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Manager's To Do

Launch Fifth Saturday Sales, Plus More Smart Management Tasks for Your Pet Business

Check off these items on our June-July To-Do List.




Jun 2-8

MARKETING If you have yet to launch Fifth Saturday Sales at your store, what are you waiting for? They not only help you achieve higher revenue on those days, but the program builds loyalty with your customers. A few tips on how to make the most of such a program: 1. Have customers “earn” their bag by reaching a certain level in your loyalty program. 2. Include on the bag a tag that lists all of the fifth Saturdays for the year and beyond. The tag helps customers see the value of spending to reach that loyalty level, in that it shows the many opportunities they will have to save. Both of these tips come courtesy of Pet Bistro in Warren, MI. How cool is this store’s bag?! (See above.) FYI, the next fifth Saturday is coming up on June 29.

SEASONAL PREP Hurricane season started on Jun. 1 and will run through Nov. 30. If you’re in an area affected by such storms, review your hurricane preparedness and procedures and make any updates needed. Among the many items you should check each year are whether your signage and exterior supports are secure, your shut-off valves on sewer and other drainage lines are in good working order, and your protected parking spots for company vehicles are still available. You don’t want to learn otherwise as a storm rolls in and help is limited. Starting from scratch on your plan? Reach out to your insurer, which likely has plenty of resources for you to use.

Jun 9-15

TRAINING Hold an impromptu training session that will improve your staff’s question-asking skills. Have your team members stand in a line, facing you or your manager, who kicks things off with the statement, “I’ve been looking for something for (insert health condition, behavioral challenge, etc.).” The first salesperson must ask a probing question about the customer’s needs and wants. Fail to come up with one, they must sit down. Probing questions must be open-ended (who, what, when, where, how, why or tell me about your pet …). Yes/no questions result in immediate expulsion. The last team member standing wins! Gift them paid time off or some other prize they will appreciate.


Jun 16-22

INSURANCE Are you fully covered for any adoption events held by rescues or other organizations at your business? Call your agent to find out local requirements. If you rent, consult your landlord as well. Melissa Sturm shares how she handles this for Agri-Feed Pet Supply stores in Tennessee. “We will only work with groups with liability insurance that list us as additionally insured. They will then provide an ACORD certificate proving that we are covered. We started requiring this after a customer approached a dog with the rescue group the wrong way, which then bit her. My insurance threatened to drop me, and I was very concerned it would be a problem going forward. We definitely want to be a good partner with the community, but not at the expense of losing our business. It is really smart for the rescue to have this anyway to protect their volunteers’ assets.”

MANAGEMENT Start a “sunshine file” in an old-fashioned box or on your computer/phone. There you’ll save all expressions of gratitude — thank-you notes, photos, awards — you receive from customers, your team and the community. Being a small-business owner can be challenging, and you’ll be grateful to have this to open during those times.

Jun 23-29

COMMUNICATION While some people prefer a fist bump post-Covid, plenty still put out their hand for a shake. Evaluate your grip and that of your employees on National Handshake Day, Jun. 27. Are they gravel crushers or damp squids? Your goal is a firm, friendly, double pump that lasts no longer than three seconds.

Jun 30-Jul 6

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 to lower your stress and get more done.

GOALS On Jul. 2 at noon, 2024 will be officially half over. It’s an excellent time to take stock. Go back and look at the goals and resolutions you set for yourself at the start of the year, and then make the necessary adjustments if you’re off track. Check, too, any notes you made back then or even emails you sent to friends. The ups and downs of small-business life can be evened out with a little long-term perspective.

Jul 7-13

HOLIDAY PREP You’ve looked back, now look forward. Jeff Jensen of Four Muddy Paws in St. Louis, MO, offers this advice: “Having a calendar all laid out for the December/January time period is critical. We work on ours with our store teams in July so we’ll have plenty of time to plan, tweak and execute. It really helps the store teams to know what’s coming up, and we can be better prepared for any unexpected changes to the calendar. Communication is key to making sure all of the plans are properly executed during the busy holidays. And it’s important to have a plan in place for what the stores will look like in January, when they are over.”


Jul 14-20

BUYING As of this week, you have about a month before Superzoo kicks off. Are you registered? Did you reserve your hotel room? Surely, yes! But have you booked your flight? Get on that before all of the good departure and arrival times and seats are gone. We’ll see you Aug. 14 through 17 in Vegas! PETS+ will serve as media partner for the annual trade show.

DIGITAL Do you have a robust FAQ page on your website? If not, think of the emails and calls you regularly receive and poll your team to find out what questions customers most often ask. Then write up the answers and post. Also consider creating an auto-reply with your new FAQ, ending it with “If you have any more questions for us, please reply and let us know so we can get you the answers you need. Thank you.”

Jul 21-27

OPERATIONS Write a letter to someone you admire professionally. Somewhere down the road, it could result in a valuable new relationship. Or it might just be a way of making a person who inspires you feel good. Either way, you win.



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