How to Market a Barbershop

Successfully marketing a barbershop helps you create a profitable business with repeat customers. The challenge is creating an affordable plan. Most communities feature lots of barbershops and that limits what a shop owner can charge for a haircut or invest in a marketing plan. Low-cost, grassroots campaigns that are highly targeted are best. People are unlikely to drive long distances for a basic shave and a haircut, so marketing plans should emphasize a radius of three-to-five miles. That makes television advertising an expensive waste, forcing most shop owners to look beyond traditional media for an effective plan.

  1. 1.

    Identify key points of emphasis for your marketing plan by creating a SWOT analysis -- strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. List bullet points under each heading to show how you stack up against other barbershops in the area and opportunities to gain an advantage.

  2. 2.

    Obtain a paper map of your area and draw a five-mile radius around your barbershop. This becomes your target area. Find small, local print publications publishing in the area by visiting corner grocery stores, restaurants and gasoline stations to obtain copies.

  3. 3.

    Listen to local radio stations at home or in your car. Try several stations to determine the station that appears to offer the most advertising for stores and shops within your five-mile radius, based on your familiarity with the area. Call the stations to request a rate card or a consultation with a sales representative.

  4. 4.

    Contact the local chamber of commerce for a list of festival and events in your five-mile area, along with contacts for the events. Make phone calls to find out about costs for exhibiting at the events.

  5. 5.

    Establish a marketing budget based on the cost of advertising in small newspapers, local radio and at events in your five-mile area. Look for opportunities costing just a few hundred dollars.

  6. 6.

    Place two-for-one haircut coupons in local print publications. Mark the first haircut up a few dollars over your regular price, with the second haircut free during certain non-busy periods.

  7. 7.

    Create "one dollar haircut" days or something similar at local festivals in your area. Check with event organizers for any special licenses you'll need to give haircuts at the festival.

  8. 8.

    Pay appearance fees to have a local celebrity, such as top radio personality, sign autographs and take pictures at your barbershop on a Saturday morning. Market the appearances with advertising in local print or on radio.

  9. 9.

    Promote a "guest stylist" day. Invite a top barber from a shop from out-of-town to cut hair at your place for a day as he promotes a hot new haircut. Advertise the appearance in advance, and pay the barber travel expenses and a fee for the day.

  10. 10.

    Promote extensively online on top social networking sites and offer free Wi-Fi in your barbershop to show you're really connected to online. Visit major social media sites to purchase low-cost, targeted advertising based on keyword searches.