Jason Gourd is owner of Sorek, an upscale barbershop in Austin, TX. that has a unique twist….it also sells high end men’s suits and clothing.
Watch the full Jason Gourd interview:
Listen to the full interview here:
Generally the only way a barbershop can make more money is by adding more location or raising prices, but Jason has been building a fashion brand around the barbershop that has far higher potential than the barbershop itself.
“The Barbershop World” with Sorek Barbershop Owner
- In general I’ve noticed the barber world is often pretty low tech.
- Subscription haircuts. Has this been done? I’ve always thought this would be a good idea for people who want frequent appointments?
- You’ve gone the more high tech route, how much effort does that save in administration?
- Do people still call up the store often? Do they text?
- What is appealing about starting a barbershop?
- What is the downside?
- How long does it take from conception to cutting your first clients hair?
- When looking for a store location, what are you looking for nearby?
Selling clothing….out of a barbershop
- How did you get into that…and why did you think that would be a match for a barbershop?
- What’s the split in revenue between clothing and barber services?
- How do you also sell clothes. Is it like you’re cutting a dudes hair and mentioning about jackets? What upsell process goes on? Is it a natural conversation?
- From my estimation you have to cut 18 heads of hair to make the same revenue as a $700. Is this roughly true?
Getting Local Business Reviews and Marketing a local business:
- You have something like 88 5 star Google Reviews. That’s really amazing for a relatively new local business.
- How important are reviews to business?
- How do you get reviews?
- How do you get the word out?
- How much of it is word of mouth vs online vs advertising?
- Does advertising in local newspapers or magazines work?
- There’s a thing called the 80/20 Rule. It means 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients. Is this true? Do a small number of people make up most of your revenue?
- How important is social media like Instagram?
- The technical details, how often are you posting on social media?
Lightning Round (1 min timed questions):
We ask Jason a couple of Lightning Round questions and get some great rapid fire answers!
- How would you get 50 reviews for a new local store or barbershop?
- Would you rather start only a barbershop, or only a clothing brand?
- How long does it take to get a barbershop launched and a full schedule booked?
Neville Medhora 0:00
All right, cool. So today we have Jason gore over here have a barber and barber shop owner and clothing brand owner. So Jason gore’s the owner of saurik, an upscale barber shop in Austin, Texas that has a unique twist, it also sends, sells high end men’s suits. So generally, the only way a barber shop can make money is by cutting hair, right for the most part. But you have built a fashion brand around a barber shop that has far higher potential than the barber shop itself. So that’s what we wanted to talk to you today about. So thanks for being here. Jason. Yeah, man.
Jason Gourd 0:31
Yeah, just, you know, for us, it’s it’s really fun being a part of the Austin Community. It’s fun having people like you pulling together these sort of podcasts. And so I’m really excited to be here. Nice.
Neville Medhora 0:42
So I basically want to pick your brain about the barbershop world because I find it fascinating, kind of, like the hip hop world a little bit. Yeah, I feel like barbers like braggadocious, very much. So I follow these like Twitter barber accounts. Yeah. And there’s, like, there’s like this, like, hip hop rap element to it, which is kind of funny. And in general, I’ve also noticed the barber world is often really low tech. It’s it’s like dudes are like texting each other like, hey, what time do you want to come back? It’s like, I got 9am. Open. You’ve gone the high tech route all the way. Yeah. How much effort does that save in administration in the first place.
Jason Gourd 1:17
So it saves a lot of effort. But in a funny way, there’s a little bit of a learning curve and an uphill battle on the front end, because as you were mentioning with barbers, they get very used to allowing their customers to text them allowing their customers to they’re very accessible in that regard. So you as your staffing, and as you have this great team of barbers, you have to get them comfortable with the idea that okay, everything’s taken care of. Because with our, with our systems, it’s hugely, hugely beneficial to the barbers because everything’s taken care of text message, you know, reminders, email reminders, even the booking online itself, the customers can do it all themselves, but the the barbers have to change their way of working their mindset to allow us to utilize those that technology at the full capacity, right, so I have to show the barbers like, hey, if somebody is trying to text you send them the link, don’t say, Oh, I got you, and then put in that work, because you’re teaching them bad habits, right. So for us, it’s a little bit of a learning curve, because it’s new. That being said, once they do get the hang of it, it’s an amazing workflow. Because now my barbers are able to come into work, and cut hair, at the best of their ability, give the customers a great experience, and go home. There’s no more of the text at midnight or you know, 11pm while they’re at the bar is God Hey, you give me a tomorrow morning, you
Neville Medhora 2:54
know what it is, like, set up the link will they’ll use it. I said, like in the digital rights, it is like consulting. Yeah. Where people are like, hey, are these four times good? I’m like, No, how about these four times? I was like, I spent more time just scheduling the damn thing. Exactly.
Jason Gourd 3:08
Yeah, exactly. Man, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s very much a funny, a funny thing to navigate. Because a lot of people get so worried about, you know, not pandering to their clients, on ever, you know, waiting on them hand and foot, right. So it’s like, getting them comfortable with the idea that everything’s taken care of your customers will be happy to use the online booking tool, those sort of things are very important, very important.
Neville Medhora 3:33
So is it like, sorry, is it like, Is it the customers that always want
Jason Gourd 3:38
to text? Or is it the barbers or I think that it’s the customers that initiate a lot of that relationship for after the barber has created that. That opening, right so if you get my number, you follow me on Instagram, which is a huge part of our business Instagrams massive. Once you have that accessibility to a barber. Now you think, Oh, well, he’ll just book it for me. Whereas the reality is, no, that’s my favorite is if I’m, if I’m, you know, in the shop. I’m booked, and I’m literally cutting hair. There’s no opening for me to say, Oh, one second, let me check my phone. So I can book these appointments. Like that’s not not a possibility. So, you know, a lot of it’s the customer’s accessibility to barbers and getting my barbers comfortable with, send them the link, say, hey, you can book it right here as opposed to Oh, let me check on that for you. You know, that’s that’s not necessarily related.
Neville Medhora 4:41
How many people like call the store on a daily basis? You
Jason Gourd 4:44
know, it’s it’s really funny you asked that because that was one of my big assumptions coming into this industry is or coming into opening sorek was okay, maybe we don’t even have a phone. I thought what what a world Right, where you could just not even have a phone? Definitely Can you need a phone? For some reason? I think it’s the going on Google, you search a barber shop or a clothing store, you click either their website, which takes you to the homepage, or you click their phone number which calls it immediately. That’s the differentiator that causes people to call way more than you’d expect. It’s because as they’re googling, they go, Oh, perfect. sorek This looks really cool. Call. Whereas the booking tool is on the website, click book now. So it’s that it’s the the degrees of separation. You know, in terms of is it mainly like first time people calling very up? I wish
Neville Medhora 5:54
people call like, constantly to book their point.
