After working professional in the pet grooming industry over 35 years, the only time I worry about dealing with clients is the Christmas holiday season.
The two weeks preceding the actual day can be a chaotic mess. With Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, family gatherings, holiday socials to attend, and every regular client you have wanting to be booked as close to Christmas as possible . . . phew! December can be an exhausting month!
But, wait – t doesn’t have to be! Christmas organizing all year round will let you create that picture perfect holiday without nearly the stress.
Getting Organized & Ready
- Is it clean – really clean? Floors, walls, kennels?
- Is the lighting up to snuff?
- Are your laundry machines working properly?
- Are the tubs draining?
- What are the conditions of your pet dryers?
- Are your blowing fuses on a regular basis in one outlet?
- Does your computer need to be de-bugged for a glitch free running machine?
- Do you have a stock pile of all the office supplies you’ll need?
- Are your blades shears all sharp and ready to go?
- Are your clippers operating smoothly?
- What is your stock level of all your dispensable products? Shampoos, conditioners, cologne, flea foggers, cotton balls, ear cleaner, etc.
- Are there plenty of towels on the shelves?
The Holiday Image
- Are your holiday decorations fresh and up-to date for your salon? Keep it simple and easy… pick a simple theme and work with it.
- Do you have your client’s gifts ready to go so they can easily be passed out when the client is having their pet groomed? Remember, expense isn’t the key, packaging is. Pay attention to the details.
- Have fun with festive accessories. Head gear, costume jewelry – anything that can bring a smile to someone else is a good thing.
- Are all your holiday bows special and pre-tied? Are bandanas ready to be attached to the pet?
- Do you have red and green nail polish that is actually usable? What about other colors?
- Do you have plenty of air freshener to lend a sparkle to the air without being overly powering?
- Music is everywhere – is your holiday collection handy or is there an ‘all Christmas’ station you can tune into?
- Have you brought extra clothing or makeup to freshen up after work before heading out?
- If you’re worried that you’ll be slow after the holiday season, do you have any grooming promotions for January and February that you can be handing out now?
fabric for bandanas, decorations, Christmas cards…
Getting Through the Dogs
- What are the pros and cons of working extra hours?
- Should you take on new clients?
- Make sure all your regular clients have their holiday appointments BEFORE taking on new clients or ‘non- regulars.’
- Hiring extra help – is there something you can easily delegate with some basic training that would free you up to deal with clients? Cleaning? Answering the phone? Taking out the trash?
- Have you worked out a system to maximize the types of pets you take per stylist?
- Work out a drop-off and pick-up schedule that allows you to stay focused on grooming pets.
- Stay calm, cool, and collected no matter what happens during the course of the day.
- Set realistic time goals that push you, but stay on target. Use an egg timer if necessary or place a clock where you can’t miss it – no matter what.
- Use every speed trick in the book from prepping – to bathing – to drying – to trimming.
- When clients pick up their pet, are you offering a promotion to assist in re-booking 6 weeks down the road when it can traditionally be really slow?
Organization on a Personal Level
- Do you have a master list of all the things you need to do for the holidays? Is it broken down into smaller do-able chunks? What about a master gift list that’s simply updated year to year? Master Christmas card list? Weekly meal planner? Regular shopping tick-sheet list? For great inspiration go to www.organizedchristmas.com
- Are you are a store, catalog, or Internet shopper? Are you prepared to have ALL your holiday gift shopping done by December 15? What about the wrapping?
- As time gets closer, demands get greater and healthy meals go by the wayside… If you are in a city, do you have a full selection of menus at your fingertips? Who has great take-out that you quickly sweep in and grab on the way home or while you are at the shop? If you are a country dweller, is your freezer packed with great frozen meals that only require reheating whether homemade or store-bought.
- Does a messy house stress you out? Before is gets really busy, clean and organize the house or hire someone to help you… (or if you have kids, enlist their help.) Also think about having carpets cleaned, windows washed, or dropping you heaping laundry off at a laundromat, letting them do it for you.
- Do you need a masseuse or chiropractor to help you stay loose and limber ? If you do, book your appointment early.
After the Holiday?
- Take the week off! Trust me – your clients don’t need you for the week between Christmas and New Year’s! Take that time and spend it on yourself and your loved ones! You’ve earned it.
With a little bit of pre-planning, you’ll be breezing through the holiday. It’s so much more enjoyable for everyone to be in a festive spirit instead of being the Grinch. Put some effort into setting yourself up to enjoy the best of the season – it makes the time fly by. And you might even get a few moments to relish this time of year!
Always remember, to be successful – to thrive – you need to put forth effort today so that your future will be bright.
Happy trimming !