Small Business Brief

Hair & Salon

How to Start a Barber Shop: A Step-By-Step Guide


You’re fresh out of barber school. The future looks bright and you’re ready to open up your own shop. The only hang-up is that you don’t know how to start a barber shop.

Like opening up any business, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. You’ve got to come up with a business plan, get all your paperwork out of the way so you can be a legal business, find a way to fund your shop, look for a location, and more.

As we said, it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end. Check out this guide to learn more about getting your shop open for business.

Come Up with a Business Plan

The first thing you have to do is come up with an action plan. Calculate all your business expenses so you can decide how much funding you’ll need. Find out who your target audience is. 

That will help you when you get the marketing stage of your plan. Think of any hardships your business will face. Decide on your business model. 

Do you want to go with a booth rental? Are you planning on hiring a barber and doing a commission-based business or do you want to do a full-time pay model? What are you even going to name your business? 

Once you think up the answers to all these questions, you can go ahead and get the paperwork out of the way so you can become a legal business. 

Get the Legalities Out of the Way 

Starting up a barber shop isn’t a simple matter of finding a building and starting up. There’s a whole legal process that you have to go through. If you don’t do the proper paperwork your barber shop won’t be considered a business and you could get shut down as quickly as you start. 

Register for Taxes 

Before you can open, you’ll need to register for taxes. To do this, you’ll have to apply for an EIN. It’s a simple process that’s free to do on the IRS website.  

Open a Business Bank Account 

You never want to have your business finances tied to the same bank account as your personal finances. For one, this gets confusing when you’re filing for taxes. 

For two, if your business is sued everything that’s tied to your personal bank account could be in jeopardy. 

Get a Business Credit Card 

It’s not necessary but consider opening up a business credit card. It’ll put all your business finances in one place and will help build up your company credit. 

Business Licensing 

A majority of states will require you to get a barber’s license at the very least. There are a few more permits and licenses that might be necessary for you to get your business up and running. 

You can contact your county clerk’s office to get an entire list of licenses that you’ll need. 

Business Insurance 

It’s wise to invest in barber shop insurance. This is especially true if you plan on hiring employees. You need to be covered in the event of any and all emergencies. 

Decide on Funding

Starting up a business of any kind isn’t cheap. The good news is that there are quite a few ways for you to get funding. The first way is through debt financing.

Banks and money lenders offer these. You’ll have to pay the money back in full by a certain time frame. 

The second method is Equity financing. An investor will offer to help fund your business and all they’ll want is a stake in it. 

Find a Location 

Now that you’ve gotten your funding it’s time to pick out a location for your shop. There’s a lot you need to consider when looking for a place. The first thing is your budget. 

Where can you afford to go? The next thing is your target market. Will this building attract your target demographic? 

Is it anywhere near your target demographic? Will you be surrounded by a sea of your competitors? These are all important questions to ask yourself. 

Setup Shop

Once you’ve settled on a location, you can start setting up shop. There’s quite a bit you’re going to need before you can take your first customer.  First, there’s your theme and furniture layout. 

You have complete creative freedom here. Just make sure it’s attractive to your target audience and makes you stand out from your competitors in the area. when you have a setup you like, you’ll need to gather your supplies. 

A barber shop needs running water, public bathrooms, cabinets, basic tools like razors and blow dryers, mirrors, and lighting. Some of these things like the razors will need to be replenished on a regular basis. To this end, you should start looking for a trustworthy supplier. 

Market Your Shop 

You won’t be able to run your business if nobody knows about you. You’ve got to market yourself by setting up a website. Make sure your barber shop has its own social media page where you make posts often. 

Allow for online booking on your website. Your customers will love the convenience. Use fun digital signage at the front of your store. 

Create a Yelp page and ask your pleased customers to rate your business. 

How to Start a Barber Shop of Your Very Own 

That’s how to start a barber shop of your own. Getting it up and running will be a lot of work but as long as you follow the steps in this guide, you’ll be able to open shop legally and start taking in customers. 

It takes about as much work to maintain your barber shop that it takes to open it. Check out our blog daily for all the latest business tips. 



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