If you’re too busy, you’re too cheap. When you don’t know where you’ll find time for all the “squeeze ins” it means you need to lose some clients. The most basic rules of business say that higher prices lower demand, but as barbers and stylists we seem to almost always feel guilty or even afraid to raise prices. What will the lost clients say about us if they can’t afford the extra $10 a month? What will the shop down the street say about us thinking we’re “too cool” when they hear about the price raise? So we grind harder and longer because we don’t want to disrupt anything with a price raise, we don’t want to burn any bridges.
Get yourself a Bryan. Bryan worked two chairs over from me for like 8 years, he does great work, and my clients were familiar with him. Every time my prices went up I recommended him because I knew he was good, and he didn’t charge as much as I was about to. Every time one of my clients sat in his chair I’d greet them and catch up— it wasn’t ever weird. Get yourself a Brandon, a Mike, a Jake, Kris, Alex, Alan, and a Travis, too. I could keep listing more. All of these barbers and stylists work in shops near where I work, and I trust that they do good work. Some charge what I charge, some charge less, some charge more, but are more available or closer to certain clients. Of course I’ve gotten referrals from them as well!
It’s not on you to please every person who wants to hand you money, especially if it means you’re staying late daily, coming in on days off, or charging less than you would need to in order to keep your schedule comfortable. Sometimes the best thing you can do is help them find a chair more suited for them.
I see a lot of quotes about it being lonely at the top, or whatever, but that’s a choice! As you grow, grow your network, bring your friends with you. I like what I’ve heard @jamiedanahairstylist say, which basically sums up this whole idea in one line— community over competition.