This is going to be an introduction to my first blog series, in building a Power Platform solution to help my wife with her forthcoming self-employed venture.
As well as having the patience of a saint, she’s a highly trained Beauty Therapist. Prior to the birth of our daughter in 2015, she’d worked her way up the chain in one of the most respected Hotel & Spa’s in the South-West of the UK, going from Junior Therapist up to managing Front of House.
Since 2015, she shifted tact – switching to part time hours in an admin role, mainly to save us a few quid on childcare costs. During that time, she’s enjoyed my endless jokes about “when are you going to start contributing financially?”, or “the house is mostly mine, let’s be fair”, in reality providing the bedrock for me to continue pushing my career and affording a presence in our daughters life that most would dream of.
She’s longed for a return to her trained profession though, but due to continued Repetitive Strain Injury in her forearms, she’s now unable to work for most Hotel’s or Spa’s as they ask their therapists to provide massage (not the dodgy kind). She’s always dreamed of running her own beauty business; we sort of half tried it a few years back, but doing it around her part time job, a screaming baby and a grumpy husband was just a bit too much.
My old man sadly passed away, unexpectedly, in early 2022 – a MASSIVE reminder that you can’t just plod along in life and hope that things might work out for you every now and again; you might think you deserve something, but life isn’t always just going to hand it to you – you need to go and take it, then make the best of it.
So earlier this year we started putting the wheels in motion to get my wife set up self-employed, so she can deliver a bespoke range of beauty treatments that befits her years of training & experience. Here is one of our earlier conversations:
Not on my watch! She’s openly admitted to me that she never truly understands what I do for a living and has no real interest either, so this is going to be a great way to show her whilst ensuring her business admin is digital & streamlined. Besides, I’m just as invested in her new venture & manual processes trigger me big time!
So over a craft beer or six one evening, we determined the following requirements:
It’s worth noting at this stage that we’d intended to use Microsoft Bookings to manage appointments & clients. However, the Bookings iOS & Android apps were retired earlier in 2023 (as per announcement MC485091), recommending users to access Bookings via your chosen browser on mobile devices.
If you’ve tried using Bookings this way on a smartphone, you’ll know it isn’t the best experience in the world. This is especially true for the wife, who’ll be running the majority of her admin from her mobile device.
Bookings in general needs more investment than Tottenham’s defence (and their midfield coming to think of it, and their ‘keeper…. and their back room staff!), so we’ll attempt to build what we need in Power Apps instead.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll start building out the solution and blogging about all the key steps, including:
– Environment setup and strategy
– Creating our solution and environment variables
– Various Power Automate flows
– Power Apps app
I expect this to be a fun build!