How to Avoid Feeling Lonely and Isolated as a Salon Owner
As part of HJ’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we discuss how being a salon owner can be a lonely affair especially during the challenges of running a busy salon after lockdown. Business coach Liz McKeon shares her tips on how to cope when you’re feeling isolated, stressed or alone.
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. If you don’t manage these feelings it can lead to unnecessary stress, anxiety and even depression. Sometimes, it will feel like there is no-one 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, it is important to put a strategy in place that will help you to manage the demands of being an effective salon owner:
1. Grow and nurture an online 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.
2. Allocate time in your diary to go out and network – when it is safe to do so of course. It is crucial to form real world business connections, even if it is just for a ten minute Zoom 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.
3. There is a tendency, especially in the early stages of growing a salon, to focus only on your never ending 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.
4. 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.
The Five Key People to Turn to for Support
Partner – Your partner will understand your work/life balance and can provide a personal perspective as well as give you some emotional support.
Employees – Your team can be a good sounding board for many aspects of your business. They understand your business, but for major strategic decisions, you should remain cautious.
Business Partner – Your business partner will understand the intricacies of the business and the challenges you face. They will provide the advantage of shared decision making.
Mentor – Everyone should have a good mentor to turn to for impartial business advice and inspiration. This person can guide and support you while being detached from your everyday business.
Friend – This person could be someone you trained with at college, a former business partner or boss. This person is invaluable because they can provide life advice and social connections.
Liz McKeon is a business coach who specialises in the hair industry. For details about business seminars and industry workshops go to lizmckeon.com.
Click here to read more content from HJ’s Mental Health Awareness Week.