Social media played a big part in attracting our black and mixed-heritage clients. I always make sure I’m featuring haircuts on Afro and dual heritage hair and advertising my expertise on our social accounts. I used to post two or three photos a day, but I soon found out that wasn’t sustainable! My clients are models and getting the right lighting and captions takes up a lot of time. Now I drip feed content throughout the week.
BE OPEN TO CONVERSATION
During the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020 the conversations that we were having in the shop were insightful, powerful and amazing. In the barbershop we watched the video footage of George Floyd being unlawfully killed and we were all really moved by it. I have had a few clients that were really into the marches and some customers who wanted to talk about it while they were in the chair. I never shut down conversation.
My dad taught me my barbering foundations and he said: “It’s all about planting a seed. What comes off a seed? Roots. As long as you put down roots, you’re building up your status and you can grow.” I take that analogy with me into business. The roots of my business are buried in the community.
INCLUDE ALL HAIR TYPES
My belief is that if you’re a barber you should cut all hair types. When I was training I made it my aim to address the gaps in my knowledge. I’m Caucasian and hadn’t had experience of cutting and styling non-European hair so I wanted to hone my skills.
THE POWER OF REVIEWS
My Google reviews are second-to-none and they really have helped to gain trust. I find that if I give someone a great haircut, they’ll tell five of their friends. It can have a real snowball effect. To keep those reviews high you’ve got to keep your standard up though and never get comfortable.
GET PRODUCT WISE
Being situated in a diverse community, Cutty Sharp stocks hair products that work for a range of hair types. To be honest I don’t make a huge profit – I sell it for something like £1 more than what I pay for it but I’d rather people buy it from me than from an online retailer because I can tell them how to use it and top them up when they come to the shop.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SIGNS
On the front of my shop it states that we’re Afro hair experts. Those four letters have pulled in so many clients. Are you advertising that you do skin fades and patterns on a range of hair types? You should be.