Jason Gourd 5:56
Lot of people call a man and website of the web tool. Interesting. Once you’ve used it, it’s super easy. I would prefer to use Yeah, yeah. And and you choose the time, there’s no Oh, let me look at that, you know, what day are you thinking you make all those decisions? Like,
Neville Medhora 6:10
which guy do you want, and like, if you’re talking to a person, it’s like, I don’t want this guy with that guy. Like,
Jason Gourd 6:14
it’s, it’s the whole, the whole thing is the whole thing is very funny in that regard. You know, it’s, you’d expect people to be very inclined to use the online booking tool. And they do. And it is something where once my customers have used it, they love it. But I think another thing is, by calling I think some customers feel like they can get a little bit of, you know, maybe maybe flexibility, like, Oh, I didn’t see the times that I wanted, let me call them. And you know, it’s it’s a weird, it’s a weird relationship.
Neville Medhora 6:48
But you know, where I’ve noticed this. So we do a lot of consulting with companies in the medical field. Good. Calling is the biggest in the medical field. There’s something about like having a doctor medical procedure, you want to know, like, there’s someone there?
Jason Gourd 7:01
You know, I think that’s part of it. But I’m surprised how many doctors don’t have online booking available. Well, I’ve worked these
Neville Medhora 7:10
clients, they have the same thing as you more people will rather call
Jason Gourd 7:13
Really? I don’t know. That’s so weird. Because for me, it is. I mean, I was just trying to book a doctor’s appointment the other day, I go online, I’m thinking perfect. I’ll just because another thing is if it’s a Saturday, I can’t call the office. They’re not there. So having an online booking tool is great, because boom, done. not available. So I guess, I guess maybe, I think there’s also a little bit of an old school mentality because they still have, you know, the full on receptionists and all that stuff. Dude, juggling legacy stuff is so powerful, like, like, why
Neville Medhora 7:46
are you doing this? It’s like, because we did it last year.
Jason Gourd 7:49
Yeah, it’s just that exactly. I think that is I would have to change everything. Yeah, you know, it’s it’s that they have in their mind that is such a hurdle to get over that, oh, why even bother with that? We’re booked, we’re busy. We’re done. But I’ve
Neville Medhora 8:03
seen newer specialty things kind of like gyms and stuff like that. Most of those will go full gestel only like, don’t call us Don’t talk back. Sorry. Like, I want
Jason Gourd 8:12
that you just one of my friends gyms in town. They had no reception, like, the trainers will be running the classes. And they had an online phone, but it wasn’t like they like a Google Voice number or something like that. But everything was was all handled online. That’s Yeah.
Neville Medhora 8:30
Okay. So I’ve talked to so many barbers about this. And the low tech factor of most barber shops probably contributes to this, but because they had no idea was talking about subscription haircuts. Yeah, why can’t you put someone on a subscription for a haircut? Like, let’s say, so when I was doing like a tight face? Yeah, I liked it. But I gotta go in like, every week, keep that thing tight. Yeah. And I was like, that’s a lot of schedule, even through the web tool. I gotta like come all the time. I just rather have like a thing that automatically sets it and like, yeah, on account. Yeah. Is that not a thing? So
Jason Gourd 9:00
I so what what I can what I do with sorek is we’ll set you know a reoccurring appointment easily. The problem is subscriptions. In our space, specifically, because I consider we’re in the luxury men’s grooming space, a little bit more elevated than what you’d find in a neighborhood barber shop. From an experience and a skill level. That’s a very, you know, there’s a differentiator there, you’ve got your sports clips, you’ve got your smaller neighborhood barber shops, then you have sorek my friends shop shed in town is another great example. All of these were were very much craft, you know, similar with a coffee shop, you can go to Starbucks, or you can go to, you know, cafe, that sort of thing. So I find that the difference there is our our focus on craft means we also have to hire people that want careers, not gig work. And what that means is our pay structure As opposed to just doing an hourly pay structure, or commission pay structure, and we’re paying those barbers out for every haircut. The problem with the subscription is if I, let’s say, you come in and you’re like, man, I loved seeing D, he did a great job. That’s my guy. And you buy into a subscription. In your, you’re expecting to come in as much as you want to get a haircut. And you go to book on a Thursday, and Dean’s booked up. But you’ve already paid for your haircuts. It causes this friction where the customers are going, I paid for it. I need it today. Where’s my haircut? The problem is, okay, we can say, well, Jason’s available. Okay, but that that’s not my guy. And also we’ve already paid out, you know, commission, right. So if you pay it up front, then we’re paying Commission on that sale. Where does the commission go? To which barber to who and what where, you know what I mean, so interesting. It’s it’s the pay structure that cuz I wanted to pay for Dean, but I got you. And I’m like, Well, yeah,
Neville Medhora 11:05
I didn’t get what I want that you’re getting money that he’s
Jason Gourd 11:08
okay. Got it affects it affects the the customer experience. And the the internal logistics with the business. You know, it’s it’s a funny little thing to solve. Yeah,
Neville Medhora 11:20
yeah. I’ve always thought because like, in the software world, you have like subscriptions like, yeah, I mean, you know, Netflix or anything like that, where it’s just like, it just dings you that money. And you’re like, Okay, I took it, I got my service.
Jason Gourd 11:30
And that is it is something I’m working on figuring out with our software company. The problem is, you know, just the dollars and cents and where they go, right. So that that’s really the only issue. I think that subscriptions are great from a revenue standpoint that the liquidity is the most important thing, right? So if I can get all of your business up front, even at a discount, I know I’ve got your business, right. It’s it’s in the bank. So there’s a huge value there that we’re trying to navigate value to the customer and value for for our business. But it’s it’s on its way, I think, I think subscriptions for the luxury space are coming sooner than later.
Neville Medhora 12:11
Also, if it’s self managed to the web portal. That’s great. Like, I want to come to you every week and I book a time schedule. Yeah. And then like I could say, like in the 24 hours advance like I gotta be here. What exactly, and then they don’t you don’t get dinged I don’t get Dang, yeah,
Jason Gourd 12:23
yeah, that’s 100% and I think that it’s on its way for sure. For sure. Yeah.
Neville Medhora 12:30
So let’s talk about like just like starting a barber shop. pros and cons. My world is like all the online stuff. Yeah. All us losers have like no storefronts, unless it’s an office, you’ve got like a storefront and everything what what’s appealing about starting a barber shop?
Jason Gourd 12:44
So, uh, you know, it’s funny because the grass is always greener, right? There’s so much interest I have in your space and vice versa. I can tell but with with sorek. Specifically, it’s, there’s what I love about barbering is obviously the community you build the relationships you have with customers, it’s a very intimate experience, where you’re not just getting to learn about, you know, you think about our clothing brand, for our clothing. When I when I was if I was just a clothing store, you come in Yeah, I get to provide some cool clothes and I get to dress you up. But that experience is very limited with barbering, it’s intimate. And we actually are with our clients for 45 minutes to an hour, some clients, maybe even more if they’re getting more services, having conversations more than just once a month, but twice a month. Those relationships are really, really important to me. And that I think is what made me fall in love with barbering. When it comes to the appeal of a barber shop. I think the real, the real, I guess appeal would be that you’ve got so much foot traffic from a business model perspective. It’s guaranteed business for a peripheral retail concept, right? Because barbering as it is if you’re paying Great Commission, it’s very low margin. You know, the the business is a great experience, you can make amazing money as a barber but as a barber shop only, you’re missing a lot of margin because the haircuts themselves, you’re paying out of commission, hair product, as it exists today costs very little and lasts six months for guys. So there’s not a huge opportunity for margin. You know you there’s not a lot of stuff in there that you can sell and make a great buck. But that’s where this evolution and you’ll see it a lot more now of barber shops paired with retail concepts came about because now you’ve got a constant flow of traffic. You have an intimate relationship with those customers to understand what they need, and you can provide awesome retail experience. For me that’s having sorek menswear having anything from casual wear. All the way that as you mentioned some tailored clothing as well. It’s it’s fun being able to create that holistic experience.
