So you say you want to own your own barbershop. I think we’re in one of the biggest entrepreneurship movements in history; it seems like everyone wants to own a business. You must have a ton of questions: where, when, how? I think the biggest question you have to ask yourself is “why?” Why do you want to own? Do you want to work alone, with a team, with a partner? Do you want to be a boss to others? The questions can go on and on.
If you’re trying to weigh the pros and cons of ownership, take these five steps:
1) Ask the hard questions. Find someone that owns a business in our industry and find someone not in our industry. Ask the hard questions and ask them to be very honest with you. Find out what it really takes to own and operate a business.
2) Take business classes. Even the best barber can be the worst business owner; your technical skill means nothing if you don’t have business skills. You must understand the ins and outs of running a business and online classes can help you get that baseline knowledge.
3) Assemble your team. The saying, “it takes a village” definitely applies to starting your own small business. Here are a few people you’ll need to add to your team.
Lawyer and an accountant. If you have to have a great relationship with them, they will become your best friends.
Financial Adviser. Yes, they are different from an accountant! Understanding the health of your personal finances and equity will help you make the best decisions for your business.
Bank or banker. Like your lawyer, accountant, and financial adviser, you need to have a great relationship with a bank or banker so they know your plans and goals.
Advisor. This is someone that you can talk to openly and trust that they’re open to you. We also call these trusted professional contacts mentors. You’ll need them for advice throughout your journey.
Insurance Agent. You need to know the rules and regulations of insurance compliance yourself, but having a personal agent will make understanding the ins and outs way easier.
4) Know the laws. Understand the laws that govern your city and state in both the business world and state board world.
5) Create brand standards. Remember a logo does not make you a brand. Understand who you are and what you stand for; the design can come later.
Most people go into owning a barber shop because they’re not happy with the shop they’re working at and think they can do better. With little to no training on owning or managing a team, a ton of professionals go into this blindly. The most successful owners and shops are the ones where the owner takes the time to run the business, they don’t let the business run them. The biggest thing that I did when I started my business is that I divided my time between being behind the chair and running the business. I started slowly with a half day then I added another half day, then it turned into a full day, etc. Now I only work behind the chair four times a week for four hours each day. The rest of the time I am working on the brand and the team. This divide pays off, especially when you look at things like retail numbers. If you choose to stay behind the chair full time as an owner, you have to hire a manager that knows your vision and will execute it for you.
At the end of the day, you have to really consider why you want to be an owner. I have seen way too many talented barbers leave money on the table because they wanted to own and they couldn't cut as much as they wanted to or the business isn't doing what they want it to because they were too busy behind the chair! Be honest with yourself and your expectations. Owning your own barber shop can be very rewarding, but you have to ask yourself the hard questions before getting into the ownership game.
In this post, we talked about how goal setting and proper planning can help you open your own barbershop. Here are two tools that can help:
Goal Setting Basics Online ClassCreate your game plan for reaching your goal with this easy-to-follow online class.
Organization and Planning Online ClassFrom time management to ethical principles, this online class covers everything future business owners need to know about organization and planning.
Jes has devoted nearly twenty years to advancing the craft of men’s hair cutting and fashion grooming. Strong training in men’s scissor techniques and cutting-edge styling methods deliver modern and classic looks on his male clientele. And with a strong emphasis on styling, you know you're going to not only look good but be able to recreate your style at home. With a focus on education, Jes inspires creativity in the future of the trade and passes down his wealth of experience and knowledge surrounding cutting, grooming, and management. Through sharing his experience, he mentors fellow owners and industry professionals on marketing and promotion for their own companies and businesses.
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