How to Manage a Barbershop: 5 Tips to Level Up Your Game!
You might wonder what’s so different about managing a barbershop. Well, the devil is in the details. It’s those small changes that most barbershops forget to inculcate in their day-to-day practices that create a massive difference in revenue.
The barbershop industry has a huge market size of $5 billion and there are already over 109k stores competing day in & day out for a pretty similar demographic. With a plethora of new stores opening every single day, you must find ways to stay on top of your game and make a few changes every now and then.
In this blog, we have outlined a way for you to take a deeper look into every aspect of your business that you need to focus on. So, here are all the sections that we shall be covering:
- Focus on providing exceptional customer service
- Learn how to manage your employees
- Take care of your shop front and interiors
- Stay consistent in your marketing efforts
- Finally, keep sharpening your skills as a manager
Without further ado, let’s get started on the tips to manage your barbershop!
1. Focus on providing exceptional customer service
Meeting your customers’ satisfaction is paramount to barbershop management. By providing top-notch customer service, your barbershop business can cultivate a loyal following that refers customers, serves as case studies, and provides testimonials and reviews. Let’s dive into how you can make this happen for your business.
a) Actively communicate with your clients
We often hear that effective communication happens when one talks less and listens more. Although it’s true in general communication, when it comes to business communication, one often has to persuade the customer to speak by asking the right questions. And these questions should change in accordance with the customer journey that the customer they’re posed to us in.
For example, if it’s a new customer, consider asking about their styling preferences, their reason for shifting to a new stylist, the key aspects of their styling that they want you to keep in mind, the changes that they want to make, etc. This will help you serve them better and also make them truly believe that you follow a very methodological approach to your craft.
If it’s a new customer, consider asking about their:
- Styling and product preferences
- Their reason for shifting to a new stylist
- Changes that they want to make
This will help you serve them better and also make them truly believe that you follow a methodological approach in your craft.
For an existing customer, you can ask questions like:
- How their latest hairstyle shift was received by their close ones
- Any new styles that have come into their observation
- Any new experimentations that they would like to do with their overall look
Again, it creates an impression that their preferences and opinions are taken into account, and their ideas are truly valued.
It’s very important to collect the right feedback after you finish the services as well. Are they happy with your services? On a scale of 1-10, what’s the rating they will give for your services? This will help you get an in-depth understanding of what you can do to enhance your services.
Now, one very important thing is that you have to save all this customer data in one place and in a proper format, as you can’t be asking the same questions again and again.
Here’s where you can consider using an online booking software like Appointy which lets you create customer notes to keep track of preferences and key details of the customer, and also group them based on different parameters to enhance your marketing activities.
Now, let’s take a deeper look at personalizing the client experience!
b) Make your clients feel taken care of
In service-based businesses such as barber shops, a lot depends on personalizing the customer experience. As a barbershop business owner, one of the most important aspects is to build a strong relationship with all your clients outside of the shop as well, so as to ensure they truly connect with you and keep coming back.
Here are some ways you could go about it:
- Call up all your clients during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other such festivals. A short 5-minute call to wish them can go a long way in building a strong customer relationship.
- Consider sending an automated message using WhatsApp Business, or even dropping an email. The idea is simply to make sure that they notice your presence so as to build that influence.
Besides this, you should also wish them on their special days! Again, call or send customized emails on birthdays or anniversaries. It’s even more powerful as it goes a long way in showing that you care! To take this a step further, you can create special gift cards, offers, and discounts for such special occasions.
Pro-Tip: Consider using Appointy’s ready-to-use templates to design your very own gift card. You are in control of everything from the aesthetics such as the colors or fonts to the technical aspects such as period of validity and T&Cs.
c) Bonus: Keeping up with trends and deal sweeteners!
With your business, you can never really have a lazy day! Especially in a service-based business, a small mistake can sometimes lead to major inconveniences for your customer.
So, you really have to make sure that things are always in order in your studio, and you are staying on top of your game at all times to ensure that the loyalty of customers is ensured.
You should also constantly work on updating yourself with the latest trends in the industry:
- What’s hip, what’s pop when it comes to styling?
- What are all the latest technologies that you should equip yourself with to make operations easier?
Consider subscribing to a few good magazines or blogs based on your target audience, this will keep you on track with the latest innovations.
Next, provide extras. One sure-shot way of ensuring customer loyalty is by providing a few extras every now and then! These extras can be in terms of small services such as an additional head massage or goodies that are tailor-made to represent your brand or any other relevant products. This will definitely push your clients to keep coming back for more!
