Barbershop Are barbershop profitable

The main reason a lot of hairdressing businesses are down!

I am often asked how I managed to shape my salon into what it is today !?
Again and again, many hairdressing entrepreneurs despair and write to me about what they should do or what they are doing wrong !?

Today I am writing in a very personal way to an imaginary third person! 🙂

Maybe to you !?


Dear “*******”… that is unfortunately really very complex and depends on many factors!

It's not that easy to answer!

First and foremost, you have to identify who is primarily responsible

look in the mirror and you know who is responsible or to blame for the fact that your salon is not running as it should!

In the beginning everything depends on the communication with the customer, but more importantly with the employees!
We hairdressers are more inclined to be bad entrepreneurs.
Our empathy and empathy prevent us from making the right decisions and then continuously implementing them!

  • do your employees know "What" you have to implement?
  • if so, you also know "Why”Is this absolutely necessary?
  • Do your employees know what is really left of their turnover as profit for you?
  • Do your customers know what the costs are and why a service should be properly paid for?
  • do you really work with prices that are calculated to cover costs?
  • have you brought your quality, your service, your prices and the wages of your employees into a healthy harmony?

or are you only responsible for the fact that the shop survives because you keep the shop alive with your personal turnover and your hard work!?!?!

In most barber shops it goes something like this ...

the employees are relieved of their duties and do not or hardly receive any of this information. If they do not meet their sales, then this has little or no consequences ... The MAs muddle to themselves and do not deliver. They don't even know what that means!
The boss often humps himself sick and broken so that his employees can lead a quiet, relaxed and peaceful life without having to leave their comfort zone!

Until at some point the big bang comes and you have to quit or break it, or worse, the bad bank turns the tap off me!
This is how it works excellently in many thousands of hairdressing companies in Germany and it actually works ... but in the end it remains "ONE" really on the track, has enough to survive, maybe also to live ... but in the end he doesn't even have anything left for retirement provision!

There are probably a lot more broken and burned out hairdressing entrepreneurs than salaried hairdressers !?

What happens if you only transfer 80% of the salary to your employee ?!

Hmmm, tough question. He will stand in front of you the next day and ask

"Hey boss, where's my dough!"

But if the employee fails to generate his sales ... what happens then?

Mostly nothing ... you shy away from unpleasant conversations and are more addicted to harmony ... but it accumulates more and more and more and more and ultimately ... who is to blame?

I've dealt with it for years. Searched and found what employees AB and C. do wrong, or not, or not at all ... but ultimately it is my entrepreneurial task to deal with these issues and I cannot complain if my managerless employees do not fulfill their should can!

You are the boss, your job is to lead and direct and not just to cut your hair!

If you just want to be a good hairdresser, then you shouldn't have been able to start your own business!

You see, you could dig this topic apart long and wide and I could ride on it for hours!

But it leads too little and there is far too much to consider. Above all to learn, and worse, to train and internalize !!

Another extremely sensitive issue is prices ...

... do you also have the customary, adjusted average prices?

There is a clear rule. Every single entrepreneur run, no / or little branch-operated craft business (no matter which trade) has a similar hourly rate and this levels off at around € 60.00 + material! That is really a minimum! Many are often far below or do not calculate the time correctly, but more on that later!

Survival will be really difficult below this!

If you compare a car mechanic's workshop and a hairdressing salon, the first thing you notice is that the hairdresser has 40-50% wages and ancillary wage costs. Although the mechatronics technician earns far and above all significantly more, these companies have personnel costs below 20%!

Why is that?

Because significantly higher material values ​​flow into the work in the car workshop and many of this work only requires quick parts replacement or computer work!
Really repairing something or carrying out complex work that requires a lot of working time is no longer really intended in these and similar industries!
At the same time, the workshop employee generates significantly higher sales with significantly less work!
In addition, the hourly rates (not the wages) in the automotive industry are far higher than the value I have declared. In some cases significantly more than twice as much!
Much more machines are also used in other trades ... but we hairdressers mainly do manual work, material usage is often not even available and levels off at 10-15%!

