You’ve taken the leap and opened a barber shop of your own. It’s a nerve-wracking time and you’ve taken on more debt than you ever thought you would, but you’ve also never been more serious about anything in your life. It’s time to build your reputation and start stacking up some dough. This is going to be your year. It’s go time…
A great location, well honed skills with the clippers and sheers, and in impeccable sense of style. You’ve already got what it takes to make your new business a success. Your biggest concern now is getting butts in the barber chairs and keeping the guys coming back.
Here’s how to make it happen…
1 – Reel ‘em in with coupons…. Keep ‘em coming back with a punch card.
New customer coupons will catch the attention of potential customers and convince them to give your business a try. Make sure your coupon is valuable enough to get guys to tuck into their wallet and think of your shop the next time they need a cut. Even if it means taking a bit of a hit, consider it an investment and an opportunity to demonstrate your chops so you can build a loyal client base.
Social media should be your first stop for posting coupons and advertising your business. Make sure your social media game is on point by creating a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And make sure your business has a listing on Google and Yelp, so customers know where to find you.
Local publications are also an effective and reasonably priced place to advertise your business and include a coupon. Also keep in mind that any co-marketing efforts you put into motion can be a fantastic way to make sure your coupons are being circulated throughout the area.
Every customer gets a punch card – 10 cuts gets them a freebie. You might even give them a couple punches on that first visit to sweeten the deal enough to make sure they find a spot for it in their wallet.
Once you’ve wowed customers and they’ve become a regular, give them a reason to spread the word about your shop by establishing a good customer referral program. Consider offering a discount for every new customer they send your way.
Word of mouth remains one of the best forms of advertising, so take advantage of happy customers to let others know about your business.
2 – Become a familiar face in the neighborhood.
One of the best ways to drum up business is to become a familiar face to other businesses in your neighborhood… coffee shops, bars, gyms, clothing boutiques. Anywhere guys with some sense of style are spending time, and spending their hard earned money. You want to be associated with classy establishments that align with your sense of masculine esthetic and that draw the kinds of clients you want to work with – men of class and character who care about how they look and who have some money to spend.
Talk to local business owners, inquire about their marketing strategies, and ask them to get in on a co-marketing plan with you. This could be as simple as posting advertisements or coupons for their business in your barber shop in exchange for passing out coupons for you at their place of business. It also always helps to have other local businesses recommending your services to their customers.
3 – Your business needs a website – no excuses.
You’re a barber, not a web developer, so the concept of creating and maintaining a website may be intimidating. But the fact is that most consumers simply grab their phones when it’s time to find a barber shop. To compete, you’ve gotta have a website, and it’s gotta be attractive, informative and helpful… but mostly attractive. The idea is to capture the same vibe you’re going for in your shop– class, sophistication, attention to detail. And nothing quite captures that feel like rich, dark tones and minimal print.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to someone else to build you a website; you can use WordPress to get one up and running in no time. Secure a domain name, choose among the hundreds of free, customizable design themes and add a few interior shots and some simple descriptions of what makes your place worth a visit. It really is just that simple. Plus, WordPress offers free hosting and support.
Make it informative enough to be useful by including your services, your prices, and your contact information, of course. Play it cool. Don’t try to sell it hard. Simply give your readers a little background about yourself and your philosophy about barbering and esthetics.
But don’t leave your website static – keep it updated if you ever offer specials or if you’re participating in some volunteer work in the community. Make a concerted effort to update your website on the regular; add it to your calendar so this small—yet incredibly important – task doesn’t fall by the wayside.