Gentlemen Cuts | Small Business Revolution: S6E2

Gentlemen Cuts | Small Business Revolution: S6E2

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Salesforce is committed to helping small businesses tackle big challenges. We're proud to join Deluxe and the Small Business Revolution as they help Black businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul grow their businesses in a world filled with change.

To learn more, visit Energy, art, vibes. Barbershops are incredible. It's the cultural epicenter of conversation and mediation and community.

Let's get, let's get some conversation going. You're gonna love Terrell. - Hey, Amanda, how are you? - Hi! Good to see you. - BD, what's happening? - What's up man? Baron Davis, good to see you, man. Welcome to Gentlemen Cuts.

I was just kind of thinking of thinking like a behind the scenes, like, up close and personal look at what Barbershop banter is all about here. Yeah. The first question would be top five NBA players of all time. Baron Davis. (laughing) Great top five.

What about you, T? Talk to us about, like, the importance of having a shop in this neighborhood, in this time, in this moment. For this community here, you know, we try to support each other. We try to uplift the kids, making sure the little ones, the little kids are able to look at us and see that we've grown, then they'll imitate us. And they'll learn from our experience. As an entrepreneur, like, the monetary value is where we need to stabilize, right? But your impact, your societal impact is immeasurable.

I'm going to leave a legacy for my kids- - Absolutely. and my grandkids for them to know that their granddad and their father did something great. Small businesses across the country are fighting for their survival, with the odds stacked against them. But what happens if we join that fight? If we put a little money, a lot of experience and thousands of hours of work into the entrepreneurs who are striving every day to see their businesses and their communities thrive.

For years, the team traveled from one small town to the next putting a Main Street makeover into action and building a movement that is millions strong. But 2020 changed everything. And no one was hit harder than Black-owned businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It was time for the Small Business Revolution to come home.

Now Amanda Brinkman and her team of marketing experts at Deluxe are rolling up their sleeves, doing what they do for millions of small businesses every day. And they're not alone. NBA All-Star turned entrepreneur, Baron Davis, will help chart a course to success while a whole cast of experts and partners line up behind some of the twin cities' most important Black-owned businesses.

Every episode, we'll be working with a new small business to see if we can change the odds. If in a moment unlike anything this country has ever seen, we can keep the revolution alive. Yo, this is Tim Wilson coming to you live from Urban Lights Music in the Midway. And this goes out to East St. Paul. What's up fam, how you feeling? 12 codes capture the gentleman's agreement. We doing the usual? Where a fresh fade comes with a lesson on how to carry it.

Precision a practice of the spirit. Lift your chin for me. You got to feel as good as you look and share that good when you leave this chair. 12 commandments backdrop the buzzing, a compass declaring character anointing community. Take a seat.

You'll come as you are, of course, and leave with a new wish for who you'll be. I've been cutting hair for 15, 20 years. Cutting hair is my passion.

The barbershop is just like your second home. Men can come and talk about religion, politics, sports, life's events. People I've seen come in my chair and just cry. I won't even say a word.

If he could get a chance to sit in my chair and express his feelings and let it all out. And then when I take the cape off of him and he's feeling like a million bucks, I feel like I'm done my job. (phone rings) Gentlemen Cuts, this is Red. I will see you guys at 1:30 tomorrow.

You walked in the door greeted by five, six people. I'm always here, like not even getting a haircut. I just come in and see how everybody doing. I've been coming here forever. I know I have friends here.

The feel here is home. Home also means that there's great advice. All these people are amazing.

Me and my business partner, Poppy, we had a vision. You know, we came up with the name, Gentlemen Cuts, and we wanted this to be more upscale. So we put a lot of hard work and elbow grease into it. I wanted people to feel like, man, this is the right kind of shop to be in. You know, I want them to hear the right music, the right sounds, the right smells. We get young, old, middle age.

And we service everybody and we get a chance to talk to everybody. So people feel real comfortable with us. And I think that's really unique. We are not just barbers, we are therapists. We are teachers, we are mentors. There's five of us.

We are all-star barbers. Poppy, he loves to talk about Puerto Rico and merengue and the music. You get a little bit of the East St. Louis from Jay Slice. Mz. Nita, she's the one that gives us that woman's touch.

