Do you want to start a barber school? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a barber school business with NO money and no experience plus a sample barber school business plan template.
In case you don’t know, there are loads of opportunities for those who run barber schools in the united states of America. There are countless number of people out there who are trying to acquire barbing skills that will enable them put food on their table, pay their bills and ultimately become their own boss and a barber school is just an ideal place they can get the journey started.
You can be rest assured that your services would always be in demand not only by young people or old people who could not make it to the university or college, but by graduates also who would want to just learn how to barb.
The truth is that if your barber school is well – equipped, staffed and it is government approved, then you may not have to struggle to persuade students to enroll in your school. Even if you don’t have the finance and other requirements for starting a standard barber school, you can come into the industry by teaching people how to barb from your barbing salon.
If you have decided to start a barber school, then you must make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and also market survey. This will enable you properly locate the school in a community or city with the right demography; a location that can readily accept your services.
If you have been pondering on starting your own barber school but do not know how to go about it, then you should consider going through this article; it will give you the needed guide and direction.
Steps to Starting a Barber School Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- 18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The Barber school falls under the trade and technical schools industry and establishments in the trade and technical schools industry comprises of schools that offer training in a wide range of technical subjects and trades. The training offered by trade and technical schools often leads to job-specific certifications.
Instruction may be provided in diverse settings such as the company’s training facilities, the workplace, the home or through distance-learning methods. Key areas in this industry include music schools and musical instrument training, cosmetology and barber schools, flight training, apprenticeship and other technical training.
If you are a keen follower of the Trade and Technical Schools industry in the United States, you will agree that the industry has experienced fluctuations over the last five years due to the recession and stagnant growth in federal funding for such schools.
High unemployment has caused individuals to seek out further education, while employers are increasing their training requirements to remain competitive. Going forward, decreasing unemployment rates combined with the increasing tuition of four-year colleges will both boost enrollments in vocational training.
The Trade and Technical Schools industry that barber shop is a subset of is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in a lot of countries.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 8,876 registered and licensed (accredited) trade and technical schools scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 127,260 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $13 billion annually.
The industry grew at -1.1 percent annual growth within 2011 and 2016. It is important to state that there are no establishments in this industry that has a lion market share.
A recent report released by IBISWorld shows that the Trade and Technical Schools industry operates in a countercyclical manner. The report shows that the industry revenue grew significantly as a result slow economic growth over the five years to 2016, but has suffered subsequently.
Sluggish economic activity helped the industry to grow as the unemployed sought professional training to improve their job prospects.
The report further stated that in recent years, the restructuring of the US economy has accelerated. Service industry professions are in higher demand now than ever, while growth in manufacturing continues to fail to impress. As a result, individuals displaced by major economic change are still retooling their skillset.
Owing to the fact that it can be somehow stressful to get government accreditation for a standard barber school in the United States, it will be safe to say the industry is under saturated. It is important to state that entrepreneurs who are into training people in various skills such as how to barb, how to drive, how to play musical instrument, how to cook and how to dance et al can easily be found without stress.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own barber’s school despite the fact that the business is challenging could be that the business is profitable, they can easily get funding and support from government and charity organizations, and the business can be started in any part of the world.
Starting a barber’s school requires professionalism and good grasp of the trade and technical schools industry. Besides, you would need to get the required certifications and licenses (accreditations) and also meet the standard for such business before you can be allowed to start a standard barber’s school in the United States.
One good thing about the trade and technical schools industry/barber’s schools is that there is a readily available market for their services. So, if you are well positioned and you know how to impart barbing skills to students, you will always smile to the bank.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who require the services of barber schools cut across individuals and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to acquire the barbing skill set. So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics of your barber’s school, then you should make it all encompassing.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
If you have plans of starting a barber’s school, then you have to carve out niche areas that you need to specialize in. This is so because barber schools are a niche area in the trade and technical schools industry.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Come to think of it, no matter the line of business you decide to pitch your tent, you are still going to compete with others who are into same line of business and the barber school business is not an exemption. If you choose to start a barber school, you will face mild competition because this line of business is still pretty much open to interested entrepreneurs.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to teach people how to barb and you know how to reach out to your target market.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
It is a fact that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others.
Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years. These are some of the leading barber schools in the United States of America and also in the globe;
- B.I. – American Barber Institute
- The Barber School
- Tribeca Barber School
- American Barber Academy
- Allstate Hairstyling & Barber College
- Southern Arizona Barber College
- Lil Lou’s Beauty & Barber College
- Jay’s Barber School
- Hinton Barber and Beauty College
- Denmark College
- Boise Barber College
- Bennett Career Institute
- Metropolitan Barber Academy
- American College of Barbering
- L A Barber College
- Mid-West Barber College
- Hawaii Institute of Hair Design
- All American Barber Academy
- American College of Hairstyling
- World A Cuts Barber Institute
When it comes to starting a barber school, you just have to get your feasibility studies and market research right before venturing into the business. It is good to mention that starting a standard barber’s school is not for rookies; it is for professionals who have successfully gathered the required experience to train people on how to barb.
Starting this kind of business definitely entails that you acquire the required diploma and professional certifications, government approval/accreditation and also build a good working relationship with stakeholders in the industry. If you are already a major player in the trade and technical schools industry or a well – known professional barber before venturing out to start your own barber’s school, this might not be an issue.
Depending on the scale at which you want to start from, you might require as much as multiple thousands of dollars to strike this off and at the same time you might need far less than that if you choose to start the school by training people on just the barbing skill set without any other complimentary skill set.
You will be expected to hire the services of experts that will help you with the economic and cost analysis of the business within the location that you intend launching out. If you get your economic and cost analysis right before launching the business, you may not have to stay long before you break even.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When it comes to starting a business of this nature, it will pay you to buy the franchise of a successful and well – established vocational school as against starting from the scratch. Even though it is relatively expensive buying the franchise of an established and accredited vocational school, but it will definitely pay you in the long run.
But if you truly want to build your own brand after you must have proven your worth as a professional barber, then you might just want to start your own barber school from the scratch. Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.
Please note that most of the big and successful barber schools around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Please note that if you decide to start your own barber school today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established barber schools, vocational schools and also other related skill acquisition centers who are offering same barbing training that you intend offering. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other threats that you are likely going to face as a barber school operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies and global economic downturn which may affect your business. There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
If you are considering starting a barber school, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some barber schools design their schools for regional/community market, some for national market, while others for international market via franchising and online tutorial.
You can either choose a general partnership or limited liability company or even sole proprietorship for your barber school. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale barber school especially if you are just starting out with moderate startup capital and only offering barbing training.
But if your intention is to grow the business into a standard vocational school that offers various skill sets and have students from all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your barber’s school; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes. If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities available for your barber school, you will agree that limited liability company is most suitable.
You can start this type of business as limited liability company and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your barber school so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to choosing a name for a business, it is expected that you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents.If you are considering starting your own barber school, here are some catchy names you can choose from;
- Hope Alive Barber College
- Riverside Professional Barbing Institute
- Harry Gray Barbing College
- Eastern Regional Barbing College
- Grace Capital Barber’s Academy
- Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School
- Cross-County Regional Vocational Technical Institute
- Richmond Valley Professional Barbing Training School
- Headmaster Barbing and Hair Stylist Schools
- Scissors Cut Barber School
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States of America and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy covers and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your barber’s school.
Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own barber’s school in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Financial reinsurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own barber school, usually you are required to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to challenge organizations and individuals in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties such as course work and training manuals et al.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Asides from the results you produce as it relates to training your students to become professional barbers, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some barber schools stand out. If you want to make an impact in the trade and technical schools industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in the market. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own barber school;
- Certified Technical Skill Trainer
- Certification in a Niche Area (Trade and Technical Vocation)
- Licensed Professional Barber
- Certified Barber/Hair Stylist
- Degree or Diploma in Trade Related Courses
Please note that you cannot successfully run a barber school in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certifications and business license even if you have adequate experience cum background in the trade and technical schools industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized especially a training school business. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations.
