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10 Steps to Starting a Barber Shop

startup barber shop with rustic decor

Before you open your new barber shop, take some time to define your target market

Whether you're starting a new barber shop as your very first business or opening another location to expand your services, the process can seem overwhelming. From market research and legal structure to building a brand and hiring barbers, each aspect needs to be carefully planned so you can stand out from the competition and provide an outstanding experience for customers. 

At Minerva Beauty, we are proud to support barber shop entrepreneurs with resources for opening your very own shop. Not only can you purchase barber equipment from Minerva, but we also have helpful tips to help you learn about opening and decorating a barbershop—like this blog post!

We will walk you through all the steps of opening a shop, from the very beginning to the grand opening. We wish you luck on your exciting new endeavor!

Starting a Barber Shop Checklist

As you begin to plan the opening of your business, you can use this checklist to help you stay on track and ensure that you have covered every detail.

1. Create a Business Plan

When starting a business, it’s important to have a business plan so that you can do things like securing loans and a location, as well as ensuring you stay on budget and within means. Here are some important things your business plan should include: 

  • Barbershop name
  • Barbershop mission statement
  • Desired location
  • Projected costs for things like: licensing, space acquisition, renovations, talent acquisition, equipment and decor.
  • Plans for barbershop equipment financing
  • Your budget
  • Projected revenue for the first year 
  • Market analysis

If you are worried about getting exact numbers and predictions for the points noted above, try not to worry. Your business plan can be fluid and adapt with you through each stage.

Check Out Minerva Beauty’s Barber Chairs

2. Secure Funding for Opening Costs

The number one question from would-be barber shop owners is: How much will it cost to start a barber shop? The answer varies depending on the city, neighborhood, and how big you want your barber shop to be initially. Based on reported startup costs from barber shop owners as well as publications that target entrepreneurs, the initial cost could range anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000.

This is why it's so important to get clear about your project by drafting a solid business plan, and working with a business consultant if necessary. If you will be seeking funding and loans to open your barbershop, now is a good time to start looking for it. Most investors and banks will ask you for a business plan in order to receive funding.

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides resources to help you calculate startup costs for your barber shop, and sites like Upwork even provide startup cost calculator tools.

Barber shop startup costs to consider:

  • Certification/Licensing
  • Remodeling/Repair
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Barbershop equipment & tools
  • Products
  • Staff salary & benefits
  • Insurance
  • Technology & booking software
  • Audiovisual equipment
  • Marketing (including a website)
  • Accountant/Bookkeeper 

Getting into the nitty gritty and planning your startup expenses in detail may not be the most fun or sexy part of opening a barber shop, but don't skimp on these steps. You need to lay a solid foundation to give your new barber shop the best chance of success!

3. Search for a Shop Location  

Now, it’s time to seek out a suitable location for your barber shop. As you are searching for the perfect space, you should be leveraging the market analysis you included in your business plan. A market analysis will uncover a lot of important information about the kind of barber shop you want to open and where you’d like the shop to exist. 

Some important things to pay attention to are:

  • Potential competition in the area
  • Accessibility of the location for people who drive, walk or take public transportation
  • Other businesses that will be around your barbershop 

While being in a location that doesn’t have many barbershops would be ideal for a booming business, it may mean that your shop isn’t as accessible, or isn’t in a part of town that receives a lot of traffic. All of these things are important to consider while shopping for a location. 

4. Register Your Business and Secure Licensing 

As a barbershop, there will be important licenses for you to have — depending on your location. We highly recommend consulting your city’s chamber of commerce and other officials to learn about the kinds of licenses and certifications you may need. While you’re taking care of legal aspects, it’s also important to register your business with the department of revenue in your state. Working with a startup lawyer can help you determine the right business structure (LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership), as well as minimize risk with hiring, negotiate with investors, understand your tax obligations, and more.

Shop for Barber Equipment at Minerva Beauty

backwash barber shampoo chair and mobile carts in new barbershop business
Our shampoo systems are available in a wide range of colors to complement your shop’s color scheme

5. Invest in Barbershop Equipment

As you finalize your lease or purchase agreement for your space, it’s time to shop for barber stations and other pieces of equipment. As you are shopping for equipment, it’s important to purchase barber chairs that will be able to grow with you and your shop as you scale your business. We strongly suggest investing in quality pieces that will impress your customers and help your staff stay productive when things get busy. Find out what to look for in a barber chair to make sure you're getting the most value for your money!

6. Design Your Space 

Most barber shops have a specific aesthetic they want to go for. As you move into your space and start to configure your floor plan, think about the look and vibe you want to create at your shop. Does your space lend itself well to a modern, traditional, rustic or industrial feel? Once you determine your shop’s look, purchasing barbershop mirrors that fall in line with your aesthetic will give your shop a cohesive feel. Using a barbershop design tool will make this step even easier as it lets you figure out the layout and design before you buy anything.

7. Fill Your Shop with Supplies 

Your barber shop is almost ready to open! But before you do, make sure you shop for barber supplies. From sanitizers to clippers and aprons, you want to make sure your shop is prepared! Aside from the tools needed to do the work, you should also make sure you create a comfortable space for your talent by using barber anti-fatigue mats and other ergonomic tools. 

8. Hire Talent 

One of the last steps you will need to complete in order to launch a successful barbershop is hiring and acquiring talent. From a receptionist to barbers and assistants, it’s important to have a team you can trust and grow with. 

starting a barber shop business with dark aesthetic
Take plenty of pictures of your barbershop interior for your website & social media

9. Set Up Your Website and Social Media Accounts

While there are many physical aspects to be taken care of when you open a barber shop, there also needs to be a focus on your digital presence. Set up a user-friendly and eye-catching website to let clients know you’re open for business and accepting new clients (or save yourself heaps of time by hiring a local web professional or digital marketing company). And don’t forget to claim your free business listings, for example a Google Business Profile. Another great way to generate buzz is by launching your shop’s social media profiles. Make sure you include relevant booking information in your bio. 

10. Plan a Grand Opening 

When you feel that your barber shop is ready to open, it’s time to plan a grand opening. This will be a great way to get clients in the door and let your community know about your shop. Offer discounts and promotions to attract new clients. 

Congratulations! You’re officially ready to open a barbershop. We know this process is a lengthy one, but we have all the confidence in you.

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