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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted February 17, 2020

We know salon owners are hard workers – no-one went into a salon business thinking it would be easy – and at this time of the year, it can be really easy to get caught in the grind of working more and more as you try to start the year on the right foot and make up for lost profitability in January. We get it – the accounts are tight; your pants are tight, and we are all starting to get a bit overwhelmed. Now is the time to seriously watch out for burn out, because if you get to breaking point it could be the end of your business.

Burn out is hopefully something you’ve never felt, but something you should definitely be aware of. Burn out isn’t just a stressful week or month, it’s when you get to that stage when you just can’t bring yourself to leave the coffee shop and go into your salon. The extreme of this feeling is that you just decide everything is too hard and you pack it in – your business, your marriage, your habits or hobbies. While that might sound extreme, we have all heard of someone in business who just couldn’t take it anymore and stopped suddenly. You don’t want that to be you.

Here are the signs of burn out you should be looking out for –

  • Sleeping less and less every night (less than 6 hours is considered dangerous for your health)
  • Simply avoiding things you know you should be doing for your salon, like talking to your accountant, paying your staff or putting in supply orders because you just can’t ever seem to get there.
  • Obsessive over trivial matters like constantly shuffling your schedule or panicking about a bit of hair on the floor.
  • Getting snappy. Whether it’s with your team, your family or your dog, if you find yourself getting short and sharp with the people you care about most, you’re probably feeling stressed and frustrated and taking it out on them instead.

If you’re identifying with more than one of the above symptoms, it’s highly likely you’re headed towards burn out. Step away from your salon schedule and enact some of the activities below to give yourself the space you need.

  • Take a break. Whether it’s a few days away or a weekend at home where you don’t take calls, don’t check email and try really hard not to think about your business, take some time for yourself. Practice some good self-care and focus on the positives to head back into salon refreshed.
  • Take a breather. Whether its coffee on your own, or a walk in the park near your salon, if you find yourself getting overwhelmed on the floor, take the time to take a breather.
  • Seek some professional help. This could be in the form of a counsellor or therapist, or in the form of a business coach to help dig you out of the mess. Let someone know what you’re feeling and let them help you fix it.
  • Sort your systems and processes. Automate where you can, delegate what you can and look at ways to optimise your business. By having less to remember and less to physically do each day, you can drop some of the stress off your shoulders.
  • Make sure you make time for self-care. Implement some kind of routine in your week where you have time doing something that makes you feel relaxed and don’t compromise on that. Maybe it’s a facial, maybe it’s a yoga class or a walk by the water. Whatever it looks like, that time in your diary is unchangeable. That’s your time and it cannot be taken away or moved – it’s your commitment to yourself.

Creating balance in your business is one of the most important things you can do, but it’s also extremely hard. We love how passionate our members are about their business, and we know that that can sometimes spill over into simply never taking a break, always working on the business and being in the business. But pushing through is the exact opposite of what you need when you’re facing burn out. You have to stop, you have to take a break to make sure that your salon will be there in a week, a year or 10 years’ time. Deal with the underlying issues effectively and stop burn out in its tracks


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