How To Start Your Own Barbershop or Hair Salon

Starting Your Own Barber Shop or Hair Salon: Everything You Need to Know

Kurt GraverBusiness Start-up Guides

The hair and beauty industry has been rising recently and has only been further fueled by the increased demand for grooming services after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2019, the UK saw spending of £8.6 billion on personal care treatments, equivalent to £166 per person annually. In addition, a 432% spike in bookings at the end of the lockdown in April 2021 shows that the demand for hair and beauty treatments will likely stay strong.

Recent statistics show a massive growth of 54% in the UK’s hairdressing, barbering, and beauty businesses over the five years leading up to 2020. 

Beauty salons, nail salons, and barber shops were the top three retail categories with the highest growth. Research conducted by American Express Shop Small predicted that the hair and beauty industry would grow 16% by 2023, reaching 56,484 independent salons. 

These statistics indicate that the demand for hair and beauty services is strong and that new businesses in this industry are likely to continue to open.

Opening a barbershop or hair salon requires careful planning, preparation, and research to create an inviting customer atmosphere, build a loyal clientele, and manage daily operations. 

This blog will help you start opening your barbershop or hair salon.

What Does It Take to Start a Barber Shop or Hair Salon?

When opening a barber shop or hair salon, it’s essential to decide what type of business you want to run, whether it’s a traditional barbershop, a salon catering to both men and women or one specialising in a certain hairstyle.

Barbershops and hair salons are one of the most popular business types. A similar business will likely be located nearby, so you must find a way to stand out.

Here are some options for a barbershop or hair salon to stand out from its competitors:

  1. Consider offering services not commonly offered by other barbershops or salons. This will set your shop apart and attract customers looking for a unique experience.
  2. Create a warm, inviting atmosphere in your barbershop or salon with comfortable seating, stylish decor, and friendly staff. A comfortable and welcoming environment will encourage customers to stay longer and return in the future.
  3. Provide personalised services to each customer, such as a consultation to determine their grooming needs and preferences. This level of customisation will make each customer feel special and valued.
  4. Utilise technology, such as online booking systems, mobile apps, and social media, to make the customer experience more convenient and efficient. This will appeal to tech-savvy customers and make your barbershop stand out from others still using traditional methods.
  5. Partner with local businesses to offer packages or promotions, such as a haircut and a beer at a nearby brewery. This not only sets your business apart but also helps to build a strong community network.
  6. Offer education and training opportunities for your staff to stay up-to-date on the latest hair trends and techniques. This benefits your employees and ensures that your barbershop provides the best services to customers.
  7. Host charity events, trivia nights, or product demonstrations. This sets your barbershop apart and allows you to engage with the community and build customer relationships.

Choose a Location and Establish Your Shop

After securing the necessary financing, choose your barber shop or hair salon location. A good location should have high traffic and low overhead costs, with good visibility, easy customer access and parking, and minimal competition. 

Once you’ve found an ideal location, establish your shop by completing paperwork such as business licences, occupancy permits, employer tax IDs, and trademarks, if applicable.

Cost of Starting a Barber Shop or Hair Salon

If you want to start small, starting a barber shop or hair salon can be done with little money. You can start by renting out space from a current salon or barbershop owner or operate as a contractor, or you can use an extra room in your home as a home-based hair salon or barbershop. 

If you want to launch with your own commercial property, you must consider the main costs to ensure you have enough resources to launch and sustain your business. 

The main costs when starting a barbershop include

  1. Rent: This is typically one of the largest expenses when starting a barbershop, and most landlords will want you to put down a deposit of 3-9 months. Make sure to choose a location that is visible, easily accessible, and affordable. Consider the rent, utilities, and insurance costs when selecting a location.
  2. Property Condition: Refurbishing and fitting the property involves transforming the space into a functional and attractive barbershop. You’ll need to purchase equipment, such as barber chairs, mirrors, and lighting, and decorate the space to reflect your brand and style. You may also need to modify the space to comply with local regulations and health and safety standards.
  3. Recruitment of staff: You’ll need to hire barbers, stylists, and other employees to provide customer service. Consider the cost of salaries, benefits, and training when budgeting for staff. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of recruiting and hiring employees, such as advertising and background checks.
  4. Marketing: You must market your barbershop to attract customers and build your client base. This may include advertising, promotions, social media marketing, and other forms of outreach. Consider the cost of creating and distributing marketing materials, such as flyers and business cards.
  5. Working capital: You’ll need enough to cover expenses while building your client base. This includes rent, utilities, employee salaries, and supplies and marketing expenses. Make sure to have enough working capital to give yourself enough time to build your client base and become profitable.

How To Fund Your Startup Costs

There are several ways to fund a barbershop or hair salon, including:

  1. Personal savings: If you have personal savings, this can be a great way to get started. Consider how much of your savings you’re willing to invest in your business, and make sure to have enough left over to cover your expenses.
  2. Friends and family members may be willing to support your business financially. This type of funding can be less formal and come with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms. However, it’s important to carefully consider the potential impact on your relationships before seeking funding from friends and family.
  3. Small business loans are available from banks, credit unions, and online lenders. These loans can provide the capital you need to start your barbershop or hair salon. Compare interest rates and repayment terms to find the best loan for your business.
  4. Crowdfunding is a way to raise money from many people, typically through an online platform. You can create a campaign, set a funding goal, and share it with your network to encourage people to contribute.
  5. Angel investors provide funding in exchange for a stake in your business. This type of funding can be more difficult to secure, but it can provide the capital you need to grow your business quickly.
  6. You can partner with another business owner or investor to provide the capital you need to start your barbershop or hair salon. This type of funding can provide the support and resources you need to launch and grow your business.

Licensing and Permits for Barbers and Hairdressers

As part of your business plan, acquire the licences and permits for your barber shop or hair salon. Register your business with the local council as a Hairdresser Licence, allowing the local authority to check that you follow health and safety rules.

You may also need to display a copy of your licence where it can be easily seen by customers and members of the public and a copy of any bylaws made under Section 77 of the Public Health Act 1961. In addition, you must purchase liability insurance for your barber shop in case of accidents or injuries. This coverage can protect you from costly legal fees if anything happens on the premises.

Equipment and Furnishing Requirements for Barbershops and Hair Salons

The shop’s interior should be inviting and reflect your style and services. Select chairs, sinks, and other equipment, such as trolleys or blow dryers. Ensure all the shop’s infrastructure runs smoothly, including water heating, drainage, and electrical wiring. Ensure that everything is up to code with safety regulations, and choose branded signage, artwork, paint colours, and lighting that match your vision for the shop.

Your barber shop or hair salon should also be adequately equipped and furnished, including wall-mounted mirrors, chairs for clients and staff, a sink and counter, and additional items depending on your services. Decide on the atmosphere you want your shop or salon to have, whether it’s modern, vintage, or inspired by nature, and make sure that your shop meets fire safety standards. Certain areas, such as the sink area and drying stations, must be built to prevent fires, and the shop must be adequately ventilated.


In conclusion, starting a barbershop or hair salon can be rewarding and lucrative. It requires careful planning, preparation, and research, including deciding the type of services you want to offer, choosing a location, securing financing, obtaining the necessary licences and permits, and equipping and furnishing the salon. With these steps completed, you can open the doors to your successful barbershop or hair salon.

To stand out from the competition, consider offering unique services, creating a welcoming atmosphere, personalising the customer experience, utilising technology, collaborating with local businesses, providing education and training for staff, and hosting events. With these factors, your barbershop or hair salon can differentiate itself from others and provide customers with a memorable, personalised experience.

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