Neville Medhora 15:08
Well, well, let’s jump straight to that. That was one of the main things that attracted Yeah, like your style. I was just like, because I went in for a haircut. Yeah, cuz it’s just it’s like three or four blocks away from here. And it was just like his I thought it was like maybe a suit store because it’s his barbershop plus clothing. Yeah. And the first time I got a haircut by you, actually, yeah. Don’t judge this decide. Yeah. But um, I got a haircut. And I was just, I was just curious, I was talking to you about it. And I was like, Well, I’m assuming you make a lot more money with the barber shop and the clothing brand. And you’re like, Yeah, but we sell $700 jackets, like how many heads of hair you have to cut? So by my estimation, it’s something like you have to cut like, 1820 heads of hair. Yeah, make that much revenue and profit. I’m sure the jackets probably
Jason Gourd 15:53
well, that well, the difference is you’ve got one person handling a retail experience, right. So with our menswear brand, you know, sorek, we have ready to wear collections that we do throughout the year. And that’s everything from casual wear, like when I’m wearing all the way to some tailored pieces. And those those expressions, create a great, you know, right now shopping experience, but we also have Sora custom. And that’s where we are able to do made the measure styles for the customer. So if you’re a shoe medium or a kind of large or, you know, we should actually get it for you, right. So the difference is that whole experience is handled by one person that could sell a whole closet, we have a lot of customers that come in especially because of our made to measure experience that want to just refresh for their whole wardrobe. Especially after the pandemic. What
Neville Medhora 16:44
are they? What’s the high end they’re dropping on that?
Jason Gourd 16:47
You’re you’re dealing with? Probably $5,000
Neville Medhora 16:51
some more than a haircut.
Jason Gourd 16:52
Yeah, yeah. But and that’s one person. You know, it’s not like it’s for people throughout the day. And that one person gets paid out of commission off of that, but it’s it’s it’s totally different. You know, it’s totally different. So, yeah, it’s it’s the the conversion is really, really fun and really unique in terms of the brick and mortar experience.
Neville Medhora 17:16
What what why did you think like, the clothing thing would be a good match for Barber, like what was going on your head? were like, I knew a barber and suits like, yeah,
Jason Gourd 17:24
yeah, yeah. So you know, from, for us, it was about finding an experience or creating an experience that that’s the bottom line, right. So it was, yeah, there’s, there’s this idea that I want to open a barber shop, I really love this industry. But if I add anything to it, I don’t want it to feel like we’re just peddling product. Right? So how do I create an experience that really parallels the barber experience from a retail standpoint, and I thought, what better way than to create a tailored experience from clothing to men’s grooming. So having the utility of being able to do made the measure means that I can make sure our clothing fits you specifically the way it needs to? Just like I would tailor a haircut to your head shape and all of that. So it was, it was really about finding a way to add to the experience and not just have a bunch of stuff, you know, then you’ll find a lot of barber shops will try and increase their retail revenue by just having almost like a merge store in the front. Yeah, you know, it’s
Neville Medhora 18:37
like, it’s like they’re a band. I’ve definitely seen that. Yeah,
Jason Gourd 18:42
so and that’s fun. It’s, it’s great. The community can support it. And it’s a huge marketing tool. I mean, you’re going to the gym, and you see a bunch of guys wearing shirts from all sorts of different stores and brands and whatever. But for us, I wanted it to really be a tailored experience. And yeah, you mentioned suits. It’s funny because the suits was a selling jackets to trousers was a big foundation of what we did because in the made to measure space, that’s all of our manufacturers. That was what their bread and butter was. But what we’ve done is we’ve actually done a bunch of r&d to be able to not just provide suits but we provide everything from you know casual wear some more kind of fun bohemian styles Americana styles all the way to you know your your Napoli inspire jacketing so it’s fun being able to be a full well rounded clothing brand, and still be able to provide it made the measure.
Neville Medhora 19:39
That’s awesome. So how do you also like, I’m trying to think like, how do you also sell clothes like I remember thinking like we were talking about this the first haircut? I was like, is he going to try to sell me a jacket? Is it gonna be like having a razor to my neck and be like, dude, you should buy a jacket like what’s, what’s the process like? Are you are you gonna be like trying to sell a good salesman, like you never know that it’s happening. Yeah, yeah, no. What’s that process like?
Jason Gourd 20:05
So I think the best way to describe that would be how I how I onboard barbers and how I represent that experience to the barbers because it’s as you can imagine, the barbers are having a similar conversation with me where they’re going. So do you want me to sell clothes? So, so because of that, let me let me kind of explain that what I tell them is, is I want everyone to understand what sorek is, right? I want everyone to know what we do. But that doesn’t mean saying, oh, man, you should really try on this shirt. Or Oh, you would look great in that you can. That’s a part of it. But it’s really being able to describe who we are. And what that is, is, you know, somebody’s like, Wow, so you guys sell clothes? Well, what we explain to them is, yeah, so we’re obviously a barber shop. But we’re also a menswear brand. And we provide ready to wear collections throughout the year, along with Sora custom where you can get select styles made to measure. That’s what we do. So that opens the door for the customer to understand who we are, what we do what sorek is about. And as they’re checking out, there’s a whole store for them to look through. You know, for us. I another focus was making sure the experience is holistic from a physical standpoint. So when you’re in the store, you can tell it’s all encompassing, right? It’s not a barber shop. And then you walk over here, and there’s a clothing store. It’s very much
Neville Medhora 21:30
Yeah. So like, Okay, so let’s, let’s do a little roleplay here. So yeah, you’re cutting my hair. And I’m like, you explain the whole story? Yeah, I’m just like, Oh, it’s close. You’re talking about that? Yeah. And then what happens? Is the customer usually like, Well, what do you think about this, like,
Jason Gourd 21:46
well, the customer is gonna keep on them. So yeah, there’s not a lot of there’s not a lot of clothing conversations that point from there. You know, my brother owns the business with me, Jared. He handles the majority of our clothing. So for me, it’s Oh, yeah, you know, whenever we’re done, you’ll have to, I’ll have Jared show you around. There’s a lot of really sick products, I think you’ll love them. It’s really that the to the turnover is crucial, is the most crucial part of that conversion. It’s making sure that that handover is smooth, you get the customer excited, but it’s for a conversation for a later time. You know what I mean? It’s not, we’re not going to be talking about your size. But you know, I’ve had that happen, where I’m like, oh, they’re like, I love that shirt. Oh, what size? Are you? A medium? Hey, Jared, can you grab a couple mediums, you know, in the different colors, like made hair cut? And they’re like, Yeah, and that’s also because I’ve been owning the business and operating right now. It’s, it’s a blast. But it also makes me so much more comfortable to have those conversations, because I understand all of it really well. But I don’t expect you know, any of our barbers to have that conference I’ve
Neville Medhora 22:55
never over because I overhear the other barbers. I don’t think I’ve ever heard once then talk about like clothing. I’ve seen a lot of haircuts that don’t even broach the subject whatsoever. Yeah, yeah, I guess you get someone back, like 10 times or more.
