Here in Michigan, the first snowfall of the season always seems to get us into the holiday spirit. Well, as of last night we had our first major snowfall - there's well over 8 inches of snow sitting on top of the birdfeeders outside my office window! Being involved with the pet industry for over 30 years, when I think about holidays, I think of that insane time just before Christmas hits. It always amazes me how much work we can produce within that last two weeks before Christmas. Over the years I figured out a few ways to help streamline the workload. Here are my top four tips to get through this festive season in good holiday cheer.
#1 - Organization is the key! Whether it be how you check pets in and out, how your workstation is set up or what order you bathe and dry your pets -- having a system in place that you follow religiously will allow you to confidently - and efficiently - get through your day. Make sure that all your supplies are in order and your tools are sharp. The last thing you want is to run out of shampoo, Kwik stop or have your favorite pair of shears suddenly turn up dull - making it impossible to get that beautiful finish on the coat. If you haven't already read my blog on productivity a few months back -- definitely scroll on down and take a peek!
#2 - Do as much as you can to prepare for the holiday ahead of time. By the time we get down to that last week before Christmas, the last thing you need to be thinking about is finding a gift for Aunt Catherine. Personally, I try to have all of my shopping, baking, and gift wrapping completed before December 15. ( OK – I said try… ) Our client gift packs are wrapped and ready to be handed out to the client as they check out. Special holiday bows are ready to adorn pets. Streamline and simplify. Anything that you can do ahead of time -- do so!
#3 - Take care of your best clients. During that last two weeks before the holiday, we really focus on our highly regular customers. We reserve the premiere dates just before Christmas for our best customers - those clients that come in every four weeks or less. Generally these customers are booked weeks/months in advance when we personally touch base with them and set up the dates they prefer. We start with our weekly clients and get them booked first and then move onto our biweekly customers. Next we move into our three-week clients followed by our four-week clients. We fill in any gaps with our five and six week clients. We contact all of our regulars to make sure they get the slots they want. Once we have all of our regulars taking care of, giving them the time they deserve, then we fill in the gaps with less frequent customers. For us, the last three days before Christmas is a breeze because we're dealing with only our best clients that come in constantly requiring a very limited amount of work to make their pets look amazing.
#4 - Stay energized. The one thing that happens at all salons is that your clients shower you with holiday treats. Although the holiday treats are yummy, too much of a good thing is not. If you don't have healthy choices at your fingertips so you can stay on top of your game, it's easy to fill up on all the sugary treats that surround us during the holidays. The week before Christmas we start doing potlucks with our team. I encourage folks to abide by a few rules so that we don't get totally bogged down after a heavy meal. #1: The food item needs to be healthy. #2: The serving should be small and easy to snatch and grab on the run. By grazing all day on healthy food choices, it keeps you and your team energized and never bogged down by a heavy meal. Plus, it’s fun to share recipes and even if you don’t cook – veggies and dip is always an easy out!
Have a wonderful - and prosperous - holiday season!