How to Put Your Barbershop Out of Business
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How to Put Your Barbershop Out of Business

Running a barbershop is fairly easy.  Killing a barber business is even easier.  Here are my top five tips to run your barbershop business out of business.

Talk junk about clients in front of other clients – Warn the other barbers about the cheapskate tip you got from that last guy.  Mention that the guy you cut yesterday was not too keen on personal hygiene.  Everyone should know which clients are losing their jobs and which client’s homes are being foreclosed.  The story about the guy who cheated on his wife is one worth retelling all week.  Clients know you would never speak ill about them.  You only talk smack about other people. If you have the slightest feeling that what you might say is not appropriate, just switch to your native language.  No one else speaks that language so no one will know what you are saying.

Lock the door early / Show up late – The sign says you open at 9 a.m.  Show up around 9:20.  It is o.k.  Clients are happy to wait.  The sign says you are open until 6 p.m. Flip that deadbolt at 5:40 so you can be out the door at 6:00 p.m. sharp.  You have places to go and things to do.  Your shop is run at your convenience.  Never let the client’s needs and wishes interfere with your plans.  Come in later if you have no one on the book.  Go home early if you have no late appointments.  Change your schedule frequently when the mood strikes, the seasons change of you just feel like it.  Make finding you a guessing game for clients.  Clients love games.  Games are fun.

Share your personal opinions on all subjects with clients – Clients want to hear your thoughts on politics and religion.  Clients are open to your ideas on climate change and education reform. Clients are curious to know what you think about reality television personalities and other celebrities.  Clients seek you out to learn about marijuana legalization and immigration. State and county taxes and the school board are issues about which your opinion matters to everyone.  Be sure everyone hears them.  Your chair is your pulpit.  Preach hard.

Refuse to serve some clients – We do not cut kinky curly hair.  We do not cut women.  We do not do flattops.  We do not cut kids.  We do not cut seniors.  We only want to cut what we want to cut. 

Play fast and loose with the rules – Hire unlicensed barbers.  Pay cash under the table.  Refuse to take credit cards so as to avoid a paper trail. Do not change the Barbicide.  Skip the neck strips.  Razor blades cost a lot.  Do not change them every client.  Rules are made for other people and suckers.  Do not worry.  No one will notice. 

Any one of these can be highly effective in killing our barbershop slowly, over time.  Use all five to kill the shop quickly.  Have you experienced any of these things in your shop?  Have you seen them happening in shops you have visited?  Share your stories.

Ivan Zoot AKA ClipperGuy is your healthy haircutter coach. Get and stay healthy, wealthy and wise with clipperguy support. For more information visit Ivan at

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Originally posted on Modern Salon