Jason Gourd 23:06
Yeah. And that’s where that intimate relationship that that community build is so fun for the retail experience, because we’re able to, to, you know, slowly tailor it. You talking about wanting a case study with a business, we’ve got the best case study in the world for men. Yeah, I’m coming in all day long. Looking at clothing. I love that. I don’t like that. I kind of like that all day long. So for me, it goes it as a retail brand. You’re thinking, well, they’re answering all of my questions for me. Whereas with e commerce, it’s a lot of what are my returns? What am I getting here? What am I getting there? You know, what’s
Neville Medhora 23:44
really interesting about this in my world, we generally don’t know who the customer is because we have no they don’t live in the same country. I see their face, we don’t see anything, right? We just get their money and maybe a name or seven. And the funny thing is you intimately know your target customer very much. So yeah, cuz you talk to them for 30 minutes, you know, every two weeks or something like that. I know, their wives their girlfriends? Yeah, that’s amazing. That’s really this is the total opposite. Yeah, well, we have to like, go out and figure out like, who is buying?
Jason Gourd 24:12
Yeah, so like, you guys, it’s very much the it’s the we’re dealing with the chicken before the egg conversation, right. And I think there’s value in both. For you guys, you understand, you know, a distribution model, all these different things that for me, are kind of next steps. Were getting the retail, the retail brand available in every state getting it all this sort of stuff. Whereas from an e commerce standpoint, that’s first it’s like, how do I get this to people? You know, how do I get it to the customer? Whereas for us, it’s one store in one city? How do we take care of these people better than anyone else? And you know who those people are, you know, you start
Neville Medhora 24:52
cutting my customers hair, something like that. It’s good to get to get to know them. Yeah. So what’s like rough revenue split between Like clothing and barber services like I, so I was sitting in your chair one day and I was like, I bet you make way more money on barbering, and you’re like, Yeah, no, it’s like the other way around. Yeah.
Jason Gourd 25:10
Yeah, very much. So I’d say, I’d say right now and bearing in mind, you know, August 4, today’s what the seventh. So three days ago was our one year
Neville Medhora 25:20
and kind of the pandemic, all that.
Jason Gourd 25:24
So, one year in business, it’s, it’s hard to explain. I’d say we’ve got a pretty close to 5050 split. But that’s one year in business with the pandemic. And now the city is finally opening up the retail we’re seeing a very strong upward trend, just as with barbering, but it’s very easy for the retail side of our business to just start skyrocketing because it’s so much more revenue per customer.
Neville Medhora 26:00
Well, I mean, that wasn’t one of the things I thought I was just like your brand. could scale. Yeah, your barber shop can scale to a certain degree. Yeah. But there are definite limits to the sky bigger. And that
Jason Gourd 26:10
that’s another really important differentiator to what I see. The barber, I’ll call it the barber experience. I think the barber experience is a part of our brand, not what we do, if that makes sense. Yeah. So I don’t see barbering in, you know, 10 years from now. I think it’s going to be a part of it experience for brands. It’s a great, it’s a great career, you can make amazing money as a barber. But in terms of just a barber shop, it’s so low margin. And you know, your your real estate in this town gets so much more expensive, expensive, that it just makes sense, making it a part of something that for us, barbering is a way for us to further service our customers. That’s awesome.
Neville Medhora 27:02
One of our other buddies, uh, Eric Bandholz, who runs a beer brand, yeah, Boston, yeah, great. They made a Bart barbershop to which like, he was just like, he was talking about it years ago, because they wanted to record videos of haircut. Yeah. And he was just like, I don’t know if we’ll make money with this barbershop, but we’ll use it as a studio. Exactly. So it’s kind of funny. So the barbers make money, of course, yeah. But I don’t know if they actually even turn a profit on that they might turn some profit. But then compared to what they do with the business bring up in sales.
Jason Gourd 27:28
In comparison, I’m speaking a lot of this from the perspective of Texas as well, which is our market and in terms of Barbering is, I’d say, middle price point, you go to LA, you go to New York, that’s where you’re dealing with, you know, here, I’d say 40 to $50 is premium. In LA, it’s like 90, so there’s growth here, that could change a lot of our conversation, right? There’s a lot of space with demographics, changing the city becoming more affluent, all those things. I think as the city grows, we could be having a very different conversation. I could be telling you well, wow, shit, this is well, right.
Neville Medhora 28:12
Well, that’s a stretch of e6 that you’re on. Yeah. I mean, like, I live in Austin for 20 years. And like, you didn’t step foot in this part of town? No, like, I’ll just oh, no, no, it was bad. Exactly. And now like buying a house here walking around. Yeah, I’m just like, Wow, what an hour doing a podcast. Yeah. Yeah. Alright, so let’s talk about local business reviews. I mean, whenever we’re talking to local businesses, whenever you consult for them stuff, the thing I always recommend, I’m just like, just get a bunch of reviews. Yeah. I mean, like, Don’t even focus on anything else right now. Of course, do your business. Good. So getting local business review to talk about that. So you have something like 88, five star Google reviews. That’s just Google. Yeah. That’s a lot for like a pretty new barber shop. Yeah.
Jason Gourd 28:57
Like how important are reviews to your business? It’s been really fun seeing and learning how important they really are. Because as you know, we’ve had our conversations. I’ve had a couple other friends reinforce the importance of reviews. We don’t spend a dime on ads right now. No, no marketing, spend nothing. But just focusing on reviews. Thankfully, we have a lot of a huge amount of unprompted reviews that are like essays. The more we’ve grown our reviews on Google, it’s been amazing how many more people come in, as opposed to just say, Oh, I walked by yesterday, I saw it. I wanted to come check it out, which is great. Now, it’s way more people saying, Oh, I looked at barber shop on Google and I found you guys, which is wonderful. And the reviews have definitely positioned us in a much better way. So
Neville Medhora 29:56
from an SEO stamp. The reason I like asking someone like you is because like it’s difficult to Track. Yeah. So people are like, Well, is there like evidence that it brings in more people? It’s just like, I think this is how people search businesses. It’s like they search on their phone. Google is smart enough to know where you are, and
Jason Gourd 30:10
shows you a Google, I think, from an SEO standpoint to what you’re saying positions you hire to. Yeah,
Neville Medhora 30:15
yeah. Now do I mean, I’m assuming you do the whole thing that did you know about local reviews before? Do you have to learn it? Like, where did that come from? As you’ve done a good job.
