One day in a busy town, a barber placed an advertisement board outside of his shop. “£8 haircuts here,” it read.
Over the next few days his shop was bustling with excited customers all pleased with their affordable cuts.
Across the road, a second barber sat staring at the queues of people outside her competition’s shop. Outraged, she placed her own advertisement board outside. “£6 haircuts here,” it read.
The following day, flocks of people were waiting outside her shop. She worked all day cutting hair as fast as she could to keep up with the demand. By 6pm her hands were sore and her feet throbbed, but business had been good.
Over the next month both barbers found themselves in the midst of a brutal price war. Every week, they slowly dropped their prices and fought to steal the others’ customers, until eventually prices hit an all-time low of £4.
As the prices dropped, so did the standards. Finally, the people of the town grew tired of the shoddy work and the effects it had had on their appearances.
While the two barbers continued to arm wrestle, a new barber opened a shop just down the road. He had seen the ever-changing advertisement boards that littered the pavements and decided to make a change.
Upon opening his new shop, he placed one simple board outside: “I fix £4 haircuts,” it read.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about how much we barbers should be charging for a haircut.
While some feel the need to drop their prices to bring more customers through the door, others argue that we should instead be protecting our margins and making sure we see a fair return for our work.
In my opinion, if we continue to bicker amongst ourselves and decrease prices then we are simply belittling the industry, our talents, and all become busy fools. Instead, we should be looking at increasing prices together in a way that is fair for our clients and fair for our bank accounts. If barbers started working together, then pricing really wouldn’t be that much of an issue.
Nobody likes inflation, but customers will always pay a premium for a service that warrants it.