2. Learn how to manage your employees
As with any customer-facing personal service business, the success of your barber shop depends largely on the skills and expertise of your employees. Your business offers hands-on, one-on-one services, and your employees are likely to develop personal relationships with clients. The way they treat those clients will affect the level of repeat business that is so crucial to your bottom line.
a) Master the art of delegation
The bigger you want to grow, the larger the team you will need while managing your own barbershop business! You simply can’t carry the entire mountain on your back alone, you need people to split responsibilities. Hence, delegating your work is an extremely important task that you must do. But how can you delegate effectively?
Delegate according to the skills.
- List down all the different services that you have and all the employees, along with their field of expertise.
- All that you will have to do now is map the service with the employee and have a test run of how things are panning out in your studio.
- You can mix and match a couple of combinations and test them out again before fixing what works the best for you.
Hiring the right folks is very important as it gives you a headstart in streamlining your business. While hiring, you should consider things like:
- Barbershop’s requirements
- Years of experience
- The craftsmanship of the potential employee
- People’s skills they possess
They don’t have to know everything, but they should know just enough for you to be able to groom them according to your studio’s needs.
b) Stay on top of employee performance reviews
You simply cannot be afraid to make cuts as and when required! This doesn’t in any way mean that you go all guns blazing on your employees, no! Always make data-driven decisions.
Track your employee’s performance based on various parameters. You can consider factors such as customer reviews, monthly revenue generation, number of bookings, etc. to make custom reports. It offers you an easy way to keep track of all these employee performance reports to help you make data-driven decisions.
Keep in mind that treating your employees fairly and rewarding the top performers is important as well. Gamify your employee experience. This will encourage the top seeds to keep performing while also motivating others to be right up there on the ranking table.
3. Take care of your shop front, interiors, and services
Whether your barbershop is on a busy commercial street or in the middle of a mall, you want your storefront to stand out from your neighbors. Your prosperity depends on attracting customers, so your storefront design and the overall aesthetic of your barbershop have to capture their attention and inspire them to visit.
a) Stick to your aesthetic
Wouldn’t make much sense if you don’t focus on the aesthetics of your studio when you are in a business that’s all about aesthetics, isn’t it? You have to stitch each and every aspect right from the storefront and all the way to the payment desk to specifically reflect your brand image.
You will need to look into the color scheme, the placement of seats, the size of the posters (if any), etc. Besides, you also have to make sure that your customers are comfortable. Are the seats properly adjusted? Is the shop clean? Are the mirrors positioned in a proper way? Is there accessible drinking water? Comfort is important!
Creating an inviting environment is absolutely essential as well. Look into things like the lighting, a sound system in place, and you can even consider using special incense sticks or diffusers to tie in that fragrance aspect as well. Create an atmosphere with the right “vibes” that stimulate various sensory experiences!
b) Be on top of crowd control
Waiting is a huge problem for all the barbershop clients, trust us! Hence, keeping your waiting clients entertained is essential.
Subscribe to good magazines or daily, and consider investing in a television set. Make sure that you communicate the probable time of their turn for the cut and keep communicating the same to them at regular intervals. This will ensure that the walk-ins won’t, well, walk out!
There shouldn’t be any compromise on your services! This really goes without saying. All the products that you’re using, be it the shaving lotion or the shampoo or even the razor, should all be of exceptional quality, as this will directly impact the customer experience. Besides, you can also ask for any additional products that the customer wants before the service begins.
c) Understand your type and modify your services accordingly
When it comes to this industry, there are no fixed rules as to what kind of services work and what don’t. You might as well offer a plethora of services so as to make sure that you can serve a large client base, or you can find your own niche and stick to it so as to make sure that you stand out.
Here is a list of services that are typically included in a barbershop:
- Haircuts and hair maintenance
- Beard maintenance
- Facial hair grooming services
- Scalp, neck, and facial massages
- Cosmetic preparations for skin
Being a generalist or a specialist – decide what works the best for you.
However, some general advice. Don’t complicate things for your clients, keep it simple! A minimal service menu makes it easy for your clients to choose from. Also, make sure that the lingo is not complicated. Simple and clean are the two words that you should be focussing on.
4. Stay consistent in your marketing efforts
Marketing is a significant aspect of a successful business. Whether you own barbershop chains across multiple locations, have one well-established shop, or have just started one, you can reach a larger audience and grow your business with the right marketing tactics. Let’s dive into some effective marketing tips that you can follow while managing your barbershop business.
a) Have an online presence
Having an online presence is very important for your business to flourish. A significant percentage of customers would search online for a barbershop in your area, and they will probably want to get a sneak peek into your services. Now, one of the best ways to build your presence is by creating your own website.
