Barber Shop Owner Explains How They Eliminate No-Shows and Get Booked Solid

Say hello to this *new-to-the-Bookedin-family* barber shop owner, Eddie Murawski from Uptown Barbershop in Naples, Florida!

Just two years ago Eddie was working multiple jobs and dreaming of opening up his own barber shop. Today he’s got 6 barbers on staff, over 73,000 YouTube subscribers and a whole lotta great advice. So if you’re looking to open up shop or make your shop run “smooth as silk”, watch the interview below. Eddie explains how switching to a barber booking app helped them eliminate no-shows, get booked solid, and finally get a daily lunch break.

Leanne Schmidt: What’s up everybody? Leanne, here from bookedin.com, appointment scheduling. And I’m hanging out here with Edward, Eddie Murawski owner of Uptown Barber Shop in Naples, Florida. Also you might know him from his channel YouTube Barber Academy, how’s it going Eddie?

Eddie Murawski: It’s going good, it’s going good. And a lot of people know me as Mr. Eddie Barber. That was the channel’s name like long before when I changed it. But a lot of people still know me for that. But it’s going really well. We just hit 72,000 subscribers. And you know the shop is going really well too. And yeah, you know, it’s just great to be here. Thank you for having me.

LS: Awesome. Yeah, thanks. So good to see you live in-person online, sort of, in the flesh. [chuckle] So yeah, today we’re gonna be doing a little bit of a case study on your shop, and how Bookedin helps you and your team get the job done. So yeah, before we dig in, Eddie can you just tell me a little bit about how your shop got started?

Find the courage to follow my dream

EM: Yes, yes, actually, like I wanted my own shop since I was like 15 years old. My whole family did hair, and I just wanted it for a long time. And I just… I wound up kinda struggling to get it started, it was hard. I come from a very poor background, my parents and everybody… Nobody has money. So really to make a long story short, I was actually in a factory only like two years ago. And I cut hair on the side also, during this time, but I tried to leave and it was miserable. I went every day with a pit in my stomach and I was like, “I’ve gotta get myself out here, man.” So I began reading business books and stuff like that, and I thought about the comeback and what I would do. And in literally, the span of only two years, I found myself sitting at from 6,000 subscribers to 72,000 subscribers from basically no shop at all, to finding the courage to leave that dead-end job, know that it wasn’t making me happy, and find the courage to follow my dream with my shop. So we got started about a year ago, I officially took over last March, and this place has grown. It was like a sleepy old man’s like kinda hangout, it had carpet. I mean, it was awful. But I just pretty much totally made it my style, and you know kinda came through with the logos and the UpTown and all the stuff, and we really revamped the place. It’s all young barbers now, and it’s a really cool hip place.

LS: What a story, just from that dream when you were 15 years old to now. That’s incredible just all of the inspiration that other barbers could take from that, so that’s awesome. Yeah.

EM: You should have heard, I put it all on the line in my live the other night, and it was a really well-received live. Like I just… I’d explained the whole story to try to help people who are in those dead-end situations find the courage to do something that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be barbering, but it could be something that makes you happy, you know, and you’re gonna excel.

LS: Yeah, that pit in your stomach is how you know you’re on the right track, you just know, right?

EM: Right, right. [chuckle]

LS: Awesome. So I guess first question, what challenges were you experiencing at the shop that kind of led you to look for a solution like Bookedin?

I needed to bring some sanity to my situation

EM: Well this… This is… I’m a long time walk-in barber. I mean, I did walk-ins for ever and it was miserable. And the person that I worked for, they were dead-set against doing appointments, they didn’t wanna do them. I rarely got a lunch, I would… I was one of the… I was not one of the, I was the busiest barber in the shop. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to have five or six people waiting for me. And just knowing that I’m just overwhelmed, and I feel like I need to rush, and I just… I needed to bring some sanity to my situation, so I began kinda researching and looking into places, and you know I kinda found you guys. And you guys had a great free version with a lot of features. It was just very packed full of features, and I was able to kinda feel it out and see if I’d be able to use it. And I can say that my customers have found this extremely, extremely easy. It is as straightforward as it gets. I mean, when I set up the whole thing, it was really a breeze.

LS: That’s good. Yeah, when you hear from the clients as well, that’s when you know you’re onto something.

