Here’s our list of business-boosting activities for you in November & December.
STAFF Create blackout dates through Jan. 10, 2018, that employees cannot request off, and give the team those dates well in advance. Ask employees to turn in time-off requests or schedule changes by this week.
MARKETING Saturday is Veteran’s Day. Do you have a special discount for active military personnel?
MARKETING Record a new voicemail message to reflect the holiday season. Don’t forget to mention holiday promotions. If you sell gift cards on your website, tell customers they can do their shopping with you 24/7.
ONLINE Create a “Holiday Gift Guide.” Include gift suggestions by pet, size, age and style (frou-frou, sporty, rugged, playful, etc.). Put your gift guide front and center on your website, at the top of all your holiday emails.
OUTREACH It’s Thanksgiving week. Our research has shown the best times to email clients are: Thanksgiving evening, Black Friday mid-morning, Cyber Monday afternoon and one week before Christmas.
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MANAGEMENT Update your local pages on Google, Facebook and elsewhere to ensure they reflect any longer store hours or other special services over the holiday season. Add terms such as “holiday hours” and “holiday sales” to your meta descriptions to give your web pages a better chance of ranking above those of the competition and drawing a click.
VIDEO Just for fun (and maybe some social media buzz), cut a holiday karaoke video with you, your staff and your favorite pets singing seasonal classics. Play every hour or two (at a low-ish volume) on a video monitor in your store.
MANAGEMENT Put five coins in your right pocket and move one to your left pocket each time you praise someone. By day’s end, all the coins should be in your left pocket. Praise is usually the best way to guide behavior.
STAFF Winter is on the way and with it, flu season. Recommend staff members get a flu shot, on company time if need be.
CUSTOMER SERVICE Keep the holiday spirit going with handwritten thank-you notes in customers’ bags. Keep it short: e.g. “It was a lot of fun serving you today ... I think Fluffy is going to love the new food.” Shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds per sale.
MARKETING Hanukkah starts on Dec. 12. Offer a package of eight gifts for pampered pets in your area.
MERCHANDISING Impulse buys can come in many price ranges and store locations. Rethink the way you normally position these items.
MARKETING Last week before Christmas — resend your “Holiday Gift Guide” email with helpful shopping ideas.
STAFF If staff members have been working very long hours, send a bottle of wine and a card to their spouses. It shows you’re aware of the sacrifices they make at this time of year.
PLANNING Sunday is New Year’s Eve. Take a deep breath, reflect on what you’ve achieved in 2017, and get ready for an even better 2018. The first step? Renew your subscription to Pets+. (It’s free, but you have to renew to continue receiving it.) We’re publishing 10 times next year!
This article originally appeared in the November-December 2017 edition of PETS+.