Help me save a barber shop

33 replies
I have wanted for a long time to start doing some Consulting for google place/facebook/twitter marketing - just don't know where to start

There is a fledgling barbershop down the street, guy is working a second job just to keep his lights on. We are a small suburb and he is in a somewhat secluded location, he has been open about 6-9 months and word of mouth is all that keeps people coming.

I want to help the guy for free, but don't really know where to start. I am thinking maybe a google places page, ask for some reviews - a facebook page and maybe a fivver gig to get some reviews?

What do you guys suggest? I really want to help this guy out - and it will give me some practice and a referral (if it works)
#barber #facebook #marketing #save #shop
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Hire a barbershop quartet and advertise a free barbershop concert
    Serve snacks and give branded balloons to the kids (kids get haircuts too)
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    • Profile picture of the author jbsuccess
      LOL he has snacks, a foosball table, and a projection TV (old but big) with any currently happening sporting event... A quartet could be intriguing though...
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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        Originally Posted by jbsuccess View Post

        LOL he has snacks, a foosball table, and a projection TV (old but big) with any currently happening sporting event... A quartet could be intriguing though...
        I love barbershop quartets. Halloween is also coming. He should decorate spooky and give out candy and advertise something or other for Halloween. For a small community shop, involvement with the community will spread the word around.
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  • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
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    If it's just a small suburb then online advertising is unlikely to be of much use. Folk are not going to want to travel from miles outside of the area just to get their hair cut.

    A leaflet campaign with special offers, or free magnetised fridge item with some publicity blurb on it are two ideas that spring to mind. Concentrate on saturating the local neighbourhood.

    In a small community it's likely that folk will either use him or not, and the only sure-fire way of encouraging them is to excel with the scissors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    Help him create a unique sales proposition that can be successfully marketed to people outside of the community. If the proposition is unique enough and in demand .. they will drive.
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    • Profile picture of the author cbader
      Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

      Help him create a unique sales proposition that can be successfully marketed to people outside of the community. If the proposition is unique enough and in demand .. they will drive.
      Good idea? What's their football team people cheer for? Maybe throw the game on TV and advertise a special deal during the game.

      Just throwing stuff out.

      Also, what's a good high margin upsell for a barber shop? I know hair products BUT, soda? Snacks?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Originally Posted by jbsuccess View Post

    I have wanted for a long time to start doing some Consulting for google place/facebook/twitter marketing - just don't know where to start

    There is a fledgling barbershop down the street, guy is working a second job just to keep his lights on. We are a small suburb and he is in a somewhat secluded location, he has been open about 6-9 months and word of mouth is all that keeps people coming.

    I want to help the guy for free, but don't really know where to start. I am thinking maybe a google places page, ask for some reviews - a facebook page and maybe a fivver gig to get some reviews?

    What do you guys suggest? I really want to help this guy out - and it will give me some practice and a referral (if it works)
    Location is essential. Did he move into a place where other businesses have failed before? What is the history of his location?

    A marketing/business plan is also essential. What was his plan for getting customers?

    Did he consider either location or marketing before opening? Or did he assume "build it and they will come"?
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsuccess
    He is next door to an established tattoo shop that has been in that location for 4+ years, and a salon that has been there quite a while, and seems to do well - Location is fine other than not being very visible from the Highway - I had him order a large barbers pole, maybe that will help w/ visibility
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by jbsuccess View Post

      He is next door to an established tattoo shop that has been in that location for 4+ years, and a salon that has been there quite a while, and seems to do well - Location is fine other than not being very visible from the Highway - I had him order a large barbers pole, maybe that will help w/ visibility
      The location seems to be OK.

      Next, what was his business plan?

      Can he do a JV with the salon? Maybe give the salon coupons for his barber shop for a few bucks off hair cuts for men and boys? The women that go to the salon likely have husbands and sons that need hair cuts and the barber shop isn't a direct competitor of the salon, but offers similar services. It seems like a good match.

      It would seem the key is to get customers in the door the first time. If they get good service and value, they should return and once they return going to his shop should be "habit".

      A barber shop is all about repeat business. He needs to focus on doing whatever it takes to getting them in the door the first time.
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  • Profile picture of the author julesw
    Down the line ... help him create an info product as a jv. I've seen one barber make a killing with selling training videos, can't recall the link. There must be a niche style of barbering that needs training.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Here's a true story. I had a friend many years ago that owned a sandwhich shop in an industrial area of Las Vegas.

    He bought it from a guy that lost money. When he died, it went to his daughter. She lost money. She sold it to another guy, he lost money.

    But my friend made money. And the only thing he did different was once or twice a month, he paid to have his menu delivered to all the area businesses. They would order lunch from him because of this, and he made money from a little sandwhich shop that was only open for lunch.

    Having the menus delivered was "expensive' and none of the other 3 owners were willing to pay to have the menus delivered. And they all lost money.