EM: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

LS: So when you were kind of doing your research, you were looking for that software to use for your appointments, what kind of made you choose Bookedin over other products on the market, other options out there?

I’m able to actually eat lunch, get away from the shop for a few minutes

EM: Well, when I started to look at them one of the things that was definitely a draw was needing that lunch break. And I found that you guys actually were able to separate my schedule, so now I’m able to block off a half hour permanently of my life. And if I wanna take a client in there or something, that’s my own business, but for the most part, I’m able to actually eat lunch, get away from the shop for a few minutes, kind of recuperate and come back. And that was super important to me.

And I didn’t like how some of these other apps, they used this like review feature. And then the moment you’re gone, you lose all your reviews. So all the progress you made… It becomes like a bad marriage, you just can’t separate from. And if you train all your clients into one thing, it can be an enormous task to try to get them to go with another thing. And you don’t wanna start with the wrong thing, you wanna definitely start on the right foot. And that’s why I was pretty happy that I found this [Bookedin], because my customers took to it very easy, and you know I haven’t had any real issues or anything.

And it’s been really smooth. And my team too, like, just to highlight that side of it too, because I had to go back and train my team. But there was really not much to be done, because it was so straight forward. They were all like, “Okay, cool.” I had a Zoom meeting with them, and we talked about it for about 4 minutes, and they were like, “Oh okay, I see how it works.” That was that.

So much easier for clients

And it’s nice getting the notifications, and they send the notifications off to the customer, so you don’t have to worry that they’re not gonna show up. And I can say, based on some of the other options I used before this, it… It’s so much easier for them, and they have had way less issues. They don’t have to download apps, they don’t have to go through a bunch of rigmarole. I’ve got a lot of old clients. I don’t need that. I need it to be just an easy process, and that’s definitely what I found with Bookedin.

LS: Oh, awesome. Yeah, the clients being able to book online, and yeah, the easiness factor of it is definitely huge, ’cause that’s who it’s all about, right? The clients, get them in the door, serve them, and just do it without any rigmarole. I love that word.

[laughter]

Having time for the clients and not feeling rushed. It’s helping me with my creativity, my comfort.

EM: Right, right, yeah. And having the time for the clients and not feeling rushed, that’s just brought a very good feeling to me, and it’s helping me with my creativity, it’s helping me with my comfort. It’s not nice to cut hair with 1000 people breathing down your neck looking at you like, “God. I’ve been here three hours, why am I still here?” It’s so nice to just be on track, take a customer, get rid of a customer, especially with the new situation we’re all dealing with.

It’s so nice to not have… And I have six barbers. So if we were walk-in… Just theoretically speaking, what if everybody had two or three people waiting for ’em? It wouldn’t be long before the entire shop was just packed full of people, and that would just not be good right now. So everybody comes in, goes. Comes, goes, and it’s been smooth as silk.

LS: Well, that’s good. Yeah, the safety factor, too, with what we’re all dealing with right now [covid19]. Maybe it’s gonna change, maybe it’ll loosen up soon. And it’s really just the safety, right? So that’s good that it’s helping with that too. Yeah. So business-wise, you started using Bookedin, is there some kind of specific improvement that you’ve seen? You talked a lot about how it’s helping, but for example, was there more time, or more clients, or more money? Is there one specific thing you would say it helped to improve?

EM: There’s definitely one. I have noticed that when I tried the previous app, I noticed that I was getting a lot of people who were no-showing me. And I think that this Bookedin, the way that they notify their customers, has pretty much… It prevents that. I actually had one no-show since I’ve been using it. It was a no-call, no show, and I just sent them a nice text message to just say, “Hey, if next time you wanna book with me, please save me a little bit of time.” And he actually felt so bad, he paid me through VENMO. So I ended up getting paid…

LS: Bless.

I just love the fact they’re sending out those notifications.

EM: For that service anyways. It all worked out nice. I actually had a walk-in come in and it was like nothing ever happened. But I just love the fact that they’re sending out those notifications, and they’re not letting people forget. So if you are wise, you usually will have your clients book maybe far enough ahead and maybe even before they leave the shop. For some of your older clients, it’s nice to just tell them, “Hey, do you want me to book it for you real quick just before you go?” That way, you know that they’re coming back, and it’s gonna send them a message, and they’re gonna know it’s time for a haircut, 7:00 AM tomorrow, or 7:00 AM in three weeks from now, they’ll get that notification and they’ll show up.