Jacob, you know, he's from Louisville, Kentucky. And you know, he just brings his own flavor as well. We all kind of just look at each other as family. He's a good dude all the way around. One time a guy was out the front of the shop, begging. So he brought him in here and cut his hair after he took him next door and picked some stuff up for him.

I mean, everybody look up to him. Can't even name the number of people that he's like a mentor to. I had to learn from my mistakes. It's my story and it's the truth. I can't do nothing but tell the truth.

I had this addiction and addiction is real. I suffered from alcoholism. I almost got divorced.

My wife, she just about gave up on me. It was hard on her. I went to jail with four DWIs. It was a tough time leaving our family, our kids, our grandkids. I did my treatment, put it all out on the table, had people to judge me and kind of tell me where I was wrong and held me accountable.

It took a lot of hard work, relapses, and treatments, trying to just figure it out and get it right. And learning from that was me finding something to do with my time. I cut hair in the prison system. And I just, you know, I told everybody, I said, man, when I get out, my passion is to get me a barbershop. I got out in 2010. Decided to go to barber school to get my Masters.

The chosen one, the Master. That's a good title. When I look at Gentleman Cuts, it's hard enough to start a business when you got capital, connections, and a graduate degree. To have built this place with none of that, truly amazing.

What's even more amazing is how often businesses like Terrell's beat those odds. But East St. Paul is living proof of it. Cause the east side has always been a place where people come to get their foot in the door. This is one of our kind of classic historical main streets. So you can see what is going to be the House of Payne, a really cool jazz club that's going to be opening up this summer.

So we have Plaza Latina, which is one of a couple of Latinx plazas that we have. So really mercado-style. It's like a little mini world, right? East side of St. Paul has always been a working class immigrant community.

Ranging from the Qur'an and Hmong communities to the Somali community to older immigrant populations, the Swedish folks, and Italian immigrants. There are 17,000 people living on the greater east side. The east side of St. Paul here, it's got so much heritage and roots. It was known as the "Rockin' Eastside".

You know, where people could come to have fun. You know, the businesses have always been on this block. Many Black business owners are also community advocates and community leaders. When you see successful entrepreneurs building businesses and having generational impact in the community, it's a tangible change that can help you shift what you believe is possible. I would argue that for a lot of folks, Black economic freedom is connected to entrepreneurship.

This is so important. I'm teaching my girls entrepreneurship now. I need my kids. We need our kids to be able to dream and to have hope. We can't dream what we can't see. Red will have raffles and different things to bring the kids into his business.

We have other businesses that put on community events. I know there's a backpack drive. We have a really strong Black business community here on the east side. One of the things that I like about being a business owner is that I get to give back to my grandson. His name is Ra'Quan Hargrove, and he has autism and he's twenty-five years old.

And a lot of shops can't handle him. He's non-verbal and me just giving him that, that little bit of push for a haircut or, you know, making them feel good about himself is just a lot, so I'm proud to be his granddad. That's dope man. You spend a day with Terrell and you see what his place means to this block.

Customers, barbers, and the family he's taking care of. That's what one business can do. Especially in an underserved neighborhood. But in 2020, those entrepreneurs and their communities took a big hit. Business was good our first year. We started off running.

We're used the barbershops being packed. And then the pandemic hit. Our business barely stayed open. Due to the pandemic, reliable numbers are saying that 40% of Black-owned small businesses, about 17% of white owned shut down temporarily or permanently. Neither number is a good number. The Black-owned number is severe.

A big reason that we saw the last year affect Black-owned businesses in the way that it did was access to PPP loans. These smaller businesses, there's a technology gap or a financial literacy gap. There is a lack of relationship with traditional lending institutions.

Redlining and underwriting and loan risk assessments are all interconnected and they've all suffered from bias for many, many, many years. There are so many barriers set up for Black people and then Black people who have been incarcerated. It is just an increased barrier in so many different ways. So you've already knocked us out of the gate before we even got to the starting block. We're out in the parking lot while everybody is like in the bleachers.

The pandemic just kind of took something away from me. My wife had to support me and take care of me and it made me feel vulnerable again. And then George Floyd was murdered.

