Full PPE

Support in emerging from coronavirus lockdown

Dan Ridett
Dan Ridett
28 June 20205 minute read

In this post we’ve highlighted a few of the key guidelines and how Barber Shop Booking (BSB) is able to help you adhere to them.

Hurrah! Barber shops can re-open in the UK from 4th July. We personally can’t wait to get our hair back under control.

Whilst it’s great that the barber shut down is coming to an end, the new guidelines on re-opening means that it won’t quite be business as usual when you reopen.

In this post we’ve highlighted a few of the key guidelines and how Barber Shop Booking (BSB) is able to help you adhere to them.

Operating an appointment only system

Given its impact to many barbers it was interesting to see this point buried in Section 2.1.11 of the guidelines. Many barbers and their customers are used to the ‘walk-in’ system and have never had to manage an appointment only system at full scale.

For barber shops already operating on tight margins, this shift is likely to seem daunting, not only technically, but also in terms of the extra cost associated with handling appointments.

From the outset, BSB was designed to make the shift to taking online appointments as low risk to barber shops as possible. Specifically, this means:

  • Making it possible to set up a booking system of your own in minutes
  • Providing a simple web link for customers to use. It can be added to existing websites, Facebook and Instagram pages with no hassle.
  • Ensuring that barbershops incur no costs for operating a booking system unless they actually have received payment for their online bookings (we don’t charge monthly subscription fees unlike most other booking platforms)

Click here to set up your own barber shop.

Enhanced cleaning

Many of the points raised in the guidelines talk to the enhanced cleaning that barbershops are going to have to incorporate into their day-to-day operations.

This includes more thorough cleaning between appointments and shifts, increased washing of customer gowns (or use of disposable ones) and the provision of hand sanitisers, amongst other things.

These changes impact barbers two-fold: 1) it significantly increases the fixed costs of running a barber shop. 2) it reduces the time available for individual bookings.

To handle this, many barbers have decided to share the additional fixed costs with customers, by adding a charge (a booking fee) to each haircut (which customers seem to understand given the circumstances).

To reflect this change, we have made it easy to add and manage booking fees at the barber shop setting level, rather than having to individually change each item on your price list. It is also clearly split out from the price of the haircut to customers as they book.

Another bonus about managing booking fees at the barbershop level is that it gives you more flexibility to reduce the cleaning fee passed on to customers as restrictions ease. Or even increase if you’ve underestimated the actual costs you incur. All in a matter of seconds!

Here is an example of how you can take just the booking fee as an up-front payment, to cover your extra costs. Note that taking a small payment from the customer is a fantastic way to make sure that they turn up to their appointment.Change you booking fee by going to Shops > Manage

You can set you booking fee by navigating to Shops > Manage > and scroll down to the booking fee option.

Minimising contact during payments

Another change that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated is the movement to non-cash payments (contactless and online). During the coronavirus lockdown cash withdrawals dropped by 60% and many shops have stopped taking cash all together.

Whilst most barbershops are setup to handle contactless card payments, taking payments online represents another big step change. Albeit, one they know is expected by customers as bookings move online.

The good news is that handling payments online is not as scary as it sounds. In fact within BSB it is a standard feature available to you. It is easy to set-up and we (with our partner Stripe) ensure that the processing of online payments is fully secure and easy for your customers to use.

Online payments at the time of booking also helps to address a big concern that barbershops have about moving to the appointment only system: lost revenue due to no-shows!

Read more about taking online payments.

Test and Trace

Section 2.1 states that you should be "keeping a temporary record of your clients and visitors for 21 days". With BSB, if you are ever contacted by the NHS test and trace scheme, you will be able to assist them because you will have an historical list of who came into you shop and when they visited.

Accommodating more frequent changes to staff availability

Finally, the guidelines talk about being more proactive in managing different availability of staff. It is expected that you will be able to handle changes to availability at short notice, particularly in the event of one of your barbers or customers being identified as having coronavirus.

Within BSB, we have sought to make this simple for you to handle:

  • You can cancel appointments and automatically give refunds if a member of staff is unable to come into work. You also have access to each customer's email address and phone number (if they supplied it), so you can personally reach out to them if you want to explain the situation.
  • Adjust individual barber availability in seconds to ensure no new bookings are mistakenly taken
  • You can even close your whole shop if need be (we hope not) and update all barber availability in one go
  • If you want to add some 'extraordinary' shifts, as you come out of lockdown, that is easy too. For example, if your shop is usually shut on Sundays, but you want to open for all the Sundays in July, each baber can create custom shifts to enable this. Without any risk that they will be booked on an August Sunday, for instance.

Click here to start taking appointments at your barber shop.

We hope this overview is helpful. We are working closely with our barbers to ensure that BSB gives them what they need post-lockdown, so they can focus their attention on servicing their own customers. If you’ve got any questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact.