7 Steps to Open a Barbershop in Australia

Victor Young

Marketing & Business Development Manager

You know what’s great about being the barber industry?

Everyone needs it and there will always be a demand for it.

Unless BarberGPT learns how to fade and do scissor cuts… yikes.

Anyways since Mancave Barbershop has just opened its 12th store, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to share a guide on opening your own barbershop.

You’ll learn some of our experiences, mistakes and get a good overview of how to bring your barbershop dream to life.

1. Perform Market Research and Figure out What makes you Unique

All new businesses or stores must understand the core fundamentals. Marketing and sales. In the barber industry, sales is essentially the haircuts you give and the customer service you provide. I’ll get more into this later on, so let’s focus on the marketing side.

You’ll need to understand a few things during the idea and research phase:

  • What makes your barbershop unique?
  • What’s different about your shop and another one down the road?
  • Are you looking to specialise in a certain group of customers? Like mens, womens, kids or longer haircuts?
  • What are some locations you’re thinking of and why?

Luckily for our new Franchises, we already have the proven marketing fundamentals so the first 3 points are taken care of.

2. Set up your Business

You’ll need to do the bare basics; set up an ABN, start a business bank account, business insurances and the legal structure of your business (especially if you’re going in business with a partner, friends or family).

We can’t give you too much advice here so always consult with your lawyer or accountant when making any decisions.

3. Location Research

In our experiences, location is a huge factor for success.

As mentioned in our Franchise vs Starting a New Barbershop comparison, without a great location you’re missing out on some easy clients.

There’s many customers who:

  • want to find a barber close by
  • looking to explore their options
  • aren’t happy with their current barber

And the easiest way to find this customer is through foot traffic.

Find store locations which have existing foot traffic. It’s consistent exposure and if you provide great haircuts and customer service, you’ll win them over easily.

As for the customer demographics? We’ve found asking commercial real estate agents or the shopping centres marketing team to be very helpful! You’re also able to use Google and Social to look at nearby barbers to get a better feel and understanding of the crowd.

Now I didn’t want to dive too deep here as we have our own formula for determining winning locations. Again, we provide this as part of all our franchises prior to starting up.

4. Understand the costs and financing options

Cost is the biggest roadblock for many new stores and business owners. Why? Because it can get expensive. Especially if you don’t know where to look and who to ask!

There’s a few things you’ll need to consider when it comes to costs:

  • insurances
  • lease and rental fees
  • security deposit (dependent on the owner)
  • fitout/renovations
  • cost to purchase the existing business
  • marketing and website builds
  • staffing
  • equipment
  • ongoing expenses

Since we’ve opened our 12th store we’ve been blessed to establish great connections with builders, leasing agents and suppliers and pass these benefits onto our franchisees. Though when you’re starting out on your own, Google is your best friend.

5. Building your shop

Some builders or construction companies have their own architect who can bring your ideas and vision to life. Though this often comes in as an addition to their fees so watch out for that.

Construction can take anywhere from 3-6 months depending on how much you’re doing and the existing infrastructure.

As a ball park here’s how much you should budget:

  • Existing Fitout: $20,000 - $100,000
  • Complete Buildout: $120,000 - $200,000

It feels kind of scary to type that out, and offer this help for our franchisees.

6. Build your Brand

Once your shop is up and running, it’s now up to you to build your brand.

To us branding is just the logo or colours. It’s the feel your customers have about you.

When they walk into your shop:

  • are they certain they’re always going to get a great haircut?
  • are they certain they’ll be listened to?
  • do they feel welcomed by you and your team?

Focus on this and your brand will spread itself.

7. Focus on the fundamentals for customers

At Mancave Barbershop we keep things simple for all our stores.

  • Great Haircuts
  • Family customer service
  • Fair prices

You do the 3 of these and you’ve earned a customer for life.

Again this guide just serves as an overview of what to expect when starting your barbershop. I’m sure there’s some unique things we’ve missed! So feel free to message us if you have any questions.

Now if you’re thinking this is way too much to handle, but you still want to own your own barbershop, I definitely recommend reaching out to us for our franchise opportunities. We’ve developed a whole model which streamlines EVERYTHING meaning we’ll do the heavy lifting and you just need to give the tick of approval.

If you’re interested, sign up here.

Best of luck barbers!!