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Manager's To Do

Show Your Math, Complain About Potholes, Plus More To-Do’s for Your Pet Business in April and May

Add these managerial tasks to your Spring to-do list.





Mar 31-Apr 6

MARKETING Do potential customers in your area just assume Chewy offers lower prices on pet food? Show them the math like Three Tails Parlor and Pantry in Waterloo, IL, does with this social media graphic. It not only shows that the local store beats the online retailer on price, but the post also points out that a local family owns the business and offers two more things Chewy doesn’t: a rewards program and curbside pickup.

CLEANING Stop putting off spring cleaning and maintenance. Katherine Ostiguy of Crossbones in Providence, RI, has the usual items on this seasonal to-do list, but also includes “Notify the city about potholes on our street.” By considering the last leg in a drive to her business, she has the opportunity to improve the customer experience overall.

Apr 7-13

BUYING Get your holiday pre-orders in! Amy Kenkel of Leaps & Bones in South Windsor, CT, says, “We make sure all of our holiday purchases are in during April. Most distributors fill orders by ‘first orders in, first orders out.’ I want to get all of the holiday toys and items that we want and need.” Susanna Furlone of The Wishbone Pet Company in Freedom, CA, agrees, “Set aside time to put in those pre-orders for Halloween and Christmas items now. Your future self will thank you!”


Apr 14-20

MARKETING Attract new clients with a “Meet the Groomers” event. Phyllis Kupfer of All Pet & Equine Supply in West Plains, MO, hosts one each spring. “We offer free nail trims and give people a chance to come talk to our groomers and get a discount on their first appointment.” Such an event can help groomers and pet parents alike see if it’s a good fit.

BOOKKEEPING If you don’t stick to a regular schedule for certain financial tasks, start doing so this month. Alison Chandler of Noble Beast in Phoenix, AZ, offers this advice: “Keep up with the bookkeeping! It can get away from you, and then it’s overwhelming to keep up. Designate one day a week to work on these essential chores.” Great advice!

Apr 21-27

DISPLAYS Don’t forget the more practical items pet parents need when putting together spring displays and promotions. “It’s time to boost grass savers,” Jennifer Larsen of Firehouse Pet Shop in Wenatchee, WA, reminds. And Johnna Devereaux of Fetch RI in Richmond, RI, points out, “April is a perfect time to put pet entry carpets on promo, as April showers here!”

REMINDERS If you offer grooming, add an extra reminder for May appointments. “We used to have so many no-shows, forgotten appointments, etc., and no room to get those clients back in because we book out so far,” Cathy Dervalis of Dog Day Afternoon in Belleville, IL, explains. “People are so crazy with graduations, picking up college kids, etc., that they just forget. Last year we did one extra text reminder, and it really helped.”

Apr 28-May 4

MANAGEMENT When did you last audit your list of key performance indicators (KPIs)? Are you tracking all that you should? Or more than you should? Do a deep dive to see what stats still make sense to see and use those metrics to adapt your business and achieve greater success. If you don’t have the proper software, get it!

May 5-11

INSURANCE If you tend to auto-renew policies, set aside time to ensure you’re well insured. Jennifer Hall of All Things Pawssible in Charlottesville, VA, says, “April/May is when I review my insurance policies. Not glamorous, but it’s when I have a lull before busy summer boarding and am coming off of winter storm closures, etc.”


May 12-18

REMINDERS Businesses that offer boarding also need to nudge customers for their own good. Myra Tsung of Camp Kitty in Decatur, GA, recommends that you, “Plan for the holidays now. Our primary business is boarding, and we had to turn away a lot of regular customers this past holiday season because we were fully booked by early July. This year, we plan to send an email to our regulars in May, encouraging them to go ahead and book their holiday stays.”

May 19-25

Don’t leave this one another month: Get your passwords in order. You’ve no doubt got dozens of passwords for various apps and services. Take time to write them down all in one place. Or better yet, consider using a password manager such as LastPass or 1Password. (As solid as Keychain is, Apple provides its staff with 1Password accounts.)

May 26-Jun 1

DESIGN Add a little style to your self-wash area with a fun yet functional wallpaper. We love this example from Wagabonz in Galveston, TX. The surfing terriers perfectly suit the store’s island location. Because of the task at hand, be sure to choose an all-vinyl or properly treated paper wallpaper because you know it will get wet.



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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