Connect with new customers in your area and fill your appointment slots with SOS Beauty, a mobile app that sends you client requests suited to your business.

Designed for hair, beauty and aesthetics businesses, SOS Beauty puts the power in your hands to provide personalised quotes for services, which clients confirm with a payment.

Faye Finaro

“Through SOS Beauty, clients complete a booking request form, which specifies their preferred venue (their own home, a pro’s home, or a salon), considerations such as ground floor access, medical conditions or allergies, and the date and time they would like an appointment. They can also add an image of the desired result, such as their chosen nail style,” says founder, Faye Finaro. She explains that, by gathering so much information upfront, beauty businesses can assess whether they can meet the client’s needs and the client avoids unexpected charges, ensuring both parties approach the appointment with clarity.

The app’s origins

Faye tells Scratch how her frustrations as a client led to the conception of the app in 2018, which launched in June last year and features over 1,000 registered businesses, with 240 treatment options available. “I realised that it could be difficult to identify which beauty businesses offered the treatments that I wanted, and which had the same availability as me,” she reveals. “Word of mouth or asking others to tag companies on Facebook seemed to be the only way to discover these businesses, and often, when I spoke to those recommended to me, they didn’t have the same availability.”

All Faye needed to do was understand the business issues that would need to be addressed via the app – and by training in aesthetics in 2019, then opening her own aesthetics business and academy, she gained a clear insight into the pain points of beauty businesses and what SOS Beauty would need to achieve for them. “From my experience in the industry, I’ve seen that marketing and engaging with clients is one hurdle for businesses, but many also struggle with managing complaints and cancellations. I used this knowledge to reshape SOS Beauty’s design, helping beauty businesses to manage these processes better,” comments Faye.

SOS Beauty benefits

Businesses registered on the app receive marketing support and benefit from a built-in cancellation process, which charges clients between 50 to 80% of the appointment fee, depending on when they cancel. With upfront payment from clients on booking, businesses don’t need to worry about if and when they will receive this money. “A disputes team investigates any issues within two weeks, to ensure refund claims are legitimate and a fair outcome is achieved for both parties,” says Faye. “I feel this is important for small businesses, as bad reviews can have a heavy bearing and we would never want anyone to feel pressured into giving a refund.”

In the eventuality of a cancellation, SOS Beauty has a feature that for £3, allows businesses to send a notification to clients in their area, promoting this available appointment slot and any offers. Faye notes that this is also a great way for trainee pros to acquire models to work on for their portfolio. “There is no charge for being registered on the app, and it’s also free to send as many quotes as you like, so if you don’t secure a booking there is nothing to pay,” she explains. “If your quote is accepted, we charge a 20% booking fee, which is deducted from the client’s payment.

“We see ourselves as more of a client engagement tool than a booking management platform, therefore we understand that you want to build your client base and not pay fees every time existing clients book your services,” Faye continues. “That’s why we have no issue if clients found through SOS Beauty go on to directly book with you in future. We know that if they had a positive experience using the app, they will return when they want a different treatment that you might not offer.”

Since SOS Beauty’s launch last year, it has won the Chad Business Excellence AwardsInnovation Award 2022, and received a ‘Highly Commended’ prize for the Best New Business/Start Up of the Year category at the event. Faye was also chosen as a finalist for last year’s Women’s Business Club Awards and the Entrepreneur of the Year category at the UK Beauty Awards. And now, she is focused on the SOS Beauty Awards, which will take place for the first time in June. “The event is designed to celebrate the diverse range of talent that we have on the SOS Beauty app, and to help UK businesses of all sizes to gain recognition. There are 16 main categories and 10 Signature Treatment Awards, covering hair, nails, beauty and aesthetics, which over 160 businesses have entered to win,” reveals Faye.

How to register your business

SOS Beauty needs you! “We are working hard to build our database, particularly with nail businesses, because we are receiving requests in a number of rural areas but do not have companies in those areas to provide quotes,” says Faye. Download SOS Beauty for your business on the Apple App Store and Google Play. To book beauty services through SOS Beauty, there is another version of the app, ‘SOS Beauty’.

Visit SOS Beauty’s website and follow on Instagram and Facebook. Follow Faye here.

By Editor