Spending too much time on a hair cut for the amount you charge is the Third Deadly Sin committed by too many barbers! Too much dawdling, too many laughs with the customers, even being the least expensive barber in town could mean that you won’t be able to pay your bills and stay in business!
Master Barber Tim Hite of the Barber School suggests that you charge at least a dollar a minute for haircuts. Do the math! That means you should be able to give a $20.00 haircut in 20-minutes or less! Can you give an excellent haircut in 20 minutes? Is a $20.00 haircut a competitive price in your location? Will you have to work faster and charge less, or will your customers feel that a more-expensive haircut is worth the time you put into it? What can you do to ensure that you give the best haircuts in the least amount of time and at a price that the market can bear?
The first thing to do is some research. What are competitors whose quality of services matches yours charging? Go undercover and get a haircut at one of the more successful shops your customers might go to. How much were you charged? How long did it take? Were you satisfied with the quality of your cut compared with how much it cost? How does the total experience compare with what you offer in your shop? What can you do to bring more customers your way and keep them coming back?
Consider your cost for overhead and benefits. Living expenses are not the only bills you have to pay. Whether you rent or own your space, overhead is a big bill each month. What do you spend each month on tools and supplies? If you have employees working for you, do you offer benefits? The cost for health insurance can be astronomical, whether it’s for an individual, a family or a group. Don’t leave anything out when you’re figuring out what you need to earn per minute in order to stay in business.
Keep an eye on the clock. Something as simple as being aware of the time you take for each cut or service can help you to speed up and to be consistent in the amount of time you spend per cut. You can’t afford to vary the time much from customer to customer. Compete against yourself. See how fast you can go without losing any of the quality you want to be known for.
Improve your skills. If you feel like you’ve reached your peak performance and speed, there are probably things you don’t know that you could learn in order to improve both of them.
- The Internet can be a great resource. If you’re reading this blog, you’re already at a site where you can learn tips and tricks from the masters. While you’re here, study and follow the tips or invest your time in the online coursework you can find on a site like EBarberschool.com.
- Watch videos, your colleagues or even your competitors to see what others are doing that you might not have tried. How about having someone video you in action and studying the “play-by-play”!
- Practice, practice, practice! It’s what musicians do to get to Carnegie Hall! It can make you a master at barbering, too.
Charge the same price for a child’s cut. Some customers might think that a little person should be charged a smaller price for a haircut. Good business sense dictates just the opposite. Children will often make it difficult to cut their hair in the same amount of time and with the same degree of excellence that an adult cut requires. If you offer a special promotion or use a coupon in your advertising, make the offer consistent, no matter whose hair you cut.
Tim Hite says, “If you cut one hair, it’s a hair cut!” Don’t cut one hair, shave a head or trim sideburns for nothing! Time is money! Spend your time wisely, consistently and skillfully and you’ll be more financially successful in the barbering business.