By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
Amid economic instability and the high unemployment rate in Nigeria, one of the smartest ways you can stay financially independent is by venturing into an entrepreneurship business that requires vocational skills.
Even when operated as a side hustle, this can fetch more money than imagined, especially when it is an often-required product or service that is offered to people in your immediate community.
Barbing salon business is one of the most lucrative ideas one can think about, especially when it is properly managed. And interestingly, it does not cost an arm and leg to keep the business running. In fact, the business is not limited to males as women have become interested in this line of work.
However, as with other jobs, breaking into the venture here in Nigeria, especially from scratch, is not as easy as it seems. Whether one plans to operate on a small, medium, or large scale, the nitty-gritty of starting a barbing business must not be ignored.
Hence, Business Post conducted a survey, interviewing well-established barbershops owners in Lagos who are raking in impressive profits from the venture and how they scaled from scratch.
One of those was Mr Haruna Oladele Jimoh, owner of Ijoba Last Born Haircut in Alimosho Local Government Area in Lagos, as well as Son Of Mercy Haircut (SOM) CEO, Mr Sunday Akinosun who is the founder of the establishment.
Learning the Skill
If one is looking to start a profitable barbing salon business, it all begins with learning the craft hands-on. Barbing, in itself, is a delicate art that commands expertise from the practitioner if he wants to have customers return for another haircut.
Thankfully, with the internet, one can learn almost anything in this world. A look at YouTube can provide a basic guide to barbing practices, techniques, and maintenance.
However, speaking on this with Mr Jimoh, he noted that learning this special skill online is not as effective as acquiring the skill through training, and will reflect in the long run.
“For instance, while I teach my apprentice, they are not just learning the barbing aspect, I teach them the business aspect; how our customers are uniquely treated, how to maximize profits and pay required bills, and how to manage the business overall,” he explained.
In addition, learning the skills from an already established personnel will give you leverage on certification, qualification, and smooth referrals when you finally cut out.
From what was gathered from a cross-section of barbershops owners, it can take five months of training in hair cutting, hair styling, and hair treatment, and the cost for this can vary depending on the establishment you choose to learn in.
Location, Renting a Shop, & Home service
In the view of SOM Haircut’s CEO, Mr Akinosun, “The business is very competitive, every corner you go around here, you will see a barbershop. That is why it is good to know your work very well and have your set of customers that you can even deliver home service.”
Observing most of the barbing salons that are doing outstandingly well, it was noticed that their location strategically ticks the boxes of clean, accessible, commercialised, and serene environments which attract ideal customers.
The location will also influence how much it will cost you to rent/buy your first barbershop. Fortunately, you will not need to rent a huge shop as you are just starting. Mr Akinosun hinted that, depending on how big one intends to start, one can expect to pay anywhere from N200,000 to N2 million for this.
Basic Salon Kits & Equipment needed and their cost
What you will be able to buy at the early stage of the business depends on your budget. But since you are just starting, it is important to get hold of the necessary kits, tools, and equipment first, then you can get others as time goes on.
Most of the barbers interviewed for this publication roughly highlighted these necessary kits needed for a start below – along with the average price you can get them in the market (as at the time of writing):
Hair clippers: It is good to have two or three clippers for a start and the cost is influenced by the brand and type. A new and quality hair clipper in the market costs between N14,000 and N16,000.
Cover clothes: Professional Baber cape is necessary to cover the customer while you do your work to prevent hairs or debris from ruining their cloth look. Three or four will be enough for a start, and each can cost you N2,500 at most.
Sterilizing and Disinfectant Supplies: This is to ensure the safety of your barbing tools, especially sharp equipment to keep them sterilized. The machine can be quite pricey but expect to pay anywhere between N15,000 and N60,000 depending on the brand, type, and size.
Mirrors & Fans: A barbershop is not complete without a mirror. The cost of a single large wall mirror can range from N20,000 to N25,000, and there should be at least two mirrors for your barbing salon. Fans are also necessary, but over time, can be replaced with air conditioners.
Hair products and cosmetics: These include hair creams, hair sprays, dyes, powder, aftershave, relaxers, conditioners, and so on, and the prices will be determined by the quantity you buy for a start and N10,000 should be enough for these items.
