The day you became a salon/spa owner, it was like a dream come true. But like any relationship, it can, and will, hit some rough spots.
Too often, those rough spots turn ownership into a true love/hate relationship. That’s especially so if the rough spots linger too long or devolve even further.
On the “love” side: Your salon/spa business is running like a finely tuned machine. You feel a sense of personal pride and accomplishment. Your team culture is dialed in, there’s money in the bank, your critical numbers are impressive — so much so, you love being an owner.
On the “hate” side: Employees drive you crazy, your culture needs fixing, cash flow is lacking, debt load is scary, and you’re always stressed. You’re not sure how much more of this you can take. If there was a viable way to get out without losing everything — you’d take it in a heartbeat.
FACT: To be, and stay, madly in love with your business is something you earn through hard work and commitment.
There are many reasons to fall out of love with your salon/spa business. The good news is that it’s totally within your capability to fall back in love.
FACT: The longer you stay out of love, the further your business slips. Simply put, no one wants to work for an owner that wants out.
Here are our five proven strategies to rediscover that love you once had for your business:
1) A “tough love” conversation with yourself: First, if your business was doing great, it would be easy to love it. Second, whatever is causing you stress in your business today, it happened on your watch. You can blame the pandemic, but the pandemic was a rare and extraordinary challenge that forced all small business owners to pivot and overcome. KEY: Most often, business problems are self-inflicted because of what you did or didn’t do. Once you own your role in your current situation, you’re ready to commit to building a better future. Yes, it’s hard work — but it’s the work of ownership.
2) Identify what’s causing you stress: If employee problems are driving you crazy, what needs to change? If cash-flow problems are stressing you out, what are you doing to drive revenue and tighten spending? If you have too much debt, what’s the plan to begin the process of becoming debt-free? If some of the responsibilities of ownership are stressing you out, are you ready to be coached? KEY: Every business problem or challenge has a solution. Tough problems or challenges require tough solutions that you must be committed to implementing. Remember, to fall back in love with your business, it is your responsibility to make your business worth loving again.
3) If it needs to be done — get it done: Business problems don’t fix themselves — they only get worse. Too many owners are afraid to “rock the boat” and avoid implementing much-needed positive change. KEY: All change rocks the boat in some manner. Avoiding or fearing change will eventually sink the boat. If you don’t love your business in its current state, you’ll never fall back in love with it until you implement long-overdue change.
4) You would love it again if: This is not just listing the opposite of what causes you stress. It’s about writing down five to ten factors that would make you proud and happy to be the owner of your business. KEY: What do you want your business culture to look like? What would your critical numbers need to look like to instill a sense of pride? How much money in cash reserves would make you feel secure and able to sleep at night? What monthly and annual net profit would make you feel that all the hard work is worth it? Would a debt-free company make you love it? You can’t build a company worth loving if you don’t have goals and a plan to achieve them.
5) You just want to get out: OK, got it. You had enough and want out. Well, you better re-read item one above. Getting out, or selling your business, isn’t a straightforward process. If you have loans, credit card debt, and other accumulated expenses, you’re probably financially upside-down. That means you owe more than your business is worth. If you have personal guarantees on loans and leases, they don’t just go away. More importantly, salons/spas that aren’t in good shape financially and operationally cannot command a selling price that will allow you to walk away clean. KEY: If you don’t love what your salon/spa became, your best and most viable option is to fix what’s wrong, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll create a company worth loving again. At Strategies, we’ve coached many owners that wanted to “fix it and get out,” only to fall head over heels in love with the amazing company they created.
Here’s my challenge to you: This blog post is about what happens when an owner’s commitment and accountability are compromised to the point where ownership makes you feel beaten up.
It’s impossible to love a business that beats you down rather than builds you up.
Falling back in love with your salon/spa means rethinking how you lead and the systems and disciplines that result in a business worth loving.
Stuff happens in business. It can be ugly and stressful. But for every problem, there is a solution.
It’s all about how committed you are to achieving the outcomes you want.
This article originally appeared on the Strategies blog.
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