Here’s our list of business-boosting activities for you in January. 

Jan. 1-6

WELLNESS Over the holiday season, it’s not unusual to run a sleep deficit. Remedy that by getting an extra hour of ZZZZs every night for the next two weeks. Set your phone’s alarm for half an hour before you plan to go to bed.

STRATEGY Commit yourself to running a big experiment this year: Change your hours, offer a new service like boarding or grooming, give staff more power to make decisions, or stop doing something you hate doing ... there really is no limit for the bold.

MARKETING Update your email list with all the business cards you gathered over the holiday season. Think of a spiff to encourage your team members to continue to collect email addresses of customers throughout the year. ($1 a business card should be about right.)

Jan. 8-13

FINANCES It’s a new year: time to set some financial goals. If you don’t have much of a nest egg yet, start now, but accept that there are no shortcuts. As the old driving instructor advice goes: If you leave late, you’re going to get there late. 

MARKETING Social media interactions should sound spontaneous and casual but be well planned. Start plotting a social media calendar for 2018. Schedule blogs, Pinterest boards and Facebook support for your events.

OPERATIONS Review the Christmas period with staff. Go over your ads, inventory and other marketing campaigns. Analyze what worked, what didn’t, what you learned. Highlight missed opportunities and missed targets. Discuss what other retailers did, what seemed to work and how you can do it better.

Jan. 15-20

FINANCES Tax season is upon us, and identity thieves can’t wait to use stolen Social Security numbers to claim fraudulent refunds. Whether or not you’re expecting a refund, you might want to file your taxes as soon as you have all the paperwork you need. 

ONLINE Examine the “About Us” page on your website. Make sure it is fun and energetic, or high-quality and trustworthy, and also that it isn’t a dead end. Make sure you have an offer, a link to your email bulletin registration, a link to your testimonials page, or any next step of action ... to keep them going after they’ve learned “about you.”

MARKETING Go ahead, get some extra Valentine’s Day dollars with a marketing campaign for gifts for pets. Valentine’s Day is about love, isn’t it? And people love their pets, don’t they? You see where we’re going with this, don’t you?

Jan. 22-27

MANAGEMENT If one of your resolutions was to shed a few pounds, keep going! A study from the Center for Creative Leadership found lean equals “leaderly.” “Executives with larger waistlines and higher body-mass-index readings tend to be perceived as less effective in the workplace, both in performance and interpersonal relationships,” it said.

DISPLAYS Decorate your store and reorganize your cases for Valentine’s Day. Aim for fun, not schlocky. Scatter some cupids among your shelves. While you’re thinking of displays, chart a year’s worth of a window displays.

STAFF Pledge to be a better boss in 2018. Add employee birthday dates to your calendar and those of their children as well. (Any gifts or similar gestures will win over hearts and minds.)


This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of PETS+.