With so much unrest, so many stores and places got burned down and tore down. And we had to board up. We helped other businesses board up.

People want to be heard. Sometimes they don't know how to do that. So they go off emotion and emotion makes them act. I understand they want to say, hey, you know, this shouldn't happen. Well, I say the same thing, because I was mad myself.

But I didn't go out tearing anybody's stuff up. I'm angry at the fact that there's so much stuff that's going on and I wish I could fix it. I'm angry at the hate and the racism, the prejudice, the bias, all that's still alive.

I angry, but I don't hate. It doesn't define me. I just want change. It's some good people out here. And I'm one of them. And look at what we've accomplished.

I come in in the morning and I'll sit there in my barber chair and have my coffee and just look around and say, wow, I finally did something good. Baron said it from the beginning. In terms of community impact, Gentlemen Cuts is already a huge success.

It's our job to make sure that the business is taking care of Terrell as well as he takes care of the block. Enter Houston White, founder of Fresh. Houston isn't a businessman. He's a business, man. Three clothing lines, a coffee brand, fundraisers, golf tournaments, urban development projects. But it all started with a barbershop in Camden Town on the north side of Minneapolis.

And Houston isn't the only dapper gentleman showing up for Terrell. Our partners at Salesforce connected us with one of their savviest customers, Justice Sikakane, who's here to make sure that Terrell is using all the latest technology to stay connected with his customers and his business. - Good morning. - Hey Terrell! -How are you? - Good to see you. - How you doing? - I'm so excited. - Houston and Justice. - Justice, nice to meet you.

Welcome to Gentlemen Cuts, my brother. We are five barbers that have been on this east side, 10 years plus. All the barbers have our own different kind of style, flow of the way we cut. This barbershop is old school.

When the mood is right, people can feel right. I love how you have the Gentleman's Code. Me and Poppy sat down and wrote all these. I love number nine, vulnerability isn't a weakness. For a Black man, when we come into the barbershop it's more than just a hair cut, it's an experience of what it means to be a man.

So nine resonates with me a lot. I love number seven. Number seven. Hold open doors. - Soft skills. - Yes. - That's important. - Yes.

Yes, give up seats. Okay, so Terrell, tell us a little bit about some of your needs surrounding technology and things you'd like to see in this barbershop. One of the things that I would love to see is to get away from things like this. See, I have a poster of all the hair cuts that people can come in and look at.

Right, right. Let me ask you, when clientele comes in, how do you book them? How do you interact with them? What does that look like when you're scheduling appointments? People call, they say, "Hey, Mr. Red, can you get me in?" I'll jot it down.

And a lot of people, they go on Facebook or they go on Google. There's so much opportunity here. You can really streamline the entire experience for all your clientele. So we'll look at how technology can serve the purpose of this barbershop while preserving those cultural aspects that are very important to you and your barbers. Having gotten a feel for the barbershop, Justice is heading back to work with the Salesforce team on a sleet of ideas for Terrell. Houston and I are sticking around for a look behind the curtain at how the business works.

So after having a little time to walk around, any first impressions? There's a lot going on. It seems like four different shops as opposed to one. I mean, it definitely has the vibe of, you know, the black barbershop, right? It has the essence of culture, community, sports fans, but it feels a little disjointed. Each barber has their own individuality. That's probably why it feels like it's five or six different barbershops in this barbershop.

Because there's so many different walks of life. People can relate to that. But the way I see it, this is about you, right? It's your vision, your shop.

So as we continue to build out your brand, not just how it comes to life in the physical space, but online, on merchandise. We really want to understand kind of the essence of Gentlemen Cuts and what the term "gentleman" means to you. For me, it means a Lincoln. Elegant car, smooth ride, cool, calm, and collective.

You know, just in terms of setting a tone when people come in the barbershop, mine were relaxed, revived, refreshed. And those things were etched in the window. So immediately when someone hit the door, I wanted them to relax. And that was, we were moreso selling the energy in the space, even before you get a haircut. You know, so if you can set that kind of energy that has that cool, calm, and collective vibe. That'll just really help us kind of refine kind of a very sophisticated brand that really describes what it means, not just to be a gentleman, but what the experience of this store is.

