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Manager's To Do

Create an Upbeat Board, Friend a Reporter and More Business-Boosting Ideas for September-October

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

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Aug. 30-Sep. 5

EMPLOYEE MORALE There’s a good chance your store needs more positive energy right now. Create a board and have each employee write on a Post-it note about an upbeat interaction they had with another team member or customer that week. “When people walk by this board, it will bring positive energy and make them feel good,” says Megan Crabtree, president of Crabtree Consulting.

DIGITAL If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that your online presence needs to be top of class. Can you accept online reservations for grooming, take orders for delivery, support GPS routes for pet sitting, and integrate all with your social media channels? If not, you’ve got work to do.

Sep. 6-12

PUBLIC RELATIONS Does your local paper have a reporter who covers pet-related topics? Friend/follow them on social media. Post the occasional comment or question and share info. Consider this the first step in becoming a source for industry news.

SEO In the era of local search, it’s crucial you settle on one name for your business. For example, is it “Jeff and Jane Pet Supplies LLC,” or “J&J Pet Supply” or some other variant that has arisen? If it isn’t always the same, search engines get confused and wonder if these are the same or different businesses. End result? Your ranking suffers.

Sep. 13-19

STORE What kind of vibe does your store give off from the outside looking in? “Sit outside your store and think, ‘How does this look to me?’” says Keely Grice of Grice Showcase and Display. Look at it from your customer’s point of view, and perhaps have a customer join your scrutiny. Then, spruce up the exterior by adding plants, and, if possible, seating such as a bench. Paint the curbs, if allowed, and stencil your store’s name on them.

Sep. 20-Sep. 26

TECHNOLOGY Here’s a quick to-do to give your emails a personal touch: Include a signature, along with a short message (e.g. “We’re here to help your pet thrive!”) that will automatically appear at the end of your emails.

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TRAINING Schedule times to train your staff on any new products you’re bringing into the store for the peak end-of-year period.

Sep. 27-Oct. 3

MARKETING Create an email and Facebook schedule to promote Black Friday (Nov. 27), Small Business Saturday (Nov. 28) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 30). But give customers the chance to ease into the season. While Labor Day may have passed, people in certain areas of the country aren’t thinking about the holidays until the weather cools.

ISSUES There’s one month to go until the U.S. heads to the polls during a politically divisive period. Hold a meeting with staff about how you’d like them to proceed if politics come up in the store.

Oct. 4-10

MARKETING Join in the Halloween fun. Start thinking about how you can dress up your website to get people in the mood.

Oct. 11-17

DISPLAYS Fixtures in need of refreshing? Call a few suppliers and issue them a challenge: I need to redo X number of fixtures or shelves at Y cost. What can you do for me? “Most display companies have items (returns, show samples, etc.) around they will be happy to sell at a discount,” says display consultant Larry Johnson.

STORE Take time to watch how customers move through your store. Foot traffic tends to develop an organic flow, and you can take advantage of your customers’ natural instincts to strategically place cases and collections. You can also use your biggest sellers to draw customers deeper into the store and past some of your less popular items.

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Oct. 18-24

FINANCIAL PLANNING Retirement still years away? Doesn’t matter. If you don’t have a retirement account yet, do something about it this month. Many retirement plans need to be set up by Dec. 31, even if you don’t put money in them until after the new year.

Oct. 25-31

MANAGEMENT Post your November and December goals in the back room. This is also the time to unveil your holiday sales incentive. What will it be? A $100 Visa gift card. A three-day holiday? An offer to shave off your hair? Don’t forget a prize for the employee who collects the most customer e-mails during the holidays.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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