Growing up, Ryan Taylor and his brothers were told they had three options when it came to their haircuts:
- Their mom could use the same clippers she used on the family dog;
- They could go to the same old-fashioned women’s salon their mom went to; or
- They could cut each other’s hair
You can guess which one the brothers chose.
“At first, it was done out of necessity, but then it turned into fun. I became obsessed pretty quickly,” Ryan explained. “I wasn’t great at the beginning, but I wanted to learn more.”
Ryan’s interest in barbering didn’t just come from the cuts he gave to his brothers. “When we went to visit my grandparents in Louisiana, my grandfather would always drive me around town, letting me run errands. We’d always end up at the barbershop. He never went there for a cut or anything, it was the atmosphere, it was a hub for the community. I grew up with the understanding that a barbershop didn’t just have to be a workplace,” said Ryan.
“My wife is much happier, because now I’m not answering texts and calls at the dinner table”
Having worked for another barbershop before opening East End Barber, Ryan understands the importance of being organised. “We used just pencil and paper, and people were always calling up to ask when we were free. We even had a saying: ‘When we’re not working, we’re on the phone’. I used to have to spend an hour or two each day answering calls and texts, and then writing down appointments. We’d play the back and forth game about when we were both available,” said Ryan.
In 2015, that all changed for Ryan when he started using Genbook’s online scheduling software. “My wife is much happier, because now I’m not answering texts and calls at the dinner table. It’s freed up so much time,” said Ryan. With two extra hours given back to Ryan each day, Ryan is a big fan of Genbook, especially since over 75% of the bookings East End Barber receives are made late at night on weekends when the barbershop is closed. “It’s filled so many slots,” said Ryan, “and my customers love how they can use the Genbook app to make their appointments.” With Genbook providing two apps — one for customers and one for business owners — Ryan’s clients can book their appointments easily, and he and his staff can manage their schedule with a few taps on their phones.
“We try to encompass the local work community”
For Ryan, East End Barber was never just meant to be a barbershop. “I wanted it to be a place where people felt comfortable, so I went for a comfortable, classic look. We even have an old-school keg, which is stocked by a brewery in town. The owners get their hair cut with us, and they decided to quit their jobs and start a brewery right down the street. Some of our products are even made by locals who get their hair cut at East End Barber.
Managing a business can be stressful, and Ryan is always trying to find ways to make the management side of things a lot easier, giving him time to focus on the big picture instead of small details. “Genbook has allowed me that, and I’ve found it works for a lot of people, like massage therapists, personal trainers, and more,” said Ryan. One of Ryan’s favorite features of the online scheduling tool is being able to see whether a customer has booked with a specific barber, or if they have clicked ‘no preference’. If they haven’t chosen a specific barber, Ryan can move the appointments around, ensuring he and his staff are busy, but still giving himself time to spend with his family. East End Barber also has 700 reviews, all from very happy clients. As Genbook is the one that automatically requests reviews from your clients, you don’t have to follow up with them or have the awkward encounter of asking for a review.