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Industry • Inspiration

Business Plans for a Barbershop: How to Get Started

Everything you need to know about why business plans are important and how to create one to support your barbershop’s growth.

The spectrum of the beauty world may range from glitz and glamor at one extreme to ultimate relaxation at the other, but it is, in the end, still an industry. When it’s time to start a business or take your company to the next level, chances are you’ll need a business plan. That’s why business plans for a barbershop make perfect sense; here’s how to get started creating your very own.

I’ve already got a barbershop… why do I need a business plan?

Think of it this way; the point of a business plan is to lay out the case for your company. That means outlining the plans and strategies that will allow you to be a financially solvent and successful business sooner rather than later, no matter how much passion you’re pouring into the project. With that in mind, there are a lot of reasons business plans for a barbershop make good sense. 

  • Baby’s first barbershop: If you’re just getting started, creating a business plan can help you hit the ground running. Instead of making it up as you go along, you (and your team, if you have one) will be able to refer back to your business plans anytime there are major decisions to be made or obstacles pop up on your path. 

  • Barbershop partnerships: Working with business partners that you don’t know very well or haven’t worked with before? Having a business plan will ensure that you’re all on the same page from day one and keep you aligned not only about the end vision, but also about your plans for how you’ll achieve it together.

Bucks in the barbershop bank: If you’re courting investors to help get your barbershop dreams off the ground, chances are the first thing they’ll want to see is your business plan. The financial plans and projections you lay out can make or break your case, so take care to be as specific and accurate as you can.

So what goes into business plans for a barbershop?

Luckily, the structure of business plans for a barbershop is pretty standardized today. While you should adjust as needed to make sure the business plan shows your specific company in its best light, the expected elements are pretty cut and dry. Take a look:

Executive Summary: Give ‘em a taste

This section comes first, but it’ll probably be easiest to write it up last. In the executive summary, you’ll give a brief overview of everything that the reader can expect in the rest of the business plan. You don’t have to break your executive summary out into the same sections as the rest of the business plan (although you certainly can); it’s more about making a strong, cohesive case for the viability of your business and the thoughtful planning you’ve put into realizing your goals.

Business Description: Show ‘em what you’re all about

The business description is where you’ll describe what is special and unique about your barbershop. Many business plans start out with a problem statement, and then describe how the company will solve that problem for a specific market or audience. Make sure to describe who you are and what community or type of customer you’ll serve, what services you’ll provide, where your business is or will be located, how long it’ll take to get up and running if you haven’t set up shop yet, and your short- and long-term growth goals. Close with a strong mission statement about why you’re in business and why customers will choose your barbershop over other options.

Industry Overview: A glimpse into the world of barbershops

Including an industry overview isn’t just about explaining the broader landscape of barbershops or even of the beauty industry, it’s also about situating your company within that world. You’ll want to assess the health of the industry and identify any trends or events that have recently impacted or might soon affect its trajectory. Then talk about how your business fits into that wider puzzle, and how it plans to adapt to make the most of those external realities.

Market and Competitor Research: Who else is out there barbering?

Market research and competitor research go hand in hand because in order to understand your target client, you’ll also need to understand what other options they have to choose from. Get to know your target market and create a buyer’s persona that you specifically plan to serve at your barbershop. Then research your primary competitors and analyze their tactics, from pricing strategies to marketing and advertising channels. What’s working for them and what’s not? How does your barbershop compare, and how do you plan to rise to the top?

Sales & Marketing: How are you going to spread the good word?

Even the best barbershop business can benefit from a sales and marketing strategy. Instead of waiting for word of mouth to spread, this section is where you’ll outline your proactive approach to introducing your brand to the world and getting customers in the door. Think about where you’ll list your business, where you’ll place advertisements (in print and online), how you’ll use social media, and how you’ll help people have an easier time finding you. Then describe how your website will play a role in supporting your sales team with features like online bookings, payment processing, etc.

Budget: Brass tacks about your barbershop bank accounts

This is where you’ll tell the truth about your financial reality right now. List your expenses to show that you have a clear idea of where your money is going each month; income statements will demonstrate what sort of revenue you expect to have coming in. You might want to include tax statements, bank statements, or relevant receipts, depending on the age and size of your business. While the budget section is obviously useful for potential financial backers and investors, it’s also an important step toward making sure you’re making the right business decisions for your company when it comes to money coming in and going out.

Financials: What do you expect your barbershop to achieve?

Now onto the fun part! Use this section to describe the bottom line revenue and growth goals you want to achieve. Create a balance sheet that lists out all your assets (anything that your barbershop owns) and liabilities (anything that your barbershop owes), and calculate your equity by finding the difference between the two. You’ll also want to show your break-even point, meaning the minimum amount you need to bring in each month (based on a clear understanding of your fixed costs and variable expenses) in order to avoid losing any money.

Then connect the dollar amounts you included in your budget section to your financial projections by tracing a cash flow trend line (charts and graphs are your friend). If your barbershop has already been in business for a while, you can include historical data that shows sustained growth to back up your sales forecasts and projected earnings. That will paint a picture of where your barbershop is headed, and, along with the other sections in your business plan, will clearly describe how you plan to get there.

Team: Who’s at the core of your barbershop crew?

Finally, show off the who’s who of your barbershop quartet core team. Depending how you expect to use your business plan, you probably don’t need to list out every employee or planned future hire. Instead, focus on the management and leadership roles that are going to be the ballast for your business through thick and thin. Include names, titles, and short bios for any partners you’re working with, advisors, and your managerial floor staff too. Whether you’re looking for investors, seeking out partners, or just charting your own path forward, it always helps to know where you and your crew are headed.

And that’s it! With all those elements in place, you’ll have a fully functional barbershop business plan. Once you get started with your first business plan, it will get that much easier to amend and update the document next time your barbershop is ready to expand.

For more tips to level up your business, check out our guide: Barbershop Ideas: Get Inspired & Get Paid.

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