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Manager's To Do

Build Your Christmas Music Playlist and More To-Dos for September and October




Sept. 4-8

MANAGEMENT Develop a standardized gripe response formula. Be sure everyone on the team knows how to execute it perfectly.

STAFF Time for the second of your twice-yearly employee reviews.

Sept. 11-15

INVENTORY Need space for new merchandise? Consider a “Top to Bottom” sale. Here’s how it works: Your “top” merchandise might be 10 percent off, while your “bottom” item (the oldest stuff) might be 70 percent off.

MERCHANDISING Are your windows working effectively to support your sales? Here is a good rule of thumb: If your store gets foot traffic, use small props; if it gets drive-by traffic, oversized props and graphics work best.

Sept. 18-22

YOUR STOREFRONT Fix exterior details before the weather gets too cold.

MARKETING Opt to send customers “green” holiday greeting cards this year. Recycled paper, sugarcane byproduct, soy ink … that sort of thing.


Sept. 25-29

PLANNING Go to the highest-end shopping area and go store to store and see what they’re doing. “If you steal one idea it’s plagiarism; if you steal a whole bunch, it’s research,” says consultant Kate Peterson.

HOLIDAYS Keep an eye out for deals that can make holiday gifts for customers — items for goody bags for special events and give-aways, or to use in gift baskets.

Oct. 2-6

SUPPLIES Now is the time to stock up on bakery bags, shopping bags, gift bags, gift certificates, business cards, promotional materials, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, office supplies, receipt printer tape, curling ribbon and tissue paper.

FINANCIALS Meet with your accountant to discuss your 2018 tax strategy.

Oct. 9-13

OPERATIONS Work on your Christmas season playlist. The big question: Is it time to give the “Little Drummer Boy” his marching orders, once and for all? Have fun curating a holiday playlist that evokes the joy of gift-giving.

MERCHANDISING Have you made space for “impulse purchases” at your cash register?


Oct. 16-20

PRESS Offer the local newspaper lifestyle editor or TV reporter your services as a source on the subject of pet-related holiday gifts.

MARKETING Draft a welcome note for all customers who sign up for your email bulletins. The letter should outline the benefits of being a customer and how your advice and special offers can help them raise happier, healthier pets. To encourage sign-ups at this key time of year, consider a gift card worth $20 for new registrants.

Oct. 23-27

SALESFLOOR Install a scent diffuser. Just about any nice smell will keep customers lingering longer, but pine, cinnamon and mulled cider will reinforce the spirit of Christmas gift-giving.

STORE Get new entrance mats (to save your carpets by keeping out salt, dirt, etc.).

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