Holiday Season has arrived in full force. With it comes the usual scheduling of family and friend parties, calorie laden meals, gift giving, and merriment galore. If you are a pet groomer, you experience a heralding of the holidays in a different sort. Groomers notice the holidays are here in various ways- the phone begins ringing more often, the door to your salon starts swinging more frequently, and the last minute callers for pet grooming become a bit more insistent.
For groomers, holiday season can mean added grooming services and money to your paycheck. Most groomers welcome the season with delight although they are aware of the dark side of the holiday season- we will call it the Holidaze. Many pet groomers are more than happy to add an extra pet or two or fifteen to their already hectic schedule. Groomers are aware that their own holiday paychecks will see an uptick and likewise tips will increase due to holiday generosity during the next 5-6 weeks. Moreover, many compassionate and passionate groomers are also thinking of the poor dog on the end of the phone call, owner begging for a last minute appointment so Fido doesn’t spend his holiday in a matted filthy state. Mercy grooms are often at their highest this time of the year because the wonderful men and women in the pet grooming industry truly care about making sure no good boy or girl (dog) is left behind.
Here is a typical holiday dialog synopsis with a typical client living in Anywhere, USA. Mrs. Busy Client calls and asks for an appointment. She seems surprised that Ms. Good Groomer is busy. A tense negotiation begins where Ms. Groomer learns that Mrs. Client is hosting 23 people for a Giant Christmas Celebration and a matted, dirty, not-seen-a-groomer-for-6-months dog will ruin the entire Yuletide season. Ms. Groomer feels badly for the pet and agrees to see the client. Ms. Groomer knows she will be staying late, although she already arrived early, skipped lunch, hasn’t stopped for a bathroom break in 3 days; yet the thought of the poor client dog spending Christmas Celebration being ostracized and dirty is just too much to bear. Ms. Groomer will make sure the pet is sparkling clean and looking his best for his big Giant Family Celebration.
And so it goes, over and over. Until the Holidaze are over and Ms. Good Groomer looks around. She has pushed her body to a point where it is weary and nearly broken. She has a lovely paycheck to show for it- her children and husband enjoy a great Christmas celebration of their own thanks in part to the rewards of her labors. Ms. Good Groomer, however is too tired to celebrate with them. She has missed too many meals, skipped too many bathroom breaks, and worked far too many hours. She cannot enjoy her own holiday celebration or family because she has given all to her client family and their pets.
This year, employ some of these Groomer Survival Tips so that you can be present and engaged when you attend your own Holiday Celebrations!
- Find an appropriate work/life balance and stick to it.
- Like an endurance athlete who is anticipating a big race, eat well and often.
- Drink lots of fluids- water, preferably.
- Get lots of rest- earlier than usual bedtimes are a must for me; get that extra hour of sleep you’ve been promising yourself.
- Say No. When those last minute holiday dogs call that will steal your time and your joy, offer to schedule them an appointment after January 1st. Perhaps you can stretch the holiday season and your business a bit further by delaying those dogs- I have even offered to bath them (matted, yes) so their pet is clean and finish a shave down after the holidays (pre-paid, of course).
- Treat yourself. Whether it’s an extra day off, a Christmas gift, or even a nice dinner out, take some time to reward yourself for the hard work you give your clients. It’s always nice when you see a client again and can thank them for the generous holiday tip and let them know you used it for something specific.
- We offer one Mercy Groom in each store each year. We quietly watch and talk with our customers and find a deserving family or dog, give them a great haircut, and gift the service. Spreading holiday cheer and good will is good for you, your staff, and your community. Giving during the holidays is a great way to find an outlet for your passion to help pets!
These are just some of the tricks that we use to keep our staff rested, refreshed, and upbeat during the holiday season. We also incorporate Secret Santa, Ugly Sweater Days, Team Potluck meals, and much more. Finding ways to take care of yourself and those around you is never more essential than when you are overwhelmed by clients and dogs to help.
Hoping this Holidaze…finds you prosperous and looking into the New Year with anticipation!
Khris- (and Team Spot!)