APRIL 30-MAY 6
WEBSITE Go to the page on your company’s website where you describe what you do. Does your “About Us” section include only lists and categories? Are you using stories to illustrate who you are? The best marketing writing is written to be said, not to be read. Use the test of reading it aloud. If it sounds strange or unnatural, change it.
OPERATIONS Did you hit your April sales and/or client acquisition targets? Are you on target for the year? If not, it’s time for extreme measures: Get on the phone, do more direct mail, plan an additional event or two, and work those add-ons.
STAFF Ask employees for their summer vacation requests. And while you’re working on a roster, book some time off for yourself.
STRATEGY Find a category of your business you want to improve — such as boarding, training or specialty pet food — and draft an action plan to start making it happen.
MARKETING Consider a “mother-daughter” social media contest for the week of Mother’s Day. Best photo of a mother and daughter with their pets wins a free groom or supply of pet treats.
SALES Training session: Present how to sell higher-ticket products and services.
FINANCES If you’re like a lot of small businesspeople, your profit-and-loss statement is long and detailed, and not particularly informative. Business coach Laurie Owen recommends giving your P&L a spring makeover. Consolidate some of those expenses and group them into like categories, such as salaries and benefits, marketing expenses, admin, etc. Then, next to the dollar amount, list the expense amount as a percentage of sales. “It helps you see when an expense is increasing as a percentage, and not just going up because your sales are increasing. Important to know if you want to catch those creepers.”
EVENTS Finalize plans for summer parties. Confirm dates with vendors. Planning your catering now will allow you to negotiate volume discounts when multiple events are booked.
TRAFFIC Study your parking lot. Devise and publicize a policy on staff parking. If necessary, can you encourage staff to take transit to free up spaces for customers? What’s the plan if a car needs to be towed?
STRATEGY Got an employee suggestion box? If not, you should create one. Offer $100 (or a paid vacation day) for any idea you implement.
MAY 28-JUNE 3
STORE Notice it getting warmer in your store? Could your air conditioning do with a service? Could it be worth investing in heat-reflecting blinds?
MANAGEMENT Start thinking summer reading. Set yourself a target of reading one business book a month for the next quarter. Some of our favorite titles: The Captain Class by Sam Walker; If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat by Leonard Sherman; Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal.
This article originally appeared in the May 2018 edition of PETS+.