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.
FBN Holdings to Take Over Access Bank’s Pension Fund Custodian Business
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A Nigerian financial group, FBN Holdings Plc, has taken another step to enhance its earnings by acquiring the pension fund custodian business of Access Bank Plc.
FBN Holdings is making this acquisition possible through one of its subsidiaries, First Pension Custodian, and it involves the total control of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited.
A notice from both organisations disclosed that the transaction involves the transfer of a 100 per cent stake of Access Bank in the pension fund business to FBN Pension.
At the moment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (NAICOM), the two key regulators of the two transacting companies, have given a “no objection” to the deal.
However, the sale is yet to be finalised as approvals of other regulatory agencies are being awaited.
“FBN Holdings Plc wishes to notify the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the investing public that First Pension Custodian, a subsidiary of FBNH’s flagship subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has entered into a definitive agreement with Access Bank Plc for the planned acquisition by First Pension of 100 per cent share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (Naicom) have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction, with completion subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals,” a disclosure from FBN Holdings signed by Adewale Arogundade, the acting company secretary, said.
On its part, Access Holdings Plc said it “announces today that its subsidiary, Access Bank Plc, has entered into a definitive agreement with First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited regarding a proposed purchase by First Pension of the entire share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank.
“The National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their ‘no objection’ to the transaction,” Mr Sunday Ekwochi, the company secretary, disclosed.
CBN Laments Failure of Oyo Farmers to Repay Agric Loans
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lamented that the majority of farmers who benefited from the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) in Oyo State have not repaid their loans.
This call was made by Mr Sadeeq Ajayi, a CBN Development Finance Office in Ibadan at the Agribusiness Innovation Clinic.
He appealed to farmers who defaulted in paying back the agric loans to pay back, saying that the inability of the apex bank to recover the loans from the defaulting farmers had threatened the scheme, adding that it has prevented other farmers from accessing the facility.
The CBN official made the call at a clinic entitled Fostering Innovation and Collaboration Across the Agricultural Value Chain organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).
ABP is an agricultural loan scheme launched in 2015 by the federal government, through CBN, to provide loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, reduce food import bills toward conservation of the foreign reserves.
“While the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has recorded some level of success, the failure of farmers to repay the loans has, however, been a major setback.
“Many of the farmers refused to pay back their loans due to the misconception that since CBN is the lender, the loan is a ‘national cake’ and they do not have to pay back what they consider theirs as citizens.
“This attitude has made it difficult for other farmers, who also want to access the loan, to benefit from the scheme,” he said.
Mr Ajayi said that stakeholders, including the traditional rulers, should appeal to the defaulting farmers to promptly repay the loans for the sake of others.
“Of course, we are engaging various stakeholders and we expect the narrative to change very soon so that more people can have access to the fund,” he said.
In his keynote address, Mr Olasukanmi Olaleye, the Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Cooperatives, lauded the initiative of GAIN to tackle malnutrition in the country.
Mr Olaleye, represented by Mr Mukaila Oladipo, a Deputy Director in the ministry, said that food fortification is one of the safest, most effective and affordable ways of addressing the micronutrient gaps in the country.
Also, Mr Godwin Ehiabhi, a Senior Project Manager, GAIN Nigeria, said that improved access to safe and nutritious food would reduce the country’s high rate of malnutrition.
Seplat Will Continue to Expand Under Guidance of Omiyi, Okeahalam—CEO
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The chief executive officer of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr Roger Brown, has expressed his desire to work with the company’s new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Mr Basil Omiyi, and the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, Mr Charles Okeahalam.
The appointment of Mr Omiyi followed the stepping down of the founders of Seplat Energy Mr ABC Orjiako and Mr Austin Avuru, from the board.
While commenting on the development, Mr Brown said he was excited with the appointments, especially with the transition into the next chapter of the firm.
“Mr Basil Omiyi has been a leading figure in the Nigerian oil and gas sector and also with Seplat Energy, having joined its Board in 2013 and helped it to achieve a dual listing in April 2014. The vast depth of experience and his detailed knowledge of Seplat Energy will be invaluable as we continue to evolve and mature the company.
“He has provided invaluable guidance as an Independent Director and I look forward to his continued leadership as our new Independent Non-Executive Chairman.
“We will also benefit from the considerable expertise of Dr Charles Okeahalam as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, especially his experience and knowledge of Africa’s economies and its financial markets.
“Under their guidance, we will continue to expand and consolidate our position as Nigeria’s leading energy company and the partner of choice to deliver energy transition for Africa’s largest economy and its rapidly growing population,” he said.
Mr Omiyi has been a member of Seplat Energy’s Board of Directors since March 2013 and as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director from February 1, 2021. During this period, he sat on the company’s Remuneration, Nominations & Governance, Energy Transition, and Risk Management & HSSE committees.
His experience in the energy industry is extensive, with more than 40 years at Royal Dutch Shell, during which time he held senior roles in Nigeria and Europe, including becoming Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in 2004 and in addition, Country Chairman of Shell Companies, Nigeria, until his retirement in 2009.
Mr Omiyi has held several leadership positions in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, including Chairman, Upstream Industry Group (Oil Producers Trade Section, Lagos Chambers of Commerce & Industry) from 2007-2010; Chairman of the Energy Sector of NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria, and Board Member NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria from 2005-2010; Chairman, of the Oil & Gas Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group from 2005-2010; and Board Member, Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2007-2010. Mr Omiyi is also the Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, a post he has held since 2015.
In 2011, he was awarded the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger for pioneering leadership in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
On his part, Mr Okeahalam joined the Board in March 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director and is Chairman of Seplat Energy’s Finance Committee, and a member of the Energy Transition, Remuneration, and Nominations & Governance committees.
He has extensive corporate finance and capital markets expertise and in particular, detailed knowledge of African financial markets, economies and the investment industry. He was a co-founder of AGH Capital Group, a private equity and diversified investment holding company based in Johannesburg, with assets in several African countries.
Prior to co-founding AGH Capital Group in 2002, he was a Professor of Financial Economics and Banking at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. His other roles have included advising a number of African central banks and government ministries, the World Bank and the United Nations.
He has held several board positions and is a former non-executive chairman of Heritage Bank Limited, Nigeria. Since March 2016 he has served as the non-executive chairman of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company.
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