And then a real simple logo that just could just speak to who you are. - Okay. - That would be money. (laughing) So right now, are you renting your chairs or your barbers employees? Each chair is being rented out. And what do you charge? About $125 a week. Whoa. Whoa? Well, it was $175 in 1997 when I started.

I would say that right there is- A problem? A problem. Okay, so I look at where I'm from, right? I'm on the east side of St. Paul here. I can't even hardly keep barbers, let alone overcharge them. And at this point I just felt like, you know, through the pandemic and through the rioting and the unrest, you know, I wanted them to be able to afford it and be able to have some money for themselves so they can say, "hey, I felt good about going into work." I love that and I respect that.

And maybe that is the baseline, but I would just say, you do want to, at some point, at least help them grow to a place where you're at least at what's expected for chair rent throughout the city. - Right. - You know what I mean? On average, how many cuts do you do a week? 60 To 70. It's a lot of heads. Fridays and Saturdays are our busiest days, but we're open six days a week. So when do you do the books or- Sundays.

So you work seven days a week? - Well, I'm working on Sunday. - Technically, yeah. But that right there, you're getting at the real issue. We're human beings. - Overworking.

- We're not machines. - Yup. And when I think about business model, I start from there, right, I'm a person. The folks that are going to work with me, they're people. Yes, we could all do 80 hair cuts a week, at what cost? And so our model is "less is more".

Maximum 10 haircuts a day. I think that we'll speak to then thinking about, like, is it about moving it faster? Is it about making sure we're adding other revenue streams? To kind of just make sure that you're also making from the business what you need to make. You can do good and do well at the same time. There's nothing wrong with making money. Right? People feel like there's imposter syndrome.

"I'm not really an entrepreneur" or "I really shouldn't make money", but that's what, it's called the business. One of the things that makes a great barbershop is the person that's leading it. I get why people love to come here. I think you got a great opportunity that just lights this boulevard up. Gentlemen Cuts has one thing going for it that you cannot teach.

It's a place people want to be. Mr. Red makes you feel welcome. It just comes so naturally to him.

But we need to introduce new customers to the barbershop. Persuade them to walk in the door for the first time. So they could experience that vibe themselves. And that means getting good at somethings that don't come quite as naturally to Terrell. I think he does need to be more findable online.

You know, especially when we think about new customer acquisition and people coming in. When they're searching for, you know, barbershops near me, he's got to be showing up and that's not happening. - That's mandatory. - Yeah. And I'm not necessarily saying you just gotta start doing TikTok videos, but at least Instagram.

He's not in the game. You know, he's looking at the game. Like, yeah, I want to play with them, but I'm going to build my thing over here.

This is the game. You got to go all the way in. And sharing what it is to be a gentleman, right? Like he can create the brand. Yes.

The brand that he's trying to put forth in the community. If he was going to turn it on and starts to see the results, his mind will be blown. Yeah.

Pairing Terrell up with Houston White couldn't be better because Houston has that vibe. When you walk in, you stand a little bit taller. And I think Terrell has that opportunity to do the same thing.

But he's the one that's gathering all these appointments. You know, his phone's blowing up. He's got people emailing him. He's got people messaging him on Facebook. They're coming at him from 10 different spots.

And I think we can smooth it out. So he's got more time to be where he wants to be and that's right next to his client. We can hook him up with the reviews promoter that he can then go in and bring in different platforms into the tool to help him respond to those reviews and then even share them into the market and kind of get more people, the visibility. Perfect, and I know that we set up Terrell on Yelp because he wasn't on Yelp. In two weeks, you already had four leads.

- Okay. - So yeah. 14 people have found you and four people have reached out to you. So pretty good conversion. That's awesome. Thank you.

And one last place we want to make sure that you're on, we're going to get you set up on Instagram. You can easily repurpose the content you already have on Facebook, on Instagram. Instagram makes so much sense for a visual business.

Well, plug me in. There are so many tools out there designed to make social media marketing manageable, but we want to make sure that more customers will amount to more profit. Having worked with multiple barbershops and salons over the years, it's a complicated business model. And if the margins aren't right, more volume can just amount to busy work with no return.

So we're sitting down with Nadine Seivert and our partners at U.S. Bank for a deep dive into Terrell's books. So now, when it comes to your finances though, how are you keeping track of everything? I just kind of go through my own personal account.

