Innovation in barbershops begins with a digital-first experience according to Nearcut founder Will Bell. His team has combined tech and cuts into a revolutionary platform that supports local industry and great hair.
Salons and barbershops are starting to move their storefronts from offline to online. Although they have struggled to stay in the innovation game due to their traditional retail nature, their basic services are becoming more connected and bookable. Nearcut is one of the first ventures to lather barbershops and tech together with sophisticated marketing software, designed to increase their clients’ retail revenue, while also helping customers find a clean beard trim in minutes.
As the only haircut and barbershop booking system made by barbers for barbers, this deep knowledge of operations enables Nearcut to deliver what their clients love – all within a few fresh clicks. We asked Will Bell, the founder of Nearcut about his experience building the app and what its like to have great hair, all the time.
What makes your app different?
Nearcut has always focused more on the barber, and we are first and foremost a tool for them. We give the barbers all the tools they need so they can organize their time, attract new business, and increase their revenue. Our premium product is a personally branded app for an individual barbershop. Other businesses won’t offer this. We also have an app to help customers looking for haircuts to connect with barbershops in their local area, but our priority will always be helping shops directly.
A good example of us working closely with barbers is a system called “cancellation watch”. Barbers were struggling to fill their last-minute cancellations and we responded with a digital waiting list that automatically passes on appointments to another customer via notifications. It helps customers wanting an instant cut but is driven by barbers’ need.
Has there been a change in your life that has led to what you’re making now?
As a teen, I had a conversation with my barber who outlined his business issues. I went away and basically Googled how to build a booking system. Once I built it, we had profound success and decided to grow it together, part-time. That led to the first version of Nearcut. Eventually, I studied computer science at university and after my second year I built the latest version of Nearcut and it was my goal to grow it into a full-time job for myself.
As a newcomer, how do you navigate the Berlin startup scene?
I’m not German and originally from the outskirts of Manchester. I moved to Berlin in 2017, without any connections so it was very important to meet people that would help me navigate the Berlin startup scene. I joined a community, Factory Berlin, which helped me meet people. It’s been incredibly valuable to meet people across the startup environment, some of whom I’ve done business with. To be part of a community space means you have more support, which is helpful especially as a small team.
Nearcut has helped thousands of barbers across the UK, increasing the size of some of their businesses by over 10 times. It is constantly improving and bringing out solutions to any problems barbers might come across. After success in the UK, Nearcut is expanding further into Europe. Will is keen to work with talented individuals to help shape and improve the future of barbering across Europe.