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How to Start a Barbershop Business in Pennsylvania

Starting a barbershop business can be a great opportunity for the barbering professional who has an entrepreneurial spirit. Whether you dream of self-employment, or want to establish a large business with multiple barbers and service offerings, the first step in making your dream a reality is enrolling in barber school.

Step 1: Education

Your education at one of the barber schools in PA will cover all aspects of the barber profession, from haircutting to hairstyling to chemical processing to beard trimming. This training will give you the foundation you’ll need to become a skilled barber, with the knowledge and abilities to begin a rewarding career.

Your barber education at one of the barber schools in PA will also cover the business of barbering, including licensing laws, barbershop management, business ownership and the basics of marketing. For the aspiring barbershop business owner, this information will be particularly important.

Keep in mind that many instructors at barber schools in PA also work as licensed barbers and some may own their own shops, so asking questions and getting to know your instructors can be very beneficial. At Jolie Academy, one such instructor is Miss Cindy, who started her career as a barbershop business owner and now also enjoys the rewards of working as a teacher. “Barbering has always been my passion,” she said. “As an instructor, I get to share that passion with others while showing my students how to love the industry.”

Step 2: Earn Your Barber License

Once you graduate from one of the barber schools in PA, you’ll be ready to take your state licensing exam. This two-part exam will test your knowledge of the barbering profession, along with your technical skill, to ensure you’re adequately prepared for a barbering job.

Upon passing the exam and earning your license, you’ll be eligible to work as a barber anywhere in the state, whether it is in a barbershop business owned by yourself or someone else.

Step 3: Establish Your Business Plan

Like starting any business, opening a barbershop requires plenty of research and a detailed plan. In the early stages, you’ll want to think about broad questions such as where you want to open your barbershop, how big of an operation you want to establish and the types of barbering services you want to offer. You’ll also want to determine which type of business ownership structure you want your business to have; that is, whether you want to be a sole proprietor, a corporation, a partnership or an LLC. If you aren’t sure which option is best for you, speak to other barbershop owners in your area.

You’ll also need to determine how you’ll fund the opening of your barbershop, as you’ll need money available to pay for rent, for supplies and to any employees.

As you make these decisions for your barbershop business, you’ll need to consider the licensing requirements that will govern the opening of your business. These include requirements for space, equipment, lighting, heating, ventilation and cleanliness. For a list of all requirements, contact the State Board of Barber Examiners.

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