You know your numbers, which is fantastic, but I would want you to have a business account, right? So you can get a good health or gut check for the business. That is, I mean, that's a huge recommendation for me is first step is starting with that. Okay. How has business been for you after the pandemic? Well, it's been rocky, it's been up and down.

So I have four independent contractors. Each one of them pays me booth rent. So that would be $2,000 a month. But with my overhead, I'm looking at somewhere around $2,000. Like it costs you $2,000 a month to run the business? - To run he business, yes. - Okay. How I pay myself is because I'm a barber as well.

Okay, so you're basically breaking even. And the money that you're taking is from the hair cuts that you conduct yourself. Correct.

So how would your barber's feel if you were to increase the price for that chair? I think right now they're at a comfortable level, but if I did do that, it would definitely have to be a lot more business coming in. Do you think that the other barbers have capacity to be cutting more hair each day? Yes and the goal is to have more barbers in the shop. I have eight stations. So there are three other stations that are available. You fill the three chairs, right. That would be another $375 a week that you're looking at.

- Right. - Right. So part of the way to make more money for you, right, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, is shifting to being able to run the business and not necessarily having to cut hair yourself. Right.

I think that's where Amanda comes in and the marketing strategy that we have in place so that you are having more traffic in the barbershop. You're such a great ambassador for the shop. And we want to make sure that you have time to truly run the business.

The way we get to that is making sure that we grow the overall pie. All right. For Terrell to make money as a business owner, he either needs to raise the prices on his chair rentals, or rent those empty chairs to more barbers. But to do either of those things, he needs to bring more customers into the shop.

The business model is actually sound. Gentlemen Cuts just hasn't been able to recover enough of the clients they lost during COVID. Which means this is a marketing problem. And we got people for that.

These were the images and the color palette that really resonate with you. We call this one Lincoln, because he's talked a lot about kind of that sophistication and that kind of masculine, confident, tailored, dapper look. We want to really, you know, incorporate that into the logo. I like the fact that the font is bold.

There is a straight razor up there. And then I also like that there is a shorter term for Gentlemen Cuts, GC. I like it. I love from the design aspect, the classy vibe, right.

You know, that's the thing we wanted to really focus on. And then since all of these barbers are master barbers, maybe there's a way that we could make it a teaching moment. That'd be a great thing. And I obviously don't know what a master barber is. Being able to showcase your team, the diversity of your team. That's going to really give you a feel for what you're getting yourself into before you even stepped foot in the barbershop.

Can we incorporate the three Cs: Cool, calm, and collected- in there as well? Yeah. The brand is coming into focus, which gives us the design template we need to start renovating Terrell's building. But before we do, he's heading over to Houston White's shop for inspiration.

- Well, hello. - What's up, my brother? How you doing, my brother? - Good to see you. - Good to see you, man. Oh man, this is great. Come on in. - All right. - Come on in.

Oh, this is nice. The space is under construction right now. It's a little disheveled, but we're actually building a new barbershop. And then this space is going to be completely renovated and it'll be the first Get Down Coffee Company. And then this, man, is like the dream.

This has been in the works for seven years. You know, that barbershop, which is the cultural heartbeat of any community. How can we take the barbershop and just expand and improve the neighborhood without extracting culture.

Bringing the communities together. Yeah. This is our checkout area. You were talking about doing some retail.

- Yes. - You know, 20, 30 people would come in the door every day just to buy T-shirts. I like it. So what was your idea of painting the ceilings black and then having your own little different decor with it? I'd like a barbershop that just feels like an extension of home. People associate us with coming to just chill.

It's those kind of touch points that are very subtle, but they make a huge difference. So we have multiple checkouts, one here for the coffee, and then one over there for the barber checkout. Folks made their appointment. All their information is captured. Credit card, type of hair cut they like. And this is one of the critical things for me, especially in the barber business is quantification.

You can see your business, you can track your growth. To me, man, it's the only way to really know, to know-know exactly what's happening in your business. Okay.

Houston has has been in the game for a long time. And something that he told me. He says, either you're going to be the coach or you're going to be the player. Sometimes you got to work on your shop, but not actually be in your shop. So many business owners struggle with this idea because it's usually more fun to work in the business than on it.

