Tis the season to be Jolly
The Christmas dog grooming season is here
I shouldn’t say the C-word too soon but CHRISTMAS! It is my favourite time of the year and I love how jolly everyone is. It’s the busiest time of the year for many and especially us dog groomers when everyone doesn’t want “scruffy” to look quite so scruffy for the family visits and I totally understand, as even my dogs get a pre-Christmas groom on Christmas Eve.
With this in mind, it is so important that whilst we are making everyone else’s dogs look lovely for Christmas, we also ensure that we are keeping ourselves healthy and maximising our profits to enable us, as business owners, to also enjoy a much-deserved rest over Christmas.
In this festive article, I will cover how we get ready for the big rush, what products we use and how we make enough money to enable us to close completely from 23rd December until 5th January! Let’s get ready to dance around that Christmas tree this year instead of being totally and utterly burnt out. Remember: Work smarter not harder.
Groomer health is so important at this time of the year, more so than ever with the soaring number of puppies, so we need to look out for each other and ourselves. Many professional dog groomers across the UK stop taking new clients at this time of year, and it is important to remember our worth and that what we do is a hard and skilled job.
Top 10 dog grooming must-dos at Christmas
To ensure good wellbeing at this busy time of the year here are my top 10 must-dos at Christmas:
Celebrate with an Epic Christmas Party
At our salon we have our Christmas party in November as fitting it in during December is almost impossible. We work hard all year so like to let loose a bit and book accommodation and a good event to really gear us up for the busy festive run. It allows the team to bond and let off steam, so we are all refreshed and ready to work our bottoms off in December. Team morale is important as without a good team you cannot run a successful pet salon.
Offer Christmas Spa Package
Having spa packages for special occasions is a must. Our customers love the package and to be honest, I think some buy it just for the festive photo at the end! We have had clients who come to us just for the Santa Paws package and they are happy to buy this as an extra on top of their groom, it doesn’t cost us much so has a good profit margin. We do a mixture of packages in our salon but our most popular is Santa Paws which is £10 and they get teeth cleaning, a Christmas fragrance, paw balm, a festive bandana and a festive-themed photograph on our social media. The 2 weeks before Christmas about 95% of our clients go for this so some days it’s an extra £200 a day that we make from the spa packages. It is lovely for the dogs and enables us to have between Christmas and New Year off as it covers our bills for the time that we are closed. The social media aspect of the packages is also amazing as people often share the pictures of their dogs and this promotes our services. We sell teeth cleaning to most of our customers to maintain good dental hygiene for £8 so for the extra £2 most of them go for the Santa Paws package. We just love pampering the dogs and giving them a special Christmas treat.
Enjoy Some Time Off
Let’s be honest after Christmas everyone is way too busy drinking mulled wine and eating the contents of their stocking to even think their dog needs groomed, so book some time off, whether it is 5 days or 10. Most of your regular customers would have already had a groom and it is probably the best time for groomers to close as many other businesses are also closed during this time. The lead up to Christmas is so exhausting for a dog groomer and we work longer hours to accommodate more dogs, so it is only fair that our bodies get a rest too. Most groomers aren’t running a chain business so as small businesses, people will understand.
Be Selective with your Pre-Christmas Appointments
We are super picky about who we give appointments to during the festive season, we aren’t trying to be mean to anyone, but we feel strongly that it is fair that our 4 to 6 weekly regulars get priority appointments over our once-a-year visitors. This means our regulars are happy as they have a pre-Christmas groom, but it also means it's nicer for us as we have regular dogs in, who are used to the grooming process, and that are usually still in shape from the previous groom.
I know this seems like a cliché, but meal prep is key to boosting energy levels. I know many of us are guilty of living off the coffee and chocolate diet and whilst you can still have chocolate and coffee, when your body is expending energy, it needs nutritious food to give it energy back. A healthy balanced diet will keep you full for longer, keep your body running efficiently without burning out, and help you avoid binging.
Schedule in some Exercise
As a working mum with 2 kids, 3 dogs and 2 jobs, time management is key and while I appreciate it is not always easy to include exercise in your schedule even a 10-minute walk can do wonders for your mental health. I find a getting outside for some exercise really does help me winddown after a busy day at the salon or gears me up ready for the day.
Offer a Premium Day
If you’re like me and struggle to say ‘No’ then this works wonders. Once I have filled my diary with regulars (usually by mid-November) I open a Premium Day. It’s a Saturday or Sunday that I’m not usually working, and I charge time and a half for it. I explain we are fully booked but that we have Premium Day slots available. What’s funny is those that are most “desperate” say they will wait until the New Year! It means I’m not saying “no” to clients but if they are that keen to have their dog groomed before Christmas, they have to pay extra for it. Either I fill my morning and make the same amount in a half a day as what I do in a full day, or they wait until the New Year, and I get my normal day off so it’s a win/win.
Offer Mini Grooms
Our last day before Christmas is 23rd December and we only offer mini grooms and 'bath and brush' appointments on this day. We get takeout pizza and really LOVE our last day. We are never stressed, never overworked, and get to see all our regular fluffies before we break for Christmas.
Charge Your Worth
Charging your worth is something I am so passionate about. There is no glory in burning yourself out to please clients, they would not do the same for you, so you should 100% price your services correctly and enjoy doing fewer dogs per day and protecting that body that you need to work. Again – work smarter, not harder.
Good Equipment is Key
Good quality equipment will make your job easier. By using better quality equipment, you will be able to groom quicker and more efficiently. Since upgrading my equipment 3 years after opening my salon, I really noticed improvements in my drying time, quality of prep, my back, the quality and speed of my scissoring and the overall quality of my grooms.
Let’s talk products
I love trying new products! One of my favourite things to do is flip through the Christies Direct catalogue and make my little dog grooming Christmas wish list. In the lead up to Christmas, I really enjoy getting the festive fragranced shampoos to add into our spa packages and I often get a set of bows, make my own festive bandanas and invest in some festive scented products for our salon to make sure it has a Christmas feel! If you haven’t tried the wide range of products below, I would highly recommend putting them on your Christmas list!
- Groom Professional Luxury Christmas Bows
- Opaws Glitter Gel
I hope you have enjoyed reading and I cannot wait to press play on our Christmas playlist and start dancing around my super tall Groom Professional Everest grooming table this year! I am 5ft 11 and it’ll be my first year using a grooming table that is the right height for me, so I am very excited to not have backache for Christmas this year!