Most pet groomers have a bit of a seasonal rush around the winter holidays because people want their pets to look spiffy when guests come to share celebrations. Planning ahead a bit for times when you know you will be busier than usual can pay off, making those hectic days go a little more smoothly.
Every year I make a note on my calendar two months before any anticipated seasonal rush. The memo reminds me to take a little time to get things in good order before the hectic days arrive. So here are some ideas that might make your busy times easier:
- Create and stick to a reasonable holiday schedule. It can be easy to let customers talk you into opening early, working late, or even grooming on your day off. But unfortunately, doing so can lead to resentment and burnout.
- Plan what seasonal decorations you want to have on display. Then, if you need to purchase items, do it early and have them ready.
- Check to see if any of your grooming equipment needs to be maintained or sharpened. Having all of your tools in excellent working order will be extra important on days when you are slammed.
- Order holiday bows or bandanas to ensure you get the best selection.
- Do an inventory of your grooming supplies. Running out of your favorite shampoo, conditioner, or other product during the holiday rush is the worst!
- Consider if you want to take any time off during the holiday season and if so, schedule it now.
- When cooking supper over the next few weeks, make a double batch of some dishes and freeze them so you will have some meals ready to go when you are extra tired during the rush.
- Do some additional cleaning and organizing now so your workspace will be in tip-top shape on days when there is no time to do anything but groom.
- If you offer gift certificates, print some out ahead of time so they will be ready to sell at a moment's notice.
- If you give your customers special holiday treats, gifts, or cards, arrange for them ahead of time so you don't have a last-minute rush trying to get things together. If you want to give a little something but don't know what, consider donating to a local animal shelter in your customer's honor, and give them a card telling them about it. Another idea is to print coupons with a discount for any grooms scheduled in January or February as a gift to your customers. This will make them happy and help keep your winter calendar full.
Advanced holiday preparation can be a gift for yourself!
By Daryl Conner, MPS, MCG
Daryl Conner has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for almost 40 years. You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter and infant granddaughter, or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism. She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and too many animals.