Business overview and background
Aidan Coogan (Ado) is the owner of Neighbourhood Threat barbershop in Dublin city centre, which stands out for its speciality in long hair, sharp beards, fades and mullets. The shop on Fade Street is inspired by Ado’s punk rock band origins, where clients will be guaranteed a pint of Guinness, always!
But Ado’s path to barbering was not the traditional one. As a young boy, Ado would skip school to go to a famous barbershop located in Temple bar, and out of a fascination for the work of the team, he soon began to ‘pester’ them for a job. His resilience eventually paid off and finally, he had made a place for himself in his favourite barbershop.
‘I used to go to a place in Temple Bar and get my haircut. I was constantly annoying them to give me work so after about 6 months the owner said okay. I think I was making like 150 pounds a week… it just felt really great’.
The challenge: opening a barbershop at midnight when all Covid restrictions were lifted
With approximately 15 years experience under his belt, Ado decided during Covid to take the leap and open his own barbershop business. When the clock struck midnight on the day that barbershops were allowed to re-open after the lifting of restrictions, Dublin 2 welcomed its newest neighbour, Neighbourhood Threat.
‘I was working in another barbershop and when Covid happened, I thought that it was time to set up the barbershop I had always been thinking of setting up. Covid presented an opportunity for me, because it gave me the time I needed to reflect on what I really wanted to do; otherwise, I would have been still cutting hair and so busy that I would never really have had the time to ask myself what I really wanted to do.’
Even though Neighbourhood Threat is owned and operated by Ado, there’s a full team of five of the most talented and respected barbers in the industry operating under one roof. However, unlike other barbershops, the team operate as individual business owners, each responsible for their own bookings, payments and client lists.
For Ado, it’s very important to give his team the freedom and independence to run their own business inside his shop, so having individual hardware options as well as software solutions available to the whole team on an individual account basis was critical.
‘I like to give my team confidence and freedom… I want to give them the opportunity to have their individual mini-shop out of my shop, so they have control over what they do. So I was looking for options that would allow me to provide the team with individual payment terminals and a system that would let them keep track of what they do, without having to constantly depend on me.’
The solution: Square Appointments
‘When Square Appointments came in, it was a game-changer! Each team member has their own payment terminal, and this allows them to have their individual Appointments POS so they are able to see their calendar, take payments, manage their schedule, holidays, etc.’
‘For some of my employees it was also important to have protection tools for no-shows, especially for those appointments with new clients. However, I preferred not to use it; thanks to the fact that Square allows us to make individual use of its tools, some team members use this option and others do not.’
With Square Appointments, Ado found a solution that allows him to save time and money by delegating administrative tasks such as scheduling, appointment management and calendar management to an intelligent software that helps him optimise his time and do business more efficiently.
‘With Square Appointments you have bookings, payments, calendar – everything you need to run your business – in the palm of your hand. It’s great.’
‘Thanks to the automation of the system I never miss an opportunity to accept an appointment and I can have full control of my calendar from any device, whether it’s my mobile phone, my terminal or my computer.’
How it’s going
Square has definitely helped us to boost our business and save time to maintain the quality of our services. We opened two years ago, almost three. We started with three team members and now there are five of us. Our staff is amazing, they have their individual clientele that book appointments with them, but we also find new people walking in, coming to the store that eventually stay, which is amazing.
40% increase in weekly appointments
Since using Square Appointments, Neighbourhood Threat has increased the number of weekly appointments by 40%.
‘I definitely think Square has been a boost to our business because of the ability to accept a large number of appointments at any time.’
Eliminated phone bookings
Thanks to Square Appointments they no longer have to answer the phone, so their work isn’t interrupted by having to answer calls and book appointments manually. With Square Appointments, their customers can directly access their online booking site, make their appointment and manage all the necessary changes. It’s so convenient, easy and fast that they never get calls to book appointments anymore.
Autonomy and independence for team members
Thanks to Square’s hardware and software offerings, each team member has an individual terminal where they can log in to their Square Appointments account and manage all parts of their business, from scheduling, to appointments, to taking payments whenever, wherever.
Smart business forecasting
Square Appointments offers a variety of business reports varying from peak and off-peak periods, as well as which days bring in the greatest revenue. Square Appointments gives a complete view of revenue, costs and profit for better decision-making.
‘When I think about the future, I would like to keep this place with its magic, and maintain what makes it special, as well as grow… Having a business with 400 reviews and not a single bad one is not an easy task. What I would like to achieve is that when people think of Neighbourhood Threat they think of a chill place, almost like a bar, to feel good – also a bit of a sense of community… I think there’s a special and personal atmosphere with the customers that I would love to continue developing in the future.’