Standby generator: Most importantly, you will need a durable, standby generator to power electricity, since the power supply cannot be relied upon at all times, especially here in Nigeria and you might need about N65,000 for a 1.3Kva or N100,000 for a 2.5Kva.
Other miscellaneous tools are combs, hairbrush, scissors, blades, and tissue papers, barbers duster brush, and neck strap.
Other important furnishing areas which can make your barbershop stand out and more appealing to your new customers are:
A very good and comfortable revolving chair (two is ideal for a start and the cost is between N30,000 and N60,000 each)
An ergonomic, waiting chair/couch for customers for N45,000
Paint the shop to create your own unique style. This should about N25,000
Paste barbing salon pictures & wallpapers, which should cost about N500 each
TV or music player to entertain customers. A new 32-inch television costs about N80,000
“[By and large], you should be putting aside between N350,000 to N500,000 (for accessories) to successfully establish your first barbing salon. Afterwards, you can get other necessary resources,” Mr Akinosun of SOM haircut pointed out.
Getting Registered, Licensed & Joining Association
As with other businesses, it is very important in Nigeria to get your barbing salon business registered. In addition to the certification from your trainer, you should also register with a government authority like the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Sadly, not all barbershop owners pay attention to this, but the sooner you get it done, the better.
Also, you will need to know what license you need to get for your business as applied to your location to avoid unnecessary embarrassment from government or union officials in the long run.
“As a new player in the business, it is beneficial to make inquiries and join the association [Lagos State Berbers Association (LASBA)]. For instance, to join, you go to the head office, and will usually be required to pay about N15,000 as a registration fee to become a member,” Mr Jimoh told our correspondent.
Hiring Employees Vs Accepting Apprentice
If you have an investor mindset towards the barbing salon business, then you will consider employing barbers that are ready to deliver the best quality services to your customers. This is, however, only feasible when you have enough financial resources to back this up.
But if it is the other way, then you might consider accepting apprentices to train them, and see that they handle your business anytime you are not around.
It was learned that most barbers prefer to accept apprentices, especially at the early stage, not only because it brings in more money (apprentice will be paying [between N20,000 and N50,000 or above] for the training and exposure), but also because it gives the barbershop owners the medium to unlearn and relearn their skill when passing down the knowledge.
Keep in mind the challenges
Gathering the responses from the few barbershop owners interviewed, it was observed that a total income of N300,000 can be potentially realized within a month from the barbing salon business if well operated.
Now, this may sound rosy for a starter, but it is important to also keep in mind the potential challenges such as the really saturated market, the fact that most people already have a steady barber, coupled with unfaithful and fraudulent apprentice/employees.
In addition, according to Mr Jimoh, “Power supply is a major challenge. Not just because it is not stable, we are used to that already and that is why we have our generators, but also because the bills for power supply are always increasing, especially for us without the prepaid meter yet.”
Of truth, barbing salon business is still a lucrative venture in Nigeria, despite the high competition. Being a newbie in the business, keep in mind that the first impression matters a lot.
Once you are able to get these basic resources outlined above to begin your business, make sure that you give the best to your new customers within the first few weeks, then leave the publicity/awareness for your new, happy customers.
Over time, you will eventually see the need to invest in add-ons to plush up your salon with videos games, table tennis or snooker board, or even subtle selling of food and drinks.
Ellah Lakes, Enugu Government Seal Rice Processing Deal
By Dipo Olowookere
A Nigerian agribusiness company, Ellah Lakes Plc, has sealed an agreement with the Enugu State government for the processing of rice aimed to improve food security in the state and the nation at large.
The chief executive of the firm, Mr Chuka Mordi, described the deal as “a significant landmark for the company in fulfilling our strategic objective of diversifying our portfolio and production base.”
Ellah Lakes said in a statement that with the partnership, it will transform the Ada Rice Company and Plantation in Adani, Uzo-Uwani LGA, into a Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) in Enugu State.
This is expected to create not less than 5,000 jobs over the next 24 months as the company will have the opportunity to establish a feed mill and ethanol processing plant on the site in Adani.
Business Post reports that Adani community is well-known for the cultivation and production of rice but due to poor infrastructure and support of the government, it has suffered low patronage.
