As part of our commitment to supporting and promoting entrepreneurs, we’re spotlighting InkBook customers who have been directly impacted by the pandemic to learn about how they’ve adapted studio operations to deal with unavoidable business disruptions.
We recently spoke with Greg Smith, co-owner of Wolf & Crown Tattoo Studio in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, to learn about his experience running a business amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, and how he’s using software to keep his studio organized.
Q: To start, we’d love to learn a little more about your business.
A: I own Wolf & Crown with my partner, Haley. She and three other artists do all the tattooing, while I focus on the day-to-day of running the shop, like cleaning and accounting. We just started the business in January.
Q: What inspired you to open the studio?
A: Under the previous operator, the artists felt like they were in an environment where they couldn’t be themselves. Money wasn’t being invested in the shop’s health, so it started to deteriorate. Haley and I decided to buy the shop so we could give the artists a place to love their job again. Our main priority was to create an environment where everyone could strive to be their best, instead of worrying about whether the shop was clean or had supplies.
Q: How long have you been using InkBook? What’s been your experience with the software?
A: I bought InkBook in late 2019 as a trial. Within the first few days we had a eureka moment where we knew that this was going to be a program that made everyone’s lives easier. It’s one of the best tools a tattoo shop could ever have!
Our favorite feature is the reporting. I love being able to keep track of gross revenue, as well as all the deposits and credits being added to each client’s account. With InkBook, those numbers never get lost or distorted. The text message reminders are also amazing because we can use them to always keep our customers in the loop with studio updates and appointments.
Q: How has the pandemic impacted your business?
A: The pandemic totally drained our contingency reserve, which was enough savings to cover expenses for roughly three months. Thankfully, the Canadian government gave us a monthly allowance, so the impact could have been much worse.
Since we’re an appointment-only studio, we had to reschedule three months of appointments into 2021. Haley is booked two years in advance, so it was hard knowing those people had already been waiting a while. But everyone understood that we just couldn’t operate.
Q: How are you using InkBook to help you operate new health and safety guidelines?
A: Not knowing when we could return to the studio, we had to navigate rescheduling months of appointments from home. This could have been a huge, anxiety-inducing moment, but instead it was manageable with InkBook. The software helped us keep business organized, and all our artists were able to take care of their clients remotely, without any issues at all. It’s convenient that you don’t have to link InkBook to any other apps; the system is all-in-one.
Q: Are there any changes you’ve made to how you run your studio that you intend to uphold once business returns to normal?
A: We’ve found that, since COVID hit, we’ve had to become stricter with our schedules. Everyone starts earlier in the day, and clients are staggered by 15-minute slots. We’ll continue implementing both of these changes forever.
We’ve also made it so that clients don’t bring a lot of people in with them for appointments, and all the artists really like that it’s just them and the client. Clients can still bring in family members or someone close to them if they’re anxious, but we’re trying to keep the space from getting crowded.
Q: Do you have any concerns for what’s to come as we head into the next few months?
A: We’re unfortunately always anticipating another shutdown, but if push comes to shove and we have to close again, we’ll follow the professional safety recommendations and do our part to keep everyone safe.