Well ... and we hairdressers always have a feeling for the wallet of our customers and think that € 30.00 per hour should somehow be enough!

The poor customer ... nobody can pay that ... I'm in the country, that doesn't work there ... instead of taking care of the business, many hairdressing entrepreneurs take care of everything, work like crazy and neglect the numbers ... they see Don't make mistakes because of all the work ... there is complete chaos and how even a rudimentary bookkeeping or how it looks with the costs, these are great puzzles!

Disposal exhausted to the limit ... with horrendous costs every month, without the chance of ever getting down! No plan of price or service calculation ... with the result that prices are only estimated! The price for a short haircut is estimated at a sufficient level, without knowing that with a proper calculation, 10 minutes more working time depending on the factor, very quickly means 10.00 € more!

Here you will find an online seminar where the typical errors in the calculation are shown once!


Without a sufficient calculation and estimated prices, things will get going very quickly "Out" maneuvered!
Often seen that between short and long haircuts there is only a difference of € 2 - € 5.00, although it should be at least € 15.00! Because the numbers do not jump in lines but exponentially depending on the working hours!

One tip:

Those who absolutely cannot calculate ... cost a minute of work (plus material) at least € 1.00, everything below that will work with difficulty! Only then take the right time for work - otherwise the whole house of cards will collapse! The best example - APPROXIMATE COLOR - you can wear a base color in about 30 minutes (including mixing, packing, advice, etc.), but washing off, emulsifying and acidifying still takes at least 10-15 minutes!

As a result, the entrepreneurs don't get a green light and the employees earn minimum wages (imposed by the state)!
The entrepreneur stands there and is amazed that his employees are unmotivated and lazy or that he simply cannot find any!

Who should work their legs for the minimum wage or something at 10 € an hour?
Who then does this in a motivated, hard-working and with love and passion, when he then knows that with this salary he will go into poverty in old age and will be dependent on social security that is no longer available in old age, but at the same time toil through the cheap prices got to!?
If you look at it that way ... actually completely logical and totally weird that the dear hairdresser entrepreneurs don't recognize that !?

Then I hear the saying, but I pay my employees a lot more than the minimum wage!
Which is really much more then ... well, I don't want to rate that. Ever heard the saying ...

Caught with, hung with?

There is only one way out, change it and finally act! Finally got my ass in my pants and do something! Increase your prices and thus the salaries of your employees and then talk about it!

  • Learn to calculate
  • don't appreciate your prices
  • pay reasonable wages
  • offer quality and service according to the prices

Suddenly the employees wake up and you will be surrounded by motivated people!
Applications flutter into your booth and you get customers who you deserve and who are worth it!
Of course, none of this can happen overnight, it is sometimes a long, difficult and not immediately successful process, but how long do you want to wait, when do you finally want to start with this important task !?
The corona crisis has now really shown what has been neglected for years - you can't just turn around overnight - that has to be well planned and created together with the team!

How do I know all this?

Here is a picture of me from 2012 - I was just about to go bankrupt!

Well ... I'm chatting from the sewing box ... for years I have worked myself stupidly and did not want to be a burden on my poor customers.
I paid my employees more badly than right and, despite the unbelievable workload, I lived from hand to mouth! Today I wonder how I endured it for so long!

The story about that bad photo you can read here.

So wake up!

Greetings Christian


Are you also interested in change - help - and do you want to finally understand the business background of your company?

Click here for mine Seminarsand to my automated Hairdresser - calculator service, or help for self-help with a coaching?


Master hairdresser and owner of the hairdressing salon in Lüneburg. Lecturer and examiner in the master school of the Chamber of Crafts Lüneburg (Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Stade). Specialist author, social media expert, independent specialist trainer, coach & consultant, seminar leader for the beauty industry.