Independent Barber | 5 Steps In Opening Your Own Shop — STX Software

5 Steps to Go Independent as a Barber With Your Own Barbershop


The word on the street is that you want to shave, snip, and style all of your own clients and go independent as a barber. Perhaps you have been dreaming of owning your very own barbershop for a while now.

But before you can dive right in, you have to learn how to open a barbershop first. 

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. From obtaining the proper business licenses to fortifying your client base, this clean-cut guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to establish your very own barbershop.

Without further ado, here are 5 fresh tips on how to open a barbershop so you can seamlessly go independent as a barber. 

1. Get Licensed!

Here’s a fact: It’s always important to know what you’re getting yourself into, especially when it comes to starting your own business. 

You want to set yourself up for success in the very beginning so your barbershop can thrive from the moment you hang up the barber’s pole and place an “open” sign on the front window. But in order to do that, you need to take the first step before you do anything else and get licensed! 

Here are four important licensing requirements every new business owner must know. 

  1. Register Your Barbershop in Your State: When you establish your new business, you must first register the shop with the state and city it will operate in. This is known as business licensing and registration. 
  2. Apply for Permits and Licensing: Along with the first tip, be sure to research and apply for any necessary federal and state permits to start your barbershop. 
  3. Obtain a Resale Certificate: If you are going to sell retail products in your shop — such as hair gel, wax, or oils — and you want to avoid paying extra taxes, then you will definitely want to get a resale certificate.
  4. Secure an Employer Identification Number: If you plan to hire a team to help run your business, then the IRS will issue you an Employer Identification Number.  

Now that you have read up on some of the legal registration requirements it takes to open a barbershop, it’s time to follow through with legalities and talk about finances. 

2. Put It in the Books 

If you’re wondering not only how to open a barbershop, but how to open one and keep it open in the long run, you definitely do not want to skip this vital step! 
Along with business licensing and registration, you have to be 100% prepared for the financial responsibility of owning your barbershop. This is why you should always establish a strong budget in the very beginning. 

Make a Bulletproof Budget

Begin by outlining your expenses and ensure you can pay for them yourself. 

For instance, don’t cut your rent budget short. Even if you plan to head into the barbershop business with a partner, you need to know you can single-handedly pay rent every month if something happens with your partnership.

Considerations may also include: Do you want to open a facility and hire others, or do you want to “rent a chair” in an existing location? In this case, you would pay (sometimes weekly or monthly) to utilize another barber’s shop and use their location as a destination for the clients you earn.

Factor in Utility Expenses

You have to take into account all of the equipment and utilities you have to pay for from the moment you open up for business. These bills may include:

  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Barbershop tools and equipment (e.g. barbershop stools and chairs) 
  • Professional hairstyling products
  • Advertising materials 

As you can see, a poorly planned and razor-thin budget won’t cut it in the barber business. Set yourself up for success by confirming that you have an appropriate budget to acquire everything you need before buying a barbershop. 

Register for Taxes

You also have to register for taxes when you open your barbershop! Like all businesses, you are required to pay state and federal taxes to keep your shop up and running. 

For starters, be sure to register with your state for income, sales, and employment taxes. Then, register as a business entity and trademark your shop’s name. 

Once this is taken care of, you can get to the fun part of opening your barbershop: Marketing! 


3. Stand Out From the Competition

Have you heard? There’s a new kid on the block — and that new kid is you!

What are you going to do to sell your new barbershop as the best place to go for a fresh haircut?

Build Your Brand and Your Following

The first step is to make a name for yourself and get your brand in front of potential clients. When it comes to brand awareness, social media will be your best friend!

From Instagram and TikTok to Snapchat and Facebook, it’s important to showcase your talent and broadcast to your community that YOU offer the cleanest cuts and the closest shaves in town. 

Word-of-mouth also plays a HUGE role in the success of small businesses like barbershops. If someone really loves your stylish work, word about your barbershop will spread like wildfire. They may even leave you a positive review online!

Don’t forget to create all the social channels you plan on maintaining, and let people know how to find you. You can put your contact and social sites on your business cards, flyers, even stickers on your windows and mirrors! 

Create a Business Website

Speaking of online, consider investing in a professional business website. Here you can list your services and online booking link, any certifications or awards you have received, reviews and testimonials, and photos of satisfied clients.

From shampoos and conditioners, shave balm, beard oils, and of course the classic pomade, part of the barbershop hustle is selling associated retail as well. What better way than a website to show off where your customers can get their favorite products!

Furthermore, a website is a great place to build your branding and display a catchy slogan that will stick out to your clients and help them remember your name. You can also include special deals, coupons, and rates on your website to draw in new prospects!

4. Hire a Talented Team of Professionals

Once your barbershop starts to gain some traction, you might need an extra pair of hands to take hold of that straight razor — it’s time to hire some employees!

Think of your employees as the fortifying hair gel that holds the shop together. You always want them to support the shop and help it run smoothly every day. 

When it comes to searching for and hiring a new team, be sure to clearly outline the goals and mission of your business and write down who your ideal applicant would be. This will help you pick a candidate that is suitable to meet the needs of your clientele so you can keep your barbershop looking sharp and feeling professional.

Barbershop Booking Software Tips

5. Operate Your Business with the Finest Management Tools

Here’s the real pro tip: The key to owning and operating a barbershop is to keep your business operations running under incredibly skilled management. Your organization skills can really make or break your company! 

That being said, if you really want to know how to open a barbershop successfully, then you will want to invest in a business management tool that is specifically designed with your barbershop in mind. 

From scheduling appointments and online booking (a 24/7 revenue generator) to client management and taking payments, business management software can make your life a whole lot easier and also keep your clients coming back! 

So, which management tool is best for barbershop owners like you? 

Efficiently Manage Your Barbershop with Inspire by STX

If you want a management tool that is as sharp as your scissors and keeps your business running smoothly day in and day out, then Inspire by STX ( is the way to go! 

Inspire by STX offers an all-in-one business management software unique to the barbershop industry. Our software allows you to easily book clients, schedule employees, make and receive payments, download reporting and analytics, and create marketing campaigns. You can even take your business anywhere you go with the Inspire by STX Worker App!

“Yeah, but how do you know what I need?” 

Great question. How? Because we started as salon and barbershop owners. We took decades of knowledge and hands-on experience, understanding of pain points, and recipes for success, and built them all into one place.

Contact us for a free demo so you can discover how to open your barbershop successfully with a top-rated management tool on your side.

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