In Australia, there are currently over 2.3m businesses registered of which 60% are sole traders. Sole traders, like my mum who runs a small hair salon in Melbourne and works 6 days a week.

Outside of being a hairdresser, she also manages all the nitty-gritty details of her business like inventory, admin, bookings and well.. if she was more tech savvy than marketing as well!

I became inspired to help her get more hours back in the day and even grow the business without spending a lot of money through the power of automations.

The best part? She is already using Square for her POS and absolutely loves it - Converting her into a paying customer when we're ready to go-live is going to be an easy sell 🤣

What it does

Cadence is an automation platform designed to help small business owners get more done and grow without needing to hire more staff.

For the hackathon, we spent a day at my mum's salon to identify missed opportunities that could help her business grow. With Cadence, it's currently pos_sible to:

Missed Appointments

Missed appointments can cost over 21% of revenue for small businesses that turns over $120k a year. Let’s set up some automation to reduce no-show rates by simply sending out booking reminders. [demo]

Last minute Bookings

Another frustrating thing for her, is last minute cancellations. Let’s set up a workflow to send out SMS’s to customers who missed out that day to try fill in the spot.

Customer Loyalty

Cadence can also be used to nurture your customers. Let’s set up a special deal for customers who have spent over $500 to get a special hair treatment.

Customer Retention

And for everyone else who hasn’t visited, let’s send out an SMS after 6 months letting them know that they are missed. We can't exactly demo this, so you're going to have to trust us on this one.

How we built it

Luannie built the workflow engine that we nicknamed "gears of cadence" using Square's webhooks to receive events, messaging queues to process the workflows, Twilio for sending SMS and Sendgrid for emails.

Sam built the platform using React, Firebase and a lot of patience.

Challenges we ran into

Building a workflow editor that snaps together fluidly was very challenging!!! Square's webhooks for testing also stopped working in the last couple of hours :(

Accomplishments that we're proud of

You know how writers like to dedicate their books to their loved ones? I'm really proud to say that I wrote Cadence for my mum ❤️.

Outside of being mushy, we're extremely proud of the amount of work delivered in such a short amount of time and we can't wait to continue developing this idea post hackathon.

What we learned

  • Although there are many automation softwares in the market, none of the platforms were designed with brick and mortar or trades & services in mind.
  • Australian businesses are very archaic but due to covid have turned online making this the perfect opportunity to work on Cadence

What's next for Cadence

Our vision for cadence is to make automation as simple as turning on a light switch.

While the focus for this hackathon was on beauty professionals, a lot of the workflows can actually be carried across and reused in other types of businesses.

To help businesses learn and get started, we will be working on a recipes page with different starter packs for different businesses.

We also want to focus on more integrations with other tools and eventually allow business owners to create their own email and form templates using branding data from Square.

And that's it, we hoped you enjoyed watching our video as much as we enjoyed hacking on Cadence.

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