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Slow for the Holidays!!

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  • Slow for the Holidays!!

    Hi all!

    As Christmas is approaching, I see all of your posts about how booked up everyone is! That is so wonderful to see, and I hope that you are all staying sane during the season =P

    Unfortunately, the salon I work for has the opposite problem. We are always super dead. Even now in the holiday season. Today we have 6 dogs and 4 groomers in. That being said, majority of our customers call last minute and are used to having a same day appointment. This is much different from the other salon I worked at (same big box company) My manager was always booked out for at least 2 weeks, and we could rarely accommodate same day appointments.

    The other salon put much more emphasis on prebooking out appointments, and it seemed there was less groomer turn over. At this salon we rarely get a prebooks and 4 out of 5 groomers (I started here in September) just started at the store this year. It seems we have a pretty high turnover rate. Quality wise, I believe both salons are similar.

    Have any of you seen/worked at a salon like this? Especially corp? Anyone ever turn a salon from dead to busy?

    I make a real effort to try to connect with my customers. I pay out of my own pocket to make bows and bandanas for the dogs I do, and try to leave a handwritten note about how their dog did for the groom if I am not around when the dog is picked up. I am still new and on the shy side, so I am not comfortable getting "pushy" about prebooks. I've been given advice to just tell them I put them in x weeks from now, but I know if a hairstylist did that to me without my consent I would be pretty annoyed.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Happy Holidays!

  • #2
    When I opened my home shop 14 yrs ago, I sent out Thank-You post cards (from Barkleigh). Clients were very impressed-no one had ever done that for them. Some even phoned me to say thanks! I always put something personal about their pet-not just a thank-you.

    You might call them a few weeks before they should be in to just ask them how 'Fluffy' is doing and suggest that you could book an appt for them now in a couple weeks if they would like-just to be sure they can get in when they want to. Too bad your corp doesn't suggest pre-booking so it stays busy most of the time.
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!

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    • #3
      I, myself have noticed over the past few years that the holidays time is different from when I first started my own shop in '02-'03. Back then my phone rang off the hook,people wanting to make sure their dog got an appointment before thanksgiving, Christmas...whatever. It was very very important to them.Now a days, seems like it is not high on the priority list, maybe a different generation of people? Could be to that we've had a major influx of groomers the past couple years . More choices and if you can't get in one place there are many more to try. I kinda miss how it was when I first started, made it really feel like Christmas time with the rush.

      It's not that I'm not busy, 98% of my clientele I'd say rebook from one appointment to the next. So I know what to expect and my phone isn't going crazy .

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      • #4
        I have nearly 500 customers in a scheduling program sort of like the one in from problems to profits book and it keeps us busy or spreads out the demand pretty evenly. I wouldn't run a shop without some sort of appointment scheduling program.

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        • #5
          We are not slow, fully booked (in fact, until mid-January) with regulars, but I did notice there are almost no calls from new customers wanting to get in before Christmas. We did have few walk-ins, wanting to get their puppies done right now, but that's about it.


          Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            With ,ABDG - Liked but no extensive waiting list like last couple of years. Had 14 today but that was a fluke ,( front desk screwed up!) Hoping this go in week picks up a but more. Am booked but people aren't showing up/ cancelling last minute.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ABDG View Post
              We are not slow, fully booked (in fact, until mid-January) with regulars, but I did notice there are almost no calls from new customers wanting to get in before Christmas. We did have few walk-ins, wanting to get their puppies done right now, but that's about it.


              Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
              Same here, almost all stayed on regular prebooked schedule. Booked out for as far as I have had a chance to carry them over to next year (will finish prebooking them over to next year when I get a chance). But very few new ppl calling and demanding to get in before Christmas. All groomers in my town have their clients prebook so I am sure that helped all of us. A few on waiting list but barring an emergency on a prebooked client, those wont get in sometime till in January.
              Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KarlaSnyder View Post
                When I opened my home shop 14 yrs ago, I sent out Thank-You post cards (from Barkleigh). Clients were very impressed-no one had ever done that for them. Some even phoned me to say thanks! I always put something personal about their pet-not just a thank-you.

                You might call them a few weeks before they should be in to just ask them how 'Fluffy' is doing and suggest that you could book an appt for them now in a couple weeks if they would like-just to be sure they can get in when they want to. Too bad your corp doesn't suggest pre-booking so it stays busy most of the time.
                I send cards to all my regulars or anyone new that was in the last 6 months. For the latter I actually got some of that back in without offering a discount coupon lure which I hate anyway.

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                • #9
                  I was able to take about 50 owners with me when I first opened business, and it took some time to grow. I asked for customers to help me with referrals and that helped a lot.

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                  • #10
                    First year in business was not real busy and I spent most of my time marketing, not just advertising. I took flyers to vets, kennels and daycare without grooming along with pictures of my work. I agree as said here, I asked for friendly referrals from my present customers. As I remember no one expected anything in return, they didn't want to use another groomer so they helped me. I handed out business cards, went to off leash parks with my pets, gave out cards, even standing in line here and there, handed out cards to pet lovers. We had welcome wagon then got a little business from them and realtors. If they didn't come back in a couple months, I did call them, really, and asked them how the groom held up....so as you can see I did some things maddie ogle said in from problems to profits and dorothy walin in her book too.

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