What do you learn in Barber School?

A barber education doesn’t only equip you to get a job in a barber shop or salon but also enables you to actually open your own business! It is a highly entrepreneurial career and attending barber school will certainly teach you with the concepts and skills you need to become a barber and a business owner. In a typical barbering program, instructors will introduce you to haircutting and styling tools and techniques and shampooing techniques. You will also learn how to shave and strop and do permanent waves and chemical hair relaxing procedures. Students are also taught how to color and tint hair.

Aside from the actual art and science of barbering, you will also learn sanitation and safety practices, the laws of the state governing the practice of barbering and business skills that are important in running a barbershop. Business ethics, management and providing great customer service are topics that will be covered in barber school.

Barber school doesn’t require a lot of time investment. Most barbering programs take anywhere from 10 to 15 months to finish depending on the number of class hours that students are required to complete. The number of hours that a barbering certificate or diploma program required in a barber school depends on the number of hours that the state requires for students to become eligible to get the licensing test. Normally, this takes anywhere from 1,250 to 2,000 hours.

At Texas Barber Colleges and Hairstyling Schools, an undergraduate certificate in barbering is awarded to a student who has completed 1,500 clock hours. Students are required to clock in and clock out whenever they go to school unlike in other schools which use credit hours as the basis for completing a program. The program is designed to be completed in 53 weeks.

At Prestige Barber College in Greensboro, North Carolina, meanwhile, their fulltime program takes anywhere from 10 to 12 months to finish. It requires 1,528 hours with the student attending 30 to 40 hours a week. If you want to enroll part-time, it will take you longer to finish the course. Since you’ll be spending 20 to 30 hours a week in school, you’ll be able to finish your education after 15 to 18 months.

Aside from certificate or diploma programs in barbering, there are also some colleges that offer an associate of applied science in barbering programs. The main difference between these courses is that in an associate program, the student has to meet general education requirements. At Central Carolina Community College, the program can be completed in four semesters if the student enrolls in the day program while evening program students will be able to finish it in ten semesters.

At the Northern New Mexico College, meanwhile, students will be awarded an associate of applied science in barbering degree after finishing 60 credit hours. The barbering program itself is 41 hours. The student will take 19 hours of general education courses in communication, humanities, math/computers/lab sciences, social/behavioral sciences and health, physical education and recreation.

For Arkansas, where Arkansas College of Barbering & Hair Design is located, one must complete at least 1,500 hours of schooling and training before looking to get licensed.

Check out more articles on barber schooling here!

Finding the Perfect Cut

You’re approaching your graduation from high school, or you are newly graduated, even. You’ve decided you want to be a barber, and done all the research on the career field. Now comes deciding what to do for school. Choosing a barber school involves making an educational decision that will prepare the student for a successful career. The best school will provide a good foundation for the future by bringing a passion for barbering to life and fueling it with the proper education. Barbers mainly cut men’s hair, but some have a client base that includes women and children. Barbers can either work in a barber shop or in their own salon, and the average barber earns between $15,000 and $30,000 US Dollars (USD) per year.

The two main focuses of barber school are to provide the job skills necessary to succeed in the barbering industry and to prepare the students for tests and licenses. A barber school will typically focus on one of these two goals. To provide necessary job skills, a barbering program can either enhance basic skills already known by students or begin from scratch. In schools that are designed to prepare students for tests and licenses, the curriculum is catered toward the regulations for passing the state board examination, which will allow the student to obtain a license.

Before a student chooses a barber school, he or she should consider individual goals and basic knowledge of the field. A barber student should weigh how much theory he or she knows with how much practice will be needed. When looking at barber schools, each school’s curriculum and practical training methods should be explored. The laws of the state where the barber intends to work should be understood because most states require a cosmetology license to become a barber, but some grant a specific barbering license.

Additional factors to consider when choosing a barber school include whether or not the school is accredited by professional barber organizations, how closely the school fits the student’s background, how much of the student’s current knowledge in the field will be put to use, whether or not credits will transfer if the student has already had some related education, how rigid or flexible the curriculum is and how much fieldwork will be part of the program. Other factors involved in the decision include location, cost and times that classes are offered. All of these things must be juggled with the student’s current lifestyle and commitments. Most barber school programs range from nine to 24 months and cost between $6,500 and $10,000 USD per year.

