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Behind the Scenes

November 22, 2021

Creative Visionary helps Barbershop Reimagine Business Model

Terrell Smith made his dreams of running his own barbershop a reality when he opened Gentlemen Cuts in 2018. For many small businesses, 2020 was a turbulent year, especially for barbershops. . Even after restrictions were lifted, appointments and walk-ins were not reaching pre-pandemic numbers. Insert Houston White, a multi-faceted entrepreneur whose barbershop has evolved into a vibrant, commercial hub in North Minneapolis. Here’s the advice he shared with Gentlemen Cuts:

  • Set the tone for our customers before they walk in the door.

Terrell has a staff of four barbers with each of them having their own personal style – that showed in the décor of the barbershop. Houston found that it made the shop “feel disjointed” with each barber station having a different vibe. Houston stressed the importance of not only selling a haircut but also the energy of the space. To Terrell, Gentlemen Cuts brand is “cool, calm and collected.” Together they worked to identify was special to make the barbershop look and feel more refined and consistent.

  • Let a simple logo speak for who you are.

To help Terrell bring his “cool, calm and collected” vision to life, Houston suggested simplifying his logo to become just that. Gentlemen Cuts updated logo is now a powerful representation of his brand that resonates with his customers at just a glance.

  • It’s possible to do good and also make money.

According to Houston, barbershop booth rentals cost $175/month in 1997 when he began cutting hair. Today, Terrell is below the industry norm, charging his contracted employees $125/month for booth rentals. Terrell is passionate about helping others; however, Houston recommended that he help his employees grow by bringing in more clientele in order to charge the market rate.

  • Less is more.

Terrell is currently working seven days a week by cutting hair six days a week and doing his books on Sunday. Houston asked Terrell to look at his business model from the perspective of “being a human, not a machine.” The duo explored adding more revenue streams or charging more for haircuts to hit his revenue goals while physically working less.

Terrell’s goal has always been to support his community and make his customers feel like Gentlemen as soon as they leave his chair. Watch Gentlemen Cuts full transformation in Season 6, episode 2 of the Small Business Revolution.





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