How to Open a Barbering Business

One of the most frustrating parts of working for someone else is that nagging feeling that nearly everyone gets at some time that says, “I could do a better job with a business like this than my boss can.” The truth is that if you think this you are probably right.

If you are a barber, would like to become one, or are even just entertaining the idea, starting a barber shop can be an excellent business, not to mention very profitable. It’s a relatively easy business to get into, requiring from $ 5,0000 to $ 15,000 in start-up costs, depending largely on what you already have and how ambitious you are.

What You Will Need

Most beginning barbers go into business with what few supplies and equipment they already own. After all, fresh out of barber college you will probably already have a decent collection of what you will need: razors, combs, soap heaters/dispensers, lotions, etc. Once you get started you will need to invest in chairs, shampooing sinks, and supplies.

The most important thing you will need before you start, however, is vision. It’s like the old line from Alice in Wonderland: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Likewise, having a vision for the shop you want to create will give you a guide for what you need.

Going There from Here

Before you get too far into the matter, however, you will need to give some thought to what you want your shop to be. You will also need to give some thought to the services you want to offer. A lot of this will come not only from your own imagination, but from talking to people and taking note of what your competition offers. Besides cutting hair, you might want to consider offering shaves, shoe shines, and other services as well.

What the Board Has to Say

You will also need to communicate with your state’s board of cosmetology to determine their licensing requirements and fees. States have different requirements for granting a license such as the number of sinks, chairs, hand sanitizers, and others. You will also need a business license and sales tax permit.

Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

Often overlooked but still important is the creation of a business plan. This is the step that will keep you on track for where you want your business to go. This is the stop where you will need to estimate your operating costs, start up costs, advertising expenses and other costs of doing business.

Location, Location, Location

You will need to scout out some potential locations for your shop. Don’t settle for the first place you think you can afford. It might be in a bad area. Instead, start out big and talk with landlords to determine how flexible they might be on their terms. After all, with the economy we find ourselves in chances are good that a landlord will be willing to negotiate with you just to fill empty space.

Approvals Please

Opening a business–any kind of business–means having a lot of authorities sign off on your situation. Representatives who are charged with ensuring public safety and health, licensing and sanitation, and others will need to check your shop out to make sure there are no potential problems. And just in case, you will want to make sure that you have salon insurance.


If your plan includes hiring other barbers, you will need to hire licensed people who will be good with clients.

Tell the World

Throwing open your doors will not necessarily bring people to your location. Promote yourself unmercifully.