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Manager's To Do

Early Holiday Prep Begins in October

Learn how to use your phones for business and more here!

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Sept. 29-Oct. 5

TEXTING Text has replaced the phone call. Discuss with staff and redraft your store manual to provide guidelines on when to call, when to chat, and how to make the process as smooth and as customer friendly as possible.

ONLINE SECURITY Do you sell any goods online? Then you need a trust badge/SSL certification (think of those Norton seals you’ll see at an online checkout). Not having one is a deal-breaker for 17 percent of shoppers. Get certified.

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EVENTS Finalize arrangements for special events in the run-in to the year-end, confirm staff assignments.

Oct. 6-12

MARKETING This is a good time of year to be handing out business cards, especially cards with a special offer. Make sure that you and your staff have plenty of cards to hand out when out and about this month.

OPERATIONS Approach your own business as an outsider. Hire a secret shopper or ask a friend or relative to call or visit your store and report back on how he is treated. You may be surprised.

DISPLAY Stock products that can do double-duty as Halloween and Thanksgiving items, such as pumpkins and scarecrows.

Oct. 13-19

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.

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SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook doesn’t make it easy for business posts to be seen unless you pay its gatekeeping fee (meaning buy its ad services). You can, however, give your posts a boost by encouraging staff and customers to turn on the “See First” switch, which will put your posts at the top of the Newsfeed.

SALES Work on greetings with new AND old staff. Your welcome sets the base for the entire sales transaction. Keep it low-key and friendly, and try to avoid anything that elicits a conditioned or reflexive response, especially the dreaded “No, thanks. I’m just looking.”

Oct. 20-26

INFLUENCERS Invite some local bloggers to come in (with their pets) and check out your business. The influence of such people grows every year.

MARKETING Launch a holiday-specific email newsletter with specialized content and product offers. Prominently display “best sellers,” “our picks,” “top products” etc., to stimulate purchase and even gift ideas.

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Oct. 27-Nov. 2

MARKETING Don’t assume your expertise is self-evident. Get those grooming/training/nutrition certifications up on the wall, and on your website with a brief explanation on your About Us page about what it takes to attain them.

SECURITY Holiday season means more people in the store, more distraction, and more opportunities for thieves. Alert your staff to be on the lookout for pickpockets, distraction gangs and other shoplifters. Check security camera angles and function.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function along with free applications like TweetDeck can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to pet services in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up. (Unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twittersphere.)

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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