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The ‘Uber of therapists’ arrives12 June 2017Some 90 therapists have already signed onto Grooma, a new grooming and beauty services app that brings the therapist to the customer, at the latter’s convenience and choice of location.The brainchild of trend specialist, author, speaker and entrepreneur, John Sanei, and Shantelle Booysen, brand owner of Elim Spa products, Grooma is currently in its beta phase and testing the market in Cape Town, but is signing therapists around South Africa, with the Grooma App currently available on Apple in 14 countries around the globe.Sanei told Professional Beauty that Grooma was inspired by a brand new economy – ‘the one-hour economy’ where consumers require services in one hour. “This economy is based on the concept of hyper-convenience and is all about making it as easy as possible for the consumer to purchase a product or service. So, Grooma brings the therapist and treatment to wherever you want it, be it the house, office, or hen party, for example, whenever you require. Consumers often don’t want to go to the bother of having to get into their car, drive through traffic, find safe parking, pay for parking, etc. just to have a beauty treatment.”“Historically, mobile therapists listed on a website but convenience is driving us to offer this service via an app.”Sanei stressed that Grooma is not only for mobile therapists. “Grooma provides the opportunity for every salon to offer a takeaway service. I believe it’s ideal for salons that are looking for a new revenue stream.” Consumers can download the Grooma app from the Apple App Store, with the Android App available on Google Play.According to Sanei, Grooma’s top priority is the therapist. “For that reason we have a very strong focus on security and have two systems in place. The first is a panic button on a keyring connected to security companies, ADT and Chubb. There is also a next of kin button, so that family can raise the alarm if the therapist is not where they should be after the treatment. We are looking at more suggestions for security. Customers are encouraged to sign up for Grooma via Facebook so that we have a tracking record.”Sanei’s team is currently building up its ‘army’ of Grooma therapists. Any therapist wanting to sign up for Grooma must complete an online form and their qualifications and quality of work is then evaluated by a vetting team. Regarding the quality of treatments and maintaining a level of standards, Sanei said: “It has been proven that when technology puts a system in place where consumers can rate service providers and vice versa that the general service level increases. This was built into Grooma and clients can see not only star ratings but also reviews on therapists.”He explained that payment of Groomas works on a sliding scale. “Groomas pay us between 10% and 18% commission, depending on how many treatments they do. Prices are fixed and therapists can select swhich treatments they would like to offer. The more treatments that a Grooma does, the less commission they pay.“All payments are liquid; it works exactly like Uber in that you pay when you book. Should a client cancel more than three hours before the treatment, the Grooma gets notified and the client gets her credit. If she cancels in under three hours before the treatment, it works like a normal cancellation in a salon. She still pays for the treatment and the Grooma gets the full amount minus her commission.” Not surprisingly, many existing mobile therapists have jumped at the Grooma opportunity. “We’ve also seen beauty therapy students taking a keen interest in Grooma. In addition it is ideal for those therapists who are on sabbatical or want to work part time. Grooma wants to develop people – it is in the business of growing salons and improving the quality of our therapists,” concluded Sanei. (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)