A few years back, something strange happened in Basingstoke; barbers started to abandon tradition and opened their doors to customers on Sundays.
The first shop to do it was busy all day – people were even queuing down the high street at times.
At the time, opening on a Sunday made perfect sense: very few competitors were open, so your customer base swelled and your pockets were left bursting with cash come closing time.
Rather unsurprisingly, the following month saw two barber shops open on Sunday; and then three; and then four. About a year later, all of the barber shops in Basingstoke were open on Sundays.
For many barbers, Sunday quickly became one of the most profitable days of the week. But in the long run it made other days quieter as regulars started to reschedule their appointments. Some clients even jumped ship to visit other shops due to the choice that was now available.
The lives of barbers quickly spiralled into frenetic weeks that were ruled by busy calendars: social occasions and time off became much more difficult to schedule – especially if you were running a shop – and many barbers were forced to keep their doors open seven days a week.
This can become a nightmare for any barber that wants to spend time with their family and friends on the weekends, and is often a nuisance for customers that are looking to book appointments midweek.
One of the main issues that opening on Sundays has created is that everyone is now trying to get one over on the competition down the road. More than ever, barbers see fellow barbers as rivals.
The reality is that, in this era of barbering – when the industry is more popular than ever before and there are new barber shops popping up every week – you’ll simply never beat the competition.
Instead, we should be looking to form local barbering communities that encourage barbers to work together to make this exciting industry effortlessly enjoyable and profitable for all.