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Are You Ready for the Holiday Rush?

10 Tips to Help You Stay Calm Over a Bustling Holiday Season

Holiday Blog Photo

I know it seems like we are barely out of summer, but busy salons are already thinking about the holiday rush. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Hanukkah. Christmas. New Years.  Are you?

This is the prefect time to bolster your year-end earnings while providing a warm, caring experience for your clients and their pets.

The holidays can be magical, busy, fiscally rewarding and wonderful. But they can be stressful, demanding and exhausting too.

Let’s not forget the most important part of the holidays. To spend time with your family and friends. Sure, we want to be there for our customers, but not at the expense of your loved ones and close friends.

Here are the few of ideas to help maintain your sanity as you head into this festive time of year.

  1. Block out time for yourself. Long before the holidays arrive, block out times for yourself. Block out time for family events. Holiday parties. Holiday shopping. Made sure you have enough YOU time scheduled so you be at the top of your game for both your customers and your family.
  2. Maintain a healthy diet. Seriously – we cannot survive on cookies alone! (Although I have tried) After a long day standing at a grooming table – who wants to spend time cooking? Long before the holidays hit, prepare healthy dinners and freeze them in individual portions. For breakfast and lunches, make sure you have plenty of healthy items to just grab-n-go. Today, with Pinterest and other social media outlets – there are plenty of ideas of how to put this together. And when all else fails, have the phone numbers of your favorite restaurants saved on your phone for takeout.
  3. Stockpile your supplies. As you go into the holiday season, make sure you are well stocked with your dispensable supplies. Shampoo. Conditioner. Specialty shampoos. Paper towel. Laundry soap. Cotton balls. Quick stop. Cool lube. Be proactive with your ordering activities to ensure you have everything you need and won’t run out.
  4. Maintenance of your mobile unit or salon. The last thing any of us need is a hiccup with our shops or mobiles during our peak season. You want all your equipment in top condition and working flawlessly. Make sure everything is serviced prior to the onslaught of the holiday season. Double check your tools. Make sure they are in good working order and sharp. Blades and shears, have them serviced and sharpened well in advance. If any of your hand tools are worn out, tired or broken – treat yourself and replace them!
  5. Premade bows & bandannas. Bows and bandannas add creativity and sparkle to the finished grooming job. It’s like icing on the cake. During the holiday season, your most festive bows and bandannas can be premade and precut. Glitter bows. Sparkle bows. Pom-pom bows. Tulle bows. Beaded bows. Ribbon insert bows. If you don’t enjoy making your own special bows, stock up on premade bows and bandannas. There are lots of choices!
  6. Focus. Focus. When grooming, use every speed trick in the book. Prepping. Bathing. Drying. Trimming. Make sure you can always see a clock while working. Pay attention to minutes – not hours. Set mental time goals on every single step of the grooming process and push to stick to them.
  7. Make lists. Once it’s on paper you can get it out of your mind. Lists allow you to remember the finer details and stay on track. Plus, there’s great gratification in crossing things off a list. When it comes to holidays, have master lists for everything. Shopping lists. Cleaning lists. Gift giving list. To do lists. Decorating lists. If it is something you think about each year – consider creating a master list for the task. Have a file on your computer or digital device just for organizational templates. Store all your master lists one spot so you can find them easily later.
  8. Take care of your best customers first. Start pre-booking your most regular customers in September. Start with your weekly and biweekly customers. Once they have their appointments locked in for each holiday, then move to the three and four-week clients. Finish off pre-booking with your five and six-week clients. Typically, by that point, you’ll have very few openings left in your prime holiday schedule for last minute requests or new clients.
  9. Pre-booking appointments. Traditionally, January and February in the northern climates can be slow for most groomers. Actively pre-booking future appointments is important during the holiday rush. By taking advantage of the high grooming traffic during this time period, you can stay busy in January and February 2020. Strategically pre-booking appointments can increase your income without adding a single new client.
  10. Take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s. If you are primarily a grooming related business, reserve the week to recoup. To rest. To allow yourself some ‘me’ time. Most of your valuable clients have already been groomed. If you need to work, take that time to address special projects needing to be done within the business. Deep clean. Paint. Replace worn and tired equipment. By the time January 2 rolls around, you will be refreshed and ready to begin a new year.

BONUS TIP:  Salon Owners and Managers, this one’s for you!  Remember to take care of your team!  Everyone is working hard and a simple thank you and sincere recognition can go a long way!  This is the time of the year when the strength of the team will be tested.  Do you have the team trained to their fullest potential?  Do you have enough team members?  Get together and strategize.  If team members, new or existing, need training….now is the time to polish those skills!  Consider a Distance Learning option at or a subscription at!  A little skill tweaking goes a long way!

With a little forethought and planning, you can remain calm, cool and collected. You will be able in control of your schedule during the busiest time of the year without losing your sanity.  



Paragon’s Distance Learning Program ( is a web-based grooming instruction solution. It’s perfect for individuals looking to make Grooming their future. It is also an ideal resource for Salon Owners and Managers who find it hard to locate groomers. It’s designed for those who don’t have the time - or desire - to teach.




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