It’s December. An endless stream of clients is coming through your door, your front desk is selling gift cards by the handful and the phone is ringing off the hook. Great for business, tough on your stress level. Here are five tips to relieve your staff’s and your own stress during the busy holiday season.

1. Hire temporary help. Is your front desk overwhelmed with phone calls and ringing up retail? Many college students are looking for a few weeks of work this time of year. Ask around and you may find someone who’s happy to work part-time hours at minimum wage to help you out during the busy season.

2. Schedule down time. Even if it’s just a 15-minute coffee break at the Starbucks next door, make sure you get in a little you time and encourage your stylists to do the same. They’ll return refreshed and renewed. 

3. Bring on the Christmas cookies. It’s inevitable, at some point during the busy season you’re going to get backed up. However, hot cider and fresh cookies go a long way to soothing waiting guests’ nerves. Throw in a free hand massage while they’re waiting and they’ll be thanking you for the wait. And your stylists will be thrilled to have a relaxed, happy client in their chair.

4. Create holiday hours. Staying open longer may seem like a funny way to relieve stress, but if done correctly, it can be a life saver. Open an hour earlier in the morning and an hour later at night, or on Sunday/Monday for a few hours. This will allow you to service all clients without having to overbook and keep clients waiting. And some staffers will appreciate the extra hours during the expensive holiday season.

5. Book a spa appointment. But don’t book it at your own spa. Do some field research and check out the local competition. Bring your manager along and treat yourselves to a couple different services. In addition to enjoying a relaxing few hours, you’ll find out what your spa is doing right and where you can improve.

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