Opening a barber business is no mean feat. It’s an extremely competitive industry that relies quite heavily on brand reputation and client retention. Even if you’ve got a bustling barber shop, a solid roster of clients, and renown for your high-class hairdressing skills, there are always areas to be improved. Here are three steps you can take to boost your barber business and reduce the chances of your momentum being stalled:

1. Enhance your insurance package
A solid insurance policy is the backbone of a company regardless of the industry it's in, but this is even more important for barber businesses like yours. As insurance provider Salon Gold points out: “What would you do if you injured one of your customers or damaged their property? Without insurance protection, a compensation claim for a cut ear for example could cost thousands and you would be left to foot the bill.”

Despite this, it’s estimated that around half of UK small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are underinsured, leaving them vulnerable in the event of an accident. For example, 19% of SMEs haven’t reviewed their business interruption cover in the last two years, while 17% don’t even have employer’s liability insurance.

This is why our first tip is to enhance your insurance package by ensuring you’ve covered for any eventuality. This ensures your success isn’t jeopardised by any unforeseen circumstances, whether it’s a single mistake, your business being forced to shut temporarily, or something else. We recommend speaking to your provider to get an idea of what you could be missing. 

2. Improve your website 
In today’s digital-centric world, your website is fundamental to your barber’s success. By increasing your online visibility, more people will find out about your business organically, something that can ultimately result in more customers. What’s more, it can help demonstrate your professionalism and gives you another way to convert, seeing as more customers are booking haircuts online.

Ensuring your website is optimised to its full potential is essential. Among the key things you need to finetune are your layout, content, service list, contact features, client reviews and SEO (search engine optimisation) best practices. Be sure to audit your website and see if any of these aspects can be improved.

Although you can go about this process yourself, it might make more sense to entrust a dedicated online marketing agency to help you. Fortunately, there are many out there waiting to help — check out this guide to choosing a marketing agency to help you find the right one.

3. Introduce loyalty programmes 
Loyalty programmes can be a great way of encouraging customers to keep coming back, which in turn boosts profit margins. There are various initiatives you could introduce, including:

Punch cards - Perhaps the most common type of loyalty programme, this involves giving customers a loyalty card to use whenever they make a purchase. This will be punched (or stamped) during each transaction, and after a customer reaches a set number of purchases they will receive a free service or product.

Points-based programme - This system enables customers to collect points every time they make a purchase, which will equate to a certain value you determine. Once a customer has amassed a certain number of points, these will be converted into money they can use in your barbers.

Subscription - Less common among barbers, this type of loyalty programme involves customers signing up for a monthly subscription and paying a set fee to access ongoing discounts. 

Referrals - Referrals can be an incredibly potent tool for barbers, with 60% of marketers saying they generate a high volume of leads. By introducing a referral programme for your customers, in which they receive a discount for referring new clients to your business, you can easily increase your customer base.