Is running a small business a lonely game ?
Updated: Mar 2
Owning a small business can be a lonely and isolating experience. Like any small business, it takes its toll on you. Long hours, financial stress and sacrifices to your personal life. It’s hard work and it can be difficult to ‘switch off’ at the end of the day. There’s a real sense of isolation because you’re doing it alone. Even if you have a great team working alongside you, the daily running of your salon is usually something you do by yourself. You make all the big decisions and have all the responsibility. So how can you ensure your salon is a success, without feeling the loneliness and isolation that can go with it?
It’s important you stay engaged with other people. Make sure you’re spending quality face-to-face time with people in your life. This is not always as easy as it sounds – you’re busy, other people are busy. When you’re running a business it’s not like you have plenty of time on your hands! And sometimes there’s just no energy left at the end of the day. But you need to make the effort. Make it a personal focus area for yourself. Don’t accept loneliness as part and parcel of running your salon – do what you can to keep other people part of your daily life. There’s a lot of ways you can make this happen so think about what might work for you.
If you’re lucky enough to have an awesome team working with you, don’t be afraid to lean on them when you need to. Regular contact with your team is crucial, but be open to taking it even further than that. Bounce your ideas off them, share your concerns and have a vent. Your team can be a great source of support and advice, so think about sharing the load. Your interactions don’t always have to be about business though. Have a conversation about whatever is going on in your lives. There’s no better cure for loneliness than a good chat over a slice of cake!quick natter over a coffee will do wonders for your feelings of isolation, so fit it into your day wherever you can.
When you’re running a small business, talking to others in a similar situation can be really helpful. Networking with other business owners will help you feel that you’re not alone. They’ll know exactly what you’re going through and maybe sharing your feelings of isolation. They’re also a great source of advice and inspiration. Look into local business networking events and if you can’t find any in your local area, think about organising something yourself. Get a few small business owners together for a wine, or if you’d prefer to start a bit smaller, invite a fellow business owner around for a one-on-one chat over coffee. When you’ve made a good connection, you’ll be surprised how helpful that will be.
Not everything in your life should revolve around your small business, so find an opportunity to get involved with your wider community. This might mean joining a local sporting club or volunteering with a community group. You might be interested in joining a gym or trying an art or yoga class. Help out at an animal shelter or join a walking group. There are so many opportunities out there so find one that suits your interests. You’ll not only be helping your community, but you’ll also be forming valuable social connections for yourself.
Online communities are also a great place to go to connect with other small business owners. These communities can’t replace face-to-face contact, but online groups are still a good source of support. Facebook groups, online forums and small business discussion pages are helpful for seeking advice, getting ideas and finding inspiration. You’ll communicate with others in the same situation as you and you might be surprised at how easy it is to form a connection in the digital world. There are many online communities that support the hair care industry, but your online support groups don’t have to be specific to hair salons. Small business owners from other industries will also relate to your feelings of isolation.
Running a salon will keep you busy, but be sure to make time for your friends and family. Small business owners sacrifice a lot of their personal lives and often miss out on important events or social gatherings. Make these things a priority because your loved ones will always be your most important support network. Organise a night out with girlfriends or a morning team with your mum. Catch up with an old friend from school for lunch or drop by your sister’s house for a coffee. It’s easy to let these things slide, but meeting up with those who matter most is the best way to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation and give back some renewed energy to put into your business for the long haul.
If you didn't know already, BDB Business Opportunity group is a collaboration of salons coming together under one brand - Blow Dry Bar. If you might be interested to know more about how we could help your business, reach out to us as we would love to chat.