This partnership between the Enugu State government and Ellah Lakes should change the narrative for good and boost local production of rice.
In the statement issued on Wednesday by Ellah Lakes, a company listed on the trading platform of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, work is scheduled to begin immediately in Adani.
“Ellah Lakes is happy to announce that it has entered into an agreement with the Enugu State Government, through the Enugu State Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, for the expansion and further development of the Ada Rice Company and plantation in Adani, Uzo-Uwani LGA, into a Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) in Enugu State, Nigeria.
“Ellah Lakes will produce and process rice with the participation of over 200 indigenous farmers in the local out-grower program. Ellah Lakes will also develop a feed mill and ethanol processing plant on the site in Adani.
“The development is expected to create a minimum of 5,000 jobs over the next 24 months, and work is scheduled to begin immediately,” a part of the statement disclosed.
“This is a significant landmark for the company in fulfilling our strategic objective of diversifying our portfolio and production base, and we are very excited to be working with the Enugu State Government.
“We are very pleased with this collaboration with the very progressive government of Enugu State. For us, this is the beginning of a great journey to expand the industrial base of the state, and we look forward to a mutually beneficial, valuable and fruitful venture,” Mr Mordi was quoted as saying.
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Rewards Customers
Ahead of the festive season, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Nigeria’s largest Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), has unveiled the Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Loyalty Program tagged Umatter.
It is a reward scheme targeted at the customers of the PFA, to reward them for their loyalty and patronage through exclusive discounts as they shop with their e-loyalty card.
The loyalty program is available at the PFA’s partner merchants’ locations and stores across the nation. It is aimed at providing Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers’ customers with exciting shopping discounts to help them spend less and save more when they shop.
Some of the participating merchant outlets are Maybrands, Café Royale, Hubmart Stores, Chocolate Royal, La Campagne Tropicana, Physio Centers of Africa, Medplus, iStore, Oriki, Launderland and Active Leisure. The discounts range from 5 to 12 per cent on products and services purchased.
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers’ partnerships with these major outlets will enable customers to seamlessly enjoy instant discounts on their purchases during this festive period, thereby making life even more easy and affordable for customers who use the Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers e-loyalty card.
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers will continue to initiate valuable programs like this that encourage people to continue saving for their retirement and building their financial future.
New and existing customers can be a part of this exciting loyalty program by visiting www.stanbicibtcpension.com or calling 01 271 6000.
FG to Inject N381trn into Economy to Create Job, Tackle Poverty
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government is partnering with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to inject N381 trillion into the economy to cushion the growing rate of poverty, job losses and economic degradation in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the Fund, Mr Joseph Ari, during a media interaction with the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Jos.
Mr Ari said the federal government came up with a 5-year National Development Plan tied around the sum of money to be able to achieve this aim.
He said the plan will replace the initial Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP).
According to him: “The plan, which projects the creation of 21 million jobs, with 35 million Nigerians lifted out of poverty, affordable housing for Nigerians and an export-led economy among others, is expected to cost N381 trillion to implement and have six focal areas of economic growth and development, infrastructure, public administration, human capital development, social development and regional development.
“As the leading human capital development institution in Nigeria, we have commenced the process of repositioning our programmes and activities to effectively prepare the Nation’s workforce in line with our mandate of developing a pool of qualified Nigerians to man the public and private sectors of the national economy as we believe that for this plan to succeed, all Nigerians as individual citizens and as institutions must contribute their bit.
“You will recall that on the assumption of office in 2016, the economy was in recession leading to massive job losses and corresponding increases in poverty.
“Our initiatives then particularly the emphasis on skills intervention programmes was borne out of the need to drive the actualization of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP), which we achieved to an appreciable degree by training hundreds of thousands of Nigerians that are today gainfully employed or even employers of labour,” Mr Ari said.
He, however, lauded the media for a robust coverage of the Funds activities over the years, saying that the media has been critical in return of peace in the state.
“Beyond this, fora such as we are holding today have been critical to the return of peace in plateau state, thereby creating the necessary environment for our organisation to thrive especially within the last five years on account of your professionalism and determined efforts to rise above sensationalism, headline-grabbing and petty politics,” Mr Ari said.
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