If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own barber school in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Accreditation Letter
- Business License and Certification
- Business Plan
- Education/Training Curriculum
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Consulting contract documents
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Aside from the required certifications and hands-on experience, starting a barber school can be cost effective especially when compared to starting a standard vocation school that offers various trainings.
Securing a standard school facility in a good business district, equipping the school with the needed training instruments, equipment and tools and paying your employees are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business or to partner with you. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your barber school;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Barber schools require that you see physically with your clients (students) hence it must be located in good location; a location that is prone to both human and vehicular traffic and a location that is at the epicenter of an educational environment if indeed you want to enroll loads of students and maximize profits from the business.
If you have taken your time to study the trade and technical schools industry, you will realize that barber schools and related skill acquisition centers are willing to pay expensive rents in order to stay in a busy educational district; a place where there are loads of students.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to open your barber school is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and businesses with the required purchasing power and lifestyle.
Of course, you would not want to locate this type of business in the outskirt of town. Your students should be able to drive down and locate your school facility with little or no difficulty. Vendors also should be able to easily locate your school facility when they have to come submit their bid/proposals, documents or for background checks et al.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your barber school, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey.
The possibility of you coming across similar vocational school that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out. These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your barber’s school;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for the barbing skill acquisition in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of barber schools, vocational schools and related skill acquisition center in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technologies or equipment needed to run a barber school except for the needed clippers, sterilizers, scissors and other tools that the students will need for practical sessions. You will also need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves).
These machines, equipment, tools and instrument can be purchased as fairly used especially if you have limited finance to meet your budget.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for a barber school, the size of the school you want to build, and your entire budget should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a standard barber school or vocational school that offer various trade and technical courses, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility for your school.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision.
Averagely, you would need a Chief Executive Officer/Principal Partner, School Administrator, Instructors/Coaches, Business Developer, Accountant (Bursar), Customer Service Executive/Front Desk Officer. You would need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff to effectively run a medium scale but standard barber school.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
Barber schools and skill acquisition centers are established with the aim of teaching students technical and trade skill set. A student is expected to enroll in a barber school to learn how to barb, become a professional barber and perhaps set up a barbing salon business.
After the full training which may last for 3 months or more, graduation ceremonies are organized for students and certificates are awarded.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
As a barber school owner, you would have to prove your worth over and over again before attracting students to your school. So, if you have plans to start your own barber school, it will pay you to first build a successful career as a professional barber.
People and organizations will only enroll in your barber school or hire your services to train their members if they know that they are going to get the required barbing skill set they want.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your barber school, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company profile.
Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to the trade and technical schools industry and the organizations you have trained in time past.
This will help boost your chances in the market place when sourcing for students and corporate clients. Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your barber school;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to all the high school leavers, aspiring entrepreneurs and households within and outside the city you are operating who have the capacity to pay for your services
- Advertise your barber school in relevant magazines, radio and TV stations
- List your barber school on local directories/yellow pages
- Attend international vocational education expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of students and clients in order to work with their budget
- Leverage on the internet to promote your barber school
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you offer your barbing training services at a price that is highly attractive is to ensure that you source your startup capital from sources that won’t put pressure on you or give you high interest rate. So also, it is important that you purchase your training equipment, tools, instruments and materials directly from the manufacturers or from wholesale distributor.
If need be, you can purchase these equipment, tools, machines and instruments from fairly used market. It will still save you some bucks.
Another strategy that will help you offer your barbing training services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products and services.
18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be. One of the secret of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to see them.
If your intention of starting a vocational school is to grow the school beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should leverage on both print and electronic media and also social media (the internet).
As a matter of fact, it is cost effective to use the internet and social media platforms to promote your brands, besides it is pretty much effective and wide reaching. Below are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and to promote and advertise your barber’s school;
- Place adverts on vocational related magazines and newspapers, radio and TV stations
- Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from your loyal customers
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+ and other platforms to promote your barber school
- Ensure that you position your banners and billboards in strategic positions all around your city
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas in and around our neighborhood
- Advertise your barber school in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Brand all your official cars and ensure that all your staff members and management staff wears your branded shirt or cap at regular intervals