According to Evans Kwaku Oboafi Junior who is popularly known as HARDROCK, the CEO of HARDROCK BARBERING SALON at Brakwa in the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District C/R Ghana, hair barbering saloon is a money spinner any time any day. One of the factors contributing to this is because the business is not seasonal in the sense that our hair keeps growing and often we try to keep them clean and well shaved.hana, hair barbering saloon is a money spinner any time any day. One of the factors contributing to this is because the business is not seasonal in the sense that our hair keeps growing and often we try to keep them clean and well shaved.
Before I start let me share this piece of information with you. Most of us working white collared jobs earn between Ghc 500 and Ghc1000. For those who earn above Ghc1000 most times they behave like mini-gods yet some barbing salon operators earn as much as Ghc1500 monthly. You want to know how? Then join me on this expedition as I teach you how to start and make money operating a barbing salon in Ghana.
Venturing into the barbing salon business in Ghana begins with training or apprenticeship.
Before starting your own barbing salon business, it is advisable to first of all work as an apprentice under an already established salon this is because there is no school in Ghana where such education is offered.
While working as an apprentice, you will learn how to use hair barbing equipment like clippers and in the case of Ghana, comb and razor blade. Comb and razor blade is still very popular with most Ghanaian barbers as they use it along with the clippers to achieve a perfect finish. Also you will learn hair cut styles, hair treatments, health practices and beauty tips. You will also learn customer relation and the overall business management skills.
For somebody with an average intelligent quotient, it could take up to three months to learn the basic skills and tip involved in running this business. Some people with enough capital have gone into barbing salon business without training and where successful. Yes they indeed hired the services of experienced barbers while they stay behind to manage and market the place. But if you are not the type that has constant income flowing in from other sources, my advised is that you get the training first even if you will not be the person giving the actual haircuts at the end of the day.
It’s best not to be in hurry to open a barbing salon. The reason for this is because when you start off with a hired hand and don’t pay him well at the early stage of your business, chances are he may not be regular and this could be devastating especially when customer are around. So, this is where your training becomes relevant. This stage of your business is very sensitive because clients come in trickles. This is because they can’t leave their trusted barbers and come to you that has no proven record in the business. So initially it may be difficult to pay a hired hand and so you may have to do the barbing yourself or frustration will start setting in. Many things can cause you frustration especially when you start losing customers because your ego can’t allow you to cut people’s hair, simply because your dream is to be the boss and not a barber.
A client once told me he started a particular business because he thought it was profitable only to discover that as he was making money he was putting almost all the money back into the business. Not to expand the business, but to buy consumable. Imagine cutting somebody’s hair for three cedis (3ghc) then you spend exactly the same amount on materials you need to cut that person’s hair. Obviously that’s bad business. While lamenting to me bitterly, he said if he had taken just one month to serve as an apprentice with somebody already in the business, he would have noticed that the business was not fit for him and he wouldn’t have gone ahead to buy all the machines he bought which he ended up selling at give away prices. So that’s it for training.
Choosing a location for your business
In Ghana most people tend to chose comfort rather than strategic placement when it comes to choosing a location for their businesses. I have seen people locate business like boutique on lonely streets and I wondered if the person is into business just to make money to buy a ball of kenkey (local Ghanaian staple food made from corn) or make enough money to buy a good car and live in a nice house. Choosing the location of the barbing salon business is very important as it will determine how many clients you get in a day. Here are some factors to be considered:
A busy and high-traffic area – Busy roads, streets and neighborhoods are gold mines for barbing salon. While some people will come to your shop to barb their hair others will come to share in the day’s gist because they are sure of meeting people around your salon. Whatever be their mission to your salon, be sure it will eventually end up in a haircut and more money in your pocket.
Your barbing salon should be easily accessible. Especially for high class barbing salon like X-Men Grooming, which is beginning to be popular in Ghana, traffic and parking challenges should be taken into consideration. This is because clients don’t like parking their cars so far away that they may have cause to start becoming worried over the safety of their cars and valuables inside. Moreover not many people would like to park far away and walk a long distance just to get a haircut. This may drive your clients away.
Tips to keep your saloon booming
Make sure you have the required instruments and skills that makes you and your salon look trendy
Entertainment has never stopped to be a part of barbing salon business; this is because a salon is like a drinking spot where people easily get to know the latest gist in town. To sustain this gathering of people, (if possible) you need to furnish your place with the latest of fashion and celebrity magazines as well as install a DSTV where live matches can be watched. Good music is also a factor and depending on the area you choose, make sure you attract the right set of people.
If you are in a local area, always look for a way to get the local champions to always visit your place and stay for a while. Even if it means barbing their hair for free some times, just do it. But if you are in a highbrow area – the same method has never failed. Go to people who work in good firms and offer them mouth watering bonuses, soon you will see smashing looking male and female clients passing through not because of a hair cut but because of networking and of course relationship. While they go about their businesses, your place is busy swelling up with important people and gradually you begin to increase your price. Rich people like it when it’s expensive, the ladies like it too because it gives them a sense of class.
