15 years ago experienced hairdresser Natasha and her partner, fashion designer Ewan, started eco-friendly Melbourne salon Green Butterfly using a pen and paper appointment book. Today, they use Timely to power their business.

Green Butterfly’s move from pen and paper to Timely

From humble beginnings

With Facebook in its early days and Instagram still a few years away, Tash grew Green Butterfly using good old fashioned word of mouth, and her trusty appointment book.   

After years of successfully running her business using pen and paper, the world started to change. Technology came knocking at Green Butterfly’s door, and clients were pushing for the salon to start using an appointment booking system.

The appointment book became a bit of a running joke in the salon. We’d have to make lots of notes for people wanting to book dates beyond what we had available in the book, before we moved to a new one!

Finding the right appointment booking system 

Once they had decided to ditch the appointment book and explore software options, it was salon coach and Timely ambassador Larissa Maclennan who suggested Timely would be a great option for Green Butterfly.

Coming from pen and paper, they knew the software needed to be easy and straightforward for everyone to use. “We looked at quite a few different salon software options, and because we were moving from paper, we didn’t want anything that looked too complicated. Timely just felt streamlined.”

It was also super important to Tash that the software wouldn’t interfere with the relaxed and approachable vibe of Green Butterfly, not only for clients, but for staff as well.

Our core business isn’t technology, our core business is people. We didn’t want the technology to take the place of the people aspect of our business.

Smooth operators

As a self-professed unenthusiastic embracer of technology, the transition to Timely was smoother than Tash expected, and the support was a big factor in making sure Green Butterfly felt comfortable navigating their new software. “Every person we’ve spoken to at Timely has been really lovely and supportive, making it as easy as possible for us.”

However, moving to Timely has been a big transition for Tash and the team, so they’re taking their time getting to know the software and easing in to using all the great features available to the business.

One of the reasons we chose Timely is because the framework and support is there for us to grow into it over time.

Straight away, the changes to the business were noticeable 

Record keeping and reporting used to take up a big chunk of Tash’s time after hours, so Timely took on some of the workload she had to do outside of the salon. “The reporting has been the best part so far; being able to see the breakdown of what the sales are, what a stylist has made, what they’ve sold, who’s doing more colours, who’s doing more cuts.”

Timely has also made email requests for appointments a lot less time-consuming for Tash. “I used to have to wait until the salon was open and then ring clients and see if there were any appointments in the book. Now I can just go into the Timely app and see straight away what time we have available.”

The thing that has Tash most excited, though, has been the extra sales from clients buying gift vouchers online, and not having to go into the salon. “Over Christmas, people were buying gift vouchers online, which was so great. We’d only had them online for a week, and we’d wake up and had made sales, while we’d been sleeping!”

How Green Butterfly uses Timely to their advantage, every day

The team uses Timely on an iPad at the front of the salon to create a sleek mobile front counter, and Tash uses the Timely iOS app on her iPhone, so she can stay on top of the business when she’s not in the salon.

I love being able to make appointments when I’m not at work, check what has happened during the day, or check to see if all the staff have finished their appointments.

They’ve hardly even missed the trusty old appointment book, because Timely’s appointment calendar makes finding client appointments quick and easy. “Clients used to ring up or come in and ask when their next appointment was, and we used to have to stand there flicking through the appointment book until we found it. With Timely, we just search their name. So easy!”

The team has also been making the most of uploading photos and documents into Timely, rather than having hundreds of cards with appointment histories floating around the salon.

We have an extensive collection of cards with clients’ colour histories and other important info on them. That would be a lot to transfer manually, so we’ve been taking photos of the old paper cards and uploading them to Timely.

Setting a sustainability example

The name Green Butterfly represents Natasha and Ewan’s values of being environmentally conscious, celebrating diversity and transforming their clients. Green Butterfly is proud to be a salon that “treads gently on the earth”, and Timely is proud to be on their journey. “We’ve always done things that we could to make a difference. Even simple things like turning the fridge off at night, power auditing the equipment we use, and having low water flow taps has made a difference.”

Green Butterfly also joined Sustainable Salons, the first resource recovery program designed for salons, that rewards salons and gives back to the community. “Since we joined Sustainable salons our landfill bin only has gone out twice this year, which we used to put out weekly. Our waste has dropped to nothing, because they can recycle 95 percent of the waste in our salon, including the chemicals we use, plastics, metals, and papers. It’s been amazing.”

If you’re interested in sustainability for your business, check out our free Salon Sustainability resources.