Branding A Barber Shop
You have nursed this idea of starting a Barber shop in your area, now you are set to open the Shop after bearing it in mind for too long. Dear, what kind of Barber shop do you have in mind? Is it a small difference from the one one “very old papa” had in your area in the 80’s and 90’s? Or do you have in mind to open up a competitive shop in par with modern trends and realities? Barber shop business is a lucrative one, earning a fat income from it requires more than having a clipper and I PASS MY NEIGHBOUR GENERATOR SET.
Growing up in the East, my mum used to take me and my younger brother to an old man in the market who runs a famous barber shop in our area to give us a “Punk Hair Style”. It was the best at that time. No matter the filthiness of the shop, the faulty noisy manual clipper, or the unfriendliness of the man, we had no choice. On the old cracked walls of his shop were decolorized and torn wall papers that showed different hair styles. Let me not forget this, the shop was a gas cooker, there was so much heat. The combination of the heat, the unfriendliness, his un-coordination, the hard pressing manual clipper and the old man’s sweaty body being clothed always on brownish “used be white singlet” made the experience a sad one. This kind of Barber shop and the barber has gone with the winds, and must remain in the past. It is now stale and is now been replaced by trendy, classy and creative Shops and owners. Shops run by young minds with great sense of style and imagination. The bad news is that there are many Barber shops today. The good news is that you can compete and make the cash. Just brand it. Now let me help you with some tips on how to brand your Barber shop.
- Get an attracting name. Don’t use a Hip name if your target audience is the old people. Rapper Killer Mike named his barbershop “Graffitis SWAG” – the shop is situated in Atlanta, an all black community and HIP Hop destination. Secondly The Graffiti name tells would be customers, “we would make you a walking piece of art”, meaning when you walk out we transform you into a wonderful physical graffiti. There is a lot information in your name that tells would be customers about your shop.
- Location: Be strategic. Be at places that attract freely your target audience. An intersection where the human traffic is high is the most convenient location for setting up a barber shop.
- Space: For the modern man, space really matters. It creates a relaxation feel and portrays you as a professional. The guy who owns a small spaced shop looks unserious; he seems to be in paucity. But the one whose shop has great space looks well established and organized.
- Look professional: Work on your appearance, look classy and smart. I wouldn’t allow you go near my head if your looks are dowdy. A barber must look his quality of work, he wears his job. See yourself as the same level with a doctor or an Engineer, not a haircutter but a professional barber. Carry this good esteem within you and express them all day. It gives you confidence and respect, it raises your worth. Look healthy, it tells on the assurance of your clippers, razors, etc. In as much as your tools are sterilized, the customer wants to be sure of the person who handles them. Your personal hygiene, shop neatness and that one your tools convince him of his safety.
- Interior and exterior Décor: This is a very important aspect of your branding works. The space needs to be magnified by aesthetics of the interior decoration. The furnishing and all that must not be expensive. It can be cheap but well arranged and finished. Barber shop is a creative place; let your shop have an artistic outlook and feel. Your shop is neither a power plant nor a banking hall. The detailing on your walls should be artistic, your price list, the images on the wall, the mirror frame, shelves, and the whole space ought to be as creative as possible. Be creative and smart on your signage (billboard). Avoid too much colors and unnecessary color mixes / combination. Work to have them speak of your quality. You have to leave up to the theme of your shop.
- Customized your apron, always wear them. Keep them neat and sparkling. You can arrange for customized aprons for your loyal customers too. It helps in the communication of your brand.
- Proper keeping of equipments: To arrange them orderly gives a feel of good coordination and professionalism
- Get a business card and go into the social media web and start massive networking. What you have is a business that needs visibility, not a passion you enjoy or an alternative to boredom.
- Know the job well, be a master barber. Aesthetics attracts new customers; your skills keep them in your web. Remember that no one ever forgets a bad haircut. Make sure that you have the skill and experience to deliver quality service. If you personally don’t, hire barbers who do. Focus on managing the business side of the barber shop
- Make it a home: it should be a place customers look forward to. Ask yourself of possible ways to make it relaxing for customers, yet engaging. Let a guy tell his girlfriend, please lets meet at XYZ barber shop. Yes, a barber shop can be a place for a date. Let there be an entertainment value.
- Be Original, yet not too far from others. Strike a balance between your uniqueness and the general practice.
- Make it an emotional experience: always deliver on customer expectations and keep them awestruck. Connect with your customers and stamp your values and your brand character in their memory. Quality goes together with good customer service.
- Always work on your generator set. Don’t struggle with them when “NEPA takes the light” leaving the customer waiting impatiently. If you can make use of the only trusted source of power at night. In Nigeria, late evenings are the peak hour for business in the barbering business. You can’t afford to mess things up during this period.
- Check what others are doing well, and improve on it. Understand current trends and styles. Don’t leave out too much in the menu.
There are many more, Barbering Business is no more a poor man’s venture, it is a huge revenue earner only if it’s well packaged and marketed. In summary, consider the space and aesthetics; work on your reputation, creativity and visibility. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Contact Nnadozie on 08037523645 for more SMEs branding Tips