Referrals from current customers can be the most profitable and the least expensive way to increase your barbering clientele. I’m sure you’ve already thought about the importance of great service and expert haircuts in getting referrals. But have you considered how you could make just coming into your shop more exciting? If your shop is like any other barber shop a potential client goes to, then it’s Boring! You want your shop to have a Unique and Exciting atmosphere. Don’t be boring! Instead, try some of these tips!

Make the windows enticing. The windows are like the eyes of your business. Put signage on them that will draw people in, and change it frequently. A flashing neon sign that says “Open” and includes your logo, painting or stenciling on the glass that points out one of your strengths or a new service, something representative of the season of the year—all are ways to get customers to think of your shop as a place that’s interesting and even extraordinary.

Greet customers with a smile and a firm handshake. Ensure that no one come through the door without being made to feel welcome, and don’t let them leave without a business card and an invitation to invite a friend to come in and see what all the excitement is about. You might even want to run a promotion where a discount or a product sample is given to anyone who refers a friend or who comes in as the result of a referral.

Turn your walls into billboards. Paint your walls a pleasing but unexpected color. Then use the space to hang motivational quotes, seasons’ greetings, testimonials from other customers or news of your latest promotion, coupons and service. A flat-screen TV with local programming or streaming video that contains tips and ideas for looking your best will be very attention-getting. A shelf or two with products that are On Sale will draw people in and have them talking to others about the bargains they bought.

Offer treats. A tray of donuts in the morning, a bowl of candy in the morning or free sodas will provide customers with an added bonus and pick-me-up. They’ll feel right at home, and they will want to share their good feelings with their friends.

Use colorful drapes. Add an extra splash of color and create a cheerful environment by using colorful drapes (hair cutting capes) at each station. Have special, child-friendly cover-ups for children that will give them something to look at and help them feel like something exciting is about to happen. It’s a simple thing that can enhance your branding and reputation.

Host a neighborhood party. When you’ve done some redecorating, use it as an excuse for a party! Invite customers and workers in nearby business over to see your “new look.” Serve light refreshments, and hand out business cards and coupons for a future visit.

Don’t forget to ask! Sometimes all you need to do to get a referral is ask for one. If customers are pleased with your work, ask them to tell a friend about their good experience. Be sure to tell them how excited you’ll be to see them and a friend Next Time!

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