Despite being a fulfilling career full of positives, barbering also comes with challenges. Some are inherent to the craft, while others shift with the environment you’re working in. This has been particularly apparent in recent years, as barbers across the country have had to grapple with rising inflation.
If you—like so many others—have felt the sting of inflation and are wondering how to best handle the challenges associated with it, you’ve come to the right place. There may not be a one-size-fits-all fix to the inflation problem, but the following guide can help you navigate the uncertain waters and emerge on the other side in a position to flourish.
What Should Barbers Do About Inflation?
It’s no secret that professionals from a variety of industries are struggling with a historic rise in inflation. Barbers are no exception, leaving many wondering what their approach to this unusual problem should be.
If you find yourself in the same boat and are looking for some guidance, the following tips are a great place to start. Equipped with the insights below, you’ll be ready to face inflation with confidence.
Don’t Be Afraid to Raise Your Rates
When you’re close to your clients (as many barbers are), raising your rates is a tough proposition. It’s important to realize, however, that this is a necessary part of creating a successful barbering business—especially when inflation is involved.
In order to make a living, your rates must rise to at least the rate of inflation. Thankfully, most of your clients will understand this need. If you’re feeling hesitant about the idea of raising your rates and fear the potential reaction from your customers, consider the following tips that can help you have a productive conversation when announcing your new pricing.
- Be transparent and straightforward. Not only do people appreciate candor, but approaching the topic with confidence and honesty ensures that there is no confusion regarding your new rates and the reasons why they’re necessary (if you choose to disclose such information).
- Don’t wait too long. The more you wait to raise your prices, the more disservice you do yourself and your clients. You will miss out on increased earnings (digging yourself into an unnecessary hole) and create a situation where a dramatic price hike is required. This makes it more likely that clients will potentially take issue with the increase.
Evaluate Your Products and Services
Even when inflation is not an issue, occasionally reevaluating your products and services is an excellent practice. By taking inventory, examining how products are being used, and determining what products and services are actually generating profit, you can begin to see the big picture of how these elements influence your success.
For example, if daily-use products—shampoos, conditioners, disinfectants, and so on—are not used appropriately, a significant avoidable expense can add up quickly. The same applies to services that are demanding of your time but seldom requested or not high enough in price to justify the commitment.
Finding areas of potential waste during times of inflation is vital, as it ensures your business is not being harmed by both problems simultaneously. Evaluating your products and services can also help you eliminate unnecessary elements from your barbering practice, allowing you to save money and allocate your resources to more productive aspects of your shop.
Continue to Provide Excellence
It is essential to remember that inflation is largely out of your control. You cannot change national economics on your own, but what you can do is provide your customers, prospective clients, and community with excellence.
In other words, control what you can control. Even when inflation is increasing at shocking rates, people will turn to you for barbering products and services if you are providing them with value. In the barbering business, that means treating customers fairly, doing your absolute best work every time, and establishing yourself as a leader in your industry and community.
You may not be able to change inflation, but you can certainly put your best foot forward. People will take note and will continue to support you through these challenging times.
Inflation is a major issue barbers are facing, but it shouldn’t dominate your thinking. The barbering business is a diverse, multifaceted industry full of interesting hurdles to overcome, vibrant personalities to follow, and fascinating skills to learn. By subscribing to NAOB and visiting our blog, you can stay informed on everything from the latest hairstyle trends to the financial impact of inflation.