These days you can do just about anything on the Internet. Meet a mate, find a job. Even get your hair styled.
Book online with OnsiteHaircuts.com, and the salon will come to you. The three rolling shops are converted RVs. They come to your office, you walk in, sit down, get your cut, and go back to work.
No surprise: the San Jose, Calif.-based company caters to the tech-heads of Silicon Valley. It services only a handful of the area’s largest companies, including Google, Yahoo, eBay, and Cisco.
The concept is the brainchild of owner Dena Kaufer, who’s spent time both managing salons and navigating the corporate fast lane. “I saw the intense working conditions and the emergence of the work-life balance movement,” she says. “I realized that eliminating an hour-long chore on the employee’s precious weekend would be a great benefit.”
Companies book in advance and the mobile salon spends an entire day on location. A haircut costs $18, shampoo is $5 more. Styling, curling, and blow drying are available but not coloring or perms.
Silicon Valley is a natural for such an enterprise. Its inhabitants are known for two things: innovative thinking and a desperate lack of style. But Kaufer says it was tough at first to make the cut with customers. “Marketing was difficult. I had to educate corporations on the value to get access to their campuses. There were concerns about liability and waste products. Onsite Haircuts is fully insured, of course, and all our salons are self-contained. They carry their own water and power.”
Now on her fourth year of business, Kaufer is thinking expansion. “There are opportunities in adjacent territories and there is the potential to open in a new area, either directly or via franchise. We’re also examining the creation of sister companies, such as an on-site nail salon.”
Her success is powered by a commitment to “think like a customer,” she says. “It sounds simple and obvious but it drives everything we do.”