Nobody starts a bakery so they can track inventory costs. The trick is making that time working on the business as efficient as possible. So Diarra Jerome and our partners at Lenovo are stepping in to help Terrell streamline his operation.

Over here, we have our pictures of hair cuts. I would like to come up with something that I can show them the types of hair cuts that I've done. Not just something from a poster.

I think you'd set yourself apart if your customers come in and you say, "here's your tablet, take a look and tell me what hair cut cut is ideal for you." And then there's a lot of technology that we actually can put in your hands that can help you with scheduling and booking. Red loves what he does. And I think he has the same love, right, for taking care of people. You can tell that he has, man, just a heart of gold. And he wants more, he wants to do more.

If you can create a business with no resources then imagine what you can do when you have the resources. As we put Deluxe's renovation dollars to work, we want to think about building technology into the design, to both increase efficiency and elevate the brand. So out with the old hair cut posters and in with the new tablets. Which means it's time to head to Penumbra Theater and check out Gentlemen Cuts' tech package.

So I know you've been talking to D. from Lenovo. He's got a lot of fun things that are really going to help. - Hey, Amanda! - Hey, good to see you. Hey, good to see you. - Terrell, how you doing? - My man, my brother. Good to see you in person, bro.

- Good to see you too. - Definitely man. Looking good, keeping sharp, man. I'm so excited to share with you the technology that we're going to infuse inside your barbershop. I want you to pick up that device for me.

That is the M10 tablet, fairly lightweight, putting you into that smarter technology realm. Just injecting little pieces of technology that send a big message about it's not just the cut that makes you feel like a gentleman. It's the whole experience that makes you feel like a gentleman. You can share your price items.

You can share additional hair cuts that they can look at. All you gotta do, Terrell, is say, "you know what, take a look at that all in one. Tell me if there's a style that you like, and I'll get you on the next cut." Basically, this is my receptionist. I like it.

It just elevates your whole game. And every technology that we're going to put in your hand comes with a five-year warranty. - Whoa. - Right?

I'll tell you, next time I'm in town, I'm coming for a fresh cut by my man, Terrell. Most definitely, most definitely getting a cut from me. Terrell's new gear is definitely going to make his life easier.

But it can also gather data that'll improve his customer experience. And Justice Sikakane is back on the scene to take Mr. Red through that strategy. With your business, everybody's hair cut is the most important hair cut, right? Let's say you have 10 customers, right? You may not always remember that Justice likes a brush fade. What enabled you to be able to do that was just pulling out your phone, pulling up software, looking at what's important to Justice. - It's personal. - It's personal, yes. I like it.

Technology is going to enable you to make those clients feel like they're your number one customer. Yes. Terrell and Gentlemen Cuts holds a very special place for me.

You know, he's a tad older than me, so he's very old school in his mindset in terms of he's done it this way for a very long time and it's worked. But just showing him here's what a simple piece of technology could do. We'll position him very desirably as he continues to grow with his business.

We're nearing the end of the process with Gentlemen Cuts. But we have one more important decision to make. And this one plays to Terrell's strings.

Part of why you started the shop is because you want to be a business that is able to give back to the community. And we want to accelerate that goal for you. So we want to give you $5,000 to pay it forward to either a non-profit or another business that you're really passionate about so that you can jumpstart that generosity that we know is on your heart. The organization I want to give to is The Color of Autism.

You know, my daughter struggled with my grandson. She had to quit her job. She had to stay at home and kind of just babysit, nurse him because other companies and other places wouldn't, you know, accept him for who he was. So, I'm honored that you all would help me do something towards autism, so thank you. Picking Colors of Autism is shining a light on another community of people that have been underserved, under thought about, especially in our community. So I tip my hat, just know you got the power, man.

And you're doing right by it. He does it quietly and without ego. So it kind of sneaks up on you. But Mr. Red is a natural born leader. And his calm, steady competence has guided this entire process.

With some pretty satisfying results. So with the marketing team at Deluxe dotting the I's and crossing the T's, and the Lenovo crew finishing the technology install in a fully renovated space. Houston, Baron, and I are headed back to the barbershop one last time to share in what we've accomplished together. I cannot wait to show you guys this transformation. It's pretty phenomenal.

