Do you wish running a business was relaxing like a walk on the beach? Unfortunately, it is often stressful with bills to pay, a family (and even employees) counting on you, and the need to succeed (or fear of failure). While it's beneficial to have some pressure to push you and challenge you, too much stress is unhealthy for you, for those around you, and for the business.
Follow these tips to keep stress levels at a minimum and to develop a better work-life balance:
1. Slow Down and Strategize
As a business owner, there are probably ideas, concerns, and thoughts that constantly run through your mind. However, it is essential to have a strategy and to stick with it. Base your decisions on whether they align with this plan. It’s better to start small and build your way up than to overextend your business and try to rein it back in later. Develop your expertise and reputation in one area before you start expanding into another.
2. Learn to Say "No"
The reality in life is that you can’t make everyone happy. So, be sure to do what is right for your business and stop saying "yes" all the time. When saying "no", be sure to provide a reason for your decision as a way to acknowledge and show that you value the ideas. Alternatively, you can respond with "maybe" or "later" and explain your decision-making process or timeline to manage expectations.
3. Manage Your Time
There is always work to be done and not enough time to accomplish them all. Determine which activities are urgent, important, desirable, or unnecessary. Focus first on those with high impact and tight deadlines, then work your way down the list.
To ensure you spend your time wisely, schedule time for each task and try your best not to go over the allotted time. For example, if you limit your marketing campaign setup to 2 hours, quickly wrap it up after that time and move on to the next item on the agenda.
4. Take A Break
Working extensive hours won’t help you, instead it may just cause you to burn out sooner. If you have a tendency to just work and work, schedule time to spend with friends and family, to exercise, or to partake in a hobby. And of course, get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet! Remember, your health – physical and mental – affects your productivity and performance.
In addition to taking a break on a daily basis, it’s also valuable to take a holiday and disconnect from the business. You will come back with a renewed mind and a fresh perspective to help you solve new or existing challenges. Even if you are just staying at home for a few days, resist the temptation to check emails. If you must, just check for urgent messages and leave the rest until you return to work.
5. Delegate Tasks
While it would be amazing to get everything done yourself, it is rarely realistic. Utilize the strengths and interests of your employees and pass on certain tasks to them. For example, your salon manager can run payroll or your salon coordinator can take care of the social media marketing.
Even if you're the only one at a single-chair salon, you can still spread the workload by hiring someone to help, an accountant for example. Even if you can’t afford one, consider asking a friend or relative to assist with this aspect or hire an accounting student from a nearby college at a lower cost. (You can also check out Insight’s integration with QuickBooks to simplify the task.)
6. Find People You Trust
Surround yourself with people you trust so you will no longer worry every minute when you're away or when you assign roles to others. Further, it's great to have people to discuss ideas with or to occasionally rant to before reacting inappropriately in front of clients.
Many salons are also concerned about the potential of an employee walkout. Reduce the fear by hiring the right people to fit the job and the team. Also, effort can be made to raise morale by ensuring employees feel valued and appreciated.
7. Automate Tasks
Some regular tasks do not require a person to do all the work manually. Fill your calendar by offering Online Appointment Scheduling, confirm bookings with automatic text messages, and set up marketing emails to be sent based on customer behaviors. Some salon and spa software programs like Insight also help you to calculate payroll or build inventory purchase orders with just a couple clicks.
8. Have a Backup Plan
Stress commonly comes from external factors over which we have no control. It isn’t worth worrying about all of these “what ifs,” but that’s easier to say than to actually do. One way to reduce the worry is to come up with a contingency plan. For example, thefts from salons occur quite frequently. Your plan for this scenario should include getting insurance to replace any stolen property and either investing in cloud software or backing up your data to an off-site location as client lists, sales records, inventory details are not replaceable.
9. Have Fun!
Take a step back from time to time and admire how far you have come and how much you have grown from the experience of running your own business! Focus on the positives and learn from the negatives. Be optimistic and enjoy the journey!
Insight is an appointment scheduling software for salons, spas, and a range of other businesses. Developed to make your life easier, Insight is filled with other valuable management tools such as client tracking, automated marketing, payroll, and payment processing.