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Manager's To Do

Do Employees Know Best? Find Out! Plus more business boosters for February and March

Your employees may have found a better way to do something. Document it for your business manual!

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Jan. 31-Feb. 6

STRATEGY Planning will be a recurring theme this month. Draw up a list of competitors and their estimated sales volumes. Then jot down your trade area and its population to work out your market’s potential and where you rank. (When you talk to bankers, potential buyers or mentors, they will expect you to know this information.)

DISPLAY Decorate your business to add a touch of Valentine’s Day love. Scatter cupids, with splashes of red and pink, to encourage pet parents to show their unabashed love for their animals.

Feb. 7-13

INVENTORY As efficient as the new POS systems are, you still should do a physical inventory (meaning a manual stock count) once a year. Post-holiday season is often the best time. If you’ve never done one before, check out Candace D’Agnolo’s column from the January 2019 issue of PETS+.

Feb. 14-20

MARKETING Hopefully as we write this, the COVID-19 situation is improving and you can think about holding events again. Sketch out a calendar for the year.

INVENTORY Buying season is on the way (Global Pet Expo Digital Access takes place Mar. 24-26): It’s time to take a hard look at your inventory. Drill down into your data (GPM, brand performance, price points, markdowns) to weed out underperformers and to identify new category trends. Set targets and support plans for emerging inventory stars.

Feb. 21-27

PROCEDURES An up-to-date procedures manual is a key part of running an effective business. Call a staff meeting and ask employees for their opinions on current procedures; they may have made improvements to a process that should be implemented.

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Feb. 28-Mar. 6

INVENTORY Identify your “white space,” those areas where demand in your market is going unfulfilled by your store. Make a note of what your customers are requesting that you don’t have, say inventory under the $10 price point. Be ready to fill in the blanks come buying season.

Mar. 7-13

STRATEGY Set times to meet with advisers — your lawyer, accountant, banker, consultants and, especially if you haven’t done it yet, your tax pro. Review the state of the company and how it’s placed to benefit from the economy’s current condition (much of Wall Street expects a strong pickup this year), and take advantage of any changing tax obligations.

Mar. 14-20

STAFF 
It’s time for your twice-yearly employee reviews. Trainer Kate Peterson urges you to set up a professional development plan for each employee — and for yourself. “Ask what they feel they need to learn or even what they would just like to learn, then challenge them to come up with a plan to get it done,” she says. Give them a week to plan and then work out the logistics.

Mar. 21-27

MARKETING We can see the intro now: “Want to know what will be the next big trend in pet care? Janie Johnson of JJ’s Pets has just participated in the world’s biggest pet show …” Before you log on to Global, get in touch with your local newspaper and promise to report back with news about pet care trends for your community’s animal owners.

Mar. 28-Apr. 3

SELF-PROMOTION Work on your own “30-second infomercial” to use at networking events or to post on your website. Draft a statement that: 1) describes what you do; 2) shows that you love it; 3) shows how you can provide solutions to people’s problems, and most of all, 4) makes people say “Tell me more!”

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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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