Although all locations of Jed's Barbershop are currently closed in compliance with the Salt Lake Health Dept Covid-19 health order issued March 16th, 2020, we still want to celebrate them as our April Business of the Month and tell the story of how Jed and Nicole Beal got started as a Salt Lake Institution that offers classic, modern and specialty haircuts, as well as traditional straight razor shaves.
UMLF: What inspired you guys to start Jed’s Barbershop?
Jed: Nine years ago barbershops were not a trend. In fact we had four barbershops in a ten mile radius and they didn’t exceed five chairs. Now there are seventeen within one mile of our location with an average of eight chairs, like Jed’s. We were inspired by barbershops that we saw popping up in the midst of the last big recession, in cities like Seattle and Portland. We knew if we got ahead of the game in Utah, and branded ourselves in a difficult economy we would succeed when things got better. Our look and brand was inspired by my love of local art, music, and childhood memories from the 80’s
UMLF: You’ve grown from one to two and now three locations over the years. Tell us about that journey and if you have plans for a fourth.
Jed: The journey was initially very challenging. We didn’t look like a classic barbershop and we didn’t want to be your Grandpa’s Barbershop. It was difficult introducing a modern barbershop with funny coffee table books, 80’s arcade games, and local artworks, but people eventually got it.
From a business standpoint we decided to not maximize growth, but to optimize internally. We are the ONLY barbershop I know of that put the team first by offering 70% health insurance, 401K matching, free virtual doctor’s visits, and paid vacation with tips. This took many years of disciplined financial planning, but we figured it out. Our team deserves it. We are currently working on customer service training systems, and when that’s complete we have plans to expand.
UMLF: With there being an explosion of barbershops in the Salt Lake Valley over the past five years, what do you feel like sets Jed’s apart?
Jed: Our benefits to employees and customer service models definitely set us apart. As many people know, starting a business is just one hurdle to get pass, but thriving as a business instead of surviving as a business is the greatest hurdle of all. We have been fortunate to create systems to accomplish this year after year.
UMLF: Every business has its highs and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
Jed: One of our biggest challenges as owners, especially since I am a barber with my name outside the business, was learning to be a business owner NOT a business operator. To work ON your business instead of IN your business was difficult to say the least. Both Nicole and myself continue yearly investing in business coaching and training to optimize our time and resources to be the best leaders we can be. It takes time to learn to delegate management and develop leaders within the business
UMLF: How do you believe the Utah Microloan Fund has helped you and your business?
Jed: We would have never had the resources to open Jed’s without the education, financial backing, and encouragement of the Utah Microloan Fund.
UMLF: And for fun, what is one hair trend you wish would just die? :}
Jed: We love all hairstyles, but if we could combat baldness I would be happy, especially personally. Being a balding barber myself is a conundrum
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Providing business training and funding to entrepreneurs in start-up & existing businesses that do not qualify for traditional funding sources.