In this episode, Nathan is joined for the first of two episodes by Luke Doolan and Paddy Monahan, manager and head of product at Phorest Software respectively, as well as Nathan’s head of operations, Candice, to talk about Phorest Software (that Gavin has worked with for a long time) and what they do.
- We’re not just an appointment system or diary, we take it in a slightly different way than most do. We're not a software company, we're a salon company, we’re aimed at the industry. Our whole existence is to understand how salons work and to build things that help them to grow their business, which is not all that common in the industry.
- We listen to salons and understand the problems that they have. We recently launched the Phorest Collections – we used to build a feature and ship it and maybe a month later we’d have something else from another team and we would ship that. Then we’d get feedback from salon owners saying they were really busy and couldn’t keep track of all these updates dropping so we changed tact and started doing like the fashion industry with Autumn Collections where we gather a load of stuff together and launch it all at once with all the training programmes put together so, as a salon owner, you can simply take an hour out of your day to learn about all of them and that’ll be it for a couple of months.
- We asked salon owners what the pain points around card payments on readers were. Tips for staff was an issue but also at the end of the day, cashing up is an absolute pain, if someone accidentally overcharged a customer by tapping the wrong number or put it through as cash instead of card, you can waste 30-40 minutes trying to find that £10 that’s gone somewhere. We take that as the starting point to solve it. The only way to light up the terminal to take a payment in Phorest is to key in, tap ‘credit card’ and then it will light up, in doing that, at the end of the day it automatically reconciles between the two, so you can look at your cash (which is next to nothing these days) and just walk out.
- For me, creating, innovating and figuring out these things is about pairing together a problem – and deeply understanding what that problem actually is – and then matching that with what technology is possible. What we’ve seen is our tech team really understands what technology is now possible. If you just start building things based on the tech you’ve got a solution looking for a problem. Salon owners, the people on the ground, know the problem the best, but often if you say “what feature do you want? Or how would you like this feature to be better?” they might discuss it just in terms of their own understanding. We’ve taken a different approach, instead of asking that, I often say “if we were to send somebody out in a Phorest T-shirt and they were an expert in everything (finance, marketing, everything) and I sent them to work for you for a week, what would you have them do, what problems would you have to solve?” It’s the magic question, it answers so much about the problems we have to solve.
‘Our goal is to help salons to grow.’
‘I didn’t come from the industry. But I know it now because I’ve gone and taken the hard steps of just standing in front of the house.’
‘When the company’s goals are completely aligned with the salon’s goals, you build the right products, and you serve in the right way. As soon as they grow, we grow as well.’
‘We’re motivated by the impact it has on salon owners.’
ABOUT THE GUESTS
ABOUT THE HOST
Welcome and thank you for reading this, I’m Nathan Plumridge salon owner and Hair Stylist. I’ve been in the industry for nearly 30 years and have been a salon owner for 23 of them. I have been fortunate enough to work and learn with some of the biggest names in the industry and this has given me the experience and drive to now be here with you sharing my experiences.
Instagram is @nathan.hairlife
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org