If you’re interested in setting up a barbershop, you’ll need to cover several types of expenses before you can start generating revenue. Many of these costs will vary depending on your location, so consider this a starting point for your research into what you’ll need to pay to whom in order to begin your barber business.
This is likely to be your biggest cost. According to the Small Business Development Center, haircare businesses are typically between 1,000 and 1,500 square feet, with rent taking up a substantial portion of total operating costs. Leasing a business space that’s in a good location and has the necessary amenities to host all your barber shop setup ideas can be pricey. These costs will vary from state to state, city to city, and even block by block.
Insurance and licensing
You won’t be prepared for how to start a barbershop if you don’t acquire the necessary business licenses and insurance to operate in your location. Operating as a business in the U.S. requires paying incorporation costs, legal fees, and others which can easily surpass $1,000 in total. You may also want to pay membership dues to professional organizations like the National Association of Barbers, which can lead to better deals on other operating costs.
Once that’s squared away, the next step is insurance, and you should look to at least purchase plans for general and professional liability insurance. However, it’s also important to consider worker’s compensation and a Business Owners Policy. Combined, the average cost for these different forms of business insurance is roughly $333 a month.
Equipment and inventory
With a physical location, licensing, and insurance taken care of, the next step is to acquire the necessary equipment to provide your planned services. Here’s some of the equipment you’ll need, along with some estimated costs:
Barbershop chairs: $800-$1,500+ each
Electric clippers: $50-$150+ each
Shears: $30-$350+ each
Shavette straight razors: $25-$150 each
Combs and brushes: $10-$50 each
Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products: $10-$50+ each
Mirrors: $100-$300 each, $150-$500 for installation
These are bare essentials and their costs are likely to vary depending on your location and planned business volume. You may also want to consider additional costs related to amenities such as a sound system and TV screens; these are ideal for customers who are waiting for their appointment or those who prefer to catch up on the sports highlights rather than make small talk with their barber.
Marketing is an essential component of any barber business. You should advertise your services with an appealing sign out front, along with the trademark red-and-white barber pole. A sandwich board can effectively direct nearby foot traffic to your location, and ad space on bus stops and billboards can help capture street traffic.
Internet marketing is just as essential as in-person signage for any new business. You can get started by creating free social media pages on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok, while some self-care business management software will also be well-equipped to help you with the task.