From launching a website to going mobile with a salon App, today’s salon owners are plugging into technology to build stronger, competitive and increasingly more profitable businesses. If there was a Bell Curve for the rate at which salon owners adopt technology, where would you fall on the curve? Do you ride the cutting edge, being an early adopter of every next big thing? Or do you hold back, only testing the tech waters after being pressured by your staff and clients? For this year’s special annual technology issue, we decided to detail some salon owner case studies of five different areas of technological adoption: website construction, online booking, interactive marketing, managerial software and mobile apps. Wherever you fall on the curve, you’re bound to learn from the owners who are successfully employing these five technologies, helping you perfect your own tech strategy.
Working the web determined to establish a web presence, these owners found building a website easier than they could even imagine.
Finishing Touch DaySpa,
Natural Balance Massage and Wellness Center,
Brooklyn, New York
|Mary Jane Niven|
Vine Street Salon,
OWNER Mary Jane Niven used a computer to design her salon publications very early on at Vine Street Salon in Berkeley, California. Comfortable with the internet before any of her staff even owned a computer, she envisioned its future possibilities. Her dilemma was: How was she going to use it to her advantage?
|Make It Your Own
It’s never been easier to utilize the SalonBuilder technology to build your own website. Access the program by using the MODERN SALON Site Kit available at or modernsalon.com/sitekit. As you construct your site, here are some useful tips on how to use it:
• Personalize your homepage with some information about your salon and spa, including a description, your business philosophy and/or your mission statement.
• Enter detailed descriptions about your services and prices on your services pages. For more unusual or complex spa services, include what a guest can expect during the service.
• Show images and logos from all product lines you use or sell.
• Add personal information about your staff, their accomplishments, specialties and recently added advanced education classes. Include their photos and hours.
• Take advantage of the option to buy gift certificates online. Your clients can even print out the gift certificates on their own printers for those last-minute gifts.
• Upload some pictures of your salon, staff and special services to your personal image library. Use them to provide a virtual tour of your salon or show before-and after-shots.
• Collect client e-mail addresses so you can notify them of special sales on services or products with e-mail blasts.
When her distributor for West Coast Beauty (now CosmoProf North America) mentioned a seminar on “building a salon business online,” Niven signed up. SalonBuilder presented its website-building program at the seminar and explained how it worked. “It was my answer. Rushing up after the presentation I believe I was the very first to sign up,” she says. “I had a vision, and they were was going to make it happen for my salon.”
Diana McEnroe from Finishing Touch Day Spa in Waterloo, Iowa, first encountered SalonBuilder at the Your Beauty Network Trade Show in 2002. She wanted to build a better web presence to service her current clients and attract prospective clients. “The person at the booth showed me how easy it was to build my own website,” said McEnroe. “They registered my domain right there on the spot. I came home from the show and in less than an hour my website was up and running.”
Designing and launching a website from the ground up requires a lot of time, money and skills. A good alternative is taking advantage of a semi custom website package, such as SalonBuilder’s MODERN SALON Site Kit, which offers 90 website templates and thousands of images. Using the kit, owners can post a professional, beautiful website in less than 15 minutes, customizing it with the look, information and images specific to their own salon.
Easy-to-use tools, feature rich options and quality service helped owners like Niven and McEnroe use their sites to reach out to new customers, recruit staff and enrich their relationships with existing clients. “The built-in features, such as ‘Guest Book,’ allow me to contact my clients via e-mail at no additional cost,” says Linda Camarda, owner of Natural Balance Massage and Wellness Center in Brooklyn, New York. “The keywords and meta tag system have also been very effective in optimizing our position online.”
Camarda adds, her salon’s website will soon feature an “employment opportunities” page that will help their recruitment efforts. The customized page will allow prompt interaction between herself and potential candidates. “Their employment program is seen by millions,” she says.
The website has additionally helped with her salon’s marketing punch. At the click of a mouse, Camarda can see which marketing venues are bringing the most traffic to her website, and what visitors are looking at with the “Statistical Reporting” feature. “Rather than guessing, this information helps me know where my marketing dollars should go, and all of this is included in my monthly fee,” she says.
Having a website has helped both Niven and Camarda become more comfortable with technology. Through creating her site and making sure it’s linked to search engines, Niven has learned how to efficiently navigate the web. SalonBuilder has also inadvertently taught Camarda, through trial and error and conversations with representatives, higher technology. “SalonBuilder is a company that is thoroughly on top of potential problems, long before we the user, even get wind of it,” says Niven.
Read the full series:
- Technology Case Studies: Salon Apps
- Technology Case Studies: Software Solutions
- Technology Case Studies: Online Booking
- Technology Case Studies: Interactive Marketing
- Technology Case Studies: Salon Sites