Barber schools teach students how to cut and style hair, treat hair with chemicals, shave and trim facial hair, apply hair and scalp treatments, recognize skin diseases, use barbering instruments, follow sanitary procedures and learn the sciences of chemistry, anatomy and physiology. After the education is completed, a barber student is required to take a written and sometimes oral examination. Most states require barbers to take continuing education hours for additional training each year.

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You’ve Got the Shop, Now to Get the Money

Back in the day, barbershops were owned and operated by men for the sole reason of shaving or trimming down a man’s beard. Barber, surprisingly enough, comes from the Latin word that means “beard.” Today, there is still definitely that service to men, but there are also other services as well. Coloring, trimming, and styling hair is also performed inside of barbershops now, and catered to both men and women.

Do you want to start making money? Make sure that you found a location where there is not much nearby competition, and that it hits your target market. For instance, if you are setting up a barbershop that specializes in children haircuts, you want to find an area that would attract parents to bring their kids. Being close to an elementary school would work for that situation.

To keep the money coming, ensure you are following any and all requirements put forth by the state. This may mean having a proper airflow through the shop so clients don’t have to breathe in any chemicals from different hair products, or keeping disinfectant containers near each chair in the shop. If customers notice you aren’t staying up to code, they most likely will not return for their own well-being. So keep those instruments sterilized by cleaning after each use, and sweeping up all that dirt and hair from the floor to keep your barbershop in the most immaculate state possible.

But wait, there’s more opportunity! It cannot be stressed enough that you only hire licensed barbers to work in your shop. Not only that, but they should be a great people person, and have awesome customer service skills. When you hire barbers like this, not only are you adding a valuable asset to your team, but someone who will guarantee repeat business by building relationships with your customers. Good, old loyalty.

The next couple steps may cost money, but the return on investment could be a huge payoff for you and your business. Advertise your shop in your local newspaper or even radio station, fliers are even a great way to spread awareness. Checking with your county and looking to place and ad in the next telephone book is also a great way to pull in new customers. To really get business going, advertising campaigns are going to be needed, so plan for this.

Another point of interest in building a client book for your business is once again social media. Creating a website and collecting some basic data from your customers or potential clients is a great way to start. Get some e-mail addresses and send out a newsletter once or twice a month to inform your customers on beauty and hairstyle trends, as well as adding in valuable coupons they can redeem. It can bring them back in to your shop and make them think they are getting what they paid for. Again, don’t forget about Facebook and Twitter, as you can use these to do contests or talk about new services your shop will begin offering. You can even get feedback and have a conversation with your customers. All in all, this will help you build that base and reach that profit margin you are looking for!

So You Graduated Barber School… Now What?

The first thing you’re going to look in to doing is finding a chair in a nearby barbershop or salon. This will help get your feet wet, and so you can see the business from the inside. Now, as time goes on, you may start thinking about starting your own business. Your entrepreneurial spirit burns to have a place of your own, and you believe the time is coming to become the owner of a barbershop.

What is the path to becoming a business owner in the barbering industry?

You’re going to want to begin formulating a plan, but you’re going to want to start by talking with your clients that sit in your current chair. These folks will be your first steps! Ask them about what could be changed, or what they really enjoy about the place you are currently working. Make sure to take in to account your current and/or previous employers did for their clients, too.

Next thing you are going to want to do is check out your state’s licensing requirements. With the state of Arkansas, a lot of these requirements are met when attending a barber school. From taking the classes, to working an apprenticeship, these can be done while attending a barbering college.

Following that, the next steps you’ll want to take are building a business plan and location, location, location. Building the business plan is fairly straightforward; just determine the operating costs and the start-up costs. Marketing, licensing, leasing, etc. As for finding a location, the choice is up to you! Make sure to be mindful of your local competition and their relation to where you decide is the perfect spot for your business. You can go the route of building from scratch if you choose, but the easier route would be to find an empty spot to lease. This cuts out the need to go to a zoning board or get any sort of building permits.

