Classic Touch Barbershop:
passion for exceptional
customer experience

Junior Schmidt is a seasoned Dominican barber with a passion for delivering personal attention and beautiful hairstyles to his customers. With decades of experience in the barbering industry, he recently started his own business, Classic Touch barbershop. Driven by his desire to provide an exceptional customer experience that goes beyond just making money. In this article, we explore Junior's journey to entrepreneurship, his commitment to personalization in his craft, and his reflections on his passion for the profession.

How did you start and why?

I'm Junior Smith, 36 years old. I grew up in the Dominican Republic until I was 16, then I lived in various places in the USA. Before starting my own business, I worked for almost eight years at a large barbershop. And at some point last year, I felt it was time to make a move. So I decided to start my own business. It was a bit of an unexpected choice, and I hadn't figured out a lot of things yet, including a booking system.

I've started my own business to give back.

I have decades of experience in the barbering industry. I've done all sorts of things in barbering, courses, and events, but my passion really lies with the customers. I love helping people with personal attention and beautiful hairstyles. My passion for the profession has only grown, and now I've started my own business "to give back".

When you work for someone else, you are still hindered by certain things that you believe in. For example, I like to do a little extra for the customer. Really make the customer happy and help people as best as possible. For larger companies, of course, it's purely business.

What do you do extra, for example?

Many men go to the barbershop to get their hair cut, beard trimmed, or shaved. For men, it's more of a quick in-and-out trip. In many other countries, the barbershop is a part of your lifestyle and you go every week to keep up with your grooming. That's what I want to bring here, and even take it a step further. I want people to come to my barbershop and fully relax with facial treatments, head massages, and more. So you don't have to go to the salon with your girlfriend. I want to remove the barrier.

In my case, the phrase 'the man makes the shop' really rings true.

How did you get your first customers?

I was really fortunate with my clients. I built up a solid customer base while working in the industry, and I was hoping that around half of them would follow me to my own barbershop. In the end, about 80%of them did, so I was busy from the very start. My shop wasn't even finished. It was just four white walls where I cut my clients' hair. I'm incredibly grateful they came with me right away. That's what made it successful.

"I had some idea of what I wanted in a barbershop, but didn't plan everything out beforehand."

Did you have to invest a lot to start your own business?

Yes, but I knew it ahead of time - you need a location and you have to manage many things. And you need a vision for what you want to offer. I hadn't worked everything out in advance, but I always had an idea of what I would want if I ever had a barbershop. I'm still working toward that, but because my old clients are seeking me out, I had a running start. And it's growing.

What were the challenges you faced in starting your own business?

Basically, everything surrounding being a barber. I have a lot of confidence in my skills, so I knew that customers would come. But things like booking systems, payments, and everything you can't do yourself, it was a challenge to get all that sorted on time.

What do you do to keep your customers coming back?

In addition to giving them a great haircut and treating them really well, I also think consistency is super important. I believe that you always have to give the same high quality of treatment. And I also see what I can offer extra to my customers. I always strive to get better and give my customers a better experience. Convenience is my motto as well.

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"When you work for someone else, you are still hindered by certain things that you believe in."

You really take your customers along on social media?

Yes, I really like showing the entire setup process. I enjoyed taking everyone along and seeing how that goes. And it's cool to look back and see how you started.

Do you do any other marketing?

I want to do more, and recently I've been talking to a company that creates content for businesses. Right now, I'm so busy that promotion isn't really necessary. With the busyness of my barbershop and other things, it's difficult for me to create more content.

Do you do anything besides your barbershop?

I also have a dance school here in Groningen. I teach Bachata and Salsa. So often after cutting hair, it's quick eating and then off to the dance school. So it's occasionally a bit busy. I also have a Vev page for my dance school.

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"I also have a Vev page for my dance school."

How did you find Vev?

I was looking for a different platform than what I was used to. I found that software to be too expensive for my own salon. So I thought it was time to look for something else. But I knew what I wanted. And then my girlfriend gave me a tip for Vev. When I saw Vev, I knew right away "this works."

What do you like about Vev?

It's such a comprehensive program, so helpful, and also free appointment software. At first, I thought Vev was too good to be true, but six months later, it's going great. I've worked with a lot of software, and there were always planning issues that I had to keep an eye on. With Vev, I don't have that at all, it's very reliable. I can always access it on my computer or my phone and it's super fast. My clients also said it was super nice.

How does payment via Vev work, such as paying in advance and paying at the appointment?

I have clients who forget their wallet or had another reason they couldn’t pay. Due to my busy schedule, I forget to arrange it later, and it also doesn't come up in my administration. So, I thought about turning on prepayment.

I wasn't sure if my clients would want this, so I didn't make it mandatory. I turned it on and checked, what does that do? Many customers responded that they like it a lot. People pay when it suits them and can choose which account to use. I'm really surprised how many people take advantage of this.

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"At first, I thought Vev was too good to be true, but it works perfectly."

And you also allow customers to pay with Vev after the treatment?

With Vev, I have my own assistant on my computer here. At the end of the treatment, a screen with a QR payment link automatically appears. It's really great. Just really cool. When the payment goes through, we both see confetti on our screens. And you don't even have to clean up the confetti!

I even had one time when I was cleaning up, and the QR code on the screen behind me popped up, and my customer had already paid by the time I was finished. It's a modern age, isn't it?

I hope you can help many others because Vev is perfect. It works.

What is your dream?

I want to be able to provide more for each customer in my barbershop. And I hope I can find a colleague soon to make things even more enjoyable and assist more customers. You're doing really well and I'm happy with how things are going. So keep it up. I hope you can help many others because Vev is perfect. It works.

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