Research has consistently shown that entrepreneurship can be a lonely and isolating journey, even if you have a salon team around you. That feeling of being alone, craving accountability and support needs to be managed. Otherwise, this can lead to unnecessary stress, anxiety and even depression. Sometimes, it feels like there is nobody to share your load, or the challenges of running a salon, or even the joys of your small successes.
Many salon owners also report ‘financial concerns’ as a reason for this increasing level of isolation and possible anxiety.
To prevent this isolation from becoming overwhelming, put your strategy in place to manage the demands of being an effective salon owner:
- Grow and nurture an on-line community of like-minded people. Social media is not just for selling or marketing. Instead, also use it to connect with other industry professionals through facebook groups and communities, Instagram and twitter lists.
- Allocate time in your diary to go out and network. It is crucial to also form real world business connections, even if it is just for a ten minute catch up and a cup of coffee. Networking events are very useful for creating business links and connections, but also to get the sense of community and find a support network. With the pressures of the salon, it is easy to find reasons for not taking time out of the building, so make this a priority on your to do list.
- Often there is a tendency, especially in the early stages of growing a salon, to focus only on your never ending long ‘to do’ list. Make time to acknowledge and celebrate achievements and salon milestones, as much as to focus on the ‘to do’ lists. This also means that you are constantly looking ahead and not getting stuck in the present daily salon operations. Celebrating achievements at the end of each week or month will give you a renewed sense of purpose and energy. This will help to keep your team highly motivated and positive.
- Find an accountability partner, to keep you motivated and driving forward. It can be hugely beneficial to find another salon owner who is at a similar stage of business to you, that you can easily relate to and bounce ideas or frustrations with.
It is important to recognise the signs and triggers of entrepreneur isolation, and experiment with various management strategies to find out what works best for you.
There are three main challenges of being self employed:
- Lack of financial stability
- The need to be very self disciplined
- The isolation of being a salon owner
All important decisions and major difficulties are yours – and this is very isolating at times. So, they won’t feel in a vacuum, most people turn to:
Spouse – most of whom will lose patience hearing the gritty details of your salon!
Employees – can be a good sounding board for many things, but for major strategic decisions, be cautious!
Business Partners – this may have the advantage of shared decisions, but is very likely to bring many other issues!
Take time today to decide on the strategy that works best for you.