Finding Work/Life Balance
Salon owners are always thinking of others: making sure clients have an amazing experience in the salon and their team is happy and healthy and lending to the productivity of the business. When you own a business, it’s easy to put off or neglect self-care; however, stress, uncertainty, and long hours can cause isolation, dissatisfaction, and exhaustion and, if left unchecked long enough, can result in burnout.
What is salon owner burnout, how does it affect you and your business, and what can you do to avoid it?
In 2019, The World Health Organization officially recognized burnout in its International Classification of Diseases, listing it as a syndrome that results from chronic workplace stress.
According to an article on Entrepreneur.com, burnout can negatively affect you physically; it’s associated with higher susceptibility to illness and a higher risk of heart disease. It can also affect your entire team and your personal life, distancing you from friends, family, and loved ones.
You may be surprised just how common burnout really is. In a recent survey of 300 business owners by Hubspot’s The Hustle, 63% reported that they’ve dealt with or are currently dealing with burnout. The survey also uncovered a variety of emotional factors that negatively impact owners and accelerate burnout, including financial concerns, work-life balance, and day-to-day stress.
The Signs of Burnout
There are many tell-tale signs of burnout. For example, If you’ve lost perspective or experienced brain fog – that cloudy, fuzzy feeling in your head – it’s a symptom of chronic stress.
If you’re completely spent at the end of the day, and it happens several times a week, that’s a red flag. Being exhausted can cause a downward spiral, robbing you of the opportunity to relax, recharge and rejuvenate.
If you find it hard to concentrate, lack enthusiasm, or have lost the passion that once fueled you, you might be heading toward burnout.
However, if you have become cynical or critical of others and are experiencing negative emotions or snapping at your team or loved ones, take note. When you start feeling moody, irritable or lose your cool, it’s a clear indicator of burnout, and it’s time to do something about it.
The good news is that burnout is mostly reversible and is absolutely avoidable.
So, how do you avoid or come back from burnout?
It’s simple; you make your well-being a top priority starting with finding a good work-life balance. Granted, owning and running a business, especially where you are also working behind the chair, takes a certain amount of dedication and effort to make it flourish – however, it should never come at the cost of your health or mental well-being.
The first step is to set boundaries between your home and work life, starting with designating personal time.
First, take a good look at your schedule to see where you can realistically make changes. Start by booking a week off to spend with your family over the coming year, followed by at least two long weekends off in the next six months. It’s essential to unplug once in a while and to always have something to look forward to.
Now designate at least an hour minimum per day for “me time.” This is when you go to the gym, take a yoga class, or go for a vigorous walk – something to help blow off steam or relax.
Aim for eight solid hours of sleep a night by going to bed early and avoiding distractions like watching TV, scrolling social, or texting while in bed.
Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Fuel up by taking healthy snacks and meals to work with you, and stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle within reach all day.
Now, let’s think through your time at the salon. Carve out some time just for business management. It can be an hour each morning before anyone else comes in or a quiet morning to take care of the business stuff. That way, it’s not hanging over you all day as your work on clients.
Next, look for ways to delegate tasks. If you have a salon manager, empower them to take over the daily management tasks like handling staff conflicts and customer complaints. Also, task your front desk team to manage your inventory, check-in shipments, and keep your shelves stocked, so it’s one less thing you have to do.
Instead of trying to keep the salon in top shape yourself, use outside contractors to help keep it clean, make any needed repairs, and your supply of towels and smocks stocked up.
Hire consultants as needed, such as a business consultant and a CPA, to handle your taxes and help set you up for financial success. If you have a large team, consider hiring a payroll company to manage that part of your business. Using outside experts to take care of certain aspects of your business will not only give you some time back but will also provide peace of mind.
Next, find a good mentor or professional support group to discuss setbacks, time management strategies, and other business-related matters. It’s nice to have someone to keep you grounded, on track, and bounce ideas off of.
Use Technology to Streamline Your Business
One of the best ways to unburden yourself and even help improve your team’s productivity is to use technology to streamline and automate processes in your salon. For example, salon software can help manage client data and book and confirm appointments from anywhere. That way, you or any member of your team can book appointments as needed.
You can also make online scheduling an option for your clients that way, they can manage their own data and book appointments when they remember to do so; plus, they can purchase memberships, packages, and gift cards without needing you or your team to assist them.
Did you know that having an online booking system increases the number of customer appointments by an average of over 20%? It’s true, and with this feature working in your favor, just imagine the reduction in stress.
Next, eliminate the need for making confirmation calls and reminder calls or texts by setting up automated communications. You can reduce your anxiety and rest assured that your clients are getting notifications on your behalf to ensure they show up for their appointments. Studies have shown that automated email and text alerts reduce client cancellations and no-shows from 8% to under 1%.
Putting client communications on autopilot is another way for you to save time in the salon and reduce stress. These communications can wish clients a happy birthday, invite them back to the salon when they’ve gone missing, remind them to set their next appointment, thank them for their last visit or online purchase, or even remind them when they might be running low on products. All great sentiments that clients appreciate, but a time-suck for you and your team if done manually.
You can also save time at checkout by having an easy-to-access point of sale (POS) system with integrated payment processing. Look for a system that takes deposits, provides pre-authorizations, and comes with a PCI-compliant card-on-file feature. That way, you can enforce your salon’s cancellation policy, know a card is valid before starting any services, and check clients out from anywhere without physically handling credit cards. Such features offer long-term savings for you and a quick, easy checkout for your clients and your team.
When it comes to retail, there are other ways to automate operations. The first is Suggestive Selling, which is where your software automatically recommends products at checkout. A good system automatically knows past products your clients have bought and takes their current services in mind to recommend products. It’s just a subtle hint to the stylist or receptionist to make a recommendation at checkout – that way, you don’t have to keep reminding them.
You can also encourage retail sales using automation through Product Reservations. When your clients use online scheduling, your software matches the services being scheduled with the client’s retail history to make meaningful product suggestions. The client can then reserve those or other products for their next appointment. The reserved products would show up on their service ticket the next time they check out. Product reservations are another ideal way to help increase sales, all while giving you an indication of what supplies you need to have on hand.
You can also generate retail sales without having to manage, pay for, or ship products by opening an online store. Give your clients 24/7 online shopping convenience while you earn commissions by simply recommending your favorite products. Orders are fulfilled on your behalf by your local distributor. Plus, they can market to your clients on your behalf, so you can grow your retail sales without lifting a finger.
With the right salon management software system in place, you and your team will save time by simplifying, even automating tasks, from scheduling clients to checking them out and everything in between.
Now that you know how to recognize the signs of burnout and understand how to minimize its effects, take the steps necessary to avoid it yourself. Just make sure to plan regular re-assessments so that you don’t fall back into old, unhealthy habits.
Here are some resources should you require any help dealing with stress, burnout, or the depression that can set in if left untreated.
Remember, your health and mental wellness should always be your top concern, and with that in check, everything else – including your business – will be better for it.
Earlier, we mentioned various ways of using technology to help save you time and improve your workflow. If you’re interested in discovering how Rosy Salon Software and RosyPay integrated payment processing can help get you there.