grooming essentials. Choose a brand that focuses on pure ingredients to seperate yourself from the generic brands that overload the chemicals. Rocky Mountain Barber is a Canadian brand that lives and breathes natural grooming products. Even world class athletes like three-time Olympian Christopher Spring and Pro Boxer Joey Spencer are loyal to Rocky Mountain Barber products. Never underestimate the importance of health as a selling point.
Every business needs a plan for success. As long as you’ve got a clear vision, your barbershop will be that special haven, eventually attracting gents outside your area code. Remember that being a successful entrepreneur is a lifelong learning curve. Good luck.