I can't wait to see it. You know, Red's my guy, Gentlemen Cuts! Let's go, I can't wait to see this. Let's see. - Thank you. - Well, hello. - Terrell!

Good to see you. All right, how you doing? How you doing, my brother? How you doing man? This is like a family reunion. I love it, I love it. Look at you. Yes, I love it! What do you all think? Man, this is amazing. Yes, I love the color scheme.

Oh, it's just- - Gentlemen Cuts. - a wonderful thing. - You got new barber chairs. - New chairs, yes. We have wonderful seating for everyone. It's like a, it's like a Lincoln seat.

It's a Lincoln, it's definitely a Lincoln. And my Gentlemen's Code. Did you all see that? How huge it is and how it just stands out by itself. I love just the uniformity of the space. It just makes it all feel like one cohesive space.

Come on over. We will be doing our appointments on tablets. Oh, I love it, man, I love it. You're getting big time on me, dog. Back here 3M took time to make this wall look great for me.

Yeah, I love the brand, Pantone. Yeah, it's calming. It feels like a gentleman.

Do you remember before, there was just the screens? Yeah. So we were able to build up this space. So we have a break room and place to put some ice, but not only is it incredibly functional, but it actually, aesthetically, is super pleasing. Feels organized in here, right? It feels amazing and exceptional. Yes. I see this as a tool for this community, right? The tool of being in proximity to a successful black business owner.

It's gonna inspire the next generation. It's motivation. The motivation is just phenomenal because my employees want to come in. They want to show off the shop and they're showing that professionalism because they say this is an upscale barbershop now.

This is one of my favorite days because we've been working with you sometimes daily on all of the different brand elements, making decisions. But today is when we get to see it kind of all come together. And so there was a huge opportunity to create one logo and then make sure that we were using it consistently across all elements. I love it. Yeah, I love blue, the orange, the hint of gold.

- Yes. - Yeah, it's regal. It speaks of that Lincoln. So let's talk a little bit about your website. Are you ready to see it? - Yes, let's see. - All right.

Look, it's got a little bit of everybody in there. We got people talking, we got people getting haircuts. This is amazing. This is fly, yo.

This is beautiful, I love it. That's magical, I felt like I know you, right. I feel like I want to go there.

I feel like it's community. So as we scroll down, right away we want to talk about the services and the prices. And then also make sure that we're constantly allowing for them to use your site to book. So we have, what's called sticky navigation. So no matter where they are in your site, they're always going to be able to book their appointment.

And then we also want to make sure that we're including the location. It's really important for the search engines. It's really important for your customers. We're making sure that people know where to find you. Everything about this is representing Gentlemen Cuts.

So we've talked a little bit about making sure that you post more on Instagram or you could encourage people, if you use the hashtag, #LookGoodStaySharp that maybe you'll feature them on your page. There's ways to kind of incentivize that kind of engagement. And that will then populate to your site. Now if I saw this and I was, you know, looking for a barbershop, I'm like, you know what, this is fresh. And then we want to feature all of your actual barbers. The fact that you ever everyone is Master Barber certified is a big deal.

And we want to make sure that we're leveraging that. This is a differentiator when you're trying to recruit new barbers. That's one of your business goals is to get more barbers. I'm excited. I know my whole staff and everyone's going to love it.

They're just going to be like, wow. So then we have an About page as well. So, you know, we want to make sure that we're leading with you. You're the driving force behind Gentleman Cuts. This is your vision coming to life. One of the hardest things to do in branding or creating, you know, a new feeling is like making sure you don't extract what is authentic.

This feels purely you. I can tell you this is really good. Phenomenal. I'm speechless. This is, I've never had a website before, so- - I love this. - Isn't it cool? That's good stuff.

All right, are you ready to see some swag? Let's see some swag. All right. We got the snapback. Oh, don't fall! Don't fall! Don't fall back! (Laughing) Look at Gentlemen Cuts, look at that.

I'm going to have to just go ahead. You probably gotta rock it right now. Go ahead and put it on right now. - Let's do it, man. - Yes. - Man, official! - I salute you all! I love a great brand moment. There's something about barbershop swag that just makes it so damn cool.

