1) Provide the Full Barber Shop Treatment
Barber shops were originally thought of as places for men to both clean up and loosen up. That tradition has been around for more than 100 years, so sticking to it is your best chance for success.
A good barbershop experience doesn’t end with the haircut. Many men these days are looking for the authentic barbershop treatment. That means that after their haircut, you should treat them to a good neck shave and shoulder massage.
The best way to give a neck shave is with a straight razor. Top this off with quick a shoulder massage, and your clients will leave your shop feeling fully rejuvenated and ready to face anything that comes their way. This is a great way to create customer loyalty, and a great way to encourage your customers to come back often. A haircut is something a man needs once in a while, but a full rejuvenation experience is something that many men crave every day.
2) Invest in Community
Back in the early days of barber shops, these establishments were gathering places for men; places where guys would stop regularly to chat with the barber, have a smoke, maybe get a shave, and check in with the men in the local community. These days, that type of male community has mostly disappeared. Invest in building this type of community, and new customers will have a reason to come check out your shop.
A great way to do this is to become a community resource person. As a barber, you’ll end up cutting the hair of men from all walks of life – business owners, tradesmen, artists, contractors… Become a resource to these people by them to other people they need to meet.
3) Invest in Atmosphere
Another great way to create customer loyalty and build community is to invest in your shop’s atmosphere. Think about what the men in your neighborhood like to watch on TV and what types of magazines they like to read, and make this entertainment readily available. Also think about other things that men like to do when they’re hanging out with other guys. How about investing in an espresso machine so you can make cappuccinos for your customers, or putting up posters of classic cars and displaying car catalogues in your waiting area?
Creating an interesting atmosphere is also a great retail opportunity. Display straight razors or other grooming products in your window, and soon you’ll have men coming in to ask where they can buy these products. Don’t be afraid to get creative with this. You might want even want to sell cigars or coffee beans – if you create the right type of atmosphere, people will want to buy products that help them to create this same type of atmosphere at home.
I’m Troy “The Barber” Wilson AKA T-Bone The Barber, and I own and run Status Barber Shop in Victoria BC. I’ve been a professional Barber for over 2 decades now, and my experiences have led me to understand what it takes to run a successful Barber Shop.