Heath and beauty SMEs failing to capitalise on digital

Almost half (44%) of small health and beauty businesses don’t even have a website, potentially leading to them missing out on additional sales.

The study, by insurance provider Simply Business, which surveyed small businesses about their use and knowledge of technology, found that many health and beauty businesses have yet to invest in any form of digital marketing.

More than half (55%) of the smallest beauty businesses – those that have up to ten employees – admitted they weren’t using social media, while just one in five (17%) use online listings and the same number send out an e-newsletter.

Vanda Tanner, director of salon OMG Hair & Beauty in Swindon, who is also a business consultant for other salons, said websites and social media are crucial to grow a business.

“Your website is a shop window for your store. People use it to find out what the salon looks like and you’re at a disadvantage if you don’t have one.”

She added: “Social media is free to use. It’s another marketing tool and this generation and the generation before are all now using Twitter and Facebook.” 

However, the survey did find that businesses in the sector appear confident about their IT skills, with 80% of health and beauty owners saying they are very or fairly knowledgeable about the IT required for their business. Some 70% said their IT skills gave them a competitive advantage.