    It's something to think about...
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    I would do a eddm postcard campaign with a super good "new customer" offer.
    Hes got to spend some money to make this happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author J4y
      Just a few things to think about which may help.

      Image, does it look like the sort of place you would want to have your hair cut?

      Open signs do people know he is open?

      Why would you want to go there for a haircut?

      Simple window display. write on the windows offers!

      Clean friendly service.

      Magazines for all ages whilst you are waiting. Current and not 2 years old like in some Barbers shops.

      Loyalty scheme for repeat businesses.

      Childrens school holiday offers.

      Prize draws for people who visit the shop every month(this doesn't have to be cash but maybe a cut or a product). Whilst you collect the prize details send them a thank you card with a discount voucher for a friend for a first cut. Remember though you don't want annoy your existing customers so code your discount vouchers and thank your customer personally for sending in a customer. Gives you a great conversaion to start with knowing one of your customers values your service.

      Introduce a friend scheme and get some cash of your next cut!

      Have a few aftershaves on the counter for when they have finished for a spray if they want it for there mrs or fella.

      Get some free PR from your local newspaper and tell them how you are trying to beat the recession through all the things you are trying to do.

      80% of your sales usually comes from 20% of your clients.

      It cost 6 times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep and existing one, or thereabouts.
      Drop into your competitors and see what they are doing different to what your guy is doing.

      Try and keep it simple and don't complicate things. Sales and Marketing isn't rocket science just a few changes can make a big difference. There are losts of things you can do when you start thinking about it.

      I hope this helps, just bouncing a few ideas around.

      Anyway I hope you can use at least one of the low cost ideas above.

      Beat the recession and get ready for expansion

      All the very best to you and your Barber


      Smile it confuses people
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    • Profile picture of the author wagsgraphx
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      I would do a eddm postcard campaign with a super good "new customer" offer.
      Hes got to spend some money to make this happen.
      I think the eddm (Every Door Direct Mail) is a good way to go, especially if he spit the space & cost with a few other non competing merchants. That will really bring the cost down.
      Now, I'm not a big fan of Groupon or similar type services. Though it was pointed out that his actual costs are minimal because it's mainly his labor. Since he appears to be strapped for cash, this may be the way to go. No out of pocket expense in advertising this way. If he can WOW these people he may have a decent retention rate. And of course implement a loyalty program.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Thayer
    Try to negotiate a deal on his behalf with Groupon or another daily deal site. It doesn't have to be just one haircut, it can be six months of haircuts (one per month) for a special package price.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by Rob Thayer View Post

      Try to negotiate a deal on his behalf with Groupon or another daily deal site. It doesn't have to be just one haircut, it can be six months of haircuts (one per month) for a special package price.
      I wouldn't touch Groupon. Too many stories where the vendor lost money on the deal and had to wait a long time to get paid from Groupon.

      Instead, he could get a card made with 10 circles on it and they get it punched every time they get a haircut and their 10 haircut is free. I've had a few of those kinds of cards and they encourage loyalty.
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    • Profile picture of the author chemo38
      Originally Posted by Rob Thayer View Post

      Try to negotiate a deal on his behalf with Groupon or another daily deal site. It doesn't have to be just one haircut, it can be six months of haircuts (one per month) for a special package price.

      Do NOT use Groupon unless you want to lose most of your client base! Too many horror stories with this method

      chemo38
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  • Profile picture of the author kcom
    Sorry Rob, but Groupon is death for small businesses, why? They get only 25% for their services. Half off for the deal, then Groupon takes half. Not recommended for small business as it also creates a customer that demands huge savings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Those who say no to Groupon on this one has their eyes closed. This is a perfect biz to try it with since he provides a service with minimal variable expense, it costs him hardly anything to do an additional cut and its not like people are lined up outside the door.

    In essence consider the 25 percent plus publicity a bonus just to get new faces into the store. Hell if I were in his position I would be happy to give a FREE haircut to new customers just to get the word out (he will still likely get tips), and even then it would cost you money to promote it. You say he is only surviving because of word of mouth so people must like his service, we just need to get more people to check it out!
    You need to have a good backend where he collect emails for bounceback offers and such to take advantage of the percentage of customers who would be game to return.

    Seems like many guys would like to find an old fashioned barber shop as there are fewer and fewer of these around. I think that you could really do some good things for this guy.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Just a quick look through Yelp reviews of barbershops in Lubbock, Texas and right away I can see your friend needs to toss out the old TV and bring in a new one or two, probably update the place from the floor up, comp drinks and hire cute female stylists, if he even wants to compete with what seems to be the highly favored spots there.

    And then ratchet it up another notch to out do them.

    Yeah, I know he doesn't have the money to do that.
    Unless he takes in investors.

    Then he's in the wrong game.
    So change the game.

