Open a Barbershop Franchise vs Starting a Barbershop from Scratch

Victor Young

Marketing & Business Development Manager

Starting a barbershop business is an awesome opportunity to be your own boss while doing what you love. And there are two ways to do it:

  • Start a new barbershop business from scratch
  • Get a running head start and open a well-known franchise

What you'll learn

In this article we'll help you decide whether a franchise or starting a new barbershop better suits you.

To help you piece things together we'll call on examples and experiences from our Mancave Barbershop franchisees.

Pros and Cons of Franchising vs Starting a New Barbershop

Advantages opening a Mancave Franchise When you start your own Barbershop
Established brand name means customers know like and trust you. You’ll have the customer recognition so you’re not starting from scratch You’ll need to build your brand from scratch. This means starting your social accounts, Google reviews and a website
Training and support. Mancave Franchisees get our full support with setting up an efficient barbershop meaning less time figuring out what to do and more time with your customers You’ll need to figure out how to manage the financials like tax, how to manage a team and how to improve your business to be as efficient as possible
A proven model. We provide our franchisees everything they need to quickly get started. From finding and researching a great location to developing a store which best reflect your wants and needs. You’ll need to pilot the business from idea to grand opening. There’s complicated things we’ve figured out like location and customer research, negotiating leases and building out your store.

Of course we would need to give you the benefits of starting your own business:

More Control

you’ll have complete control over your business. This means you’ll get to decide on how you manage your financials, payments and operations.

Lower Initial Investment

Starting your own shop means you won’t need to pay any franchise fees. Though this is at the exchange of an established brand name, no business or operational support and having to completely market your barbershop on your own

More Flexibility

you’ll get the opportunity to craft your own business strategy and operations. Though with all our Mancave Franchises we work alongside you to help you achieve your own personal and business goals.

Franchise Fees are an Investment

Yes, franchise fees may seem like an additional expense, but they can actually be seen as an investment in the success of your business.

When you become a Mancave Barbershop franchisee, you’re not just paying for the use of our established brand name and business model – you’re also gaining access to a range of valuable resources and support that can help you crush it with your barbershop!

For example, our franchise fees include comprehensive training and ongoing support to help you learn how to operate your business, manage your finances, and market your services to potential customers.

Imagine the time, learning and trial and error you needed for this! We streamline this process to put you on the best path for success.

We also provide access to marketing materials, access to suppliers (meaning you get better pricing with equipment and hair products) and our network of tech that can help streamline your operations and improve your profitability.

Basically, we smooth out the process so you can focus on what you do best - give customers some damn good haircuts.

So yes, with any franchise there are fees. But for the time saved, support and guidance to a thriving barbershop, you can argue it's worth it.

Hold that thought while we unpack some of the factors you need think about before starting a barbershop on your own.

Main considerations when starting your own barbershop

There’s no doubt starting your own barbershop can be exciting. But it doesn’t come without it’s challenges. In our experiences owning 12+ stores across Australia there’s a few core principles to help your barbershop succeed:

Build a winning team culture

Barbers are the heart and soul of the barbershop industry.

And here's the problem - many barbershops struggle retaining their barbers.

Meaning you'll probably expect to pay $700 for a Seek Job advertisement every few months, not to mention all the interviews and trials just to find the right barber.

And imagine what your customers think when they have to explain their haircut every 2-3 months with the new barber?

Alright the solution? We've found building an awesome team culture a huge factor for barbers staying with us.

This means:

  • creating a clear and motivating career path (not just junior or senior barber levels)
  • motivating your team to continuously develop their skills
  • developing a welcoming environment to experiment and be themselves in

We've made sure to bake this into our Franchise Model so having long-term barbers will be less of an issue.

Location is everything

Now there's many examples of some barbers using Tiktok or Instagram to build up with clientele.

And this means location is less of an issue. So that's why some start out in quieter locations with less foot traffic or even in their home garage!

But here's what's missing - foot traffic.

Foot traffic is a big factor during our research phase as it gives your barbershop a tremendous amount of client generation potential.

Provided you deliver exceptional customer service, you listen to them and give them the haircut they want - you've got a customer for life.

So some places with great foot traffic:

  • shopping streets
  • shopping centres
  • public service areas (like train stations or major bus stops).

But here's the issue with these high foot traffic locations - they're hard to get especially whens starting out with a few roadblocks:

  • if you don't have a history of business your lease application has a higher chance of being rejected
  • if you do get accepted, you might not know how to negotiate a fair leasing price
  • you'll have a bigger business loan

Because of our history of 12+ successful stores in high traffic areas, obtaining the lease and finances is easier.

We've streamlined the whole process and do most of the heavy lifting for our Mancave Franchisees so they simply just need to approve of the options we give.

Healthy Financials

One issue many new barbershop business owners make is poorly managing their financials (really new business owners in general).

Of course you can and should consult with your accountant. But there are many ways you can improve how efficient you are and automate some of the financial management.

This means making sure you're paying your staff on time, managing cash flows for taxes and GST and other business mandatory expenses.

For example - many barbershops simply track cash receipts to record how many haircuts they do.

And often these receipts aren't tracking what services.

We embed software to ensure you have a clear understanding of whether or not you're making a profit, stock inventory management and even customer queuing so you're missing out on any potential customers.

For all our Mancave Franchisees, we also offer options to access our recommended accountant who understands the ins and outs of the business to give you the most specific information you need.

If you're okay with the core 3 above, we'll be completely honest - you should start your own barbershop!

But if you're looking to path to running a successful store without the headaches and hiccups our Mancave Franchising Opportunity is definitely something you should consider.

Which should you open?

Choosing between opening a barbershop franchise and starting a new barbershop business depends on various factors, including your budget, experience, and goals. Here are some questions to consider before making a decision:

  • What's your budget for starting a barbershop business?
  • Do you have experience in running a business?
  • Do you want to have complete control over the business?

If you’ve been thinking about opening a barbershop, we welcome you to apply for our Mancave Barbershop Franchise opportunities. We’ll find out what works best for you, and develop a plan to help you become the best boss!