Entrepreneurship has become a major topic in Nigeria following the fall in the crude oil prices and the economic recession that followed it, most Nigerian now seek alternatives to white collar jobs which only a few vacancies exist and those that exists are usually occupied by those connected in one way or the other, many efforts the government are making to create more jobs for the over 20 million unemployed youths in the country are not yielding much success for this reason everyone now look outside the collar jobs.
We shall be treating how to open a barbing salon in Nigeria followed by tips on how to become a barber. Barbing salon has become one of the entrepreneur jobs most graduates and non-graduates finds themselves doing in the country as a result of the high rate of unemployment and also because it’s operational cost and cost of starting is cheaper than other small investments and it also offers a good financial return when opened at a good location.
To open and operate a successful barbing salon any place in Nigeria these are the things you are required to do:
LEARN THE SKILL OF BARBING
The starting point of opening a barbing salon is to first become a barber, but how can someone become a barber when he has no idea how to barb hair? This is a common question for a topic like this, but am going to reveal to you how I learned how to barb hair without having a barbing salon. In the year 2012 I bought a CHAOBA clipper at the cost of N4000 for my personal use at least to secure myself from being infected with the epidemic bumps and others infections reigning that time as a result of the use of public clippers, I never thought of using to learn hair cutting one day, it was when I relocated to a typical village due to the nature of my job that I realized that most people in that village barb only two styles of hair which are low cut and skin cut popularly called “bolo lo” the barber I met there confirmed to me that he cannot cut my style of hair which is three steps cut style, so I was forced to stay months without hair cut until my hair grew so big that I feel the discomfort regularly. One day I woke in the middle of the night, took a mirror and comb and dressed my hair, I brought my new clipper without knowing how to you it, I tried using to shave my beard which I did successfully, immediately I used the same technics to start cutting my hair gradually from the back side to the front side.
Though it was tough in the beginning but within one hour I have had a nice low cut for my hair which I took a closer look at the mirror to discover that it was looking nice. When I went out in the morning no one believed me that I did the barbing myself.
So to learn the skill of barbing is to buy the clipper now before every other plan and start by barbing yourself, you can make the learning faster by applying two mirrors while barbing yourself by keeping one at the front and the other at the back. To be frank with you, you may make some mistakes for the first to fifth times of the practice but each mistake will enable you to improve next time.
The biggest mistake you can do in this business is to think that once you open the salon you can then start the learning process that will make you end up losing you potential costumers irrespective of every other means you may be using to keep them.
The easier way to start the learning in the hair is to have the calendar of different hair cut styles in your room and start with the simplest style and gradually improve to tougher style, having a nice face cap is necessary because some styles you may barb may not be what you like people to see you with so for that period of time you may be putting on your cap until the hair regrow again, “I have just given you one of my tips”.
The next strategy is to offer to barb your relatives and neighbors for free which most of them would agree but please ensure that before employing this strategy you have made a nice haircut for yourself which shall serve as the evidence of your credibility, if that is done and you are successful in giving them nice cut, ty suggesting new hair style for them after two weeks if the affirm to your request them try and give them another style that also looks nice. If the second time is also successful then consider yourself as a potential barber, because the remaining skill and improvement can come when you have started barbing every day in your salon.
GET THE NEEDED FINANCE
Having acquired the skill you the finance to start the business, a standard barbing salon in Nigeria can cost up to N300, 000 or less to setup depending on the quality of the barbing salon. The starting point of the financial calculation is the cost of renting a shop for the barbing salon, the next is to calculate for the shop decoration such painting and fixing of mirrors, calendars, etc. also calculate the cost of the things needed in the shop such as; tables, chairs, television and radio set, etc.
LOOK FOR BUSY AREAS
Looking for the best site for a barbing salon setup, choose busy areas. Places such as road junctions, marketplaces, motor parks, and entertainment centers, these places from my experience have the higher record of success than any other place when considering the number of customers per day and high return of income. When planning this business remember that it is not a white collar job so let every pride and gentleman lifestyle be kept at home only, because you will need to interact and behave somehow like those within the area your shop is located contrary to that they will start seeing you as the type that claims to be a graduate but ended up as a barber and may not like to patronize you. Also note that the prices for shop rent may vary according to the location, size of the shop, and the quality of the shop. Some rent can range as low as N3000 every month, while some could cost N10, 000 every month.
LOOK FOR RESIDENTIAL AREAS
In the case where the above-mentioned places are not available, the next option is to look for places that have good number of residential building, highly populated place where people resides and setup the barbing salon there, remember that such place may even be a typical village or developed area your focus should be the customers, not the place, because this is what has made some barbing salon to be closed, by looking at developed places that have few residential customers rather mainly occupied by offices, industrial site, companies, etc. such places would give you only a few customers.
YOUR NEED GENERATOR
You will need to acquire a generator to serve as an alternative power supply in the event of any public power failure, you can get a small four stroke engine generator at about N40, 000 to N30, 000 while a small two stroke generator popularly called” I better pass my neighbor” are sold between N25, 000 to N15, 000 depending on the quality and brands of the generator. So having a reliable one is mandatory for the barbing salon since the public power supply is not steady.
The next thing to consider is buying liquid accessories for the sterilizing of the clipper blades to prevent infections to your customers and some other liquids that may serve as the lubricant to the clipper blades to increase its sharpness, these accessories are usually cheap between N500 –N1000 for each.
YOU NEED QUALITY CLIPPERS
Buying the clipper is something one should have done six months earlier before setting up the salon this is to help you learn the barbing skill as explained in the first item, there are several brands of the clipper in the market which are CHAOBA, WTHL, TOSHIBA, SHARP, and BINATONE, ETC. these clippers are all good in quality depending on their application because require using them for few hours and restarted again, while some do not require voltage fluctuation which means you will need a stabilizer in the shop for such clipper, some may have all the listed problems solved in their design but have a blade problem or other problems, so making enquiries from barbers and the clipper dealers will assist you in selected the right choice. I had personally used CHAOBA and BINATONE from 2012-2010 and 2010-till date respectively but I wouldn’t say they are the best clippers in the market yet until I try other brands.
YOU NEED TABLE AND CHAIRS
The next thing that is mandatory is a table and chairs in the shop, a good table in a barbing should be able to create an enough space where the clippers will be kept alongside other accessories, it should also make room for multiple barbing space such that extra chairs can be mounted and used by another barber in the event of excess customers, so for that reason most of such table has the length covering the full width of the wall such that their edges will be touching the ends of the wall at the two sides.
The height of the table do not go beyond the stomach level, while the popular chairs used in some standard barbing salon are the rotating types of chair mostly used in some offices, the reason for using such chair is for easy rotation of the customer’s position for good access to the hair during the haircut.
THEN WALL MIRRORS
The next thing to consider is the wall mirrors, you need to take the measurement of the full length of your table and use it to visit glass dealers in the market which also sell wall mirrors and the size will be cut according to the measurement you took. A wall mirror of thickness 1mm measuring 2 feet by 4 feet could cost about N2000 and many barbing salons has two of this size of the wall mirror. The mirrors will be fixed directly on the wall using strong screws.
With these few points, I believe your barbing salon will be set up successfully, and I see you counting in thousands and millions with this investment.
However, as a reader, if you have an additional contribution to this post it will be welcomed through the comment box. We shall be discussing how to position clipper and its adjustment during barbing in our next post.
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