This is ‘What Would Q Do?’ A series where I offer advice on how to solve business problems using technology. Need help with your business? Tell us more and I may be able to provide a solution in the next feature.
Today I’m a salon owner in Charlotte, NC and my business has shut down due to COVID-19. Although some businesses are set to reopen, my salon won’t be able to open for another 4–6 weeks.
As an owner of a salon, I’m pissed right now. I realize there is a ton of new business and my current clientele looking to get their hair done. With my shop shut down for at least a month I would take this time to build an online store.
An online store can serve as an extension to my business and give me an opportunity to generate more money. The store will allow me to service my clients who need to manage their hair between visits to my shop.
Although this idea sounds great, I know I will need upfront capital and patience if I’m going to pull this off. I don’t want to do this project myself because the project could take longer than 4-6 weeks.
Set #1: Getting The Website Built
While the team at NicheOnline.net is building the site I need to gather a few more items to support the new site. The items I’m looking for are a domain name, photos of the salon, logo, and a bio on my business. These items will be enough for a basic website but what about the store?
Step #2: Choose A Product To Sale
To complete the store I will need to decide what items I want to sell. Keeping it simple, I will sale hair maintenance products that I use in the shop in smaller sizes.
Each product my customer sees on the site should have the following if I want to sell:
- Photos (one of which has a quarter sitting next to the product to give my customers a way to see how big the product is)
- Product description detailing what the product does and the problem it will solve
- Price point that covers my cost plus profit margin
Step #3: Find A Payment Processor
Finding a payment processor won’t be hard as I already deal with Venmo and CashApp. Those to options, although, serves it purpose in my shop won’t cut it for my website. For my website I will use PayPal. I could use Stripe but I like PayPal more.
Step #4: Establish A Shipping Method
When an item sells I will need to ship it so I will use USPS because they offer Flat Rate Shipping. This will keep my cost consistent And they offer free boxes for my orders. All I would need to know is sign up for an account and I‘m ready to go.
Step #5: Promote My Website
After receiving great news about the completion of my website, it’s time to launch and promote it. I decided to promote my site using three methods:
- Email: This will allow me to speak directly to my current customers. I can express my appreciation for their support and offer them discounts on items in my new store. Later I can send them an email to announce my store has reopened and I’m taking appointments.
- Social Media: I can use my current social media profiles to showcase my work but also the products I have for sale. Later I can post tips I would use social media as a way to post about my online store opening and the products it offer.
- Paid Social Media: Here I can produce advertisements directed to my target audience. These ads will allow me to expose my brand to potential customers that didn’t know I existed.
Soon my new site will see some sells and when my salon opens back up I will be happy to know I have two revenue streams. In the future if one revenue stream goes down the other should hold me up.