But note that if you live in a highbrow area, you must not forget to continue pumping money into your saloon to make it look like a five star barbing salon. It must not fail to reflect the affluence which your rich clients are already accustomed to in their homes and offices. Same goes for your barbers
Finally if you really want to pamper your clients, get female barbers and pay them well. Abroad female barbers are a hot cake just like guys who weave people’s hair are in hot demand in Africa. Sex still plays a vital role in today’s business and may never stop in years to come. If the ladies can’t barb very well get the best of barbers to teach them. Once they have interest for the job there is no limit to what they can achieve, but above all make sure they are attractive and can smile even when spanked on their butt by a crazy client.
Take note of your customers’ preferences and implement them.
Be gentle but time conscious while attending to a client. Hire capable and well trained personnel.
As much as you need to charge enough to make profit, make sure you know what others are charging.
Competition is good for every business. It gives you room to improve on your services, but if you are down on the ladder of the competition common sense demands that you shy away from such competition. In Accra for example it will be tough for a beginner to go and establish his salon close to X-Men who have clients from top government officials to diplomats and top business personnel. Instead, its better you look out for a place where you’ll be the only barbing salon and still have access to a good client base. However, if you figure you can cope with the competition around you then you should be prepared to be a lot better and unique in offering your services. Be committed and go the extra mile for your clients and your business will stand out from all others.
In starting off with this business, capital plays a vital role. In Ghana some barbers operate a mobile barbing shop. They can be seen moving around with their tools. But when you observe them doing their job – most times under trees, you discover that they only get clients who could pass for scum in the society. So if you expect to get good clients, then there must be a level of class to your shop.
In Ghana two things easily come to mind when planning where to house your salon. A shop or a container, but if money to rent a shop is not available then the next available option is a container or caravan. The following are the things you would need to start your salon:
Rent for the Shop (depending on the area shop are leased out for a period between 2 and 10 years in Accra, while in areas outside of Accra a year or two could be asked for by the landlord. Cost of shop in Ghana varies depending on the location of the shop )
But because most times the shops are too expensive for beginners they prefer using containers or caravan. However you would have to rent a piece of land first before getting a welder to construct a container for you. Sometime one could have town planning authorities to contend with which means you may end up spending money to appease them.
During my research I met a young lad at North Kaneshie and his salon located inside a container bore the name Big Boy. ‘He must be making money to answer that name’ I figured. So I enter the place to inquire how he was doing. I started by asking him if he was paying rent on the land the container is located and after much deliberation he told me he pays Ghc 20 monthly for the land. He also told me he pays Ghc30 as government levies which is for three months.
When I asked him how much he charges for a hair cut he said Ghc3 and he added that there is no day that he doesn’t get up to 10 clients. This means if this young lad is making Ghc30 a day, that means he could be making as much as Ghc900 a month. I don’t need to tell you that this is a lot of money in Ghana.
Electricity: Because electricity is gradually becoming a problem in Ghana it is advisable to buy a generator set so that you are not out of business when there is power outage. However in Ghana, some barbers are not out of business when there is power outage because some clients don’t mind if barbers use razor blade and comb to cut their hair from start to finish.
Quality Clippers (with efficient blades and the cutting steps) this is very important because if your clippers are not good you could end up wounding your clients and that would drive them away. Moreover stopping in the middle of a haircut to repair your clippers is not good for business at all.
Wall Mirrors. Remember to buy mirrors that give true image.
Comfortable Barbing Chairs and furniture for the waiting area is as important as the hair cut itself.
Clippers Sterilizing Unit is very important. Apart from getting the electronic sterilizing machine; make sure you invest on other cleaning agents like spirits also.
Hair cut materials (e.g. Sets of combs, scissors, powder, spirit, lotions etc) are very essential.
Ones your business starts making money it is advisable that you register it and if possible join your local haircut association. You cannot under estimate what you will learn from your local association.
Advertising: You may get few clients without advertising, but you will get a lot of clients when you advertise. Advertising still remains an important factor when considering business promotion in Ghana. You can start advertising by employing ordinary word of mouth. Just make sure that somebody somewhere is talking to somebody per time about your salon. If the person is able to talk to five people every day, that totals 35 people a week. If those 35 people speak to at least one person about your saloon within that week, that totals 70 people. Out of these 70 people if you get 10 clients, of course it’s a very good start.
Other forms of advertising can be executed with fliers, radio or local newspapers, internet (e.g facebook) amongst others.
Start Small: Most people make the mistake of wanting everything in proper place before opening for business. I advise that you start small and grow from there. Success, they say, grows upon success. I believe that as you follow these guidelines, you too can succeed as a barbing salon owner. On my next article I will be teaching you how to make money operating a hair dressing salon, till then keep making money doing what you already love doing.
Contact HARDROCK on +233(0)55 027 0123