If you have a reasonably busy salon and have been at this for a few years, you know the holidays mean crunch time. You'll be grooming most of your regular clients in days instead of weeks. Do you have control of your schedule?
You may find yourself racing to juggle the demands of your business and your family. Keeping your customers happy is crucial to the health of your salon, but not at the expense of those you love. Don't let the insanity of the holiday season put a damper on your festive mood.
I learned the hard way. Grooming super long hours up to 14 days straight before Christmas left me totally exhausted and spent. I was definitely a Scrooge throughout the entire holiday season. I knew I had to make a change when one Christmas I literally slept through the entire day.
Here are a few ideas from myself and my team of seasoned grooming pros to help you make the most of the holiday rush.
Be Prepared with Dispensable Products
Make sure all your supplies are stocked up and organized. The last thing you want is to run out of anything! Here is a shopping list to help you.
Walk around your salon well ahead of the rush. Open doors, look in cabinets, and check drawers. You want to have everything stocked up and at your fingertips. There's nothing better than doing a thorough walk-through and making a list of supplies you need.
Plan out your days. Just prior to a major holiday, the demands on your schedule can quickly spiral out of control. Do you want to work your normal schedule or add on a few hours here or there? Some professionals add work days to their week to accommodate clients. The choice is yours. Whatever you decide, make sure your best clients are pre-scheduled in premier slots in your appointment book. Ideally, it's best to do this well before the holiday season hits.
Know your limitations. Know what your obligations are to your clients and family. Create a schedule that works for you - and then stick to it. It's okay to say no.
As tempting as it may be, surviving the holiday rush on the wonderful food gifts your clients bring is not the best option! Early in my career, I learned the hard way that cookies, candies, nuts, and other holiday treats can't help you operate at peak performance.
Eat. Real. Food. If it comes from a window at a drive-through, it does not qualify as real food, in my book. Equally important, attempt to bypass any processed foods.
Prepare. Shop the perimeter of your grocery store. Focus on fresh foods. Take a day to prepare large batches of healthy food. Then pre-package it in individual servings. Freeze anything you can.
Cook ahead of time. Never tried batch cooking before? There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest and YouTube. Or simply double or triple your favorite recipes. Personally, my attitude is if I'm going to cook, I'm going to fill the grill, load up the oven or pull out my largest pot. It doesn't take much more time to double or triple a recipe once you get started.
Make good choices. Whatever you choose, make sure it's fast and easy to eat. Juices and smoothies are great on-the-go items. Hard-boiled eggs are economical and easy. Sliced fruits, veggies, and lean proteins keep energy levels high. Drink plenty of water.
Know your options. If you don't want to do the cooking yourself, stock up on menus from your favorite restaurants and choose healthier items that help you maintain a consistent energy flow throughout the day.
Train Your Clients
Some days you have time to visit with your clients. However, the holiday season is not one of them. Train them to respect your time - even if you are mobile. It's your responsibility to make sure every pet gets your full attention and it'll be hard to do that if you're running behind all day.
There are ways to tactfully and politely remind them you have an extremely busy schedule. A big smile and a genuine thank you can go a long way when you need to keep moving.
The holidays are a special time. Not just for your family, friends, and your clients - but also for yourself. It's important to reserve quality time for every part of your life.
Having grooming systems firmly in place allows you to be highly efficient. The more seasoned you are, the more likely you have mastered this technique. It comes in handy when your time is limited.
Essential oils can use helpful to energize yourself or slow yourself down. Some brands come up with blends or you can make your own. They can be diffused in the air, inhaled directly from their bottles, or added to bath water. Many oils can be applied directly to the skin.
Common oils for relaxation would be lavender, lemon, ylang-ylang, geranium, and frankincense. A few essential oils used to increase energy are peppermint, white fur, lemon, and basil. Many of the citrus based oils have the ability to uplift and de-stress.
Carve out a little special time for yourself. Maybe it's a soothing bubble bath at the end of a long day. Some people love massages or manicures. Others enjoy sitting down for a few quiet minutes to decompress with a beverage of choice.
The holiday season can be magical - even if it is one of your busiest times. The best way to ward off being a Scrooge is to do some planning. Think about the upcoming weeks leading to the new year. Take control. Put pen to paper and plan your schedule. Know where the crunch times are and when you have a window of space.
A little bit of thought and planning can go a long way to make the holiday season both financially rewarding, personally enjoyable, and filled with blessings and gratitude.