Jan. 29-Feb. 3

MARKETING Most people do not think of their pets when it comes time for Valentine’s Day shopping. Your job is to convince them otherwise. Send three or four bulletins over the next two weeks and keep your social media feed filled with pictures of animals with roses and hearts.

STRATEGY Embark on a strategic review. Look at what your competitors are doing and learn from them. Visit their stores and websites, subscribe to their newsletters, and have a staff member save their ads in a scrapbook. This will keep you up to date on trends, where your market is moving, and what others are advertising, discounting and featuring.  You’ll know where to compete and how to differentiate your business.

Feb. 5-10

ONLINE Call a friend, and tell her to go to your website and see how quickly she can find your business hours and contact info. Less than 10 seconds? Awesome. Twenty seconds? Not bad, but could be better. Thirty seconds or more? Change your design so these details are super-easy to find.

MANAGEMENT There’s no one right way to arrange the information on a profit-and-loss statement. If you can’t understand yours, ask your accountant to arrange the information so you can tell instantly what went right (or wrong) the previous month.

Feb. 12-17

MARKETING Email reminder: “Two days left ’til Valentine’s Day!” And list five gift ideas.

MERCHANDISING Schedule a meeting with staff to discuss merchandising. Brainstorm buying strategies that will enable you to achieve your 2018 goals: Do you want to attract more millennials? Expand your natural product section?

TECHNOLOGY Google your business name. If your website appears “below the fold” (where people have to scroll down to see it), you’ve got work to do. First up, join the conversation: Reply to any review posts on Yelp or Yahoo. 

Feb. 19- 24

FINANCE Check with your bank to see if it offers payroll assistance. Many now provide a service that allows you to log onto their site and enter your workers’ hours. The bank then makes direct deposits and pays your federal and state withholding taxes.

STAFF Ask staff to write an answer to these questions: “Why do you get up in the morning?” and “Why should our customers care?” You may just find a new mission statement in those answers.

MARKETING Work on a referral system to reward clients that refer friends. Maybe a bonus of a $20 credit for products or services to every client who refers someone.

Feb. 26-March 3

STAFF Do you have guidelines for handling complaints? If not, get busy. As much as possible, empower your team to make decisions without you.

FINANCES Do a manual backup of all your customer and financial records and store it offsite. Your system should be doing this automatically — it’s always good to check occasionally — but in case of a catastrophe, it’s vital you have a record to start rebuilding.


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