I needed to write openly about this whole situation and my views as a business owner. I know we all have our own opinions, and I hate that it divides people as much as it does, as I truly love nothing more than community spirit. I really believe that we all can achieve anything (and get through anything) with the right people around them. I have found that to ring true on a daily basis within our own salons, amongst both our clients and our teams.
This [lockdown] is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to experience as a business owner. Nothing can prepare you for this level of stress and anxiety, I mean where would you learn about making insanely huge decisions on a day-to-day basis about how to manage a pandemic? I am definitely the type of person whose glass is half full and I will always find a positive in every situation, but even my batteries are hitting an all-time low and I am really struggling to find the positive in this. (Perhaps I can incorporate something in my management training for future business owners about how to prepare for a worldwide pandemic maybe??)
But it is so tough. In fact, it is bloody heart-breaking. Mooeys is not just a job; it’s my first child. It’s something I have nurtured for nearly a decade now.
But now, I must sit back; do as I am told and close my doors.
It’s not about the money really, I’ve (almost) become used to the fact that I now must rely on Government-issued Grants to pay my bills and landlords. But that’s where the frustration lies; the landlords and utility companies all still get paid throughout this ordeal and yet small businesses like Mooeys, have to comply and as a result; barely survive, which seems so unfair.
But worse than that is the workload that goes into meeting these new regulations; the bitterness of spending so much money to open safely, only to then have to turn all of the business (and much-needed revenue) away again, is downright devastating really.
We Matter Too!
I know we have to keep people safe; I fully understand why we are doing what we are doing. I am choosing clients’ safety over my own business, and frequently; the welfare of my staff over my own. Every day has felt like a battle since that awful day in March and I have felt super frustrated and overlooked by the powers above.
We aren’t seen as important; we aren’t seen as a necessity and we certainly aren’t seen as a priority. Yet I have ploughed eight years of nothing but blood, sweat and tears into my business for that to be swiped out from beneath me based upon someone else’s opinion of how essential beauty is; or how safe we really can make our business. But where has the inspection or testing taken place to disprove our measures?
Where were the updates and support for us to reopen back in the summer when the rest of the economy was flipping their signs back to ‘open’? Why were we still forcibly closed whilst the nation dined out and jet-setted to their summer holidays?
There will sadly be many businesses that will not recover from this; especially those already burdened with substantial debt before lockdown. I know I’m very lucky to say for certain that Mooeys will continue, and I will fight tooth and nail to make sure we get through this, and become bigger, busier, and better than ever.
Love your Commoo-nity
I know that every other business owner will feel this fierce protectiveness too and to all of you I want to say; I get you! And I urge you to keep on getting up and finding a way to (in the words of Bear Grylls); ‘improvise, adapt and overcome’! Keep in touch with your customers and your community, they are the heart of businesses like ours and we need them keep us going. My team are truly the ones that inspire me to get up each day and keep making those impossible decisions.
Our entire world as we know is changing before our eyes in ways that we have no experiences to draw on that give us indicators for how we should respond as both business owners and as a larger society. It is vital that we look after each other as businesses, not just as individuals in this community so that we might still keep our town alive at the end of this. It’s not a new slogan but it’s never been more important to buy local and help keep our businesses afloat. There have been some brilliant adaptions to our new circumstances and I applaud these businesses turning their entire operations on their head to keep turning a profit. I hope that the ingenuity continues long after lockdowns are behind us.
Ain’t nothing gonna keep us down!
I’ve been using my lockdown time to work on some amazing new lines of business that I’m excited to be launching in the next few weeks as well as welcoming another branch to the Mooeys Franchise. Keeping your business flexible is key to growth as I’m sure everyone has discovered this year!
However, when we get to the other side, I am sure I personally will need some serious therapy for PTSD. When we finally get past making life-altering decisions on a daily basis and breathe – it will hit us all like a tonne of bricks, maybe that’s when I will take a holiday!
In the meantime, let’s try and be a little less judgey, a little kinder to people who are just doing their best, making their own decisions with the information they have, and let’s try and show the love to as many people as we can. It may seem a bit ‘fluffy’, but we haven’t got much else other than a bit of hope and a sprinkling of positivity (the little bit we have left anyway).
See you on the other side