Whenever a new business is launched, it needs to be properly advertised. Advertising is a great way of communicating to the target audience of all the products and services the business provides. In most cases however, advertisement can be very expensive. Even a small space in a popular magazine to advertise your business can cost you a hefty amount.
Since you are only beginning your massage therapy career, it is not wise to spend a large amount on such expensive advertising right off the bat. You will need your capital for various other start-up related expenses.
This is why it is best to look for alternate means of making your practice known to clients. This is one aspect where technology can help you greatly. The best means of advertising your business for a low cost these days is to make a website.
Having your own optimized web presence is a cost-effective method of making your business known to others. Moreover, you can simply make minor tweaks to the website to keep it up-to-date as things change in your business; for example when you start offering a new service.
However, there are certain things that you need to consider before you have a website made for your massage therapy business.
What Type of Website Do You Need?
One of the most important things to consider when building a website for your business is the type of website you build. There are various types of websites out there that you can consider. Not all will work well for your business model.
This is why it is important to carefully consider whether or not a particular website design will work for your business. One of the best ways to go about this is to analyze what you expect from your website. In other words, be clear about your goals and objectives.
Some massage businesses or therapists only aim to promote their services through a website. The websites for such businesses can be simple with a few tabs that provide relevant information such as address and contact details. It is essentially an online business card.
On the other hand if you want your website to be interactive, you should choose a type accordingly. For example, if you want your clients to be able to schedule appointments via a calendar function, then you have to have this functionality built in.
If you are also going be providing products for sale along with massage therapy related information, you should add functionality that displays such information and allows for ecommerce or online sales. Only after you have decided your expectations from the website should you choose a type.
What is the Cost of Building a Website?
One the most important things to consider is the cost of developing a website. There are certain internet marketing companies that may charge a hefty amount for their services. This is mainly because they are an established company. The cheaper thing to do is to make your own website using various free tools available online. There is no reason why you shouldn’t give it a shot as technology has made everything so easy these days. You don’t need to know how to code. Simply drag, drop, point and click.
You should take care not to spend excessively on building a site at least initially. If you are going to hire someone, hire a freelancer or a local referral you get from a friend. If you go with a company, ask them to bid for your work and go with the best priced one providing you like their previous work samples.
If you are on a tight budget, avoid going to renowned companies for this service as they may charge you a lot. Instead, ask your friends or colleagues for a company where you could get it done for cheaper. You can always upgrade later as your practice grows.
Many start-up internet marketing companies will build a business website for a low price to get their business started. You should try and take advantages of a company providing such a deal. This way you could save a great deal on start-up costs. Moreover, new companies tend to do a great job since they need referrals. Getting a website done doesn’t have to be an expensive task. We have seen high quality professional sites done for as low as $300.
Should You Also Establish an Informative Blog?
A great way to attract customers is to become visible (or famous) on the internet. One can only imagine how much your reach is scaleable over the internet. A great way to go about this is to start a blog. You can either write on the blog yourself, or get someone else to write for you.
The articles that you post on the blog should be regarding massage therapy or other relevant discussions about your business or industry. You can post articles about the various types of therapies available for example and how they can benefit your clients.
Moreover, you can also post articles about how therapy can benefit the body and its long term benefits to overall health and well-being. Be sure to add pictures and videos to make your blog more attractive. Also make sure your content is original and informative.
You can also get an SEO, or search engine optimization and internet marketing company to do this for you (at a cost of course). Once you do this, your website may be recognized as an authority in this subject matter. People will be more inclined to acquire your services because of the valuable information you provide to them. Not to mention you will become more visible and client traffic may start to trickle in to your business as a result of them having found you online.
Things to Include In Your Website Design
Another important thing to consider is the tools that you should include in your website design. For instance, if a product-selling business wants to boost sales, they may set up a sale widget on their site. The customers will be able to buy products online using the widget tool. Similarly, you can do the same. Of course your widget needs to be a little different since you are a service-oriented business. Some examples could be scents, lotions, hot stones, massage kneaders, etc.
As mentioned earlier, you can also allow customers to set up appointments online. In addition to this, you can also ask customers to choose from a variety of massages so you know what they want before they even come in. This could help you better prepare for your customer even before they come to your facility.
Moreover, the customer will not have to go through the hassle of asking when the appointments are available. You can update the available times online and the customer can choose one which meets their schedule. This can not only help customers but also make it easier for you to manage as well. You may not have to deal with as many customers on the phone and create extra time to focus more on your work.
It’s All About Customer Convenience
The most important aspect of setting up a website is the user experience. The website that you set up should be easy to use.
Many businesses make the mistake of putting up an ultra-fancy website just because it looks great. Always remember that customers prefer convenience above everything else. If your website looks great but does not provide an easy to use interface, they won’t like or use it. Money down the drain!
Moreover, you should also consider setting up a mobile ready website. This is because more customers prefer browsing on their smartphones, tablets and other media devices these days. In fact, folks like to set up appointments from their phones as these are “chores” they do while they are out and about. The easier you make it for the customers, the more they will appreciate it and use it, and the more spare time you will create for yourself to work on other aspects of your business.
So before you go out and set up a website for your massage therapy business, be sure to consider the above mentioned points to ensure the best experience and return on your investment both for you and your clients.