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Book Salon is a wellness and beauty care industry portal for consumers that offers a digital service package for free. Skillwell helped to find a suitable coder quickly and successfully implement product development. Book Salon is preparing to launch in Europe.

With the beginning of cooperation skepticism dissipated - the Book Salon received a team of coders who do not need to explain everything

The coder who worked with the subcontractor changed companies, and there was no replacement for him. The Book Salon partner Jonne Castrén didn't know what to do. Then Skillwell stepped in and a suitable expert was found in just under three weeks.

When Jonne Castrén sat in an Uber car for the first time on his trip to Dubai, he had a flash. All the things that are disgusting when using a taxi abroad were gone.

"I thought that this is the way to approach some other field and tackle every single abomination from both the consumer and the service provider," he said.

The idea gave birth to Book Salon, which is a wellness and beauty care portal for consumers. For service providers, it is a digital service package in which the customer receives appointment booking, checkout, communication and accounting reports in the same package.

"Competitors charge a monthly fee for the same services, but as crazy as it sounds, we want to offer all of this for free," says Castrén .

A friend's advice turned out to be his own luck

Book Salon was founded in 2016, and for the past year product development has been stuck in a state where we are only a few months away from the product's completion.

"I've had a bit of bad luck with subcontractors. Then we found Skillwell by chance in a trade."

The story of the beginning of the collaboration is a bit comical and there may be some coincidence. Castrén had previously come across Skillwell and told his colleague about it. Later, he himself was in a situation where software expertise was badly needed. It was indeed quickly achieved, because when Castrén contacted Skillwell, in less than three weeks he already had a suitable coder.

"I then received confirmation from this same colleague that the offered guys are really skilled. Now I can say for myself that they really do have iron-clad professionalism."

The talent shortage is real – entrepreneurs are calling each other

Book Salon needed experts in Node.js, MongoDB and React, which, according to Castren's experience, cannot be easily found in Finland.

"If there are any, then there is a lot of competition for them. The borders to foreign countries must be opened, and that can be done precisely with a service like Skillwell."

During his career, Castrén has therefore been able to notice that the talent shortage in the software industry is real.

"It's kind of funny when we entrepreneurs call each other and ask, Do you know someone skilled, and then it turns out that the other end of the phone is looking for a similar person."

The bullet point list is enough

Apart from his company partner, Castrén has outsourced all activities related to Book Salon, so working remotely is in itself familiar to him. Still, the long-distance coders wondered at first.

Thinking about it now, Castrén feels that he has hit a goldmine in terms of both the programming and communication skills of the Skillwell experts. So the fear was pointless.

"I have been really lucky, because this team understands from the small bullet point list what we are looking for. That's what I like, that you don't have to explain everything right away," Castrén praises.

"And it's not a solution when tasks are handed over to a manager who reports to the encoder, and the message changes along the way." he continues.

The Book Salon is now close to the finish line in its product development process, as it plans to launch already in September. The goal would be to make the product available in Estonia and the Netherlands soon. So the conquest of Europe can finally begin!

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