Episode 71 – Dave Salvant
Co-founder at Squire Inc
How would you describe what you do and what you work on?
What I work on is called Squire. Squire is a backend platform for small businesses primarily focusing on the male grooming space first. We provide software for CRM, booking management, analytics, and POS [point of sales] systems. So, we offer the full range of tools.
So, is there any customer facing side to it?
Yes. So, in addition to having our backend management system, we do have a consumer-facing product to coincide with our backend management system. We believe we can attach a brand to a particular vertical and drive business to our customers as well as have something they can identify with.
Cool! So the barber shops can use it for their existing customers, and you will also drive additional business with your app?
Can you tell us a little bit about your experience at YC?
Y Combinator was a great experience. We graduated as part of the summer sixteen batch. We learned a lot because they’ve done it all before. The partners both have had successful exits, and that’s the plan, to get to a point where you can exit, or can have maximum impact.
What would you say were the main obstacles in your journey?
The main obstacles right now are getting guys on board and awareness.
Also, we want to grow the business side of the company as fast as possible but are also waiting for the product to get to maturity, to a point where we feel comfortable with it. It’s a constant battle between do we go faster or slower.
I read that you guys ran a barber shop for a while. Is it correct?
I owned and operated a barber shop for a little less than a year.
It was interesting. It was in Chelsea Market. It served as a kind of test kitchen, so to speak, to test our software, and figure out what our customers wanted. So, it is great to have firsthand experience on how to operate a barber shop, and then build products and services that would work. That is something we might get into again in the future, but it was a great experience.
Would you recommend that entrepreneurs get that kind of “in the trenches” experience for the problems they are trying to solve?
Yes. You develop expertise. I’m pretty convinced at this point; I know how to run a barber shop. I would be very surprised if somebody knew more about barber shops than me and my co-founder. So, I think it’s critical to have some domain expertise about what they’re doing, and if they don’t have that knowledge, they should go out and get it.
What kind of tips would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
There’s always going to be barriers. If it were easy everybody would do it. I feel like if you are doing what you love and put the work in and put the energy and the time, and you have the gumption, you’ll be successful in anything you do. I believe that. If you are an entrepreneur and this is what your passion is, and this is what you’re destined to be then you need to put the work in.
Where can we find you
Yeah. You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I’m more active on Instagram so definitely give me a follow. You can follow Squire at getsquire.com. You can follow us on Instagram. So, look out for us.