LS: Yeah, that’s one thing, too, as they’re about to leave, the re-booking process. Something a lot of people forget, and I feel like the app might help with that.

I’m driving my staff to do the repeat appointments.

EM: And the repeat bookings, too. That’s what I’m always preaching to my staff. The feature that you guys have for the repeat booking, and especially it’s great, because it’s unlimited. Like with the other apps there was an option for weekly, there was an option for bi-weekly, but there wasn’t an option to customize it, and I was frustrated with that, because not everybody comes every three weeks or four weeks, but somebody, he’s like, “Hey, I like to come on the second Friday of the month.” You can literally customize that repeat however you want. So I’m driving my staff to do the repeat appointments for as many people as you can, because you will be booked solid. I’m booked solid almost every single day, and if I’m not booked solid before I get there, more often than not, I share two posts on Instagram and it’s booked again. So it’s working really well with the repeat appointments.

LS: That’s awesome. Yeah, that was a brand new feature we just launched this year. And that’s awesome feedback, just to know that it’s helping your business.

EM: Absolutely.

LS: Your staff, too. That’s awesome. So last question, this is something I ask all the time. Just thinking of other barber shops out there, the other Eddies of the world who are watching your channel, or building their dream shop. What would you say to them? Someone who is experiencing the similar challenges you had before Bookedin. What would you tell them now if you were able to just tell them one thing?

You need to plan your work, and work your plan.

EM: I would tell them that, “You need to plan your work, and work your plan. You have to create this mind state where you’re just not gonna take no for an answer. I didn’t have the money, I didn’t have the resources. There were so many things that I could have just used as an excuse to hold me back, because in reality, that’s what it would have been. But I knew this was right. So whoever, or whatever the challenges in your life, you’ve gotta try to dig down and find that courage. Now don’t just go leaping off a bridge. That’s why I’m saying, just read some books, educate yourself, prepare yourself, make a plan, and then follow it. And you’ll get there. I accomplished more in the span of a single year, than I ever have throughout the entire time I’ve been barbering, which I’m coming up on my 18th year. So how is it that I was able to do that in one year? It was because I wanted it more than anything in the world, and I pushed myself to figure out how to do it. There’s so many ways to negotiate. There’s ways to get your own shop, and you’ve just gotta be patient, dig in, educate yourself, and you’ll get it. You will get it.”

LS: Yeah, amen. That’s such good advice. I think a lot of barbers everywhere could look up to you in that way, and just be inspired, and not ignore that feeling in their gut that they have deep down, or maybe they’re halfway through the process, and wanting to give up and just go back to the day job, right?

You will excel at what you’re passionate about.

EM: Yeah. Yeah, it’s scary. And if you do that, you’re gonna get trapped in the rat race. And most of us are just creative souls, and we need to express our art in some way, and being on an assembly line, or just being in some place that’s not making you happy is just… It’s just soul-crushing and you don’t want that. You will excel at what you’re passionate about. That’s what I tell people. It doesn’t have to be any particular thing. It’s whatever you’re passionate about, you’re gonna perform that well, and it’s not gonna feel like work.

LS: Yeah, what’s the old saying? Do the thing you love. [laughter] Do the thing you love, and you’ll never work a day again.

EM: It’s true, it’s true. I’m living proof, man. I’m living proof.

[laughter]

LS: That’s amazing. So that’s it. Thank you so much. Do you have anything else you wanna add here before we jump off?

EM: No. Thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate it. If you guys wanna come check out my channel, YouTube Barber Academy, we’ve got plenty of tutorials. We go live every Saturday at 8:00 PM. I’m really focused on actually teaching. It’s a channel that’s using… We’re using it as a resource. This is a resource for you. Anything that you wanna learn about barbering, I’m sure I’ve done more than 10 videos about it. So stop by and check us out.

LS: Awesome. Yeah, we’ll add a link below to Eddie’s channel and yeah, thanks so much for talking with me today, and yeah, just sharing your experience with Bookedin. So thanks, Eddie!

EM: It was awesome. See ya.

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