Working as a dog groomer from home in a room or a shed at the bottom of the garden can be no fun on a day by day process.
While the work-from-home lifestyle brings some significant perks, its not without challenges.
You may not deal with the daily commute or rush-hour traffic, but there's a new set of struggles that are unique to the home salon. Here's a breakdown of the top five pitfalls associated with working from home and how to overcome them.
You lose Boundaries
When you're working at a traditional job, everyone seems to understand your work schedule. You don't get many personal calls during the day. However, all those boundaries go out the window when you're working from home.
Solution: This doesn't mean you shouldn't take advantage of the flexibility that comes with working from home. But you should think about how easy it is to have time ripped from your workday. Just because you work from home doesn't mean your job is any less real than your office job is any less real than your office counterparts. The key here is to respect your own time and your schedule - because no one else will respect your boundaries if you don't respect them first.
You Fell Isolated
The solitude of working from home means fewer distractions but the physical separation from colleagues brings an inevitable sense of isolation. Everyone needs social interaction and working remotely limits your opportunities to connect with others. Many people don't realise just how much they miss the day-to-day social interaction of their previous role until it's gone.
Solution: When you're working from home, you'll need to manufacture those social interactions. For example:
- Make a point to schedule lunch or breakfast get - togethers.
- Use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, but be aware of groups that can be negative.
-When possible, use real-time communications.
- Get involved with other local groomers.
Go to dog shows and grooming events.
You Work Too Much
What's the stereotype of working from home? Working unsociable hours, customers taking advantage. However, the reality is usually far from that. People who work from home often work longer days simply because there's no separation between work and home. When you're working from home, you don't stop at 5; you don't drive away from the salon. Without a natural stopping point, the day gets longer and it's harder to put work aside.
Solution: With most jobs, there's always going to be more work to do. This means you need to self-regulate and be disciplined about setting a boundary between your grooming and personal life. This doesn't have to be every night. However, if you're serious about working from home for the long haul, you have to make the lifestyle sustainable. And that means you'll need time away from dogs and stress of work.
You Don't Take Holidays
Many groomers don't take time out to get rest and peace in their lives. Before you know it, its September and your'e without a holiday. Good health, emotional stability and the fortitude to get the job done even when you're physically drained, are important to working independently. Dog Grooming is a physical job with lifting and standing for long periods of time.
Solution: At the beginning of the year, just after Christmas when most groomers have time off, sit down with your favourite doggie magazine and map out your breaks. This way you will become more organised and will provide you the added time to liaise with your clients for the next 6-9 month appointments.
Sickness, Bereavement, Feeling Guilty
Unlike a salaried job where sick and bereavement days are mostly paid for, sick days are lost time and money. However, whenever a day off is required, most groomers have a guilt feeling that they are letting their customers down. Sickness and bereavement cannot be helped.
Solution: Either in person or someone close to you: contact your customers and notify them of the issue as soon as you know you will need time off at short notice. You will find your customers will be understanding and will be obliging when changing their appointments.
Anyone that is in business has to stay physically and mentally strong. Having a positive outlook all the time is impossible, and too much negativity is counterproductive. Instead of sitting and complaining about your day at work and wishing bad things wouldn't happen, evaluate why something went wrong and fix it. Learn by the negatives and turn it into a positive. Fulfilling your purpose in life takes time.
Mentally strong people understand this and focus on the big picture, keeping in mind that today's choices impact your future.