Does the thought of no new clients, gaps in your calendar and the number of invoices you have to pay haunt you at night even though you are exhausted and willing yourself to sleep?
While the busy season is full of excitement, back to back clients and late nights, you prefer that over not knowing how you’re going to make ends meet or gaps in your calendar.
I’ve been there. In my first year as a salon owner, I took this time to look at it a little bit differently. I embraced this slow season ( actually I don’t like to use the word slow it feels negative instead I use the word soft gives quite a different feeling) as an opportunity to create a plan to ensure the softer seasons were less and less. The salon was more consistent throughout the year.
Let’s look at a few things you can do when your salon is slow that we aren’t able to do when we’re in the thick of things, so we can really make some major moves in your salon.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR MORE OUTPUT (AND LESS OVERWHELM!)
When we’re at our busiest, we often have to just the next thing and aren’t able to critically look at if how we are getting work done is really the most efficient. I challenge you to relook at your systems and workflows with eyes wide open to be critical and ask yourself a few questions:
Are there areas that are redundant that you could automate or streamline?
Eg – Birthday vouchers
– Client Follow up
– Confirmation calls
– Lapsed Client Letters
Are there areas that would be better outsourced so that you have more time for the money-making and visionary activities your business needs?
Eg – Social Media Strategy
Are there things that you maybe don’t even need to be doing at all things that you could delegate to a team member?
Look for repetitive steps you are doing over, and over again. The truth is, even if a task takes just 30 seconds or even a minute, it adds up so quickly and these little disruptions in our work can drain us and take away from what we should actually be doing in our businesses.
PRIORITIZE REST AND SELF CARE
Bet you didn’t think this was going to be on this list! Take it from someone who burnt out their adrenals. I now prioritize rest and self-care, without feeling guilty this can be life cha ging for you and your salon. Learn to hit the pause button of the day to day grind and truly unplug, and you know what can happen? Some of the best, most profitable, life-changing ideas come to me because I was able to step away from the to-do list and start to dream bigger. Not only that, but I returned to work rejuvenated and excited to get back to it. If we grind and stress our entire slow season, we’re not going to be our best selves entering a busy season.
Find a time frame to unplug that works for you and then as you implement more systems you can think about expanding your time frame for unplugging. If you think your salon can’t run without you then I strongly encourage you to go back to my first suggestion in this post and look for ways you can take yourself out of the equation in the day to day runnings of your business. Maybe start with a week of TRULY unplugging, there is so much life beyond the work we do and as salon owners, our business can be all-consuming because we love what we do. But why work for ourselves if we’re not able to also prioritize rest and step away? After all the number one reason people go into business for themselves is to create more freedom.
INVEST IN Y-O-U
Do you currently have the skills and knowledge to take yourself and your business to where you dream it will be? If the answer is no, I strongly encourage you to be investing in gaining those things now. If we’re not taking the time to do this, in five years, we’ll be in the exact same place. Do you dream of only working in your salon a certain number of hours and days a week, or maybe you would like to Manager in to run your salon. We’re not stuck with who we are today and investing in your skills and knowledge in the areas that will propel our dreams is always a smart move.
These may seem like simple tips, however in business, often the foundational things are what will allow you to move the needle forward and make a major difference. I think far too often, people think they need to make big sweeping moves or that there’s a secret to owning a successful salon, however, the truth is, it’s more about the little steps and day to day decisions that make the biggest difference.