Jason Gourd 30:24
I, you know, I used to manage salons as well. I’ve been in the brick and mortar space for a long time. So you get comfortable asking, right, which is a funny proposition. But But if you’re if if you’re able to create some level of empathy, and the sense of, you know, if I have a customer that’s having a wonderful experience, I’ll ask somebody the extent of Oh, you know, thank you so much for coming in. If you wouldn’t mind leaving us a Google review. It’s it’s like gold for us right now. Being a new business helps out with that immensely. So. So I’d say that it’s it’s a little bit of having a lot of experience being in brick and mortars, but also patronizing a lot of businesses, if you’ve been to a lot of businesses, you start learning the flow of how to ask for review how to, you know, how important are reviews? I think you’ve learned that with how people complain about bad reviews. You know,
Neville Medhora 31:20
well, I’ve talked to restaurant owners, and especially old school ones. I’ve been you doing restaurants for the past 20 plus years, when Yelp and stuff wasn’t a thing. And man, it is such an adversarial relationship. Hey, Yelp. Yeah. And I help is try to reframe their mind a little bit by like, I know, it’s it’s sort of extortion. Maybe it is extortion, it’s extortion completely. It is. It is completely extortion. It is extortion. They make you pay to remove bad reviews. And someone’s just like, oh, they didn’t have a high chair. You’re like, okay, I mean, that’s not like a one star reason or they’re just like, there was a lot of traffic. You’re like I was on my phone. And that shows up in the dings you write if reviews are that important. You got a three and a half versus a five now because there’s one asshole that sucks completely. So how do you? How do you navigate that? Like, do you Were you always warm to reviews? Or do you have like a like a kind of love hate with them? Or
Jason Gourd 32:15
I definitely have a love hate. Yelp, as you’re saying that whole, there’s a reason we have 88 Google reviews and maybe three Yelp reviews.
Neville Medhora 32:25
Or Yelp people meaner?
Jason Gourd 32:26
No, it’s because I don’t tell people to go on. Through I mean, the number of calls I get, it costs $1 a day to have your logo on Yelp,
Neville Medhora 32:39
just to have your logo. But does it bring in more than $1 a day in business?
Jason Gourd 32:43
I wouldn’t know I’m not good. I think there’s value obviously in their platform. But Google, we’re getting results, right? I think that with Yelp, I might be biting the bullet soon. I’m not certain, but I it’s not a different customer. It’s just for us as a business. It’s a very uncomfortable relationship to have with, you know, a service that I’m paying for but also could be hugely beneficial or hugely detrimental to my business, you know, that that exposure? And that? How do I explain that, that, that exposure to the customer, but that vulnerability is a very precarious thing. It’s very, it’s very weird to navigate, because you’re kind of on edge. You know, let’s say a customer comes in, and they’re not very decisive, or they’re not certain of what they want. Now, as a business with reviews being a thing, the way that at the level that they are, you’re in a weird position where it’s like, This guy has no idea what he wants. Hopefully, we’re giving him you know, like you, you navigate it through the consultation, but some guys, they’re just like, Yeah, let’s go. Let’s do it. And you’re like, Alright, you know, this, this should be great. I think you’re gonna love it, like maybe
Brad Pitt. And you’re like, bro, Yeah, I know. And you’re kind of sitting there going, I really hope they enjoy this because otherwise they could say, Man, worst haircut experience ever. And it’s like, Why? You know, and I’ve, I’m very blessed to not, we have not had any of those situations. And, and as a business owner, I’m very owner, operator, I’ll say I’m very, very diligent about making sure I’m present and unable to assist with any uncomfortable customer situations. You know, the, I think the extent that we have is, maybe a guy asked for something, and we’re providing it but it’s not quite what they want. So they’re a little nervous about how it’s turning out and alleviating that with you know, good energy, positive energy and making sure they’re happy when they leave. Any management I would hire in the near future, I’d hope would have the same vibe that helps us navigate those reviews situations. Yeah, the Google and Yelp, it kind of reminds me of like, the customer now has the ability to leave a review, which can make you a lot more money. Yeah, like as your experience at Google. But they can also leave a negative review what it reminds me of, it’s kind of like social media. Just people always like complain about like burnout on social media, you got to post all the time. But But if you’re like, let’s say, your Instagram or Twitter, who are you going to promote the guy that doesn’t use your service at all? Or that uses all the time? Exactly. You know, it’s just like, what would you do in their position?
Well, I think that the there’s there’s a little bit of a double edged sword there, because who would they want to promote the guy that uses their service really well, or the guy that uses their service poorly all the time? Fair. So it’s, it’s a weird, it’s a weird thing to navigate. Because bad advertising content all throughout your feed is gross to a lot of people. I’ll turn off Instagram instantly. But a lot of well curated images that might keep me on instagram a lot longer. Because their goal is eyeballs, right? So I think to your to your point, they definitely want more content. They want people providing more content. But at a certain level, that’s why their algorithms, so specific on how many breaking through those little tiers of viewers,
Neville Medhora 36:29
so let’s let’s go, let’s skip this section and go straight to social media. Yeah, you mentioned before, and I’ve been dying to ask you this. Now you were like Instagram. Talk to me about Instagram barbering. Important, not important, awesome, bad.
Jason Gourd 36:43
I think Instagram, it’s really great. But it’s a it’s a portfolio tool. It’s something to get you exposure in terms of your work. But I’ve found, in my experience with the barber world, not the clothing world, the clothing worlds a lot different from a social media standpoint. But from a barbering world. It’s, it’s a referral business. I want to make sure you know, I think social media is a younger demographic of people that would maybe dm a barber shop to say, Hey, can I get a haircut, that’s not that’s not going to be your, you know, maybe some young professionals might do that. But generally speaking, you know, your mid to late, really more late 20s to late 30s is my probably my core demographic. Those guys are not that they’ll see a great haircut, and then they’ll go to the website, you know what I mean? That that’s, but they’re not not as inclined to pick someone off of social media, women, a lot different women with the salon world, they’ll find a stylist see highlights or a Bali that they love. And that’s their girl there, I want you to do my hair that I’ve found that’s huge. But for barbers, social media is a great tool to wear. If I’m out at a bar, and I meet you. Now, follow me on Instagram, I work at saurik, I’d love to cut your hair, that relationship there turns into a customer experience, a great customer experience turns into that guy telling all of his friends who are obviously going to be at least in a similar demographic. Yo, you got to go check out sorek Dean, Dean did a wonderful job. That’s where we get the most growth. And that growth is so strong from a foundation standpoint, that you can rely on it and your retention is huge. Whereas social media, you’re you’re less likely to get as specific with your demographics as you would with referrals. Obviously, referrals is a hustle, but it’s it’s very, very
Neville Medhora 38:48
well. Like when I saw sorek I kind of clicked on the click on the Google listing. Yeah. And it has some pictures and stuff. And then I saw that the website has like an Instagram, I checked it out and like, I don’t I don’t know what I was trying to get from it. But I’m just like, it’s a real place. Yeah. And they seem to have some relatively updated Instagram. Yeah, like it’s not like, I don’t really care what all this
Jason Gourd 39:08
credibility tool. Yeah, just it’s like someone’s alive. Exactly. Yeah, there’s something there as if you went on and I hadn’t posted in three months. A little skeptical. Yeah, what’s going on there?
Neville Medhora 39:19
Yeah, like I just need something something happening. Okay. So that’s kind of interesting because I noticed there’s a large Barbara contingent on Instagram huge not on Twitter so much, but mainly like Instagram,
Jason Gourd 39:31
Instagram, it’s it’s a funny, it’s kind of like ASMR content. It’s a funny sort of people love watching people get their haircut.
