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Planning for 2022? Use This Down and Dirty Guide to Set Up Your Pet Business for Success

Whizbang! Retail’s Bob Negen shares his seven simple steps for getting your business plan on paper.




RUNNING A RETAIL business, or any business for that matter, is hard and stressful. Sure, it’s filled with many moments of joy, pride and celebration, but spending your time putting out fires gets really old.

Fortunately, one thing can help you get control of your pet business. I’m talking about having a plan. It doesn’t have to be complex, detailed or fancy. Your plan just needs to get done.

With WhizBang! Retail Training, I have talked to dozens and dozens of business owners who understand the importance of a plan, but either claim they don’t have time to plan or don’t know how to create one.

So I created the Down & Dirty, Get It Done Planning Process.


You can spend days on this or finish in as little as two hours. I recommend you put a half day on your calendar, go to your favorite coffee shop, put on your headphones and get it done, or at least get a solid start on it.

Spending at least half day really thinking about your business is an investment of your time and energy that will help it grow and make your business life much easier and a lot more fun!
Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. An imperfect plan is better than no plan!

The process:

1. Look back at 2021. Go through your calendar, look at your journals if you have them, take a look at your books. This is the look back before you look ahead.

2. Do the Positive Focus Exercise. This involves writing down all of the good things you did, both personally and professionally. Recalling your wins will put you in a great mood to plan!

3. Write a Vision Statement. This is a long view at what you want your life to look like in 10 or 15 years. This is a super-important part of the process! You can learn how to write a vision by an online search for “visioning Zingermans.”


4. Think long-term. Write three to five goals for three years out. The goals should represent meaningful progress towards your Vision.

5. Think short-term. With the above goals in mind, write three to five for 2022.

6. Give some thought to the how. How are you are going to accomplish both sets of three to five goals? What do you need to learn? What skills must you acquire? What new, good habits must you develop? What bad habits do you need to drop?

7. Schedule time. Put on your calendar sessions to review your progress, make adjustments and celebrate your successes.

It’s now on paper! You have a plan. Your future is not a bunch of thoughts rattling around in your brain. It is a concrete, written document you can now use to guide your work and your life. You’ve planned the work, now all you have to do is work the plan!

Bob Negen is an accomplished speaker, author and retail expert. His sole focus is on small, independent brick-and-mortar businesses. For over 21 years he has helped tens of thousands of stores, including hundreds of pet businesses, through WhizBang! Training. Learn more at



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