All About the Rates
Rates. What should you realistically charge as a professional full-time barber?
No one wants to talk about them, but everyone has to figure them out.
Sure, it’s a tough subject to broach, but one that’s (obviously) so necessary to hash out thoroughly.
Why? Because how you price your services can make or break your success, determine your clientele, and set you up in a certain way within your industry.
Unfortunately, rates aren’t universal – they don’t come with a one-size-fits-all-sticker (even though we’d probably like them to). There are dozens of factors to consider for your specific business – the services you offer, where you’re located, how experienced you are, what your own costs are, and more.
So, how exactly do you determine what your rates as a professional barber should be?
It all starts with considering the cold hard facts about your unique business.
Facts First: Be Fair, But Be Realistic
Like we said, it’s all about looking at the facts. You need to learn to balance the idea of a fair price for your services while being realistic about what you need to cover. There’s a lot to consider (and by a lot, we mean a lot) but the basic idea behind pricing is that you’re providing a rate that makes sense for your clients while covering your cost and making a bit of a profit (you are providing a great service, after all).
First, consider your space. Are you renting a booth? Do you own a salon? Are you working from home? Do you travel to your clients?
Calculate the costs associated with where you’re working and make sure you’re working those into the equation.
You probably sell products that you recommend to clients, right?
Most barbers do (it’s part of your basic business formula, no doubt). As helpful as it is to have these products on-hand, remember these cost you money – building these costs into your rates and prices is vital.
This one’s obvious – you should charge appropriately for your services. Consider your experience, your level of education, your competition, the types of services you offer, the variety, and more. Taking an honest look at your services and analyzing your skill level is going to be a huge piece of the pricing puzzle.
There are obviously way more factors than ones we listed above – like we said before, there are hundreds of things to consider. But taking a look at this basic list should help your brain get the ball rolling on what you need to consider so you can begin pricing your services correctly.
Don’t Undersell Yourself
Here’s some advice you’ve probably never heard – stop being modest.
Sure, there’s a time and place for modesty (no cockiness allowed on our watch) but being realistic about what you can offer your clients (that others can’t!) is a huge pricing factor. Stop underselling yourself and start being realistic about your what your services are actually worth – otherwise, you’ll be left undercharging your entire career (and likely missing out on much-deserved profit)!
Promos and Discounts and Gift Cards, Oh My
(But Watch Yourself)
Like we always say, discounts are great, but be cautious with them. Using them wisely can help you build your business, attract new clients, and open up your company to lots of opportunity. It can even help you clear out inventory, stimulate a new demand for services, or boost your clientele.
That being said, though, you don’t want to incorporate too many discounts – if your customers think that you hand out discounts at every turn, they might not continue coming to you when your rates bounce back to normal.
Your Time Matters
This is one of the biggest mistakes that professionals make – they forget to value their time. Time is just as important of a factor as products, services, and overhead costs. Think about it, if you’re spending 2-3 hours on a single client, that’s a lot of time spent that you could have been spreading out to several clients. Your clients are coming to you to deliver the product they want, right? That means that your time is the most valuable aspect you could possibly offer!
Factor in your hard work and your time into your pricing structure.