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If you are planning to start a barbershop business, you need to run a barbershop SWOT analysis to understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats related to such a project.

If you don’t have a previous background in business or management, this might be a bit confusing but fear not! This article has been specifically created to help you understand what SWOTs are and how you can apply this useful analysis to your own project. We have tried to include a good list of typical strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats one may encounter in a barbershop venture, let’s get started!

Strengths of a Barbershop Business:

  • Strong reputation and loyal customer base: If your barbershop business has a good reputation in the community and a high number of repeat customers, this can be a significant strength. Loyal customers can provide a steady stream of business and can also help attract new prospects through word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Skill and experience of the barber(s): Experienced barbers who are skilled in their craft can provide high-quality services and contribute in building a positive reputation for the business. This can make (or break) the success of your barbershop business. Remember that the main perceived value in this type of business is directly determined by the skills of the barber(s) at work, so in case you are not yourself a master barber, make sure you hire top qualified staff to do the job.
  • A Wide range of services offered: A barbershop that offers a variety of services, such as haircuts, hair coloring, beard trims, shaves and even waxing services can appeal to a wider range of customers and potentially generate higher revenues.
  • Strategic location: If the business is based in a convenient location, such as in a busy shopping district or close to a major transportation hub, walk-ins are likely to be higher which has a positive impact on sales. Remember, location is everything when it comes to many small and local businesses and a barbershop is no exception.
  • Attractive, clean and well-maintained shop interior: A clean, well-maintained and visually appealing shop interior can create a positive first impression for customers and make them more likely to come back. Hygiene and safety always comes first when it comes to running a barbershop so make sure your store provides a spotless and flawless customer experience at all times.

Weaknesses of a Barbershop Business:

  • Relatively high overhead costs: Barbershops can have relatively high overhead costs, such as rent, utilities, salaries and supplies. These costs can eat into profits and make it difficult for the business to be profitable. But with the right amount of cost control, you can overcome this weakness by doing a proper financial planning and sticking to your budget.
  • Limited seating capacity: If the barbershop has a limited seating capacity, it may be unable to accommodate a large number of customers simultaneously, which could lead to longer wait times or even lost business.
  • Limited marketing budget: A limited marketing budget can make it difficult for the barbershop to reach new customers or effectively promote itself in the community.

Opportunities for a Barbershop Business:

  • Growing demand for high-quality grooming services: There has been an increasing demand for high-quality grooming services in recent years, particularly among younger men. This trend presents an opportunity for barbershops to capitalize on and potentially increase revenue.
  • Collaboration with other local businesses: Partnering or collaborating with other local businesses, such as salons or spas, can help the barbershop reach new customers and potentially increase revenue.
  • Expanding the offering: Expanding the range of services offered, such as adding massage or facial treatments, can help the barbershop appeal to a wider range of customers and potentially increase revenue.
  • Opening a new branch: Talking about how you plan to grow your business in the long term is ideal in this section of the barbershop SWOT analysis. For example, you can launch an additional branch in a nearby city.
  • Offering online bookings: Allowing customers to book appointments online can make it more convenient for customers to avail the service and may enhance brand perception and customer loyalty.

Threats for a Barbershop Business:

  • Competition: If there are other barbershops or salons in your area of operation, the business may face some degree of competition.
  • Economic downturns or market fluctuations: Difficult economic times can impact the demand for grooming services and potentially reduce revenues and profits.
  • Negative reviews: In the era of social media and online search, negative reviews or user comments can damage the reputation of the business and potentially discourage new customers from visiting.
  • Pandemics: The arrival of a pandemic such as the COVID-19 crisis can have a devastating effect on the business especially if lockdowns are enforced.

Remember that your barbershop’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your own project. To help you with this, we recommend you develop a detailed business plan for your barbershop venture before you start operating; the barbershop SWOT analysis will act as a chapter within the business plan.

If you don’t know where to start, we recommend you check our ready-made barbershop business plan template with automatic financials, it includes everything you need to create a robust and investor-grade barbershop business plan in record time.