Maybe you have been advertising in the local weekly, or even opened your wallet wide for the regional yellow pages, and you’ve brought in plenty of business as a result. Why should you care about the newest piece of the advertising puzzle — the Internet?
Here’s why. According to recent statistics, more and more people are using the ‘net, to do research and make purchases. Women now account for almost 40% of those who surf the ‘net and that number will grow to 60% by 2005, according to ZDNET AnchorDesk and NetSmart Research. Studies show that women make an overwhelming percentage of the purchases transacted online.
Thousands of salons already have a web page on the World Wide Web. Most are thrilled that with a small monetary outlay, their salon address, phone number, menu of services, and even a photo or two can be seen by thousands of prospective clients. If you are seriously considering venturing into this arena, here’s what you need to know.
- Someone in the salon needs to have an online provider, whether it be America Online or a local Internet Service Provider (ISP). This point is important so that people who visit your web page can e-mail you with questions or make appointments. Certain online providers offer free storage space on their equipment to host your page. Some of these providers specifically state this space can be used for personal use only. Check with your provider before proceeding. If your provider does not allow commercial storage, check around; there are plenty of places on the ‘net that offer free or very reasonable hosting services. To find free storage space, search the ‘net (type: “free storage space”) or check out the WorldWide Salon Referral Progam at BeautyTech.com.
- The next step would be to design your pages. Decide what content you want to display— service menu, directions, hours, credit cards accepted, etc. Web pages can be designed using several readily available programs or add-ins to a program that may already be on your computer. Some online and hosting services allow the creation of simple pages directly online. Prices for web pages developed by a professional web designer vary widely starting at approximately $60 and running up to several hundred dollars.
- Almost as important as design and layout is listing your new page with an online directory, commonly known as a search engine. The very first place to list your salon would be in a directory for your community. Some newspapers have free or low-cost link listings for local businesses.
If you already have an online account that allows you to have a business web page, there is no reason for you not to have a page advertising your salon today — right now. Take it from the webmaster herself: creating a simple web page is not rocket science.
You should be able to get your point across in a simple layout. If you are afflicted with computer-phobia, now is the time to get over it and stake your claim out here in cyberspace.
To see what other salon owners are doing online, you can find links at http://www.beautytech.com/referral/