Partner profile: Rory, Sharps Barber and Shop
Rory runs Sharps Barber and Shop, a unique barber shop in the heart of busy London that specialises in hospitality and innovating.
Tell us a little about Sharps
I got my start actually because I was writing a book about shaving. I told someone about it over dinner and they put me in touch with one of their associates in the mens’ grooming business – and then they hired me to be managing director for Sharps.
I wanted a barber shop that I would want to go to. I wanted appointments instead of just walk-ins. I wanted barbers who were individuals – no uniforms, not all-men or all-tattoos or anything like that. And also, I wanted there to be hospitality – coffee, tea, water, coke, whatever – on the house. If you were visiting my house, I’d offer you a drink.
Essentially, I brought a lot of hairdresser principles into a barber environment.
Now, after a number of successful shops in London and beyond, we’re located back here – just around the corner from where we started, actually.
Why did you decide to partner with Treatwell?
We decided that we had to have an online booking system, and I evaluated all the options.
Lots of systems kind of tick some of the boxes, but they didn’t have any additional value – and the added value for Treatwell was the marketing aspect – new customers.
Treatwell does a lot of reaching out to new customers, and that means we have access to them too. Other barber shops, working with other systems, don’t have that reach. So, Treatwell gives us the reach to new customers that our competitors just don’t have.
We also use Treatwell for appointments, which is great – we’ve got the app, and the outreach we can do on SMS and email saves us loads of time. It’s a more complete platform.
How did you find new clients before Treatwell?
We invested a lot in marketing when we launched – PR agencies, marketing, SMS marketing, and word of mouth.
Being a good shop, providing a place to work for people exudes a positive magnetism and works – but customer behaviour is changing too and people are looking for new barber shops online.
Treatwell was a good business decision for us – ultimately, people have to know where you are.
How else has Treatwell changed your business?
It’s made our job easier – it does what we need it to do. It’s available online, it’s available 24/7, it takes appointments, answers the questions. And as our partnership grows, I think there’ll be even more improvements.
It was the right choice for us. As I said, we’ve found our customer behaviour has changed, too, with more and more online booking. Our phone calls have dropped by 75% since we’ve been on Treatwell.
It’s also been about helping my team, too. We were one of the first barber shops to actually use appointments, and it makes a big difference for the guys on the floor – they know what times their customers are coming, what time they’re leaving, how much money they can make in a day. It’s a really good, reliable way to run a business.
I’ve had over 140 barbers through the doors of the various shops I’ve owned – I’ve got huge respect for what they do, so things that can help them do that is really important.
What’s next for Sharps?
Sharps is genuine, we’re sincere. I think we’re always going to be here.
When we first opened in 2007, at the time, there were no ‘cool’ barber shops around – or very few – and they definitely weren’t taking appointments. We opened the first, cool, modern barber shop.
We were the pioneer of the new school of barbers. Everyone’s following us, and we mean to keep it going. We’re innovators – and being a Treatwell Partner’s a part of that.
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