by Cesare Rocchi

Dismantling the Salon App idea

by Cesare Rocchi

Tags: business

As I am looking for feedback on a protoype I went back to my ideas.txt file to tidy it up a bit.

One entry I found is “system to allow customers of a salon to book services like haircut, pedicure, etc.”. My idea was to manage the scheduling using an application. I didn’t even think about the nature of the app, web, native, both. I just took that note.

Sometimes I remember that I need something in the evening, and if that something (like a haircut) requires an appointment, I think it would be cool to do it right away using an app, instead of a creating a reminder to make a phone call the next day.

I thought it was worth a chat with my hairdresser. I was particularly curious about the possibility to come up with a look up table that associated an average_time_needed field for each of the services like:

  • Hair wash - 5 minutes
  • highlights - 30 minutes
  • etc.

Notice: I was already engineering the system.

The salon I go to is quite upbeat and prone to use technology, but immediately dismissed the idea.

30% of my clients book an appointment, show up on time, and tell me “do whatever you feel like”.

It means that they have no idea of what they want, they’d like to see 3-4 options and then decide. Modelling something like this in advance is quite impossible. It can take half an hour or 3 hours. It’s not easy to put on a calendar with fixed time slots.

I wasn’t already fully convinced by the idea but after the chat, besides having a nice haircut, I felt also free to delete that entry from my file.

I am not claiming any originality. Justin Jackson has already discussed this idea quite a bit but I thought it was worth another shot. I am sure there are already software solutions for salons, which maybe have streamlined their process and can manage it via an app. But either they don’t take “wildcard customers” or they still have somebody answering the phone and manually adjusting the schedule.

My guts tell me that pursuing this idea is not worth it. On to the next.