July 3-8

MARKETING Hire a pro to take photos of your store and team. These are valuable marketing tools you can use when meeting vendors at trade shows, dealing with local press or even entering next year’s America’s Coolest Stores contest.

July 10-15

SAFETY Stage a fire drill. Simulate a blocked exit and unconscious staff member. Critique staff performance.

INDUSTRY Spend some time at petsplusmag.com for compelling tips, news, features and lots of archived material. 

July 17-22

WEBSITE Improve your 404 error page. Google “best 404 pages” for a ton of clever examples for inspiration.

July 24-28

SELF-IMPROVEMENT What’s the best month to try to change your life? August. Unlike the New Year period, in August most kids are in school, most people have returned from vacation, and it’s easy to establish a routine that supports your new goals.

TRADE SHOW Don’t forget to post on social media about your adventures — and shopping highlights — in Vegas.

July 31-Aug. 5

TRADE SHOW Back from SuperZoo? Be sure to debrief with your team. Or, if you don’t have a team, write a report to yourself so you can remember all the great stuff you learned.

Aug. 7-Aug. 12

STAFF Bone up on product lines, go over customer service skills and how to handle returns.

TRAINING Begin training your staff to give first-time customers a tour of your store. This is a good way to break the ice and make newcomers feel welcome.

Aug. 14-Aug. 19

LEARNING Do you take a lot of photos that you post to social media? Then it’s a smart idea to sign up your employees — and yourself — for a course that teaches you how to take better pictures. (iPhone users, check out iphonephotographyschool.com.)

PODCASTS Want to inspire yourself as an entrepreneur? Start listening to business and self-improvement podcasts while you exercise, drive to work or eat lunch. Two of our current favorites: “The Tim Ferriss Show” and NPR’s “How I Built This.”

Aug. 21-26

MANAGEMENT Kill a project. “The first step in a growth policy is not to decide where and how to grow,” Peter Drucker said. “It is to decide what to abandon. In order to grow, a business must have a systematic policy to get rid of the outgrown, the obsolete, the unproductive.” Make a list of projects, policies or products you should consider killing. Solicit nominations from your staff. (We bet they’ll have a few suggestions.)

BRANDING Redo your receipts, order forms, and invoices to make them more friendly both in ease of use and tone. 

Aug. 28-Sept. 2

MARKETING Launch “Project Big Shot.” Start making contact with local personalities: newscasters, society figures, sports people, to see if they are interested in bringing their pets to you for training, products or services.


This article originally appeared in the July-August 2017 edition of PETS+.