Beu’s founder Ben Fisher speaks to the owners of Hounds barbershop
about building a community and growing their business in 2020 with the help of Beu software
As soon as I met with Elliott and Barry it was immediately obvious that despite the 30 year age gap between the two, they were very alike. Elliott is younger, with numerous tattoos adorning his arms and neck, and the natural confidence of someone who understands their identity. Barry is older, a retired professional skateboarder who competed in the vert world championships in the 80’s; he speaks with humour and seems like he has hundreds of great stories. The barbershop is an extension of the two men, with a rustic interior and locally sourced art covering the walls, which rotates on a bi-monthly basis. A faint buzz from the needle of the inhouse tattooist underlies our conversation. The atmosphere is authentically cool.
Elliott and Barry met whilst undertaking their barbering apprenticeships and immediately connected. Whilst walking home after a shift one day, they walked past an empty shop front joking that they should take over the lease and set up their own shop. In under a month, the shop was fully furnished and the first clients were walking through the door of Hounds. They have been up and running for a few years now, but in the last few months they transitioned from strictly walk-ins, to using Beu and taking online appointments. After speaking for a few minutes about their business, I notice one word keeps cropping up - community, but not
in the way it's mentioned in press releases for new trainers - here it seems authentic
Beu: Serving the community seems to be a big driver for your business, how have you maintained such a strong following and how has it benefited your business?
Elliott: We never sat down and said we want to drive community, everything just happened organically. Most of the people we collaborate with are our clients and what we do with them just stems from the friendly chats we had when cutting their hair. We introduced a membership for unlimited haircuts and beard trims which now has 80 members, so our regulars come in every week or so and we get to know them on a very personal level.
Barry: We are definitely therapists! Over the years we have built up great relationships with our clients so they feel they can talk to us about pretty much anything, getting any issues off their chest so they leave the shop feeling and looking good. There is definitely a sense of if you look out for me, I will look out for you. A lot of our members actually voluntarily kept up their subscription over the lockdown to support us whilst we couldn’t work, which really helped us out.
Beu: How has your business changes since you started using Beu?
Elliott: Since we started using Beu, we have been able to maximise our profits and organise our day. We are finishing every day completing more haircuts but feeling less tired.
Barry: That’s your strapline there! I can’t can’t imagine going back to just taking walk-ins again.
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