And whether Terrell's selling merch or giving it away to get the Gentlemen Cut's name out there, he's going to burn through inventory fast. So we hooked Mr. Red up with Deluxe Brand Central, which will help him track what's moving and stay stocked on those revenue generating items. We make custom business cards for you.

These are fantastic. You can hand these out. Here's my card.

Now make an appointment. (Laughing) Then we went went ahead and took this great design of your Code of Ethics and made it into posters. So you can give this to kids, to customers. - Oh, this is so great. - Oh yes. We have so many people to come in and say, "I'm gonna take a picture of that."

And now I can actually just say, here you go. Y'all outdid yourselves. I think this is just a reflection of who you are and what you represent, man. Yeah, it is. I'm inspired. That's good stuff, man.

This is wonderful. Me growing, you know, just overcoming a lot of obstacles shows me the heart and dedication that I put into it. What you put into it, you will get back. And like I said, I'm grateful for what I've gotten back because it just, it's a lot. There's a virtuous cycle when you're working with small businesses, like Gentlemen Cuts. Because you know that whatever Terrell got out of this process, he's going to put back into his community.

Hopefully with a little more leftover for him and his family. So as we head back to Houston's place to surprise Color of Autism with the donation, it feels like we were getting a glimpse into Mr. Red's near future. As a leader with the platform and resources to carry the change he believes in that much further. Well, how are you doing Camille? My name's Terrell Smith. I'm from Gentlemen Cut's Barbershop.

And I love what you do, and I love all that you've done. Thank you, you know, my experience as a mom of a child on the autism spectrum is that I didn't have any resources, right? As a community of black people, we have a different experience, you know. And I remember when I would say, "what's going to happen when my son's like 14, and if he gets approached by the police and if he's unable to speak, what's going to happen?" And so I'm happy you found us because we want to build a community.

We want the whole family to embrace this child because we gotta build these strong individuals up to be proud to be Black and proud to be autistic. That's right. I got to say, I want to thank you for all that you do. And we want to honor you with something. So can I get my two assistants please? Amanda and Baron Davis.

It's yours to give. Oh, wow! For everything that you do and all that you've done. I want to present this to you.

Thank you so much. I mean, I, this is amazing. Oh, I just expected to meet you. Not this big paper check that I'm gonna put on my wall.

(Laughing) - This is so cool! We're gonna dedicate this for you and your grandson. So it's gonna be named after- it's going to be named after this. Ra'quan Hargrove. And then I thank you so much for this. Thank you. It's such a blessing.

- Thank you so much. - Thank you. Red just has a great appreciation for people. And that's so important when you're in a neighborhood or when you're in an environment that's been marginalized. Up we go.

It's okay, sit back. It's gonna be okay, son. Thinking about all that our culture, our people have been through throughout the history of America. You know, this idea of Black excellence for me is the standard by which we measure ourselves. This is who we are, no matter what society thinks and the barbershop, for me, is the epicenter of Black excellence. Even if society says you're worthless, the barbershop says you do count.

And that's Terrell right, Mr. Red. To see someone actually go through all those challenges embody Black excellence and then display it through a business. And be able to not only take care of his family, but inspire and be an epicenter of community. I mean, that's the American story. Stay tuned for scenes from our next episode.

Deluxe is passionate about supporting small businesses and we are honored to bring the Small Business Revolution home to Minnesota. For over 100 years, we've gotten to play a small part in the stories of entrepreneurs across the country and everything our team does on this show. We deal with thousands of businesses every day from brand building and payments to payroll and data solutions. We have the tools to help businesses big and small be at their best. Because at Deluxe, we believe when you champion businesses, entire communities thrive.

To find out how we can help your small business, go to At U.S. Bank, we believe small businesses are central to the culture, flavor, and personality of our cities and towns. They create jobs, foster economic growth, and are critical to our community's success. Our passion for the small business community is why U.S. Bank is excited to partner with Deluxe on the hit series, Small Business Revolution.

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It's still moving, but it's not growing. Can the Deluxe Small Business Revolution team help this new entrepreneur build a winning brand? There's certain things you're going to bring to the table that someone who doesn't have your background just can't. On the next episode of Small Business Revolution.

2021-11-09 15:16

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