Top 5 Ways To Get Your Dog Grooming Salon Winter Ready
As autumn and winter approach, the change in the weather means you can expect to see dog owners bringing their dogs to the dog salon more frequently to keep them looking clean and feeling fresh.
The run-up to the Christmas period also creates a greater demand for grooming appointments so owners can get their dogs looking and smelling their best for holiday family visits.
These things make for a busy period for dog grooming salon owners and mobile groomers, so it’s the perfect time to start preparing for the crazy winter season!
This guide will give you our top tips on preparing your salon and dog grooming salon equipment for the winter rush. From organising appointments to keeping your equipment clean, we’re giving you our top tips and tricks to turn the winter rush into your most successful grooming period.
Table of Contents:
- Check your equipment and keep it clean
- Upsell useful grooming products and holiday merchandise
- Post-holiday rush – deep clean your salon
- Encourage future appointments
- Decorate your salon for the festive season
Why do dogs need to be groomed in the winter?
As a professional dog groomer, part of your role is to educate and inform your clients on what is best for their dogs, which is particularly important in the winter months.
Many dog owners believe it is best to avoid winter trips to the dog grooming salon, feeling that their dog will benefit more from having a longer coat in the colder months. However, winter grooming is essential to keeping dogs happy and healthy. Here are the top reasons that you should be encouraging your clients to book regular appointments throughout the winter months:
During the winter, dogs can carry all sorts of dirt and germs into our homes. By encouraging regular grooming appointments and offering at-home grooming tips between appointments, your client’s dogs will stay fresh throughout the winter months, keeping their homes clean and fresh as a result.
Regular brushing keeps hair tangle-free, promotes the skin’s circulation and evenly distributes oils throughout the coat. Wet and mud-filled fur can easily become tangled and matted, so regular grooming appointments throughout winter can help you to keep on top of difficult mats. It also allows you to encourage your clients to continue to brush their dogs between appointments.
- Nails and feet
When the ground becomes softer in the winter, a dog’s nails are less likely to be worn down naturally, especially if it spends most of its time off-road. Regular grooming appointments help keep the dog’s nails in check, preventing splits, cracks, overgrowth and snapping. Winter grooming appointments also allow you to keep on top of grooming the hair on and between the dog’s foot pads, to prevent uncomfortable mats and tangles from forming.
- Trimming the coat
A dog’s coat growth does slow down in the winter, but it still requires regular trimming to keep it at its healthiest. Trimming can also prevent mats and tangles from forming or worsening.
- Coat dryness
During the winter, a dog’s coat can dry due to overexposure to artificial heat from central heating systems, which can also lead to dry and flaky skin. Winter appointments allow you to assess the dog’s coat and opt for specific shampoos and conditioners to combat these changes.
To ensure that your clients rebook appointments throughout the winter months, you should highlight the importance of winter grooming and offer advice based on the dog’s coat type on how often they should have them groomed professionally. This advice will encourage them to schedule future appointments and should help to keep your schedule fully booked during the cold-weather seasons.
So now you’ve educated your clients on why they should prioritise winter grooming for their four-legged friends, now’s the time to prepare your salon for the winter rush. Here are our top five tips for surviving the winter season:
Top 5 ways to get your dog salon winter ready
- Regularly clean and check your equipment
Your dog grooming salon or mobile grooming space will be especially busy during the winter months, particularly in the run-up to Christmas, so you want to ensure that you’re prepared for this.
Once October arrives, it’s a good time to check your dog grooming salon equipment to ensure that you have enough of your essential tools and that those you regularly use are clean and in full working order.
Check the brushes on your dryers and clean out their filters, then check your clippers are working correctly and that their blades are clean and sharp. Clean and sharpen scissors regularly, check the blades’ tension and alignment, and store them away safely between appointments.
If you lack any tools, ensure that these are ordered before the Christmas rush begins. Stock up on your everyday grooming essentials, such as shampoos and conditioners for different coat types and ensure that you have enough towels to see you through each busy day in the salon.
