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Manager's To Do

Reserve Your Holiday Pet Photographer and Other To-Do’s for October and November

The holidays will be here before you know it. Plan early and execute on time for an efficient, festive and successful season.




dog posing for halloween picture

Oct. 3-9

DISPLAY Trick or treat! Challenge your staff to conceptualize a spooktacular window or in-store display featuring Halloween-themed toys and accessories with festive treats and chews (body parts, anyone?). Once the winning display is up, add a mini chalkboard giving credit to the creator.

FINANCES Meet with your accountant to discuss tax planning before year’s end.

Oct. 10-16

MARKETING Have you planned your fourth quarter holiday pet pics? See what businesses across the U.S. did in 2020 for October, November and December at, then settle on themes, reserve photographers and start planning sets.


Oct. 17-23

HIRING Draft a welcome letter to any new temps you’ll be taking on over the holidays. Outline your expectations, why the season is so important (to you and your clients) and how you’re looking forward to working with this new hire.

MANAGEMENT November and December are always busy for pet care services. Recognize your limitations. Determine, in advance, how many appointments or visits you and your staff can comfortably handle in a day without jeopardizing your health or the care provided. Be strict about adhering to this number of spaces in your planner or scheduling software.

Oct. 24-30

SOCIAL MEDIA Prepare an editorial calendar for your social media channels. Aim to add something new every day, be it a post or video, that links to your website. It all will help increase your site’s SEO at a time of year when people are scouring the internet for pet gift ideas.

Oct. 31-Nov. 6

OPERATIONS Update your local pages on Google, Facebook and elsewhere to ensure they reflect current hours and/or services. 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 more clicks.

Nov. 7-13

MANAGEMENT Schedule breaks from your business. Even during the busy holiday season, you’ve got to have time to relax. Include “you time” in your daily schedule. And don’t forgo holiday celebrations. Even if it’s just a couple of hours to be with family and friends, find a way to make it work. Otherwise, you’ll quickly grow resentful of your business and clients.


Nov. 14-20

MANAGEMENT Wish you could remember every little lesson learned during last year’s holiday season? This year, keep a log, be it a notebook or Google doc. Over the coming weeks, jot down thoughts, track numbers and screenshot reports to record what worked well and what didn’t for events, promotions, displays and social media posts, as well for as operational aspects such as team attitudes and shift adjustments.

STAFF Humans are cyclical creatures, not robots. Plan workflows to keep staff fresh, healthy and motivated over the holidays. That can include hiring extra help if needed, devising sales games or springing for treats.

Nov. 21-27

OPERATIONS Prep your business. Stock up not just on inventory, but supplies. After a busy day, the last thing you’ll want to do is run an errand. In a cold weather location? Review the needs to winterize your space (pet-friendly de-
icing salt, space heaters).

Nov. 28-Dec. 4

MANAGEMENT It’s easy to fall into a negative mindset as the holiday pressure builds — looking for faults and flaws. Try instead to pay attention to what’s working. For a week, share a daily list of the positive things your employees do and behaviors you appreciate.



P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

At P.L.A.Y. — Pet Lifestyle & You — toy design is definitely a team effort! Watch PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita and P.L.A.Y.’s Director of Sales Lisa Hisamune as they talk about the toy design process, the fine-tuning that makes each toy so special and why every P.L.A.Y. collection is made with independent retailers top of mind.

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