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5 Ways to Prepare Your Salon for the Holidays

Get ready for the busiest grooming season of the year with this advice.

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Photo by #AndisGroomNation Ambassadors @best.in.show

WE ALL KNOW that grooming salons are super busy during the winter holidays, from mid-November through the end of December. Most shops are so busy, the staff barely have time to manage day-to-day tasks, much less anything more that may arise during this time. To help with the coming chaos, here are five ways to prepare your salon for the holiday season:

1. Check your equipment.

In late October or early November, go through the salon and make sure your tools are in good working order. Change the brushes on dryers, clean filters, check that clippers are in good running and clean condition, and sharpen all blades and scissors. If you need new tools, now is the time to purchase. Stock up on towels, shampoo and cleaning supplies. It always seems like when we are the busiest, something breaks or runs out. Also stock up on bows and bandannas — you will want to dress up those beautiful holiday grooms.

2. Haul out the holiday merchandise.

If you do retail, now is the time to put out and/or restock holiday merchandise. Clients will be looking for special presents for their pets and those of friends and family. Put up signage that gift certificates are available, as well.

3. Do a deep clean.

Appointments often slow down in early November because people are waiting to book so their pups look freshly groomed for holiday company. This is a great time to go through and give your salon a good scrubbing and refresh any paint if needed.

4. Encourage clients to book ahead.

Put up signage reminding your clients to pre-book their holiday appointments. Start asking clients when they come in if they plan to get a holiday groom and explain that if they wait too long to book, they may not get an appointment, leaving their pet grown out for the big family gathering (We start doing this in September). Also, go through and get your regulars scheduled, so that when the busy times hit, they have their appointments and you haven’t inadvertently overbooked yourself.

5. Decorate!

Put up lights and garland to dress up your salon, so it gives clients a festive feeling. You can play soft music or holiday carols, and put an herbal or pine scent in the diffuser, even set up a photo station to take cute pics of your grooms and post them to your Facebook and Instagram pages. Not only do the pet parents like it, but it also shows off your skills when others are looking for a new salon. Clients love when they see their pets on your pages, and they often comment and share, which gets your work out for more people to see.

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Diane Betelak, NCMG, has owned Heads and Tails Professional Dog Grooming, Inc. in Liverpool, NY, since 1982. She groomed competitively in the U.S. and abroad and has numerous "Best in Shows" and "Best All-Around Groomer" wins and placings in prestigious competitions. In 1996, Diane qualified for the GroomTeam USA traveling team and went to Milan, Italy, where she won "Best in Show" with her Standard Poodle, helping the team clinch the gold medal. In addition, she has judged all major grooming shows throughout the United States and Canada, and is a certifier for N.D.G.A.A. In 1997, she was the recipient of the Cardinal Crystal Award for American Groomer of the Year, and in 2011 was named its Grooming Competition Judge of the Year. Although now retired from competitive grooming, Diane remains active as a grooming educator for Andis Company where she teaches the finer points of grooming across North America. Diane has also been showing championship Standard Poodles in confirmation and obedience since 1987, winning multiple titles. She is now actively competing in agility with her current poodles, Sid and Rickie Boa.

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