All your equipment should be free of hair dust, debris and germs for each client’s appointment, so clean your equipment between appointments and thoroughly at the end of every day. Here are some tips for cleaning specific pieces of equipment:
- Clippers – wipe down your blades between appointments by soaking them in a blade-friendly cleaning solution and drying them with a clean cloth or paper towel to prevent cross-contamination of germs between appointments.
- Scissors – soak your scissors in Barbicide after each appointment and overnight between busy grooming days. Barbicide kills bacteria and ringworm, so it helps to prevent cross-infection between dogs and also helps to keep the groomer safe. A Barbicide scissor jar is the easiest and safest way to soak your scissors. Once clean, remember to dry your scissors with a soft, clean cloth.
- Brushes and combs – remove hair from your brushes and combs between appointments, then soak them in antibacterial soap to remove germs and bacteria.
- Upsell useful products and promote Christmas gifts and merchandise
If your dog salon offers retail products, it’s time to promote them! Dog owners love to spoil their pups and will be looking for Christmas treats for them and friends and family’s dogs, so make sure you have a good display of seasonal gifts.
If you offer a range of brushes, combs and other grooming accessories, talk to your clients about which will be good additions to their dog’s at-home winter grooming routine to try and upsell some products after appointments.
Another great way to sell your services is to offer gift certificates, which can result in new customers, but it’s also a great way to promote your grooming business. Gift cards and certificates can be particularly useful for mobile groomings that want to branch out their services into new areas.
- Deep clean your salon or mobile grooming area during quieter times
During the winter months, you may experience some quieter periods, such as just after Christmas when many of the dogs you groom will have just attended their Christmas appointments.
Make the most of quieter periods by deep cleaning your grooming space after the rush. From cleaning floors to taking stock of your salon’s inventory, it can be a great time to reorder stock and prepare for the next busy period.
Take the time to contact regular clients to schedule appointments or offer winter discounts to encourage new clients into the salon during the remainder of the cold months.
- Encourage pre-booking during the busiest periods
As the build-up to the holiday season can be a hectic time for your dog grooming salon or business, it’s important to plan appointments to accommodate everyone.
Add signs to your salon reminding regular clients to pre-book their Christmas appointments to avoid disappointment. Remind clients when leaving the salon to plan their Christmas appointments, should they require any.
Another way to accommodate regular clients is to call them to encourage them to book their holiday appointments so that they aren’t disappointed should they leave it too late to book.
- Decorate your salon to make it feel more inviting during the festive period
Help your clients to feel more festive by dressing your salon in the run-up to Christmas. Soft Christmas music or carols can help to add to the ambience, but be mindful not to play music too loudly as this could upset anxious dogs.
Another great way to promote your services is to set up a Christmas photo booth to take festive pictures of your client’s dogs post-groom to post on your social media accounts and your website. Not only will this please your clients, but it will also prompt them to share the photographs on their accounts which helps your work to be seen by potential new customers.
Getting your salon winter ready: The highlights
Winter can be one of the busiest times for your dog grooming salon or mobile grooming business, so it’s important to be prepared for the rush.
By encouraging your regular clients to keep up their appointments during the winter months, you could experience a successful business period. Still, it’s essential to ensure you’re fully prepared for it.
Start by regularly cleaning and maintaining your equipment so that it’s fully functional for your busiest months. Then, order any new equipment and stock up on essentials.
If you offer retail products as part of your business, use the build-up to Christmas to promote them and encourage clients to buy useful grooming products to keep their dog’s coats at their best between appointments throughout the winter months.
Encourage pre-booking so you can manage your appointments easily throughout the winter months, and contact your regular clients so they won’t be disappointed.
Finally, decorate your salon to make it feel more festive in the run-up to Christmas and use a festive photo booth to encourage your clients to promote your work. Then, after the post-Christmas rush, check your inventory, deep clean your salon and look for ways to encourage new clients into your salon by offering winter discounts during the early months of the year when you may be at your quietest.
Following these tips and tricks will lead you to your busiest and most successful winter period yet!
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