Maintaining Your Clippers and Blades
Five Tips to Help You (and Your Pets) Have a Safe and Happy Halloween

Tips and Tricks to Help You Survive a Busy Holiday Grooming Season

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Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner, and you know what that means—rising demand for holiday grooming services. While the increased revenue that comes with this busy time of year is definitely a positive, a negative byproduct of the holiday season can be added stress. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re a seasoned veteran groomer, no one is immune from feeling the added pressure this season can bring—here are some important things to keep in mind for the holidays!

One important thing to remember this holiday season is that you are not a superhero, so don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s OK to say “No” sometimes. Start practicing now. “No, I cannot squeeze in your 130-pound Bernese Mountain Dog that has not been groomed since last December.” “No, I cannot get your Goldendoodle done in an hour so you can go shopping. He will take the same 2½–3 hours that he always does.” “No, we do not run any discount specials for the month of December.” No—a simple two-letter word. See how easy that is? And it will keep you sane.

Many of us have a problem saying "no" to customers; the holiday season is an excellent time to perfect the art. And it is an art, to say “no” and still keep them happy. A lot of that art is to tell them what you CAN do for them, instead of what you CAN’T. “Although we have nothing available this month, I can offer you an appointment for your Bernese Mountain Dog early in January, and if he stays on a 12-week schedule, I can offer you a small discount and a guaranteed appointment next holiday.” “If you would like to reschedule your Goldendoodle for next Wednesday, I can offer you our express grooming of 2 hours for an additional fee of $XX—unfortunately, in order to do a thorough job, we cannot provide a one hour service.” “Although we do not offer discount specials in December, each pet does receive a holiday-themed bow or bandanna.”

See the theme here? In each case, the word “no” never actually hit the customer’s ears. You only offered a positive, which will leave them much less disgruntled, if not actually feeling warm and fuzzy towards you.

To prevent having to say “no” to favorite customers, book your best clients in for the holidays early—like, now. For even the most frequently groomed pets, December is only a few appointments away. Start asking clients if they would like to book their holiday appointment now to ensure they get a spot.

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When it comes to holiday grooming, special is the norm. People expect more during the holiday season, so provide it. More needn’t take much time or money, but you should meet those expanded expectations in any way you can. Such as the afore-mentioned bows and bandannas. Or with a touch of color—customers who would not consider it any other time of year might love a patch of green and red or one of blue and silver on their dog during the holidays. If semi-permanent dye is too much for them, or too time consuming for you (although I don’t know how you could resist Glamour Gold or Silver Shimmer on a tail or head), try PetPaint Color Sprays—they’re quite temporary and easy to apply.

Don’t forget nail polish, and perhaps some Davis Glamour Glitter. Bright feathers and beads crimped into hair are fun this time of year. A blast of color with Davis Studio Crème Chalk Pens might be all you need. How about a pug with a rhinestone glued onto the ear or toenail? (Elmer’s glue works well and is safe)—who could say no to that?

For something extra special for those customers that have you smiling when they walk in all year long, a small gift might be in order. Whether it’s an extra bow or scrunchie to take home to use later, a stocking with toys and treats, a rawhide candy cane in red and green, or a tuft of Fluffy’s hair tied with a ribbon and put inside a clear ornament, it sends a message to your clients that’s worth getting across. They and their pet are special, and you appreciate their business.

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Most importantly, remember to take care of yourself (and your business). Do everything you can to prepare for the busy season and keep stress levels low when you’re at your busiest. Before the season hits, maintain all your equipment—make sure your clippers are in prime working condition (do you have a backup set?), and make sure your blades are sharp and that you have spares. Change brushes on dryers if needed, and check brushes and combs for signs of wear, and replace if necessary. Nothing creates stress like an equipment breakdown on a busy day—good maintenance can reduce the risk of that happening. Be sure you have plenty of all consumables on hand from ear cleaner and powder to shampoos and colognes. And don’t forget those holiday scents! If you do retail, make sure your impulse items for Christmas and Hanukkah are fully stocked and ready to move!

Do you have all the waterproof aprons you’ll need for everyone that might be bathing, even in an emergency? Smocks? Comfortable footwear? Water bottles to stay hydrated? What about a plan for taking breaks? Even if you can only stop for five minutes, make the most of it. Do some stretching exercises, or yoga. Walk briskly around the block (or just around the building).

With a little pre-planning, this holiday grooming season can be not only profitable, but less stressful as well. Be ready, take time for yourself, and enjoy the holidays!

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