What is innovation to you?

Welcome to BLK Innovators. A platform for conversations with the most innovative minds in the black community!

Dave Salvant, Founder/President, Squire Technologies

Dave Salvant, Founder/President, Squire Technologies

Terrence Nelson: Briefly could you explain what Squire is and what Squire does?

Dave Salvant: Squire technology is intake. We’re centered around our first vertical which is going into barbershops and what we are enabling barbershops to do is streamline their process. When it comes to payments, services and backend reporting we offer a master software platform that allows them to run their business. Our platform is also beneficial when it comes to everything like payroll to appointments to POS (point of sale) and on the flip side we have consumer based applications that drive business to the shops.

Nelson: So, Squire’s benefit is convenience to the barber, the barber shop and the customer. With that, do you believe that convenience is a commodity in today’s marketplace?

Salvant: People have so much to do in little time, so if you look at it from a time management standpoint it makes sense. There are only so many hours in a day and as a consumer you want to maximize that time as much as possible. Among the 40 - 50 minutes wasted just waiting in a barbershop there is always something that you could be doing elsewhere and time is money.

Nelson: As a part of your market research for developing Squire you guys actually ran a barber shop correct?

Salvant: We owned and operated a barbershop for six months to really put ourselves in the barbershop owners and barbers shoes. That way we could ensure that we were building a service that really worked for them. So we wound up owning the barbershop for six months and it was a really good experience. The shop we took over was losing money monthly then we came in and by the time the lease expired their revenue was up about 100% and they were profitable.

Nelson: Did you use Squire at the shop or was this prior to Squire’s launch?

Salvant: Squire was used at that shop. We were developing based on the needs and wants of the operation and we built the software around that.

Nelson: With the men’s grooming marketing booming right now how does tech fit into that?

Salvant: Technology brings it all together. Products are obviously the rock but there is payment associated with that, e-commerce, inventories etc.. Squire delivers the platform to transact and the linchpin for all of that is technology. Technology provides the means to put it all together plus guys still have to go to the barber shop they still have to swipe their cards to pay for those products and services the linchpin for everything is the technology.

Nelson: I saw a promotional video that you guys produced with Throne Labs outside of the Supreme store in LA.  When it comes to marketing Squire what approach are you taking to present a service to people that’s the opposite of what they are used to?

Salvant: Everything is coming full circle, you can order a car with Uber and you can order food with Grubhub,so people are always on their phones doing just about everything. It is our belief that things will accelerate as people get more confident ordering services on their mobile devices. So thats one thing, there is a natural progression of people using technology to perform basic functions. Secondly, is the ability to market through social media to get the word out there where people are. Lastly, is the traditional route, if your barber tells you instead of calling or texting me download the Squire app and book me through there that’s equally effective.  So we believe the nuances of old traditional word of mouth marketing mixed with the social media aspect works well for us.

Nelson: What does innovation mean to you?

Salvant: Innovation to me means to change the way that people do things in the future.  It's to make life easier and to improve processes that were once arduous and making them more efficient and improving on building on them.

Terrence Nelson is a content producer and editor-in-chief of BLK Innovators.  

Twitter:  @TM_Nelson   

Instagram: Terrence_Media

Brandie Gilliam, Founder/Creative Director, Thoughtfully Magazine

Brandie Gilliam, Founder/Creative Director, Thoughtfully Magazine

Frederick Hutson, Co-Founder, CEO, Pigeonly

Frederick Hutson, Co-Founder, CEO, Pigeonly