Modern Barber
Modern Barber


3 MIN READ TIME

MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE

When Danny first got into the barbering industry it was purely by chance.Coming out of university with a degree in architecture Danny applied for 200+ jobs. “Whilst I was job hunting I did some freelance stuff – photography was my hobby and I went into a Porters barbershop which was close to where I was living,” he explains. “I got to know the Porters team and they took me under their wing. They gave me structure, but also guidance.”

The Porters team were looking to elevate their website and social experience so Danny stepped in to sort that out too.

“WITH MY EXPERIENCE BEING IN DIGITAL I KNOW THAT A GOOD EXPERIENCE STARTS WITH A STRONG WEBSITE AND SOCIAL PRESENCE, WHICH IN TURN CREATES A SENSE OF COMMUNITY.”

“I then progressed to managing the shop on the busiest days. Although I’m not a barber myself, there’s nothing like the hands-on experience of being in a barbershop day to day. It gave me a huge understanding, without the technical knowledge, of how to build a barber business.”

After picking up new skills Danny started realising that he loved the satisfaction of a customer-facing job. “I liked having a place of work and the experience of belonging. There’s nothing like barbershops left in this world.” Danny rightly points out that for many clients, they’re a safe space to chat away and switch off.

After his time at Porters he founded Off-Cut Barbers in Camberwell. “I had a great time at Off-Cut. Sure, there were some bumps in the road but it was satisfying to get through them. At Off-Cut Barbers we grew very quickly.” In fact, the barbershop now has three branches throughout South London.

Since leaving Off-Cut in 2020, Danny made the leap to launch his own shop – Common Space in Notting Hill. Now open for 7 months, in many ways Danny says he revisited what had been successful at Off-Cuts – for example the replication of systems and understanding what works for staff. “I took certain ingredients, but created a new recipe,” he comments.

Danny stresses that Common Space is a very different brand, but rooted in the same principles. It’s a space where clients come to relax and retreat from the world. “It’s a slow hair space for the busiest of schedules,” Danny states. “We have a huge demographic. We cater to everyone from the super wealthy to the not so wealthy. Our clients’ jobs range from high-end fashion to finance – but we’ve also got pilots, CEOs, accountants, lawyers, not to mention a lot of students. We wanted to create somewhere that caters for all types.”

When pressed about how it feels to be the director of a barbershop without knowing how to cut hair, Danny is diplomatic. “I can’t cut hair but I leave that to the experts! With my experience in digital I know that a good experience starts with a strong website and social presence, which in turn creates a sense of community.” Danny explains that there’s a lot of barbering websites that are overcomplicated and they make the booking experience more confusing than they need to be. “Integration with Google to show bookings and reviews are the single most important thing for a shop,” he adds. “I stress to my barbers to nudge their clients to leave them a review, it makes the world of difference.”

Danny also points out that as a client, not a barber, he’s well placed to know what makes a great client experience. “That’s such a fundamental thing for anyone in the service industry. We must not forget that the customers that come through our door pay for the shop, the overheads and our wages. Yes delivering a haircut is part and parcel of the service, but it’s also about the experience.” MB couldn’t agree more.

This article appears in the January - March 2022 Issue of Modern Barber

Click here to view the article in the magazine.
To view other articles in this issue Click here.
If you would like to view other issues of Modern Barber, you can see the full archive here.

COPIED
This article appears in the January - March 2022 Issue of Modern Barber