by Bonnie Garvey, CMT

Imagine that you, representing your bodywork business, have been given an invitation to sit down at a vast banquet table. While this table has certain offerings and conversation you would rather pass on, there is a seemingly unlimited supply of sustenance for you and your business. The banquet table and its all-you-can-eat feast is an analogy for the Internet. If your business currently lacks an effective website, it’s undernourished in the current market.

Bodywork professionals who do not have a strong online presence are overlooking a significant portion of their potential client base. Karen Torbett, writer for, observed that the decision for business owners to have a website “has gone from IF to WHEN.” She added, “In this day and age, your business card is a website.” What should compel business owners to buy into this?

In February 2006, Nielsen’s NetRatings showed that 74% of Americans use the Internet, and those users averaged 30.5 hours online per month. puts the percentage of Internet users in the United States at 68%, or 204 million people out of a population near 300 million. With upcoming generations fully accustomed to using the Internet as a primary source of information and services, these percentages will only increase.

In 2005, Interland, Inc. conducted a survey of owners of 780 small and medium-sized businesses. Samplings of the poll’s findings follow:

  • 72% have a business website
  • 57% say business website generates purchases
  • 78% believe website gives business a competitive advantage
  • 76% say website generates leads for their business
  • 49% of small-business leaders use website to market and generate sales

There are a myriad of uses for a business website. Individually, these components can greatly empower and expand your business; collectively, they provide can’t-miss tentacles into the market.

  • Include an online scheduling feature. Clients can schedule appointments with you at their own convenience, and you don’t lose business due to missed phone calls while in session. This also cuts your administrative time dramatically.
  • Widen your customer base by reaching regional, national, and international markets. Travelers and visitors to your community will increase your bottom line. Many non-local customers also purchase gift cards online for their friends and families in your city.
  • Market through website content, including a business profile, rates, and customer testimonials.
  • Make your business accessible to customers and business partners 24/7.
  • Increase sales through e-commerce. Investigate the many online “shopping cart” services that can be easily added to your website. Bodywork professionals can increase their bottom line by selling products used during the service.
  • Save on advertising through website presence and promotions.
  • Include streaming video that showcases your talents or appeal of your products. You can also use video to instruct and educate clients about the value of bodywork.
  • Improve internal and external communication through e-mail and electronic newsletters. Newsletters can be used to inform customers of company specials and events, and to establish yourself as a trusted expert.

Once you have established your website, make sure it gets noticed. Submit your website name for free to search engines such as Yahoo and Google. Put your website link in the signature of your email, so that every email you send is a marketing message for your business.

Ultimately, a business website’s potential invites numerous creative uses. Don’t let the transforming market pass you by. Get online and put yourself fully in the driver’s seat of your business’ evolution. The change isn’t just good – it’s great!

Author and Certified Massage Therapist Bonnie Garvey is the owner of Wizards of Aahs Massage Therapy in Sacramento, California. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems. To see how the Internet enables today’s bodywork professionals to thrive, visit WizardsofAahs.Com.