The LA-based startup Boulevard recently raised $11m in Series A funding, which will help it continue developing its management software for spas and salons. Boulevard’s payday proves the value in identifying niches with unmet needs.
Technology gets a maaaaaaaaakeover
In the US, spas and salons are a $315B industry.
These are surprisingly complex businesses to run. There’s scheduling — for both employees and clients — and payroll. There’s a product inventory to manage and sales commissions to track. Add in the fact that many stylists and aestheticians are independent contractors. And then, of course, there’s the nurturing of stylist/client relationships.
Yet tech has been slow to introduce software that supports the unique needs of personal care providers. Until recently, most toolkits marketed to salon owners were originally developed for yoga and Pilates studios. Close, but no dermaplaning facial.
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Is there really a difference between selling highlights and selling hatha sessions?
Apparently. Salons that have implemented Boulevard’s back-office software and CRM have seen decent gains within the first six months — think a 16% increase in booked services, an 18% increase in sales of shampoo, mousse, and other product-related revenue, a 24% increase in tips, and a whopping 81% decrease in late cancellations and no-shows.