Everyone enjoys special things during the holidays, and clients especially like to see their kitty pampered and spoiled to get ready for the family festivities. Bringing seasonal specials into your grooming business starting in mid-October can strengthen your current client base while attracting new clients, and late summer/early fall is the perfect time to start planning for these specials.
Everything from holiday goodies to a facial or a special massage will bring the holiday magic into your grooming business. And by posting your holiday specials on social media, you can announce and advertise the extra seasonal touches to your clients for free or at a low cost.
There are several add-ons you can offer to provide value and make your clients feel appreciated that will be little or no cost to you. The easiest would be adding a five-minute, full-body massage to the bath. Another would be to add a facial. My facials hit the kitty’s pressure points going up the nose and in the ears. I perform the facial just after the bath when the kitty is wrapped up in the towel. While the full-body massage is for the cat who enjoys their bath, I can usually execute a facial on all but the most aggressive felines. Both the facial and massage use no extra products. My only expense on these two items is my time, which makes it a win for my business.
A fun holiday tradition that the family can enjoy at home is adding on nail caps colored for the family’s favorite holiday. Combining nail caps in black/orange or brown/orange or red/green or blue/white patterns tend to be popular from October until January. Offering a small discount on the holiday-themed colors can help the feline and their family celebrate the holidays in style.
Goodies & Gifts
Goodies and gift-giving are also popular during the holidays. One of my old favorites was giving out a magnetic calendar with my business branding. However, after realizing that not all refrigerators are magnetic, I changed to having a card printed with a calendar. Some families use this to mark their appointments while others use it for a date reference. As a house-call groomer, I would often see my calendars around my clients’ homes.
I also love making organic cat nip pouches. These are easy if you enjoy sewing. You just cut two-inch squares with pinking shears and sew the outside about 1/8” from the edge on three sides. Then you stuff them with a small amount of poly fill and a pinch of organic cat nip, and sew up the last side. There will be no need for turning as all the sewing was done on the outside. Kitties and humans alike will go crazy over the organic cat nip toys! I have made these with my business colors and with seasonal fabrics. Some of my clients still have the organic cat nip pouches I gave to them years ago.
However, not all goodies are equal! My biggest flop was the year I purchased clear, heart-shaped ornaments and put a little bit of each client’s kitty’s fur inside then decorated the outside. One of my more blunt clients said, “I pay for you to take it away. I do not want it back.” So I would stay away from goodies that include the pets’ actual coat.
Another fun holiday tradition I do for my clients is take pictures of their feline wearing a holiday hat. While I started with a Santa hat, over the years I have added several snowman hats, an elf hat and a fancy hat for New Year’s Eve. My tip is to have the kitty lie in a cat condo in front of a festive holiday back drop then slide the hat on. With the cat lying in the condo, the head is usually stabilized enough for you to take a quick picture. The key to the photographs is not spending more than three to five minutes on a kitty. You may even allow your clients time alone with the hats and backdrop. This can be a fun family activity to wrap up your feline grooms.
Getting The Word Out
With all the great ideas you may have for spreading holiday joy to the felines and families you service, without advertising, it will go unnoticed. Announcing your holiday activities on social media is a great free way to reach your local community. The goal is to get people talking about your business so new clients will try your services. You may want to run several small contests on your social media pages during the holidays to get your circulation and views up. If you have some money to spend on social media advertising, putting it towards your holiday specials may be a good investment.
It is also important that your current clients are aware of your holiday specials. If you have a salon, it is very easy to post your holiday festivities. Mobile and house-call groomers may have a more difficult time announcing their specials. In the past, I have used a laminated card that listed my specials for owners to view at the beginning of their appointment. I have also written my holiday specials on my receipts. Another easy way to share your holiday festivities is to send out an email or include them in your newsletters. Remember, your existing clients are your best advertising tool. When your regulars participate in your holiday festivities, they will tell their family and friends.
Extra pampering and holiday goodies make the holidays more festive. While it may be a few extra steps during the groom or creating something that goes home with the kitty, many families appreciate the effort. And this appreciation goes a long way in building relationships with your regular clients and getting them to talk about your business in order to attract new clients. Remember to advertise early so everyone who wants to participate can have a place on your holiday grooming schedule! ✂️