Neville Medhora 39:41
Yeah, they do crazy stuff. Like they’ll like wax their whole face, which is just like over the top. Yeah, I mean, it keeps popping up in my feed. So clicking on it.
Jason Gourd 39:51
It’s definitely crazy to watch. I wouldn’t recommend getting your face
Neville Medhora 39:58
know how often do you have like a schedule that you post on? Mainly Instagram, right? Yeah. Okay, is there like a schedule like you tell someone like you got to post like once a day, once a month, it’s once a day right now.
Jason Gourd 40:10
But that’s a lot of, you know, coming out of the pandemic skeleton crew. Now that we’re staffing more, we’ll have a lot more time to get more content posted, I’d say twice a day would be great, you know, sort of a Morning Post, and then a primetime post. That way, you’re, you’re getting a little bit more exposure. And
Neville Medhora 40:29
when you post like, it’s hard to track. But does it put like butts in seats? Like does it get people to the store?
Jason Gourd 40:40
Yes, from us the standpoint of existing customers that follow us get reminded, I’ve I’ve posted stories and have had three clients book, because they go, Oh, shit, I do need to get my haircut. Right. But new customers, I don’t think you have the reach, unless it’s paid. And that’s where it’s a little bit more. It’s a whole new world, right your world. And I’d say from a from a, you know, relationship standpoint with your customers, it’s great. And that’s I guess the point we haven’t really made is social media is a great way to stay in touch.
Neville Medhora 41:21
Oh, that’s a that’s a quote right there.
Jason Gourd 41:23
Yeah, that’s good. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your customer base. All that I think that it’s, it’s a wonderful way for you to be able to maintain that relationship, you know, in a pretty intimate way. I mean, you’re seeing their their posts, they’re seeing yours as a business. You can message each other.
Neville Medhora 41:40
Yeah, yeah. Interesting. So let’s talk about in general, like not necessarily social media, but like marketing a local business, like so when you set up like, how do you get the word out? What do you I mean, I guess you could put signs on the street, I guess you can Instagram post, but like, how do you get the word out for
Jason Gourd 41:57
the signs on the street? do work. I mean, it’s it’s funny we had, when sorek was being built out, we had a mass, a bunch of window vinyl over the storefront. That was huge. Like a lot of people say, it just said sorek, barbershop and men’s wear, you know, with our logos, like huge, like, you don’t use your windows, they’re 11 feet tall or something. They were massive. I mean, really big. And people drove by a bunch that as we took it down. We had so many people coming and going I was wondering when this was going to open them. Well, thank God.
Neville Medhora 42:33
Okay, so signs are near and dear to my heart because a long time ago we did about a couple years ago we did this a shoe hospital sign. So I said why I used to live downtown. Yeah, and I would walk by the shoe hospital. It always like made me laugh. I was like shoe house. Are you thinking in Houston or in Austin? No, in Austin, but but but there’s a there’s a there’s 17 there’s one guy owns them. Okay, yeah, in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, something like that. That’s cool. And so I’d walk by the shoe hospital over it. And one day, I was just like, what the hell do they do? I don’t know what I was thinking in my head. And I walked in I go, Hey, what is a shoe hospital do? He’s like, a shoe hospital? And they’d be like, Yeah, I was just like, I’m not I’m not like you clean shoes like so I think shoes. He told me to come in the back. So I guess there’s a franchisee so there’s a franchisee owner that come in the back. And he was working on a pair of men’s loafers and we had like black and one was like really crappy and scuffed up. Like that’s what all my shoes look like. And then he showed me a brand new one. And I was like, Oh, that was like a new shoe. He’s like, that’s what we do shoe hospital. That’s I was like, why don’t you just show me that. And so I offered to make them a sign because they had all these signs in front of a frame surfboards. And those signs said half price heels Saturday and then it one said like shoe hospital or something like very near nothing. I was like, I’m not getting it. Like what? I was like, What have you show me like a bad shoe and a good shoe? Like even that no text? Gotcha. Right. And then he showed me like bad cowboy boots. And then they stain and dye them a different color. Yeah. Awesome. And you’re like, show me that. Yeah. So I was like, I will I will make these signs for you. So I went in Photoshop them that night got it made a kinkos cost 165 bucks. They 50% basically almost doubled their walking rate from walk ins a day to 16. And their average order value is like way over 50 bucks, a 50 to 200 bucks. And it works so well. The owner of the entire franchise was was just like, I don’t want to publish this experiment. I was like, that was the whole point. I told you this. In the beginning. I paid for everything. Yeah, yeah, it worked. So well. He didn’t want to say it. So with that story. Have you ever tried out different signs or anything like that?
Jason Gourd 44:44
You know, we haven’t we’re going to into the winter. That’s really like coming out of the tube. Can
Neville Medhora 44:49
I do it? I just want to do it for fun. Yeah, like I’ll do it for you.
Jason Gourd 44:54
So I actually worked in the branding space with my friends company, Fox mark. We did Like brand image excited, we manufactured all of it. So you know, you think about kinkos, we were kinkos. But on steroids. We did everything for the rocket Stadium, the Astros, the we did sort of semmens. So I’m very like that that space is very near and dear to my heart too, because you start recognizing the value of even something like a car wrap. People look at anything. It’s so cheesy, but you’re seeing it everywhere. You’ll see that car and you’re like, Oh, I don’t know if you ever saw the meme, shred it. It’s a company that shreds paper. Oh, and there’s a guy go and shred it. Because he thought it was funny because he’d see all the shredded trucks everywhere. And he’s making this meme that went viral. And now shred it. You always see this shredded truck and you think about that you resonate with it. But at the same time, we’re all like, you know, everyone jokes about small business owners like Oh, you’re gonna put your face on the side of the car, you know, that sort of thing. Which I might, you know,
Neville Medhora 45:59
works like a realtor or something like that. Herbalife does like that. Watch me Oh, one 800 got junk. Yeah, they’re all they’re all those all of them. Yeah.
Jason Gourd 46:08
So I think that signage is great. What’s funny is, you know, demographics. And if you’re, whether it’s your location, it’s just knowing where you’re opening is so crucial. And obviously, if I’m b2b, that’s a little different. Because I’m marketing in a different capacity. I’m not needing the foot traffic, because I’m calling on customers. I’m, you know, using LinkedIn, I’m using all those tools, but from a personal services standpoint, retail standpoint, you’re able to get in a great area. I mean, that’s, that’s your, your, you the real proposition, right. Like, if I were sorek is today, it’s it’s turnkey, you know, I can open I open the store and the amount of walking traffic we get all of that is huge. So that from you know, that’s the foundation in my mind from you know, anyone starting from zero is like, really understand your demographics and where you’re opening. And that’s 80% of the battle is
Neville Medhora 47:13
so as the owner, like before you scouted the location, so you’re in like, kind of like a high end like boutique hotel. Yeah. Building, right. Yeah, like that bottom. And on East Sixth Street, which is like, you know, famous like road in Austria. So is there like a number or a formula you use? Like, there’s like 500 people that walk by a day, like we’ll get this,
Jason Gourd 47:33
there’s, there’s, it’s really the demographic reports that you get in cities, they’ll show a radius, and it’ll show like your GDP, like, of that area, like how much money every households making, on average, and this this area, it’s funny, this area was totally off, because this is the amount of growth we’ve had, right? So I had to spend a lot of time in this part of town. And thankfully, I lived here for a year, you know, four years ago, so I knew where the growth was happening. I knew what was going on. But if you, if you looked at the demographic report, two years ago, three years ago, you’d be like, Oh, the average household income here is 60. Grand. not as important,
Neville Medhora 48:18
you know, how much the house next door sold?
