Step by step guide: How to open a Barbershop

Are you super excited about your barbering techniques, you’ve built up a clientele and you know exactly the barbershop that will best serve your community?

Congratulations! Here at Blade Craft Barber Academy, we can help you with guidelines to start your own barbershop. Here are the top 10 steps to starting a barbershop.

  1. Start with the business plan.
  2. Make your barbershop official.
  3. Location, location, location.
  4. Develop your service offerings
  5. Design your barbershop’s efficient layout
  6. Create a financial plan
  7. Build out the barbershop
  8. Create marketing strategies for the barbershop.
  9. Hiring and training barbers
  10. Open barbershop

How stoked are we?! Let’s begin at the beginning…

Number One
Start with your business plan

Do not be intimidated by one of the most important facets of starting a business, your business plan. Creating a sound business concept is going to be essential in order to have a great brand and be able to create a difference in your community.

Create a unique business concept that is illustrated throughout your business plan. At Blade Craft Barber Academy training is meant for personalization just like the services you’re offering your clientele. You want to make sure to offer a one-of-a-kind customer experience.

Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself.

-Why should the barbershop exist?

-What are you passionate about?

-Who else is going to share this passion?

-What can I offer this specific group that is passionate about the things I’m passionate about that no one else is offering?

Congratulations!!! You’re narrowing down your target audience and they’re going to identify the way you think about services and your values. This clarity is going to help you create everything from location, services, experience, and pricing because you can keep this audience in mind.

Once you’ve figured out your clear concept, you can start writing your business plan. You can find various templates on as well as online.

Don’t overcomplicate it. Matter of fact, if you can get it down to a two-page business plan and expand from there, you are already ahead.

Request a Business Consultation

Number two
Make your barbershop official

In order to make sure that your entity is legal, you want to make sure that you find a successful accountant and a business lawyer. In my years of business, both of these checks anytime I have to pay them out have always added more value to my business and kept it protected than any other expense.

Get advice from your insurance broker on exactly which policies are going to be required for your business as well.

Number three
Location, location, location

Finding the right location in your community for your barbershop is extremely important. Ensure that the right location is strategic instead of emotional. A lot of times we can choose something based on emotion, but remember that a building is just four walls and you are the product. In order to be successful, you have to find the right location.

There are many factors, but let’s focus on some important ones:

  • How many cars are driving by? Are there complementary businesses near it? Is there proximity to schools, apartment complexes, or other coworking spaces & coffee shops that may support your business? Is there a shopping area, or grocery store?
  • Patterns? What times a day? Are people walking by or driving by?
  • What are the types of customers that visit the nearby businesses? Are they part of your target demographic? How is parking for them?
  • Consider square footage, and what projected build-out expenses will be.
  • Ensure the use of the space is supported by the city.
Number Four
Develop your barbershop service offerings

It’s really important to consider not what the client is necessarily willing to pay but what is going to cost you to be in operations. A lot of times we tend to undercut ourselves or undervalue our services because we are unaware of what it’s going to cost to keep our doors open as well as pay our staff and provide quality products.

Examine the costs and consider the shop’s authentic experience beyond just the actual haircut and shave. Think about how your staff is going to be able to provide this if you’re looking for a higher-end luxury barbershop. The services may have aromatic towels, steam services, and bell sounds, who knows you want to consider the timing in the pricing. Utilizing ingredients for multiple things is going to lower waste by being efficient in timing and planning.

Number Five
Designing the Barbershop Layout

A lot of times the barbershop layouts are designed by owners or contractors that have never cut hair or worked behind the chair.

This being said you want to make sure that you take the accountability of the barbers on their feet and where their body is going to be positioned when they’re shampooing and working.

  • Choose the location based on its being profitable. Hire professionals that are licensed throughout the process.
  • Start with your actual offerings. Designed for function, you can always design for your clientele and create a unique ambiance after the function
Number Six
Creating a financial plan

Oftentimes upon opening up a barbershop, people are not going to be knocking down the doors to come in because they simply will just not know that you’re there. Making sure that you account for 90 days to six months of overhead expenses is going to be extremely helpful, especially if you can try and budget it with your landlord.

Initially, you’re going to have

  • barber equipment
  • products
  • tools
  • floor mats
  • signage
  • graphic designers
  • potentially even interior designers depending on your space
  • marketing

Remember, you can always add more to the initial buildout that can vary with the personality and growth of the shop.

There are different ways to obtain funding.

  • grants
  • crowdfunding
  • small business administration.

And don’t forget to negotiate your lease.

Request a Business Consultation

Number Seven
Building out your barbershop

General Contractors can charge 20% or more on the total build-out expense to manage a tradesman, and see the project through. If you or someone you know has experience in it, make sure you can discuss it with them to ensure potentially cutting down on cost making sure that contracts protect friendships and that everything is clearly aligned.  Create a logical flow and plan for the different trades. For example, the walls can’t be painted without the inner workings behind the walls being completed. Plumbing, HVAC, and electrical are extremely high ticket items, making sure that things are paid for in draws based on completion.

Number Eight
Creating a marketing strategy for the barbershop.

There are so many different marketing tactics.

  • Guerrilla Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Digital marketing
  • Brochures and cards

Working with a graphic designer to first have your brand name, logo, colors, and imagery ensures consistency. Creating a visual representation of what your barbershop is going to mean is extremely important. It can influence your clients to either stop and visit or not.

Number Nine
Hire and Train Staff

The time spent recruiting, and training new hires is best maximized by clear expectations for all parties.  Employees can vary from Barbers to a Business Administrator.

Roles that aren’t readily obvious which can handle everything from answering the phone to content creation to greeting clients, checking them out ensuring they have a beverage as well as the barbers you may be considering booth rent but they still need to have a clear understanding and a contract as far as what the expectations of the services are.

Number Ten
You are ready to launch.

There is nothing like your first impression and making sure that the first week you plan for everything to run smoothly interested


  • Soft Opening
  • Grand Opening
  • Pre-booking services
  • Ensuring all plumbing works before the big day
  • Staffing
  • Product & apparel sales

Blade Craft Barber Academy offers an array of training that will help ensure your success in this industry whether you are becoming a barber or gaining an understanding to become an exceptional barbershop leader or manager.

Best wishes in creating something that wasn’t there, and becoming a positive impact in your world!!!

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