4 minute read

Building A Business by Sam Squires

Throughout my Blog Spot series with Barbershop Magazine, I’d love to give an insight into what it takes to build a barber business, within the industry, in an honest way. Moving away from motivational speech and moving into the real-life challenges and successes you can get within the industry by being professional and thinking outside the box. The first part in this series will cover a brief intro to my background and myself.

I am the owner of the Backbone Barbershop Group. We have two store locations on the Gold Coast Queensland and run a Backbone Barber Education alongside these businesses. I got into the industry later in life after going to university in the UK to study Business and Marketing and travelling Australia, Southeast Asia, and South America with my now Wife. Whilst in Brazil cutting another backpackers hair my wife pointed out how much I enjoyed it and after a stint of hating my current situation I decided to get qualified in barbering and hit the ground running.

My mother was a highly trained hairdresser and so hair was a part of my life since I can remember. For some reason growing up although it put food on the table afford my mother and I a comfortable life, I never saw hair as a viable career choice for myself. Looking back, I wish I had started at 16 years old.

After our travels I went back to Wales and got qualified worked for a little while and headed back to Australia. In the space of two years, I had worked my way up to a management position in a business and had my heart set on opening my own shop. I learnt a great deal from working for other people even how NOT to do things and like a lot of businesses Backbone was born out of an attitude of I’ll do this my way.

We built a brand based on quality and professionalism in a trading estate in Currumbin Queensland. The clientele we have grown hadn’t received a service like ours before, but the area had so much potentially and when looking for a location I could tell it was going to change dramatically. Balter Brewery had opened in the area and the coffee shop scene was so good, three rears on and it’s a busy little area full of cool creative small businesses and cafes.

When starting out I literally did things on a shoestring, no major money fit out, the shop was 28square metres enough for three chairs, all the marketing was organic with myself scouring the internet and podcasts for free and effective marketing tips. I

went door to door and introduced myself in the area handing out business cards and got as many businesses involved from the area I could to build awareness. I would review local businesses that I knew lots of clients would go to like the Surf Clubs and RSL’s under the Backbone Barbershop business account and give them 5 Stars with “Great food and drinks. So handy that’s its so close to Backbone Barbershop”. Even when the shop was not close at all. At the beginning we did everything to get people through the door.

I was lucky enough to have my long-time mate and team member join the business and within 6 months of opening and the business grew from strength the strength.

Along the way as a Barber, I began training and educating starting with apprentices and moving on to private education for wholesale companies and tool brands, got sponsored by Osaka and Andis Clippers as an ambassador and travelled Australia teaching barbering techniques.

I’m looking forward to sharing how I went about getting product sponsors, cutting on stage at expos, writing for barber magazines, expanding into two locations, and building the education arm of the business in future Blog Spots. I can guarantee it wasn’t through being the best barber in the industry, to put it simply… If You Don’t Ask You Don’t Get.

Sam Squires @samthebarberman

Founder Backbone Barbershop Group @backbonebarbershop @backbonebarbershopMiami

Backbone Barber Education @ackbonebarbereducation

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