Updated: Mar 11
In this month's Members Spotlight we present you something a bit different to our usual spa and beauty salons, in the form of Huckle The Barber and their owner & founder Chris Ward.
Founded in 2012, Huckle The Barber has been recognised as one of London's leading independent barber shops, a non-pretentious setting offering traditional services with a refreshing, modern feel and a forward thinking attitude.
Located in London's most creative neighbourhoods - Bloomsbury and Shoreditch, they deliver more than just a 5* haircut. Everything shouts 'top service!' at the Huckle, from the Rest Easy - world's best barbershop chairs, a drink of your choice (including craft beer of course!), to a music playlist everyone wants to get their hands on. Expect the traditional services in a laid back environment where every little detail is taken care of. They also provide handpicked barber products and their own innovative pomades, clays and sprays, available to purchase online or at their barber shops.
Chris came to The Delforge Group to assess his business as well as revisit procedures which are key to creating strong foundations. Like any other business that has multi-sites, it became apparent that his time needed to be spent on growing the business rather than being pushed into the day to day operations, and this is what we focused on. The business audit, allowed Chris to understand his business like never before and we implemented a solid structure to empower the managers, meaning Chris could start to focus on growing his business. We also worked on their retail culture as a part of the membership – the key to sustained growth.
You can find the full Q&A with Chris below:
The best piece of business advice you've ever received that you'd share with another salon owner?
Treat your team well. Your most important job is to choose and look after your team, if you are successful with that, they will respect you, and in turn, help you get to where you want to be.
If you could go back and change anything or give your younger self some guidance for your business journey, what would it be?
One thing that stands out the most for me, over the 9 years of Huckle The Barber, is how to be in control of my numbers from the start. I was a hairdresser that liked the thought of owning my own shop at the beginning, and have been successful doing so, but had I known how to use the reports on my booking system properly and known how to plan properly, I would be in a much better place now.
Your favourite thing about being a business owner?
The best thing about being a business owner is that there are no limits to where I want to go. No red tape and the freedom to make my own decisions.
And what do you find most challenging - and how do you overcome it?
The most challenging thing is communicating to my team, you have to always keep them in the loop with what you are planning. It's so important to be clear and concise with all of them, say it, show it and follow up in writing so everyone is on the same page.
Someone or another brand or business in the industry who inspires you and why?
This is a weird one and is personal to me, but I have followed a DJ and producer all my life, his name is Andrew Weatherall and he always did things his own way. He never followed the rules and always kept things fresh, if he got bored with something he would move onto something else and was successful with most of his projects. Only when he died in early 2020, it was clear how many people were inspired by him. One of his many witty sayings that always sticks in my mind is 'Fail we may, Sail we must'.
What you love about being a Delforge Member, would you recommend us to other salon owners and why?
Valerie has been a key part of me surviving the pandemic, the first half of it, I was pacing up and down the hallway in lockdown wondering where the hell we were going to end up. Like every salon owner, I felt like the carpet had been whipped out from under me and didn't know where I was going to land. I decided, as I had a lot of time on my hands I could focus on the things in my business that needed attention. Valerie has helped me structure the back end of the business that I always took for granted. Now I know how to budget, plan, look at trends, market both my shops and structure the business so that my team now knows that I am in control and we have a plan for the future.
Photos by Huckle The Barber
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