How to actually switch off from the salon on holiday

by | 20 Jul 2022

The sun is shining and your holiday read is to hand – so why can’t you seem to stop thinking about the salon? We all know how it important it is to switch off on holiday and recharge, but it’s something many of us struggle with. We asked salon owners how they manage it…

It takes us on average 46 hours and 42 minutes before we can actually relax on holiday, according to research from travel firm Tots to Travel. That’s days of thinking about what’s going on back home, pondering any potential crises and maybe even checking the odd email… But downtime is integral to our wellbeing and it’s so important to enjoy a well-earned break – from start to finish.

If you have the right processes in place, relaxing when you’re away shouldn’t be too difficult. The goal is to create a business that’s able to run itself in your absence, so you can return feeling fully refreshed.We asked salon owners for their inside tricks when it comes to switching off on holiday.

How to relax on holiday, according to salon owners 

Schedule content ahead of time

“I always used to end up checking messages while I was abroad and not able to switch off, but when I went away at Easter I made sure to plan out all my content before I went for socials using Business Suite and scheduled it all to post at the times I wanted. I saved all my reels to drafts so I only had to pop on a couple of times while I was away to get them uploaded so I wasn’t tempted to go on and check messages. I will definitely be doing the same every time I go away now!”

Stephen Hopper, at SH! Hair, Alnwick

Leave details, in case of an emergency

“When Jackie and myself take a holiday, we always leave contact details of hotel or villa and emergency numbers with our wonderful front of house, Jayne, just in case she needs to get hold of us for whatever reason. This gives us peace of mind and she feels comfortable knowing she can reach us if she can’t reach us on the mobile! Our team are amazing, and all have their important roles within the business, which continue while we are away to help keep the company running smoothly.”

Darren Ambrose, co-owner of DJ Ambrose in Pinner

Have designated check-in times

“In all honesty, as a salon owner (as with most business owners) you never switch off 100%, as throughout the day you may still need to check-in with the team, check emails, and check in on the general running of the salon. However, my trick in managing this is to carve out certain times of the day to focus on business matters. For example, spend a couple of hours in the morning checking appointments, in on the team, emails and completing urgent work you can’t postpone.  Then, put the phone to one side and check again maybe just after lunch time and once again in the evening. Prioritise your time in those hours so that you focus only on the things you can’t postpone and let the rest wait until you are back from your holiday.”

Saivo Ierna at The Bohemians Deptford

Make sure everything is stocked up

“The week before I go away, I always make sure that everything is ordered and stocked up, from products and colours, down to refreshments and cleaning products. I also ensure there is an up-to-date list of contact numbers, this includes everyone from our brand reps to our plumbers and electricians – just in case the team need anything!”

Jemma Mewies, co-owner at Mewies & Co

Train your team

“I would say my top tip to relaxing whilst away is training your team. If they know how to deal with any situation, you know the salon is left in good hands. I don’t think you ever fully switch off when you run a business, but you are only at the end of the phone if the team really need to contact you for advice. Another top tip is get a great business partner so one of you can be at the salon whilst the other is on holiday. Plus, you get to share all the ups and downs of running a business.”

Martin Quenault, joint salon director at KH Hair Ashby

Be mindful in the weeks leading up to your holiday

“In the weeks leading up I do try not to add anything big to my plate and work on the biggest to dos, I get things done faster when I know I have a mental given end date. I am lucky enough to have a great team in the salon and with the right systems and processes in place the salon should run the same whether you are there or not. I trust my team to problem-solve and manage the salon to the highest standards and they will only contact me in an emergency. I always come back to a smooth-running salon with no hiccups.”

Stacey Whyte, of Cheveux Salon, Loanhead, Scotland 

Use software that means you can check in, in case of an emergency

“Our salon software system, Meevo, being cloud based means that we are able to access all of our salon locations anywhere in the world at any time. So running orders and checking the appointment book is something that can, and has been, done on a beach with a cocktail, because why not!?”

Kain Lawrence, General Manager of Q Hair and Beauty Group

Ask team members to step up, if needed

“Put together a business continuity plan and delegate to the people you trust within your organisation. Pay them more for that period if you have to and see it as an investment in your business.”

Kaye Sotomi, Chop Chop London

And finally… remember how important it is to switch off

“Switching off is very important for creativity. You find ideas start to flow and solutions come when relaxed as we access the genius part of the brain for problem solving, creativity and flow state. When we’re busy and stressed as salon owners this part of the brain is switched off and the stress centre of the brain is switched on instead, putting us into fight or flight mode and releasing stress hormones making it harder, or almost impossible for us to problem solve or be creative with ease. Switching off does us more good than most realise.”

Caroline Sanderson, Ego Hair Design


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