15 keys to success in barbering

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Remember your clients


This is a relationship business; anyone can cut hair, but a barber builds a relationship, take time to remember the people who pay your bills and invite you to their events.


Also try to remember one or two important things; “how is your dog doing?”, “is your mother out of the hospital yet?”


When you greet people be happy to see them


Regardless if it is someone that comes to you, goes to another barber, or just a by passer. Have love towards people. If you are not that type of person, then you must pretend to be. Your attitude and outlook will draw people to you.


Can’t make money off your chair while you are sitting on it!




Stand behind your chair with a smile on your face. Show the world that you are ready to serve.


Pay attention to regulars that come into the shop that are not your clients.


Compliment the nice haircut they just received. This strengthens your bond with fellow co-workers. This makes it more likely that if ever they need a back-up barber, they may remember your decent attitude.


Trust me that the day will come when they will want to sit in your chair or bring a friend to try you out.


Never get butt hurt (offended) if a client goes to another barber.


If you continue to treat them with kindness and respect, they will never forget about your service. When they do return, give them your best service and ask for their recommendation on how you could improve your service.


Your humbleness will go a long way and you might even learn a valuable lesson on retaining your clients.



Ask clients what it was that drew them towards you


Ask what makes them keep coming back. Not only will this lead to a stroke of ego but can also be a great lead in asking them to refer you to their friends and relative.


Remember to be courteous.


Be nice, gentle, mannerly and courteous. Having good manners can go a long way in ensuring that your clients return to you again.


“Please sir/ma’am have a seat I am ready for you.”

“Excuse me sir, would you mind if I answer the phone.”

“Thank you for your patience.”

“Thank you for coming, please come again.”

“Would you like to schedule your next appointment today?”

“Thank you for giving me the chance to service you today.”


These were just a few examples. Try to introduce courteousness in everything you do.


Keep your Shop and Station clean


At times when you are not cutting hair, get into the habit of cleaning everything from the windows to the walls. Having a clean workspace lets others know that you take pride in your environment. Most people will admire you for your cleanliness.


Wash your hands before every cut


Be especially vocal on letting your client know that you need a moment to sanitize and wash your hands. Do this consistently and your clients will be impressed by your cleanliness.




Limit phone calls you take during the cut


Phone calls take focus away from the most important thing – The client in the chair.


Only receive calls from someone already on your appointment book, even while in the middle of the cut. You never know they could be running late, bringing another person, or canceling. If the caller is not a client, call them back in between cuts.


Clients who want to talk will initiate deeper conversation


Feel free to tactfully engage in conversations. The key here is to get them talking about things that interest them. Stay away from yes and no questions. Ask them questions that take a couple sentences to answer.


Remember that when you are talking, you have to be cutting too. The problem that most barbers have is that once they start talking, their hand stop cutting and instead start gesturing. If you are going to be running your mouth, make extra sure to keep those clippers running!




Stinky body odor or bad breath can be offensive to people. Having a clean appearance and clean habits go very far.



Take Pride in Your Grooming Abilities


Snap before-and-after photos. Start building your catalog of great works you have performed.


Harmony in the shop


Harmony is when every barber in the building is on the same page of enjoying life, having some laughs, and getting money. Work hard to keep the balance of harmony. When you and your co-workers are having fun, more clientele comes through the door. People are entertained by how fun and lively everyone is and they often feel it the moment they step through the door.


When my friend and fellow barber in the shop thought that I had tried to make a move on his sister, the drama began. A small argument broke out between us in front of clients, who never came back. Even though we worked together every day, no words were spoken between us for about two years. Those two years were probably the hardest time for me and our clients, all of whom immediately noticed the difference in vibe.


The situation did not improve till almost two and a half years later. After a small incident, we actually talked and let the facts came out, mending the friendship and atmosphere of the shop. It is better to have a shop of two people working in harmony than to have two negative people killing the harmony of the shop.


Managing Down time


Shop downtime is the best time for advancements, if used properly.


Build clientele during downtime by talking to everyone that passes by, let people know that you are available to service them and their friends.


Visit nearby businesses, gain a rapport with the people that work close to you. Whenever they need to look fresh, they may send you clients from time to time.


Downtime is also a great opportunity to contact past clients. I usually start with clients that are about two weeks out since their last cut. A simple text asking how they are doing is good but try to ask something specific from your last encounter.


Start sending emails. They can be created within few hours and add value to your service. Including content that you write, or simply reference articles that can be helpful to your clients. These articles can be from any genre of your choosing. I like focusing on hair, upcoming events in the community, and product recommendations.


Downtime is also great for individuals who want to take online classes. I recommend trying to find a quiet place and using that time to log into your course and knock out some work. You will be amazed at how much work you can accomplish by working in short intervals.



Whenever we did not have any clients, we would play some sort of game; dominoes, pool, chess or some video games. Playing allows you to relax, rest your mind and body before the next wave of clients come in.