(In the words of shop owner Mikey Denton)
So there’s a lot that goes into opening a business. Then you’ll realize how much more goes into after you open. Especially if you are like me and did not have any type of business degree or certification.
Identify Yourself: Owner or Haircutter
You should pick what you want to focus more on: Do you want to cut behind the chair or do you want to be an owner/operator? Because you need to put effort into one to do it right. Trust me, putting your eggs in different baskets will continue to be challenging. I did not open with the intention of not cutting anymore. Now it can be totally different for a small shop with two to three chairs, booth rental, no front desk, no retail store kind of shop which a lot of people are totally content with. But if you want to run a well oiled machine with the full team operations, it’s going to take a lot of attention to detail.
I want to cut for the rest of my career. I’ve always wanted to commit to cutting and have zero interest quitting and just owning a salon.Mikey denton
Work With Brands You Believe In
Supporting the super small guys is great but also you need to consider what distribution companies offer as well. Points, education, free back bar, etc. After several years we narrowed down the brands that are great, offer a variety of products and provide a lot of support.
Depending But…Aim High With Prices
Thats a vague statement yes. But starting with a low price then working up is difficult. We started at $30 then went to $32 and people lost their minds. Eventually we made our way to $35 but when I went up to $45 it wasn’t that big of a deal but for the clients who had been paying $30, I was told “that’s inflation”. It wasn’t because we didn’t write out a proper business model. Some of us were booked several weeks in advance and were losing clients so you raise your prices. Not every stylist/barber is booked so others are at $35. The level system was put into place after a few years. We should have done a little more research before going with what was the “normal” model in my hometown.
Be Intentional & Trust the Process
Open a business with the right intentions and after checking off all the boxes. Some people open a spot after being busy for a year and are “just doing what’s best for their family.” I was that guy and I’ve heard plenty of other people say the same. Not realizing its not that simple and isn’t the best next option. I wish I knew about studio suite models before opening to test the waters first. Studio suites (pictured above) allow you to be your own business for 6 months to a year, without the small business headaches. If you are booked up enough to run a successful studio suite, then add staff or apprentices. If that works and you got a well oiled machine, then look into your own space. For a lot of people that has been the better option. At the same time people who own a business have downsized by moving into a studio suite and prefer it. Just don’t rush into anything and don’t take money from any person who wants to “invest.” TRUST ME.
Mikey Denton currently resides in Portland, Oregon and get can be reached www.mikeydenton.com. Contact him on Instagram @mikeydenton.