Opening a barbershop can be a great way to earn a living if you like to interact with people and have a sense of style. Many barbers spend years working in shops and salons until they are ready to start their own business. Indeed, barbers must be certified to cut hair, and then have a cosmetology license in the state of Maryland. Please visit the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation at for requirements for your business.

In addition to licensing, successful barbershop owners should consider the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal issues that stem from their industry. They should also examine the critical success factors and cost-drivers that impact the amount of revenue required to maintain the business.

The tables below depict the common issues and costs associated with operating a barbershop.

Political Labor laws – ensuring that staff is eligible to work in the US. Maintaining a safe work environment and compensating legally
Economic A location that can be supported by clientele, such as walk-in traffic
Discretionary income for the latest hairstyles; frequency of haircuts
Social Salons versus barbershops
Keeping up with the latest styles
Technological Record keeping – software and hardware
Handling money and processing payments
Advertising online and using social media
Environmental Waste disposal
Storage of hazardous chemicals
Legal Licensing requirements – barber and cosmetology licenses
Waste water discharge permit
Critical Success Factors Facility up to code for occupancy, including fire and health codes
Acquiring and maintaining licenses, including barber and cosmetology licenses
Major Activities Associated Costs Cost Driver
Cutting and styling hair Labor wages; licensing Number of stylists
Cleaning salon facilities Labor wages; use of cleaning supplies Number of customers (rate of consumption)



Employee Costs including benefits Year One Cost per month
Owner  $          3,500
Book Keeper – Outsourced  $              800
Legal – Outsourced  $              800
Tech Support – Outsourced  $              250
Barber  $          2,400
Wages Subtotal  $          7,750
Taxes, Fees  $          1,163
Subtotal  $          8,913
Hair product/supplies  $          1,250
Cleaning Supplies  $              200
Subtotal  $          1,450
Facility Expense (rent)  $          1,700
Electric  $              300
Water  $              125
Internet/Telephone  $              100
Office supplies  $                50
Property Insurance  $              208
Maintenance  $              500
Computers/Hardware  $              100
Subtotal  $          3,083
Marketing Costs
Web site hosting and advertising  $              200
Web site updates  $              100
Business Cards, Pens, Swag  $                50
Subtotal  $              350
Furniture and decorations  $              500
Subtotal  $              500
Projected Monthly Costs  $        14,296