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Can I Run a Barber Shop with no Experience of Cutting Hair?

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 30 Sep 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Barber Shop Business Staff Employees

Q.I have just graduated from college in Ireland with my honours degree in business. I am a very ambitious person and I believe a barber shop is a potential goldmine if in the right location.

I intend to lease a premise/retail unit which will be suitable for a barber shop and would like to hire 3 full time staff for busy days and 2 staff for non busy days.

I have never cut hair before and would like to simply set up a barber shop and hire the staff suitable to run it.

Is this viable since I have no experience of cutting hair/running my own business?
(Mr Aindreas Phelan, 12 September 2008)

A.

It is entirely possible for someone with no experience of cutting hair – and no interest in learning how – to open and run a successful barber shop. In fact, the owner of the barbers does not need to spend much time there at all once the business is up and running.

The key is employing the right staff. It’s difficult to overstate just how important it is to find the right people when taking on new members of staff. A start-up business can stand or fall on the strength of its staff and it is widely acknowledged that people are the greatest asset in any successful organisation.

Take time to recruit employees with all the skills and attributes required and do not settle for second best. Consider the options too – part-time, full-time, freelance and temporary cutters can all do a job. Don’t be afraid to mix and match all types of employees in order to get the staffing levels spot on.

It is vital to carry out market research and get a good idea of when the shop will be busy and how many members of staff will be needed at different times. Too many employees lead to an unnecessarily high wage bill, while too few can have customers looking elsewhere.

Once the right employees have been recruited, find ways to keep them happy. Use performance-related bonuses to reward performance and productivity, but do not make the mistake of using incentives or perks as a substitute for good pay. A decent wage is the most important staff motivator of all.

It’s true that a barber shop can be a very lucrative investment and, yes, the location is vital. Many businesses can prosper regardless of their location, but a barbers relies heavily on passing trade so the location is of critical importance. The main priority is finding a business location that will guarantee a steady stream of customers through the door.

City centre or town high street premises are ideal but the cost of these prime spots can be prohibitive. A busy location with good road and public transport links and a wide range of local facilities will make it easier to attract and keep customers.

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Mr illustrated- Your Question:
I've been cutting hair for a few years and am considered to be very talented I've been trained in all the best techniques and feel I have mastered them in short time. However I haven't received any qualifications in barbering. My close friend owns a tattoo shop and he and I plan to open a shop together however can I still open a shop and cut hair in it without qualifications even though I am good and have experience?

Our Response:
Yes, bizarrely enough you don't have to have any training to cut hair and you can operate without regulation. However, while you may assume you can cut hair effectively, if you are starting a business you can run into difficulty if you don't have the appropriate level of experience. Therefore, you will need to think of other laws surrounding your set-up, such as whether you will be using hair dyes and shampoos, some of which can be hazardous, and can cause skin conditions such as dermatitis. It means regulations known as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) have to be followed. Also, with people coming into your shop, you would have to have public liability insurance. Running a small business such as a barbers, and being hands-on, means there are a number of risks in the working environment, making it wise for you to be qualified enough to know exactly what those risks might entail.
StartABarbers - 1-Oct-15 @ 2:30 PM
I've been cutting hair for a few years and am considered to be very talented I've been trained in all the best techniques and feel I have mastered them in short time. However I haven't received any qualifications in barbering. My close friend owns a tattoo shop and he and I plan to open a shop together however can I still open a shop and cut hair in it without qualifications even though I am good and have experience?
Mr illustrated - 30-Sep-15 @ 6:41 PM
Hi! Was having a discusion wit my wife & an idea came, which is to set-up a "paediatric barbing saloon" - that is a salon 4 strictly kids. pls I want an expert advice on this project (don't know nothing abt d barbing). Am in Nigeria & want 2 kno all that you think will make this idea feasible & the place attractive to kids! The cost wouldn't b a prob for nw, all I need are d necesry things 2 buy & that will b needed & possibly the measure of space. Please help me as I don't want to bury this idea & want to serve d paeditric world with this wonderful idea.
topskin - 24-Aug-13 @ 10:02 PM
hi iv been cutting hair for about 8 years now and its time for me to open my own shop, but i have never been to college to get my qulifications... i have been on a few cutting courses and shaving course. can i still open a shop? thanks sina
barberboy - 15-May-13 @ 11:41 AM
Great insight into setting up a business, which gave me all the information required. I'll have to pull my finger out and get the ball rolling. Regards
Michael Moss - 9-Sep-12 @ 10:14 AM
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