Where is the JOY in your salon business?

How to fall back in love with your salon business - even if you don't much like it

It's OK to not love EVERY part of your job.  It is work, after all, not a hobby.  And this is why we get paid the big bucks, right?

In my own salon, I loved spending time with my regulars.  Over time they become something more than clients, don't they?  Not quite friends, but on that scale somewhere.  Though I love spending time with people, I used to find seeing new clients a real drain.  Building that rapport and relationship on the first visit would leave me feeling kind of wrung out.

Which was fine - I was busy with regulars and only saw new clients once in a while.

But if you're getting to the stage in your business where you're groaning more than grinning, something needs to happen to get you back on track.

It can be a slow decline - it's not always a huge break-up with your business.  More often it's a slow drifting away from the joy.  So how does it happen?

Well, I think most of the time, the joy (and therefore your motivation to give oodles of your positive energy) starts to ebb when our business goals aren't connected to our bigger life goals.  Let me explain.

Goal-setting goes horrible wrong when salon owners jump straight in with business goals.  Naturally, I'm not suggesting you don't set business goals - helping salon owners set business goals is how I make a living!  But that's not where you should start in your goal-setting journey.

Instead, start with figuring our your bigger life goals.  Once we have a clear idea of what you want the bigger picture of your life to look like we can then set goals for your business that help you achieve your life goals.  That means that when you have a bad day (and let's face it, everyone has an occasional bad day) you can reset your motivation by reminding yourself how your business is supporting your bigger dreams.

The Joy Audit

Take a piece of paper and label two columns "Energy drains" and "Energy boosts"

In the first column, list everything you HATE about your work.  Don't hold back - nobody is going to see this list.  All of those tasks you dread or that tend to trigger procrastination, all of those chores that make you inwardly groan when you see them on your daily to-do list need to go in this column.

In the other column, list your favourite tasks, the things you could do even without being paid for them - the things that energise you and make a good day great.  At this point, it's worth pointing out that it is OK (and in fact quite normal) for your 'hate' list to be a lot longer than your 'love' list, the first time you do this exercise.

The sting in the tail

I want you to use this Joy Audit to set goals for your business.  Your mission over the next three months is to see how many of the tasks from the 'Energy Drains' column can be eliminated, by removing them from your business, or delegating them to someone else in your salon, by outsourcing them to someone outside the business or finding some way of automating the task to happen in the background.  You may not be able to eliminate them all, but do your best.  Make plans to increase the amount of time you spend on tasks that enhance your energy and bring joy to your day.

In three months time, run the audit again.  You might find that new tasks make it on to the 'Energy Drain' and 'Energy Boost' columns.  You might even find, over time, that some tasks drift away from your 'Energy Boost column and turn into 'Energy Drains'.

As I've mentioned it's perfectly OK to have parts of your job that you hate.  It's NOT ok to run this audit again and make no progress.