When designing a website you have to make sure that the following boxes are ticked:
- It should reflect your brand image throughout. This will depend on the way you present your content. So, make sure that there’s a uniformity in the colors that you choose for the website, the images that you want to be displayed, the services that you want to market more, etc.
- It should rank on the web pages. This is where Search Engine Optimization or SEO comes in. Invest in local search engine optimization and even in pay-per-click advertising to get your brand in front of your target audience.
- There are no technical glitches on the website. One thing that can instantly drive your clients away from the website are the technical glitches that might creep up. Is it taking too long to load? Are all the landing pages working properly? Are all the images loading quickly?
Another crucial aspect of building an online presence for your barbershop is to ensure that you have established your presence on Google My Business and Reserve with Google. By enabling these, you make sure that your business shows up whenever a potential customer searches for something like ”barber shops near me”. Consider using Appointy to easily set up RwG, so that the customers can book right from Google.
b) Social media and reputation management
Apart from a website, another crucial aspect of online marketing is making sure that your social media presence is well-managed. Here are a few things that you should look into for the same:
- Design your business pages/accounts on Instagram and Facebook.
- Use the right hashtags to make sure that your content is reaching out effectively.
- Share information about all your services, events, articles, and webcasts across your socials.
- Include a ‘book now’ button on your Instagram business account and Facebook page to leverage your social media presence.
It’s also important to make sure that your business is being reflected properly on the web, especially when it comes to reviews. Showcasing your 5-star reviews helps you ensure that the potential customers are aware of how well your services are received by your existing customers.
c.) Is your marketing on the right track?
Apart from the time spent on putting your brand out there and setting up your online presence, you may consider some other methods of marketing as well.
- Email marketing: Email marketing never gets old. Period. All your email marketing campaigns should be tailored properly to showcase your brand identity, have clear conversion goals, and leave a lasting impact on the readers.
- Discounts, offers, and gift coupons: Deals and discounts are super effective ways to draw customers towards your services. Consider offering discounts on bundled services, such as offering a 20% discount on head massage for all those who have come for a haircut. Besides these, you can also consider offering gift coupons to all the existing customers so that they bring in additional customers to your studio. This can act as a good referral program.
- Loyalty programs: You can also consider rewarding your existing customers with special loyalty programs such as creating a membership-based plan wherein points get added each time they choose a service that can later be redeemed. This will ensure that the customers don’t choose your competitor and keep coming back to you for more!
5. Finally, keep sharpening your skills as a manager
Being a barber shop owner is much more than just understanding the craft of being a barber. These are typically the managerial skills that you will need to pick up to manage your barbershop business effectively.
Here are a few skills that you must consider working upon:
- Be a leader. Take complete control of your business. This doesn’t mean that you have to micromanage each and every employee. Instead, outline your expectations from each employee and communicate them properly.
- Demonstrate your abilities. Show your employees the right way to do things. This can be in terms of skills related to the craft itself, or all the soft skills such as how you interact with the client and how you build a relationship with them.
- Be efficient. Structure your day’s work ahead of time. Use business management tools to manage the tiring administrative tasks.
Now, as a typical barbershop owner, here are the tasks that you will have at hand:
- Oversee the daily activities of employees
- Recruit, hire, and train new employees
- Ensure the day-to-day operations are running smoothly
- Manage inventory and make purchase decisions
- Handle production, marketing, and administrative functions
- Design and implement the company’s budget; set sales goals and ensure that the team is on track in terms of achieving them
- Ensure the financial goal of the business is being achieved
Here’s a solution to handle all the above tasks: Appointy!
With Appointy, you can manage your staff, schedule tasks, take online appointments 24×7, keep track of resources, generate custom reports, automate administrative tasks, market your business, and do much more!
Appointy is the one-stop scheduling solution your business needs.
Click here to learn more!
And that’s a wrap on the blog and a fresh perspective for you on how to manage a barbershop successfully! Do not forget, as a business owner you must always stay updated with trends, as the ways of business are constantly evolving.
Consider subscribing to industry magazines or following the right pages across the social media channels to ensure that you’re up to date with the trends.
Going forward, you can consider expanding your business in different ways such as offering more services, opening a bigger studio, or even opening a new branch altogether and creating a chain of studios that way!
Always remember, business is one infinite loop! And keeping that in mind, it’s time to part ways for now! Hope these barbershop management tips help you snd adios, until next time!
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
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