The Cutting Edge - Page 2 of 4

The Cutting Edge

of cash transactions, if you get in the habit of writing checks and making daily deposits, you’ll have a better idea of how your business is doing,”Crawford says.

2. Marketing: Creative promotional strategies and activities can help establish your shop’s reputation within the community. “Marketing is probably the second most important element when opening a shop,” says Craig “Mr. Taper” Logan, a veteran barber and editor of Barbers Only Magazine ( Toy drives, back-to-school specials, and senior citizen discounts, are just some of the ways Calvin “Tito” Hudson Jr., owner of the Las Vegas-based Classic Cuts, builds his shop’s brand.

3. Online: Using the digital space is key, says Janis Stevenson, a business development adviser with the Nevada Small Business Development Center. While Bell has a Website (, Hudson relies on a MySpace page ( to promote his business. “Either way, it’s excellent marketing when those not familiar with your work or business can see it instantly,” Bell says.

4. Longevity: The business plan is more than a document to help you secure funding-it is a management tool to help you set and achieve long-term success. Revisit and update your business plan as often as is necessary. Include goals for the next one, three, and five years.

Financial Snapshot
Here’s an estimated breakdown for a six-chair barbershop:

  • Build-out/improvements (flooring, lighting, wiring, etc.): $50,000 to $80,000
  • Furniture and fixtures, including one-time equipment purchases (chairs, countertops, etc.): $50,000 to $70,000
  • Rent, utilities, and maintenance fees: $3,000 to $4,000 per month
  • Cleaning supplies and products used on clients : $250 per month

*Note: cost will vary by location

Getting Started
Learning your craft
Along with sound business planning, proper training and licensing are essential for a successful barber business. In most states, the options are limited to full-time (10 months) or part-time (two years) barber-school programs, but selective states offer a third option of a barber apprenticeship, where a novice barber trains under a seasoned barber for an 18-month period before taking the required board exam. In deciding the best method, prospective barbers should take into consideration their scheduling as well as financial needs.

In addition to his shop, Bell is a general partner of Durham, North Carolina-based Park West Barber School (www.park, which offers day, evening, and online classes. Bell, who works alongside managing partner Timothy McIntosh Jr. in training barbers, stresses the importance of becoming familiar with state board requirements and finding a school that best fits your needs.

“The school’s pass-fail ratio, availability of business courses, catering to diverse hair types, and instructor credentials are just some of the factors you should consider in choosing a program,” Bell says.


  • The Beauty Schools Directory (
  • Milady’s Standard Textbook of Professional Barber-Styling (Milady; $112.95) can help barbers prepare for the board exam
  • The National Association of Barber Boards of America (www.nationalbarber provides information on respective state board regulations

Hoop Dreams
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But if you open a barbershop with a basketball court in the center, then the word is sure to get out. Calvin “Tito” Hudson Jr. and his Las Vegas-based Classic Cuts gained attention