‘It’s like Just Eat, but for the hair and beauty industry’ - When we heard those words from Jody Riley, founder of Just Bella, we were hooked and wanted to find out more about her exciting business idea.
Just Bella is an online booking platform for hair, beauty, health, body and fitness. Jody says; ‘You can go online to Just Bella, and type in what treatment you want, the area and the time that you want it. And everybody that is available has a listing, and you can choose and book online!’
Just Bella launched back at the beginning of April and currently Jody has over 120 businesses signed up and ready to take bookings on the site, but it hasn’t been plain sailing to get to this point. ‘I’ve been working on Just Bella since January last year, and to say it’s been a rollercoaster ride is not even close! I thought I’d get someone to build the website and I’d be a millionaire in 3 months, but it’s not been like that! It’s been hard going.’ Over the course of the last year, Jody has had to work hard on the website, switching it from one designer to another, as her ideas got bigger and bigger.
|Photo Credit: Liverpool Echo|
‘Now that hard work is paying off, and we’re getting the bookings. On the day we launched we got the bookings and it made me really excited. Now the website is up and running it isn’t peace and quiet. We are still working hard behind the scenes trying to always add new features and pages to expand the website.’
The premise is brilliant in its simplicity. Every business that signs up to will get their first month free and then choose from a range of different packages to support their needs with the basic package costing only £6.99 a month. Just Bella don’t take any commissions from the bookings that they receive and a lot of Jody’s time is spent helping to market that specific business and showing customers the great offers that they have.
Jody has the perfect background for this role. Prior to setting up Just Bella, Jody managed a Call Centre, and worked as the National Marketing Director for the health food group Juice PLUS+. As well as this Jody is a fully qualified beautician and began working as a mobile beautician after the birth of her son, enjoying the flexibility that it offered her. Working as a mobile beautician Jody was dedicated to building up here clientele list, and this was one of the first sparks that she had, which led to Just Bella.
‘When I trained as a beautician, I always thought, I wish there was a platform where somebody could market my business and help me get bookings.’ As well as this Jody found herself in a situation when on holiday and realised that there was the gap in the market for a business idea like Just Bella. ‘I remember being in the Lake District and I needed my hair doing, but obviously I didn’t know anywhere around there, and wasn’t sure where would be the best place to go. I thought, wouldn’t it be great to be able to type in online what I was looking for, be able to read reviews and see the availability. Just Bella stemmed from there.’
And it’s really taken off, so much so that Jody works with a team of two sales executives as well as another part time member of staff, who help her deal with the amount of interest that the business is creating and Jody says; ‘I’m hoping that I will need more staff soon!’
Jody has big plans for the future of Just Bella. She has just introduced a special features and offers page, Just Bella is looking for sponsors and to connect with wholesale hair and beauty businesses. In the long term, Jody wants to take Just Bella across the UK with the possibility of franchising the business out. But for now, she is trying to learn her most important lesson in business; ‘Don’t run before you can walk!’
The Women’s Organisation, and in particular Jody’s Business Advisor; Francine Taylor has been instrumental in drumming this lesson into Jody; ‘Before, I was sprinting before I could walk. I thought; if I don’t do this now, then somebody else will, so I was trying to do everything at once! Fran put the reins on me and really helped me to understand that I could go with the flow. She’s been really great.’ Jody got in touch with The Women’s Organisation after finding us online and has really benefited from working with Francine as well as the different courses like Planning for Success, and Building a Social Media Strategy that we provide.
Now that Just Bella is up and running and growing more and more, and Jody is learning her lesson of walking before she can run, the future is exciting as the business garners more interest, and so it should in a city like Liverpool! ‘Launching Just Bella in Liverpool is the perfect place, because everybody likes to look amazing every time they go out! So that’s what Just Bella is all about. Our motto is Book Yourself Beautiful!’
If you are interested in Booking Yourself Beautiful, make sure you visit Just Bella, and see the fantastic range of businesses that they have secured across Liverpool! And follow Just Bella on Social Media using the details and links below!
If you have been inspired by Jody’s story and are interested in starting up your own business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and see how we can help you take the first step. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 0151 706 8111
Just Bella Contact Details