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This Ghanaian Native Built UK’s First App-Powered Mobile Barbershop

 

Darren Tenkorang is the co-founder of TRIM-IT, an app that lets users request haircuts from the comfort of their own homes. Tenkorang was inspired to create the app after spending so much time in barbershops getting a haircut.

“I got sick of waiting for an hour at the barber’s, especially on a Friday or Saturday,” he told the BBC. “The new generation, like me, just wants a trim and to get on with their day. We live our lives fast-paced.”

“So I thought maybe we should put a barber shop in the back of a van and have them come to you. At the time it sounded silly, but now it has come to life, so it’s an idea that made no sense but made sense at the same time, “he told Business Insider.

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When he got a one-year placement at a reinsurance company in London, the Ghanaian native got the idea for the UK’s first app-powered mobile barbershop. After six months in his new position, the University of Sussex graduate realized he was dyslexic and decided to change careers.

“I love it for the first six months but after the first six months I realized I was really struggling, so out of fear I said to myself I need to control my destiny and create a business,” he told the Insider in an interview.

Tenkorang began his business with $11,000 in prize money from a business competition. His initial business concept was to develop a booking app that would allow customers to book barber appointments online.

He had over 300 barbers sign up, but customers began complaining about poor service, and since it was his platform that was being used, he needed to fix it. This sparked the unconventional idea of converting the back of a van into a mobile barbershop.

He restricted the operation of the business so that, through the app, customers would book a mobile barbershop for their home, office, or even the gym.

According to Forbes, the first mobile barbershop was a success, and Tenkorang used that to raise funds from angel investors to expand his mobile vans to seven, with 11 barbers offering at least 65 haircuts per day prior to the pandemic.

TRIM-IT saw a nearly 300% increase in sales during the London lockdown and even struggled to meet demand. To meet the increasing demand for their services, the team decided to franchise their startup in the same way that McDonald’s does. According to Forbes, TRIM-IT raised $1.1 million in order to expand this franchise model. They charge barbers £335 per month ($367) plus a 0-9% sales commission.

The ambition of the company is to operate up to 2,500 vans across Europe and the U.S.

Tenkorang was born to immigrant parents with roots in Ghana who came to Britain in the 1990s. His father worked as a security guard while his mother worked as a cleaner.

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Written by How Africa News

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