Barber Ha

Sales and Marketing Small Business Superstar

Location Edmonton Owner Linda Ha
Employees 4 Founded 2011

★ The Business

Like most of the newer barber shops that are suddenly in vogue these days, Edmonton’s Barber Ha offers its mostly-male clientele a great haircut at a reasonable price along with guy-oriented goodies like straight-razor shaves. What sets it apart from the crowd, though, is that it’s more than just a place to get a hair cut. It’s also a social club, a place where men can go to air their grievances, ask for advice on their love life and get tips on what to wear and where to eat. “It’s like Cheers,” says owner Linda Ha, “only with haircuts.” It helps that she plays the role of Sam Malone to perfection, serving as part stylist, part social convener, part therapist, part mediator and even, on occasion, part bartender – they have a relationship with the makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

★ The Case

Barber Ha’s best marketing tool is the real estate on the top of its clients’ heads, and the business has benefited from a strong word-of-mouth campaign. But Linda Ha and her team knew they would need more than that if they were to attract a strong base of clients. So they created a minimalist black-and-white annual calendar that is distributed, free of charge, featuring styling tips along with photos of some of her more camera-friendly customers. There’s the website that offers everything from manly advice from a military veteran to restaurant reviews and fashion advice. And then there’s the so-called “Legion” membership, which gives value-conscious men the ability to buy a year’s worth of haircuts for a fixed up-front price. “I wasn’t sure how people were going to take it,” she says, “but we sold 40 in the first month.” Ha’s legion is up to almost 300 members now, and it has her looking to expand to a new and more central location.

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