Jason Gourd 48:20
That’s what Yeah, so so but it’s, it’s a lot of that is a delayed fuse, right? So as long as you can keep your ear to the ground and put in your due diligence, that’s that’s key. You know, there’s so many people that just will look at a report like that, which is valuable, but you need to look at the report. And then you need to spend a week in that part of town, going to coffee shops, going and eating dinner going to stores or shoe hospitals or whatever, and get a vibe for it. See what’s going on. So okay, so you’re doing like, kind of on the work on on the groundwork?
Neville Medhora 48:50
Yeah, to figure out where to put the location. Yes. Yeah. And like, I know, I heard a story about how Whole Foods does it and they basically look at the amount of college degrees in the area of like, that’s what I heard. I don’t Yeah,
Jason Gourd 49:00
there’s, there’s all sorts of you can find, you can be very specific with what works best for your business type. For me, we were a men’s brand. I need to make sure that
Neville Medhora 49:13
I have disposable and yeah,
Jason Gourd 49:14
yeah, I need to make sure there’s a lot of guys that are younger. So really, like renters are more my space then like a bunch of like if I moved the lake way. Because a lot of those guys are already established in their careers. They’re not trying to impress as many people they might be married already, which means they really are not trying to so so it’s it’s a it’s funny, because a lot of people would think, Oh, I want to be by all the million dollar houses. It’s like, Yeah, but no. A lot of those guys they might have personal shoppers who are not really they just go straight to Neiman’s, you know, JC so it’s it’s that that specificity is important. from a marketing standpoint. You Now once you’ve opened, then it’s relationships. Man, I work with a lot of charities, I stay involved with the community. That’s my bread and butter when it comes to digital marketing your space. I’m pretty green, to be honest. But building community and building relationships is what I’ve always been keen on. And thankfully, I’ve been very successful at
Neville Medhora 50:21
it. If it makes you feel any better, what I’ve always noticed is like for an offline business, offline marketing works really well. Yeah. Online Business Online. worse. Exactly. We actually rented a billboard as another experiment we did with a billboard on Cesar Chavez. Yeah. And to see what would happen. I was curious, I wanted to learn how to make a billboard and I couldn’t really find much about it online. Shocking. So we’re just like, make a billboard, see what happens. Yeah. And it’s kind of funny. It’s very difficult to get like the offline to translate. But if there was a billboard, there’s no billboards on Sixth Street. But no. But like, if you said, like, sorek, and then down here, or we’re consulting for like a medical group, and they had a freestanding emergency Er, yeah, I made a billboard. It’s very uncover. And it just said, like, emergency room, no way, or something like that. Like, it’s really simple. And we bought the billboard next door to it and had an arrow totally worked. That’s also for like, offline to offline. It seems to work really well, online. offline. There’s a bit of a jump. Yeah. Yep. So I guess like online is like the Google listing, like, so you’re already doing that. So you’re maxing
Jason Gourd 51:26
out your into circle back to what I said earlier. It’s also the, it’s that right now mentality, right? So online marketing, if it’s not a quick conversion of I hit, click the link and it calls, I’m finding that you we get less conversion off of that. For us. It’s like, you know, for example, the online booking tool, I’d love for everyone to use it all the time. But when you’re on the Google listing, and you can, it’s as easy as clicking our phone number. That’s a lot faster. And I think similarly with the billboard saying, hey, it’s right here. Think about it, you can go right now. That’s I think that’s where people’s heads are
Neville Medhora 52:07
cool. And then when it comes to like, starting a physical business, obviously what like online like, pull up a Shopify store, you’re ready to go. In person, it sounds like a lot more of a pain in the ass. Or because you have to have a storefront and there’s construction costs involved in I’m assuming you’re spending a ton of money before you cut ahead here. Oh, definitely. How long does it take to get from like conception of this idea to like cutting your first clients hair selling your first if I was to if I was to say, you know, like, package it as though I’m doing a franchise? Yeah,
Jason Gourd 52:38
I’d say there’s a good year and a half. Whoa, yeah. Well, from starting starting a brand, right. And that’s permitting that’s like everything right? So if I was starting a barber shop I would want to spend at least like that includes like I’m working a job right now thinking about it going to start it building out the branding doing all this stuff now if I’m boots on the ground, like hustling and I’ve already been through it right? That’s that’s another huge differentiator between me and somebody who’s very green has an open a business yet is I’ve done it already. That means I could cut that down to you know, six months. But you that build out time you know this space Austin’s permanent took two months, three months. Oh my god. Yeah. So you’re sitting on your hands, you know, going okay. Yeah,
Neville Medhora 53:34
I bet it’s longer than I expected you to say yeah, yeah. I’m sure you’re pouring money into it. And you probably got some other people working with you and you got to pay them and
Jason Gourd 53:42
yeah, yeah, so it’s it’s branding teams like all that stuff. Because that you think about all the facets r&d on product. Like getting everything ready takes a while man because we’re we’re full clothing brand. All of our patterns are ours. You know, like, there’s so much of what’s in store and what we do that is like it’s it’s cool because we own it if I was just wholesaling. Like yeah six months for me to
Neville Medhora 54:07
be like nervous as hell that just no one shows up. Like when it opens
Jason Gourd 54:10
do it’s it’s a funny thing, because I find that due diligence is one of the keys to life, right? If you put in your time a lot of that anxiety goes away. Because for me, I always joke with my brother, I’m like, you know, I’m the kind of guy that I can’t afford a Ferrari right now, but if I bought one I could. I’ve got to figure it out. Like I’ve always been that kind of guy. I’ve always been that kind of guys so for me when the business is opening and I’m facing these these you know, hills to climb. That’s that’s my element. Like once I’m once I’m facing adversity or I have something that engages me. I’m there. It’s this funny parallel is like when I wake up in the morning, if I’ve got something I need to wake up for I’m up, like, I’m awake, I’m ready to go. There’s nothing going on the next day, I could sleep until 11. You know, but it’s like, for me, I the anxiety side of it. It wasn’t really there, it was more of like, an engagement, it was like, I’ve got something to really bite into, and hustle on. So the anxiety was never really there.
Neville Medhora 55:23
Jason Gourd 55:24
interesting. Now, when you hire people, that’s where a bit of anxiety comes as you’re like, Okay, I want these people to make money. So like, Where are their customers? You know, like, yeah, that’s when you start doing marketing spend and you’re like, you’re wanting to make sure they’re having a great experience working with sorek and, and that’s just me being empathetic, you know, I, I hate the idea of somebody starting and not making a great living and not getting, you know, building the career that they want those sorts of things. So that’s where I have a bit of anxiety where I’m like, Man, this guy’s only had four clients today. How do I get more clients? So and
Neville Medhora 56:01
and then so like having a storefront and stuff like you got a space which is kind of cool. Yeah, you meet people? Are there a lot of other lot of downsides are not a lot of downsides.
