John Scott is crazy about hair – but thankfully not in the creepy thin man from Charlies Angels kinda way. He has always had a love of men’s style, which inspired him to start up Johnny Scissors.
We met up with John to chat about the inspiration behind his business, the challenges he faces and what he thinks about Yoco.
A passion for style from an early age
Watching John work his magic is a reminder that great things happen when you find something you love and throw yourself into it completely. Growing up, John was a bit of a Fashion TV addict. He admired the style aspect of it all and took a particular interest in the “old school” look. Fast forward a few years and you have a world class barber in the making.
“I’ve never gotten bored of hairdressing even though I’ve been doing it for 10 years now.”
When John decides he likes something he goes all in – be it a profession or country. Originally from Leeds, he fell in love with South Africa after visiting on holiday and decided to move here permanently. After securing a job in a salon, he packed his bags and moved to Cape Town. This was an incredibly brave move considering the hairdressing industry is largely built on relationships, and he didn’t really know anybody in the country!
Taking the entrepreneurial route
After working for somebody else for a while, John decided to start on his next adventure – starting his own business. And so Johnny Scissors was born. He saw this as an opportunity to not only grow his business but himself as well.
“I had gotten to a stage in my life where I wanted to work for myself, build a larger client base and create my own personal brand.”
Running your own business gives you the freedom to create something that is completely yours. You can design what you want, do what makes you happy and grow in the process. However, it’s definitely not easy. John has been running Johnny Scissors for about two years now, and it took a lot of time and work to settle and build himself up along with his business.
“It’s hard work and long hours but it’s really enjoyable.”
Balance? What balance?
The main difference between working for someone and working for yourself is that you no longer differentiate between “work life” and “normal life”. Theres just “life” and you control what you get out of it.
“It’s definitely not a 9 to 5 job. It’s 24/7. It’s your life. But it’s a great thing you know. It’s challenging but also fun at the same time.”
It’s not always going to be easy. In fact you’re pretty much gauranteed it will be ridiculously hard. John’s biggest challenge is handling all the aspects of running a business at once. He got into business because of his love of hair, but has learnt that being an entrepreneur goes far beyond that.
It’s about making sure you run your diary on time, making sure there’s enough money in the business to be able to pay for products and admin, finding, hiring and training staff, doing your own accounting (all at the same time as cutting hair and servicing clients).
Although it’s challenging, John has come to love the ‘business’ side of business because it gives him good focus and allows him to see his efforts grow from all angles. He also has exciting plans to expand Johnny Scissors even further. He currently has one staff member, Tasha, who he has trained as a barber and plans to add more staff to achieve growth – and to one day open up his own salon.
Johnny Scissors and Yoco
“I’ve actually noticed that it’s faster than using normal card machines. I can take payments a lot faster and my clients are really happy with it.”
Hairdressing is all about that personal connection with your customers and you should be able to spend as much time on them as possible. Yoco helps John do this by speeding up transactions using payments over Wifi, as well as giving him the tools to help manage the admin side of things.
“I can keep track of my takings per day, week or month and compare to see how I’m doing on a day-to-day or month-to-month basis. I’m really really pleased with it.”
Yoco’s Point of Sale App and Business Insights Portal allows John to see his sales in real time and know what sells and what doesn’t. Because he can get insight into his business at a glance, he is able to spend more time doing what he loves – cutting and styling hair.
He is also able to use the data to help grow his business. Seeing which haircuts are most popular and which days he makes the most revenue, he can adjust his business strategy accordingly.