This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
PHOTO: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


M


ost entrepreneurs will agree that customer service is vital to the success of their business. This is something that Ashley Humphries, who


fell into barbering by chance at the age of 19, learnt early on. “In fact it was my customers who really


got me thinking about opening my own shop,” says Ashley, who'd done his GCSEs, tried college and worked in various sales jobs before volunteering in a local barbershop. It was more of a hobby at first,” he says, but before long his boss spotted that he had talent and encouraged him to take it on full time. Not only was he soon managing the shop


when his boss was away, he quickly built up loyal clientele. Some were even travelling a distance to see him because there wasn’t a great service in their local area. Spotting an opportunity, Ashley investigated the possibility of opening his own barbershop so these clients wouldn't have to travel so far. Knowing how important it was to keep these customers happy, he focused entirely on what they wanted and what would work for them.


A fresh approach


Thinking really carefully about the whole customer experience is one way to really differentiate your business. This is exactly what Ashley did when he decided to give his younger clientele the option of playing an Xbox or watching TV, while waiting for their haircut. For those with kids, he invested in a racing car chair to make the cut quick and fun. “We don’t doddle about – we’re quick and efficient and provide a great service. Lots of our customers are busy so we make sure we don’t


waste their time.” Some might


Ashley's service is original and efficient


18


think Ashley’s youth could work against him. In fact, many of his first clients were a similar age and enjoyed having a


www.freshyoungmillionaire.com


✹ Providing full-time employment for people: “So many small businesses are responsible for


HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR


creating jobs – not the government.” ✹ Buying an Aston Martin and developing two properties


young barber taking care of them. Today the customer age is more balanced, but in the beginning, "being able to identify with younger blokes and talk about things they were


interested in


helped," he says. Breaking moulds


Many barbershops are pretty traditional and


have been around for years, operating in the same way as they did


25 years ago. Breaking out of the mould was was another way that Ashley was able to stand out. “I opened half an hour earlier and stayed open half an hour later than other shops,” he explains. He also took the decision not to close on Sunday or Monday as many traditional shops do. “People today expect service 24/7 and we have to cater for them,” he says.


Choose your battles Ashley is quick to admit, however, that you can’t please everyone. Sometimes a customer thinks they want something done a certain way, that won’t really work. Ashley is keen to point out that it’s important to be as clear as possible from the start to avoid misunderstandings – and to stay calm and focus on finding solutions if there are crossed wires. Is the customer always right? “Certainly


not!” Once a customer popped out to get cash to pay for her son’s haircut. She left her handbag on the counter, on returning couldn’t find her phone and then accused one of his staff of stealing it. She left in a rage only to return later, having found the phone, to apologise. “That was a case


fresh young millionaire


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52