Hair and beauty businesses are being urged to use their enforced lockdown closures to sign up for a unique online platform that will help them fill empty booking slots and late cancellations when they reopen.
As well as helping businesses and professionals fill empty slots, Teesside-based Eleventh Hour Beauty is designed to help customers find last-minute appointments.
Over £1.2million is lost in the hair industry alone in missed appointments each year, and Eleventh Hour Beauty seeks to address this by pairing customers wanting last-minute appointments with salons offering them.
Understanding that many of us juggle life and work, Eleventh Hour owner Abigail Fletcher wants to make life easier for customers to find an appointment quickly at a time that suits them when government guidelines are relaxed – but also give power to the salon to choose whether to accept the client and to be paid directly.
Hundreds of salons and solo professionals across the UK have already signed up for Eleventh Hour’s state-of-the-art website, but Norton-based Abigail is keen to see more Tees hair and beauty businesses sign up while they’ve got time on their hands during lockdown.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of people who’ve signed up to Eleventh Hour Beauty,” she said. “We know there is huge demand for this service, but we’re keen to encourage more salons and professionals to sign up – especially on Teesside – so we can match them with potential clients once we are safely back at work.
“We know there’s going to be a big rush for hair and beauty treatments but there’s also sure to be lots of frustrating late cancellations. Salons that have signed up for the Eleventh Hour Beauty app will be in the perfect position to quickly fill those last-minute slots.”
“But the time to sign up is now, while they’ve got some time on their hands, rather than waiting until their already run off their feet when salons reopen to a sudden rush.
“While we’re building a national brand, as an ambitious Teesside start-up I’m keen to work with and support other local businesses – especially in these incredibly challenging times.”
And, in these difficult times, there is no initial financial commitment required from salons – in fact, they will have a FREE eleven-week subscription from when they reopen.
Salons who sign up now can ensure they keep in contact with clients, promote their services and begin taking the real bookings that will revive their businesses.
For every salon, freelancer or customer that signs up to the platform, Eleventh Hour Beauty will donate £1 to the Hair & Beauty Charity Covid-19 Relief Fund.
Investing in the latest technology thanks to support from the Prince’s Trust, Eleventh Hour Beauty’s online app has been designed so businesses can list as many appointments as they like.
They can also arrange them to run alongside each other as they would in the salon so they can make more money for their time. For example, if someone is booked in for highlights then someone else could be booked in for a cut and blow dry in the time the other client’s colour is developing.
Not only do businesses have the ability to list any appointments they like, but they can also confirm or reject any request for those appointments, so the system is fully flexible.
Eleventh Hour Beauty is significantly different to other platforms in that it is based on a fixed monthly subscription fee with no hidden costs or commission.
There is no limit on the amount or type of treatments offered and salons determine the price of these and take payment directly from the customer. They can even decide whether or not to accept the potential client, as salons give clients a rating just as the client gives a rating to the salon or service.
Prices for Eleventh Hour Beauty start at £9.99 per month for a student with one diary/column up to £49.99 per month for 6-10 diaries/columns. No fee is required until after 11 weeks from the date they restart trading.
Potential clients join Eleventh Hour Beauty for free.
During the pandemic, the platform has been adapted to allow salons and freelancers to list ‘catch-up’ appointments to keep in touch with loyal customers and pre-book slots for after the lockdown.
Catch-ups can be used for virtual consultations, advice on DIY treatments or even just a friendly conversation.
Former Men’s Hairdresser of the Year Marcus King, owner of King & I salon in Norton and industry ambassador for Eleventh Hour Beauty, said: “Most of us already know how keen our clients are to visit as soon as we can open again but this may lead to over-bookings and then missed appointments.
“Plus people will sensibly have to cancel, often last minute, if they develop coronavirus symptoms. In turn there will be demand from people seeking appointments they can’t get elsewhere and those who need help with a home disaster!
“I’m urging fellow hair and beauty professionals to take advantage of the 11-week free introduction to Eleventh Hour Beauty to ensure bookings are filled and new clients secured for the future once the initial rush is over.”
Hair and beauty businesses and professionals can get further details or sign up via eleventhhourbeauty.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07517 358761.