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Founder Friday: Songe LaRon, Squire


How do you come up with a great idea for a startup? Try reflecting on your personal experiences and identify a problem that hasn’t been solved yet.

Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant could clearly see the inefficiencies in the barber industry – it’s an industry that’s been relatively untouched as far as technology goes. Even today, many barbershops are cash-only, you have to call to make an appointment, and there is no easy way to manage employee schedules.

They decided it was time for that to change. Now, Squire is processing $2 million in customer payments to barbershops every month – and they’re on track to surpass $10 million per month by next year.

Learn more about co-founder Songe LaRon and 2017 43North Winner Squire in today’s Founder Friday!

How did your startup, well, start up?

The idea for Squire came out of a frustration that both Dave and I experienced: it was always difficult to schedule and pay for haircuts. Barbershops are notorious for having long wait times and requiring cash. We thought we could build something to solve this problem that we and millions of other guys experienced.

What do you do? Your startup?

Squire is a booking and payment platform that connects people with great barbers nationwide. We make it easy to discover and book the best barbers wherever you are, in just a few taps. Squire is also the premier management platform for barbershops. Using Squire, barbers are able to better engage with their customers, process bookings and payments, and better market their business through Squire’s “barbershop discovery” capabilities.

When was the ‘aha’ moment for your startup when you realized this could actually work?

When we launched the first version of our barbershop management system (Commander). Until then our barbers were only using our app sporadically. However, Commander allowed us to process 100% of the shop’s transactions and become an integral part of the barbershop’s business.

What has been the biggest accomplishment for your startup to-date?

Surpassing $2M in transaction volume per month.

Goals for the next year? Three years?

Next year we want to continue our international expansion in Canada and also launch in the U.K. A year from now we should be doing at least $10M per month in volume.

Why Buffalo?

Buffalo is a great city to launch a tech company! There’s plenty of talent and the cost of living in much lower than other cities I’ve lived in. Buffalonians are very welcoming and seem genuinely excited to have tech companies based in their city. Plus, the food is amazing (even if it’s not great for my waistline).

How do you do it? What drives you?

I want Squire to be hands-down the technology leader in the grooming industry. That means we need to have the best product that solves our customers’ problems. I’m driven by knowing that we are working towards that goal.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t be scared to take a risk. Nothing great has even been achieved without some degree of risk.

Tags: Founder Friday

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