May Wong is the Owner and head Groomer of M Dog Grooming in Mulgrave Victoria, Australia. May is known internationally for her high quality styling and online grooming video classes. From the 5th of August until the 19th October (11weeks), her salon was shut due to a state wide lockdown. Having most of her clients on a 2 to 6 weekly grooming schedule, this would have been hard to keep up! Here is her advice on how to get through lockdown without the stress.
What were the words you used to explain to your clients the situation of rebooking those cancelled?
Below the post I put up on my business social media pages.
Due to the 6 weeks Stage 4 lockdown, the salon will be closed from Wednesday night until further notice. We’ll make contact with you in the next few weeks to reschedule your booked appointments during the lockdown period. Take care and stay safe ❤"
How did you choose who you would rebook first?
My clients mainly come every 6 weeks for a groom and some are booked yearly or few months ahead. Home salons were closed for 10 weeks at the last Melbourne hard lockdown so most clients would have missed a groom during the lockdown. All booked appointments from the day salon re-open remained unchanged and all the empty spots are filled. Priorities are given to the 1st clients with the longest period without a groom, 2nd favourite and highly regular clients (2 or 4 weekly or clients who booked for the whole year), 3rd the rest of the clients.
When would you recommend rebooking those you had to cancel?
I would wait until the Premier announces a definite date before rebooking in case there is a lockdown extension like the case in Melbourne.
What Policies did you put in place upon reopening?
Strict contactless drop off and pickup services for the clients and clients are not allowed to come into the salon. There is a designated enclosed area for clients to drop off their dogs and dogs will be left in the same enclosed area for clients to pickup. Clients to make payment through bank deposit or they can tap or swipe their card on the eftpos machine.
Did you require extra time for clients to fix grooms or de-matt?
Clients are supposed to continue brush and maintain their dogs’ hair during lockdown. Majority of my clients have been really good and I only had to shave off about a handful of them. I did spend some extra time on some of them to remove knots but if they’re matted, it’s more humane to shave off the dogs and start over again.
Did you need to work longer days/extra days? Or get help?
I don’t work on the weekend but a few weeks after lockdown, I open up Saturdays and book 1-2 extra dogs each day to try book everyone in.
What should a Groomer do in their business during this spare time?
Take the time off to work on your business plans, paperwork, and online learning. You may also order some model dogs to practice at home or make some beautiful bows for your clients!
Any other advice for our Groomers?
Take the opportunity for a well deserved break but also keep yourself fit. Continue exercising or keep yourself active so your body don’t go into shock on your first day back at work like I did lol.
Thank you May for your experienced insight!
Lexie and her fellow Western Australian Groomers are currently in Lockdown, so Lexie decided to share some advice for anyone about to go into, or come out of lockdown.
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