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How I Started a Profitable Barbershop Business

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Experience

A barbershop business is one of the profitable ventures you can start today. However, the revenues you will generate from your barbershop business depend on the business location and services you are offering. I will take you through how I started my barbershop and why it is successful.

How to Start a Barber Shop

Before starting any business, you need to carry out a feasibility study. It is important and helps you identify business opportunities and risks in the market before launching a business. Also, it helps you when you write a business plan.

Before I started my barbershop business, I carried out a feasibility study in two major towns, Nakuru and Naivasha. One of the main factors I was considering in the study was a business opportunity, competition in the market, and running the business. I found out that Nakuru was a good place to start a barbershop. There was less competition and a high influx of people, making it a good place to launch my business. However, the rent was relatively higher and I couldn't afford it at the moment. Therefore, I decided to start a barbershop in Naivasha town.

In Naivasha, the rent for business rentals was much cheaper compared to Nakuru. Also, some places were well suited for a barbershop business. The competition was relatively fair and with excellent customer service, it was also to win the competition. That's when I decided to open my barbershop in Naivasha.

Cost of Starting a Barbershop

I started my barbershop with only Ksh 50,000. I didn't want to borrow a loan since it would put pressure on my business and I wasn't sure after how long it would start generating profits. I bought two shaving machines at Ksh 3,500 each. One for shaving hair and the other one I would use if for beards and cuts. I also paid rent and deposit, both totaling Ksh 20,000. I also took a business license at Ksh 5,000 for the whole year and then bought a barbershop chair for Ksh 17,000. I was left with around Ksh 3,000. I decided I would expand the business when it was necessary and with a large customer base.

I fixed the price for a hair cut at Ksh 150 for adults and Ksh 100 for children. I made sure that my business was distinct from the rest by ensuring that I washed my clients after a shave. I had also wanted to include massage services, but since I didn't have enough capital, I decided I would start offering the service when there was a demand for it.

Revenues From My Barbershop 

During the first month, I wasn't getting many customers. I attributed this to the fact that many people didn't know about the existence of my business. In the second month, I noticed some people I had shaved in the previous month were returning for a shave. This was a sign that they liked my services. In the first month, I was getting 5 daily customers on average. I would take home between Ksh 500 and Ksh 1,000. That wasn't bad for a new business. In the second month, there was an increase in the number of customers and I would get over 10 customers daily. This was a great achievement.  Since then, there has been an increase in customers' month after the other.

Today, I am proud to say I take home over Ksh 3,000 daily with over 20 daily customers. This month I am working on expanding my business to start massage services and facial services. This is a great opportunity for my business and also for me to employ more people.

Read also: How my retail shop changed my life for good.

Challenges I Face in My Barbershop

 The main challenge that I used to face in my barbershop was frequent power outages. Sometimes there would be a power blackout when I'm shaving a customer. I addressed the problem by buying a power generator. This helps me to continue doing business even when there is no power.

I also charge mobile phones to make an extra income. When I started charging mobile phones, I encountered a challenge when one of the phones was stolen. I had to compensate the customer. Since then, I ensure that I give receipts to customers who live their phones to charge. No customer can pick their phone without showing the receipt.

I was also facing a challenge due to Covid-19. Barbers are at a high risk of infection since they contact many people while shaving. However, I make sure that I wear a face mask and also sanitize my shaving machine frequently. I also ensure that my customers wear masks when I'm shaving them. 

Advice Before Starting a Barbershop

To anyone wishing to start a barbershop, it is important to first carry out a feasibility study in the market and determine if their business is viable. Also, it is best to start small. Many people think that by starting with huge capital, their businesses will thrive. My advice from experience is that you should start with what you have. You can expand your business when there is a necessity to do so. Otherwise, you may start by offering additional services and come to realize later that customers do not need some of those services.