Before getting your salon ready for inspection, look in to hiring a lawyer to review the lease agreements with, making sure the owner of the building and you are aware of who is responsible for what. Bringing on an accountant is also sound advice, that way to help with the tax law when it comes to your employees.

Now, to begin prepping for the inspection you will want to have plenty of equipment and supplies on hand. Check all public safety, sanitation, and licensing requirements, and contact the local Health Department to schedule an inspection. Your State Board may require you to have an examination performed by them as well. Check on that.

So you passed, great job!

Now it is time to hire some licensed barbers for you shop and fill those chairs! Make sure they are well groomed, and look the part, a dress code is a good way to maintain the professional image you want to put off. While discussions between employees are great, make sure to encourage your hair stylists to leave the gossip at the door.

After all is said and done, you’ve got your own business up and running. Hold yourself a grand opening, and see about putting a press release out in the local paper to get buzz about your business. Do NOT forget about your online presence. Social media is a huge drive now a days for business, so a Facebook or Twitter would be great for your business, along with a user-friendly website.

Good luck out there!

Want to know more about how to get started? Check out more articles on that here!

Make Those Profits!

Hair salons cater to women, but women are not the only ones who want to look good; men want to look good, too! This is where barbershops come in, as they tend to focus on male clients. There can be some difficulty in making a profit in these small business barber shops, but if you approach the different aspects of the business with a good plan and a serious drive, you can succeed.

First thing’s first, you want to make sure your barbershop is up to local and state guidelines for cleanliness and legal measures, just like other cosmetologists. At first you may not think this can have an effect, but it definitely can. Have you ever walked in to a place and it was unkempt and filthy? I have a feeling you didn’t stay, or if you did that first time, you did not go back.  This is how customers can feel if they come in to your barbershop and it isn’t up to the code of cleanliness. Not to mention this can also lead to you being fined or even losing your permits and licenses to even run your business! So make sure to take care of your shop and stay on top of extra seminars that can really show your customers you mean business and are one of the better shops in town.

Like with any business, you want to understand the market before trying or changing any sort of new market strategy to try and get new or repeat business. Check out what other competitors are doing, and what kind of demographics are in your community. Base your strategy off of the results you get from studying and researching the market. How did a client hear of you? Make sure to ask them that when they come in for the first time, and don’t be afraid to change your strategy up if you see a significant change in demographics. Also, don’t forget to take the average income bracket in to consideration when deciding how much to charge for your services.

Remember earlier where I spoke about keeping your barbershop kept up? That wasn’t just about cleaning up hair and dust. No, you also want to keep your paperwork and supplies in order as well. Organization is key to helping your profit margin. When paperwork is done and filed correctly, there are less chances of bills being misplaced, and therefore forgotten, and you can keep your books in order to avoid any unnecessary errors that could cause issues for you financially. As for supplies, when they are organized correctly, you can get a better view of your stock, and there will be less inventory issues when it comes to selling and buying more products. You want to be more efficient, as this leads to more profit.

Getting to know vendors is a big deal, as you will definitely need different supplies for your shop. This can be anything from scissors, to razors, hair care products, you name it. If you can buy in bulk, you can save some serious money, just make sure you have the room for it and not overcrowd! See the point on ORGANIZATION. Another benefit to building a good relationship with a vendor is for the potential to purchase items on short-term credit, or building a commission based structure for selling a vendor’s products.

So you’ve got a bunch of profits now, what next? Hoard all that cash? While that is a nice idea, you should really think of setting some aside as an investment in to the future of your business. How much you set aside is completely up to you, but it will definitely help. You never know when a rough patch could hit, and business slows down. Having some emergency funds will be great to keep you sailing, and not having to borrow money to stay afloat. Or maybe you’ve been eying that larger location in another part of town so you can expand your business?

As a shop owner, you have the say about who you want to help your business succeed. Your employees are your first line of offense when it comes to building and growing the barbershop. Finding barbers who are currently in an apprenticeship program or are fully licensed is great from a legal view, but it is also important to find people who have a very colorful personality. People love to talk when they sit in the barber chair, so having a barber who can chat back with the client it a sure plus. Make sure to set clear guidelines with your employees, and hold them accountable so the shop operates without a hitch.