The Barbers’ Playbook: How to Prepare for the Worst

Accidents happen. People steal. Shops burn down. Life happens. You need to be prepared. 
Matthew Mendoza
Matthew Mendoza, aka Barber Doza, is a licensed barber, educator, and consultant. He helps barbers get licensed and build their businesses.

Many barbers don't prepare for worst-case scenarios. Your tools get stolen, the shop catches fire, you get carpal tunnel, or the shop shuts down, thanks to a global pandemic. Life happens. 

You need to be prepared. 

Now that you have your barber license, it is time to take care of your business by establishing a solid foundation. Here are 4 worst-case scenarios to prepare for:

1. Get Your Business License Before a Global Pandemic

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

When the pandemic shut shops down, barbers had the opportunity to apply for PPP loans to stay afloat. You had to submit a business license to the state government to qualify. Barbers without a business license had difficulty accessing these funds because they didn't have a paper trail establishing themselves as a legitimate business. Don’t be that barber.

Apply for a business license, hire an accountant, and file your taxes. If you end up in a situation where the world shuts you down, you’ll be better positioned to access loans. 

2. Create a Budget for Physical Injuries

Barbering is a physical job. Unlike other careers, the smallest injury can put you out of work. You might turn your ankle, hurt a shoulder, or develop carpal tunnel. If this happens, your money management skills will matter way more than your fading skills. 

It is vital to create a business budget that prepares you for moments when you’re physically unable to work. Download The Barbers' Playbook for a simple budget to get you started. 

3. Establish a Defensive Plan for an Emergency

We have fire alarms and security cameras for a reason. Accidents happen. People steal. From floods to fires, to tools getting stolen to a client being injured, barbers need insurance. Here are a few policies to consider: general liability, commercial property and crime insurance. For more information on insurance, take a look at this blog.

4. Communication Planning for Unplanned Time Off 

You're booked and busy, but you wake up sick. In the event that this happens, you need to be able to communicate quickly with your clients to cancel their appointments. If you don’t, you risk creating angry customers and generating bad reviews for letting them drive or take an Uber or public transportation to the shop only to find out their appointment is canceled. Instead of texting each client one by one, your booking platform can help speed up the process through message blasts.  

The point is to have a communication plan for when you need to take a day off. Prioritize communicating with your booked clients first and then communicate with everyone else second.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Now that you are a licensed barber, it’s time to establish a solid foundation for your business. Prepare your business for these four scenarios, and you’ll give yourself the best shot at weathering any storm.

Looking to grow your clientele? Download The Barbers’ Playbook: 10 essential strategies to evaluate and grow your barber business. Whether you are a new barber or an OG, this playbook will generate new ideas to elevate your business.

Matthew Mendoza aka barber doza , helps barbers pass their state board exam through his online course, provides business strategies to emerging barbers through his podcast Beyond Barber School and writes about the latest trends in the industry through his weekly newsletter called theGuideline.