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Manager's To Do

Take a Smartphone Photo Class, Talk to 10 Strangers and More Business-Boosting To-Do’s for August-September

Look to our calendar for weekly ways to be more efficient and profitable in August-September.





Aug 1-7

PLANNING What’s the best month to change your life, either personally or professionally? It’s August! Unlike the stressful New Year period, by August the kids are back at school, people have returned from vacation, and it’s easy to establish a routine that supports your new goals.

FINANCES Balancing your accounts is much easier when you get all the money owed to you. Chase up overdue receivables, says Edge Retail Academy’s David Brown.

Aug 8-14

TRAINING Do you have a fancy SLR camera that no longer gets used because your phone takes excellent pics? Us, too. But as good as camera phones are, you could likely get better. Sign yourself or an employee up for a course that teaches how to take better photos with smartphones. (One such course:


Aug 15-21

NETWORKING If you’re in Vegas for SuperZoo this week, set daily targets for serendipitous encounters with industry peers, say: Talk to at least 10 strangers, get five business cards, and arrange one follow-up meeting. Inserting yourself into random social situations is a worthy skill that can have surprising business benefits. Be sure to stop by the PETS+ booth (#6312) to say hi!

STORE Store design can and does go out of style. While the time might not be right for a major renovation, explore a small refresh by painting a wall or creating a case of items that reflect your social media postings. Brainstorm with staff to come up with window displays and maybe update your lighting.

Aug 22-28

OPERATIONS Need help setting up a super productive desk? Consider the P-L-A-C-E system, as described by Matt Perman in his prosaically named book How to Set Up A Desk to give yourself a clean, organized control center: You can get a detailed outline of the system at

Aug 29-Sep 4

EMERGENCIES One of the things about being a business owner in the U.S. is that sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with power loss, due to weather event or just the country’s problematic-in-places grid. Take a day to run through as many scenarios as possible. Do you have battery-powered lighting? Are your files automatically backed up? Can staff figure out tax on a calculator? Do you need to get a generator?

Sep 5-11

INVENTORY Develop a product launch plan and schedule training sessions to ensure successful sell-through of SuperZoo products.


Sep 12-18

FINANCES Meet with your CPA and discuss a strategy for 2022.

Sep 19-25

TECHNOLOGY Google your key product categories (shoppers search for products and product brands far more frequently than for retailer names). Does your store’s name appear? Or are your competitors’ coming up first? It takes 30 to 45 days for website changes to register with major search engines, so if your store’s lagging on page three or four of Google, you’ve got work to do. Now is also the time to start adjusting site content for the holiday season. Put Christmas into your titles and keywords, and start putting that into people’s heads.

Sep 26-Oct 2

Four-Muddy-Paws windowHOLIDAY SEASON PREPARATIONS Begin testing different looks for your front window and case displays for the holidays. Consider adding a QR code to your display so that passersby after hours can still shop your offerings, as seen in this holiday window of Four Muddy Paws in St. Louis, MO.



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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