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Manager's To Do

July/August To-Dos: Fire Drill, Launch “Project Big Shot”

Reach out to local celebrities to see if you can serve them.




July 2-8

EDUCATION Everybody needs something to read on the beach this summer. Why not buy your staff books on selling?

WEBSITE Put together a “What’s New!” web page in anticipation of orders from SuperZoo. Get your customers excited about all the great new stuff you purchased.

July 9-15

MARKETING Hire a pro (or ask a talented amateur) to take photos of your store and team while every one is sun-kissed and glowing. These are valuable marketing tools you can use in a variety of situations: when meeting new vendors at trade shows, dealing with local press, or even enteringnext year’s America’s Coolest Stores contest from PETS+.

MANAGEMENT Peter Drucker believed that in order to grow, a business must have a systematic policy to get rid of “the outgrown, the obsolete, the unproductive.” Start that process today: Make a list of a project, a policy or a product that you should consider killing, and solicit nominations from your staff. Commit to killing one part of your existing business by Aug. 15.

July 16-22

RESEARCH Assign a different competitor’s website to every member of staff with a brief to find something great there, and then share it with the team. The onus should be on positive features.

July 23-29

OPERATIONS Organize your inbox the Dave Allen way. From now on, make your inbox a place for “Active” tasks only, meaning things that require action from you. All else can be deleted or filed and archived in a “Reference” folder. Do this and you’ll lower your stress and get more done.


July 30-Aug. 5

ONLINE Sign up your employees — and yourself —  for a course that teaches you how to take better pictures with that ubiquitous smartphone. (iPhone users, try

SAFETY Stage an advanced fire drill. Simulate a blocked exit and unconscious staff member. Critique staff performance.

Aug. 6-12

DIVERSIONS Looking for something fun to do with your team to build morale and just get away from the business? Dog Days, an ensemble comedy that follows the lives of multiple dog owners and their pups around Los Angeles, opens Aug. 10.

Aug. 13-19

TRAINING Begin training your staff to give first-time customers a tour of your business. This is a good way to break the ice and make newcomers feel welcome.


BRANDING Redo your receipts, order forms and invoices to make them more friendly both in tone and ease of use. This is more than just branding. Professionally produced documents deter customers from asking for discounts.

Aug. 20-26

MARKETING Launch “Project Big Shot.” Start making contact with local personalities — newscasters, society figures, sports people — to see if they are interested in bringing their pets to you for training, products or services.

Aug. 27-Sept. 2

SALES One way to improve your sales skills and those of your team members? Sign up for Toastmasters.

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