By Fisayo Akinduro
The essence of living is to make meaningful impact with your time and resources. Survival in life especially in Nigeria depends on hard work, creativity and uniqueness.
There is an adage that says, we will be addressed the way we dress. It is not only about the fabric we put on, our hairstyle/cut also go a long way in describing a person. There is no way we can avoid or neglect to cut/make our hair, unless the person is mad.
Barbing salon business is a very lucrative venture that is not seasonal, because people patronize them on daily basis and it has been the sole source of living for some people doing the business.
While speaking with a professional barber who prefers to be simply identified as Gbenga in the metropolis of Akure said: “Every business have its own techniques and as we has quacks, we also have professionals doing this business.
“Barbing is very easy if you put your mind to it. Even without training, it is something you can do alone without guide. But barbing for a living have its own techniques and process. You have to undergo some training with an established barber for some months before you can be fit to start your own business.
He said: “Just like every other business, we have a registered union that monitors the activities of every salon in the state. You must be a registered and financial member to be fit to operate the business. With less than N10, 000, you can start the business.
“Training for the business depends on your superior and how smart and fast the trainee is. For some people, it takes them less than 6 months to gain their freedom, while some uses more than a year before they can be certified for the business.
“There is no age and gender discrimination in this business. Most parents send their kids to us during their holidays to learn the business. We also have ladies in the profession and they are very good at what they do, but they are few, compared to the number of guys doing the business.
“The major equipment for the business is the clipper, without a clipper, there is no barber. Although we have some people who use knives and blades along the road to cut hairs, this is not advisable because of the technicalities surrounding the shaving process.
“Your environment and the way you package your business will determine the rate of patronage. If your shop is always dirty and stuffy, people may detest the place and look for better option elsewhere. If you don’t sterilize your equipments very well, you will lose patronage as well.
“If you are good at what you do, you will make fortunes from this business. Some salon charges more than others, due to the special treatment they give to their customers as well as the standard of their salon. However, a barber makes more than N5, 000 in a day which a white collar job cannot offer. You can start the business in your house and ensure that people know you exist there or get a shop.
While explaining some of the challenges a barber face in the business, Gbenga said: “The power outage in the country is not encouraging and light is the most essential thing we need for running this business. On the other hand, it is not everyone that is financially buoyant to set up a standard salon, but some people prefer a standard salon and it is really affecting others.”