    Maybe what he ought to do is fold up the shop, get rid of that overhead and market to businesses in the area where he comes to the office and cuts there.

    And beat the competition to the customer.

    Don't forget my royalties on this one.
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Why not steal an idea from the JC Penny marketing plan? They are giving free hair cuts to kids on Sundays. Or he could offer a father-son deal, charge for the fathers hair cut and do the son's hair cut for free. If they have more than one son, do the other son's cut for 50% off( or something like that).

    He could also partner up with a local charity( Cancer Society, LiveStrong-think mens' cancers, etc.) and do a fund raiser, or cut hair for Locks of Love. Send out press releases to the local media and get lots of free publicity for the barbershop, as well as the charity.

    I knew a woman who was a cosmetologist and a Seventh Day Adventist, her Sabbath was on Saturday--the busiest day of the week for hairdressers, and she couldn't work.
    She passed out flyers in her neighborhood and placed them on every parked car, letting people know she was open on Sunday. This was her only form of advertising. Her salon stayed packed.

    None of these ideas have to cost a lot of money, just a bit of time and creativity.
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  • Profile picture of the author SJJPFTW
    For something like that I would start with a flyer drop with special offers to the closest 5000 households. Make it a really compelling offer like 1/2 price or something. Once people start going they will keep coming in a industry like that. 5000 should be enough to make a impact while still keeping costs low.
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    • Profile picture of the author hmartin90
      Originally Posted by SJJPFTW View Post

      For something like that I would start with a flyer drop with special offers to the closest 5000 households. Make it a really compelling offer like 1/2 price or something. Once people start going they will keep coming in a industry like that. 5000 should be enough to make a impact while still keeping costs low.
      I think this flyer drop idea is great. Do something like "$5 buck friday", or another catchy name. With the only thing lost is his time, but he can get his brand out.
      Also, is he working with the tattoo shop to help promote the area he is in. Tattoo enthusiast are all about the old school, and what's more old school than a barber shop. Could be a nice tie in if they promote each other in some way. He could leave a coupon with the tattoo shop that gives 1/2 off a barbershop haircut when you get a tattoo. Even if they didn't use it straight away, it would potentially bring them back in the area to get a cut, and possibly another tattoo.
      Just my 2 cents:rolleyes: Best of luck and I applaude you for helping your local business
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  • Profile picture of the author spyke45
    Around here one of the big chains does this: start with 99 cent haircuts week one then every week add a buck until you hit full price. Put flags and balloons and inflatable animals all over the building..... then order a few hundred bandit signs for each price range and put them EVERYWHERE in town...
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsuccess
    Thanks for all the input guys, lot's of great idea's! To answer a few of the questions, he charges $9 for a cut, Seniors for $7 on Senior Thursday

    We did a groupon, he sold 3

    I am going to suggest the JV with the salon and referral stuff, LOVE the dad/son deal (because I take my 2 sons with me on saturday)

    Ewen's ad may be life changing, maybe combined with the flyer drop....

    Guys, thanks for the suggestions really - this is an awesome forum and I hope I can start to contribute like you all have
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by jbsuccess View Post


      Ewen's ad may be life changing, maybe combined with the flyer drop....
      Use it for flyers.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    Problem with barber shops, is that there are many to choose from. So you have to work hard to give people a reason to come to that shop. Some do it with low prices. Some do it with drinks and entertainment. Some do it with cute girls. Sounds like he needs to sit down and figure out a direction he wants to go and stick with the plan. Throwing out random stuff is not going to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mobileloyal
    JB,

    I love this thread first of all. I'm also in Lubbock and I hope I can help. If he wants to run some kind of promotion, just shoot me a message. I own LubbockCoupons.com but haven't been doing alot with it. We could run a Coupon there (no charge) & I can market it to our almost 4,000 Facebook friends. It may or may not make a big difference but we could try.

    Great to see someone fighting for the little guy!

    Sincerely,
    Roddy Oaks
    MobileLoyal.net
    806-392-2361
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    • Profile picture of the author caliray
      Originally Posted by mobileloyal View Post

      JB,

      I love this thread first of all. I'm also in Lubbock and I hope I can help. If he wants to run some kind of promotion, just shoot me a message. I own LubbockCoupons.com but haven't been doing alot with it. We could run a Coupon there (no charge) & I can market it to our almost 4,000 Facebook friends. It may or may not make a big difference but we could try.

      Great to see someone fighting for the little guy!

      Sincerely,
      Roddy Oaks
      MobileLoyal.net
      806-392-2361
      How about posting a link to your FB page or posting your FB user name so we can find you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    His website lubbockcoupons.com has a fb icon on the left hand side.
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    • Profile picture of the author caliray
      Originally Posted by Rob28x View Post

      His website lubbockcoupons.com has a fb icon on the left hand side.
      Well...duh Thanks.
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