Jason Gourd 56:11
Yeah, in the sense that the downside would be control, like your your, I know, it’s not like I have a gatekeeper. So a lot of times, we’ll get some crazies that come in the store. And that’s no
Neville Medhora 56:22
just random weirdos walk in, and weirdos
Jason Gourd 56:25
people just, you know, maybe cracked out or something. And you’re just making yourself like, really, man. You know, and that’s miserable. But I think that the going back to that chicken before the egg conversation, it’s been fun seeing how our experience being unique to the barber space, how it’s kind of created a whole new model of personal services that are creating conversion into retail. It’s really cool seeing that, and it really alleviates a lot of your anxiety because you’re like, I was just a clothing store. Now you’ve got to get customers like it’s, it’s it’s a, it’s like a cult, you want to build this like commitment to your brand. And oh, I love this brand. And I’m going to drive over to buy clothes from this brand. Whereas with barbering, it’s like I need a haircut today.
Neville Medhora 57:25
Yeah, that’s a really cool, that’s what was so interesting about I was like, wow, like, you kind of have to come back all the time. And I was just like, you know, if I go to this guy, like 15 times, I might buy something. Yeah, I might buy something eventually.
Jason Gourd 57:39
Well, that’s where we’re able to tune it to make sure our customers have products that they enjoy. And what’s cool is, is having that experience, but then once we get into the online space, that’s a whole other customer to make happy. But we’ve already kind of done our case study is very interesting.
Neville Medhora 57:55
What about Have you seen other retails? Sorry, like kind of combos? Like there’s like barbershop plus something barbershop plus anything?
Jason Gourd 58:02
Yeah, it’s, it’s been, I’d say, in the last 10 years, probably not even 10, I’d say the last, probably five years, there’s been a bunch more huge number of people recognizing because there was that uptake. And it’s so funny, but you know, Macklemore comes out with that haircut. And every guy wanted to realize that I was managing salons at the time, that’s when you get guys that go to a barber shop to get a fade, but then they would go to our salon to get the top of their haircut, because barbers didn’t really understand scissor work. Yet now it’s a whole different world. Now we’re evolved now we understand, you know, barbers understand all you know, lengths of hair, textures of hair, etc. But that happens, and then all these salons that are losing their male clients go shit, I need to open a luxury barber shop, because that’s what these guys want. They want the fade, but they want it in a salon, you know, vibe, where you can have a cocktail, you have, you know, all these different things. And as they open them, they were thinking that, Oh, I’m going to pay a great commission. And then we make our do that pays our commission that we received from services are split to the business pays our overhead and a little bit more. And then Oh, the retail product, just like in the salon. That’s what’s gonna cut up our margin and it’ll be great business. The problem is they were trying to create that parallel that didn’t exist. men’s hair product, as I mentioned earlier, costs way too little and it lasts 12 bucks. Yeah,
Neville Medhora 59:35
a year and a half.
Jason Gourd 59:37
Yeah. So they started finding this out quickly, and they’re going shit, what are we going to do? What are we going to do? That’s rehab, like barber shop, coffee shop, you’ve got all sorts of dude, all sorts of stuff.
Neville Medhora 59:48
But does that work? Yeah. Yeah.
Jason Gourd 59:51
I mean, it’s the same content as long as you you’re focused on a high level of service. And you know, you’re you’re good with people and staffing and building a great community with your customers and within your shop. How canted
Neville Medhora 1:00:06
but see the thing I don’t like about like barbershop coffee shop is it’s both local like your your customer circle is within 20 square blocks at most Yeah, there’s no one else coming in from out of town for for the most part No. Whereas with yours it’s like you could technically sell a suit to a guy and to buyers. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Have you seen any other service like that like kind of like outside of clothing or is it mainly just kind of like barber shop coffee shop? Here’s there’s any other combos that have like, like, Oh, I go where my parents live? there’s a there’s like a barber shop. carwash. Yeah. It’s crazy. This carwash. Sorry. Sorry. No parents live in Austin. Yeah, I hear that there’s like a, there’s a place that has a big carwash but they also have this this guy who like have a haircut, sir. That’s so funny. That’s so that was like,
Jason Gourd 1:00:54
that’s a interesting combo point to my point barbering is is I consider it more of an experience where it’s like, you know, just like a carwash would want to have coffee or maybe beer. Why not have a barber shop?
Neville Medhora 1:01:11
That’s awesome, man. I appreciate you answering these questions. Yeah. So we got a little lightning round. So we got one minute timed questions. We put these out as like YouTube shorts and stuff like that. So I’ll tie me to keep it on now. thing so let’s let’s do this. Yeah, this is this is really fun, like learning about this stuff. Like it feels like a whole new world for me. Let’s go. So Alright.
Jason Gourd 1:01:36
Alright, so how would you get 50 reviews for a new local store or barber shop, create, create empathy with the customer, you know, make them understand how important it is to you. So I would say something, as I mentioned before, something like, you know, hey, I’m so glad you came in today. I hope you had an amazing experience. If you wouldn’t mind leaving a Google review. They’re like gold for us right now. That that value proposition where they understand they’re doing something doing you a favor? Awesome. Yeah.
Sweet, no quick. Alright, so
Neville Medhora 1:02:08
would you rather start only a barbershop or only a clothing brand?
Jason Gourd 1:02:15
I’d say I would rather start only a clothing brand. I think that that’s that’s an experience that it’s fun. Being able to style clothing, the process of creating products is just as engaging as the sales process to the customer. And in my mind, barbering is always going to be something I do. So it’s it’s not a you know, I think from a business standpoint, I would be much more stimulated by owning a clothing brand. Nice.
Neville Medhora 1:02:44
And then, lastly, so how long does it take to get a barbershop launched and a full schedule booked?
Jason Gourd 1:02:52
Awesome. So just a barber shop, I would say, full schedule booked six months to a year. That’s from starting the idea of opening it, building it or starting it or building it, opening it and getting fully booked. It’s you know, like, like I said, it’s it’s been our one year and that that’s where we’re at. So nice.
Neville Medhora 1:03:15
Yeah. Awesome. Cool. Well, thanks, man. I appreciate you. Where can people find you? And
Jason Gourd 1:03:20
yeah, yeah, so sorek we’ve got we’re on Instagram at saurik Tx. That’s s o r e k t x. And then my personal Instagrams, Gord, like the squash Jason. So Gio URDJ Yeah. instagram.com Gord yeah,
Neville Medhora 1:03:35
that’s pretty dope. Well,
Jason Gourd 1:03:36
that’s why my name is Jason Gordon’s
Neville Medhora 1:03:40
English word. That’s pretty good. Yeah, guys, words. Gord Jason. And then, so you can also go to saurik. Calm, which dope domain name to Yeah, you’re on a name game here. We got it, man. Yeah, and this store is on East Sixth Street in Austin, Eastside. 1813. East Sixth Street. Yes, sir. Yeah. So check them out. I’ll post some pictures and maybe some will be rolling video. Man the place just so people get idea what we’re talking about. Super fun. Awesome. Thanks so much for talking to me. Yeah. Appreciate it. Of course, man. Yeah. Cool. Good job. That’s great. Yeah.