Learn and practice customer service skills, as barbershops are now attracting younger barbers who sometimes are not polished well in their customer service approaches. The old school traditional Barber was well honed in his interpersonal skills and his charismatic charm would keep the regular coming back on a fortnightly cycle. Many stores in the USA now employ a front-of-house concierge to take bookings, payments and provide hospitality to waiting customers. Training in customer service is not just advisable; it’s essential to increase profitability for the business. The barbershop is about making men feel good about themselves internally and externally.
Technology in the modern barbershop should incorporate a point of sale system that has the ability to talk to and integrate with the back end financial accounting package. Most young barbers I meet have not got the time to do paperwork through their heavy social lives, so a system built to save time is a compulsory component to the business. Cloud base accounting systems like Xero are also a time saver for a small business operator. I like Xero because it has lots of plugins like payroll, and retail solutions.
Does your barbershop have a good first aid kit? Barbers operate with sharp tools every day, so having a good collection of bandages and band-aid types is a must in your shop. Annual first aid classes should be compulsory for all the barbers in your business. Good first aid knowledge can help divert a serious accident that may occur. Yes, please have the rubber gloves on hand for those unplanned blood spills.
A skill of selling is teachable; barbers are not just barbers, they are also salespeople. As a client can sit in a barber chair for 30 minutes, while completely trusting you as you wave those sharp objects around their face, ears and eyes, a suggestive sale on a product is a good option for discussion during this process. Female hairdressers are experts in this practice, often doubling the sales revenue. Merchandising a product in the barbershop is also a great idea. Remove those skateboards and skulls and put up a rack full of grooming products for sale!
Be contactable with your business information on all platforms. Signage, business cards, websites, social media platforms. Many business websites and social media sites we look at don’t have phone numbers! Yes, people still do ring each other on that smart camera thing in your pocket. The phone function still works! Remember an incoming call is money in business.
Words by Sean Edwards