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Manager's To Do

Dump Your Bacn and 13 More Management To-Do’s for February and March

Yes, we meant to spell “bacn” that way. Read on to learn why.

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Document displays this year, especially if they’re cute and eye-catching like this Valentine’s Day one at Modern Companion in Chapin, SC. Document displays this year, especially if they’re cute and eye-catching like this Valentine’s Day one at Modern Companion in Chapin, SC.

Jan. 29-Feb. 4

MERCHANDISING Starting with Valentine’s Day, take a photo of each holiday and seasonal display when it goes up and save with any build notes. With such a log, you’ll be able to quickly see what 2023 displays looked like when it comes time to do them next year.

TRAINING You’ll find greater success with cross-training early in the year, when staff are more receptive to new concepts and the idea of change. Draw up a schedule and get started! Once top-level trained on your full menu of products and services, everyone from sales associates to day-care staff will be able to hold initial conversations with customers before bringing in a more knowledgeable team member if needed.

Feb. 5-11

INVENTORY Updating prices continues to take up a significant amount of your time. Follow the lead of Stephanie Wright of Bend Pet Express in Bend, OR, and find a way to streamline the process. She says, “I built a spreadsheet that I can dump product data into directly from our inventory system and compare it with vendor data for quick cost and price corrections. It’s saved so much time. Price updates don’t make me want to cry anymore!”

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Feb. 12-18

STRATEGY Ask yourself this question: Why should people in my community still buy from me? After you’ve been in business for a while, it’s easy to get complacent and ignore new competitors and changes in the industry, society and marketplace. Get in your customers’ heads and adapt where needed.

Feb. 19-25

OPERATIONS If you don’t have a backup plan for your POS, create one. Stephanie Rossino of GiggyBites Bakery & Marketplace in Chadds Ford, PA, shares her Quick & Dirty POS Backup Plan in Case of Hardware or Power Failure: “Have a daily data backup for current POS, either cloud/network or removable drive, to restore if a new device is required. This can be set up as part of end-of-day procedures. Have a recent price for most-common inventory items that do not have a price tag so if you need to do manual sales, you are covered and can use a calculator. Keep track to adjust inventory when restored. Since most customers pay with credit cards, have a mobile payment option such as a Square card reader. You could also set up Venmo or PayPal.” Or Zelle.

BUYING Global Pet Expo happens in Orlando, FL, in about a month. Get your staff involved. Dole out research assignments. Start creating a list of needs and wants. Use all of the planning tools available to you at globalpetexpo.org.

Feb. 26-Mar. 4

PRODUCTIVITY Dump Your Bacn. This is the term for those dozens of email newsletters you’ve subscribed to. A study by MessageGate estimates up to 30 percent of emails are bacn. A huge inbox slows searches and makes your head hurt.

Mar. 5-11

OPERATIONS Service providers, it’s time to audit your client onboarding and look for ways to improve. Amber Van Denzen Suarez of Atta Boy! Animal Care Pet Sitting + Dog Walking in Mulberry, FL, saves time through automation: “We have step-by-step onboarding processes for clients on our Contact Us page, as well as an auto email when they register. This allows them to do those steps outside of office hours, and has one-third of onboarding complete without us even speaking to them and taking up phone call time.”

BUYING Continue your Global prep. Ask for order forms to fill out in advance and make booth appointments, getting the rep’s cell phone number in case you need to contact them. Peruse the Global Learning Series lineup to see which sessions you’ll want to attend.

Mar. 12-18

HIRING You never know when you might come across your next superstar employee. It could be the server at a restaurant, someone you meet at a party or anywhere else. Business coach Bob Negen recommends keeping on hand business cards and committing to memory the phrase “I hope you’re happy here, but if you ever want to make a change, here’s my business card.” It makes the “ask” simple and effective.

OPERATIONS The year is gathering pace, and those small operational adjustments you made in January should be starting to stick. Make a point of documenting best processes as they emerge as well as common errors to save employees time troubleshooting problems in the future.

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Mar. 19-25

PRODUCTIVITY Take inventory of your apps and evaluate each for its usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out. Yep, that means TikTok may have to go.

BUYING If you aren’t already a member of the PETS+ Facebook Group, join before Global Pet Expo. Editor-in-Chief Pamela Mitchell will be reporting live from the show Mar. 22-24, sharing scoop on the newest — or new to you — products. Go to facebook.com/groups/petsplusmagcommunity to join. It’s essential coverage, especially if you’re not making the trip.

Mar. 26-Apr. 1

SELF-CARE Catch your breath. You’ve likely been working non-stop since the end-of-year holidays. At the minimum, try to grab a long weekend to recharge.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 17 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+ editors at [email protected].

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P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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