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Manager's To Do

Tell Your Stories, Change Your Furniture and Follow These 11 Other Tips for Your Pet Business This Summer

Plus check that branch that might be blocking your storefront.




office furniture

July 5-11

MANAGEMENT Change your furniture, change your perspective. Move your desk to a different spot in your office. It sounds silly, but it will encourage you to review the status quo.

TRAINING Discuss with staff how to use company stories during sales presentations. Stress how selling yourself and your store is just as important as selling your products and services. Did, for example, your affection for a particular pet encourage you to enter this business? Or was it a meeting with a master groomer when you were younger? Is there a family link to the pet industry?

July 12-18

SECURITY More than 40 states have passed laws that make business owners liable for protecting sensitive personal information (SPI), such as Social Security, driver’s license and financial account numbers. The laws typically demand business owners have procedures for the following in place: 1) SPI safeguards, 2) timely destruction of SPI, 3) securing and backing up your own information, 4) setting controls on access, and 5) notifying affected individuals if the business discovers or is notified that a data breach occurred. If you don’t have a plan in place, get cracking.

July 19-25

INVENTORY POS systems are great, but managing by data can sometimes put distance between you and your inventory. Get reacquainted. Spend time moving stuff around and look carefully at all of your products. You’re bound to come across something that a customer may have been looking for recently but that you forgot you stock.

OPERATIONS Are there some summer days when you show up and just pretend to work? This month, experiment with an abbreviated week. Knowing you have less time in the store to get things done may just prompt a burst of productivity — and give you the chance to better enjoy the warm months. More happiness all round.

July 26-Aug. 1

STORE Go outside and look at your storefront the way a customer does. The direction of customer traffic flow is influenced by physical features around the store, such as the parking lot, a mall courtyard or a public transportation station. Maybe a tree branch is blocking the side view of your sign. If it’s obvious your customers aren’t seeing your store’s best side, start thinking of ways to slant displays in the dominant direction of traffic.


Aug. 2-8

EVENTS In a lifestyle center, strip mall or downtown location? Take the lead in organizing a community block party with appropriate social distancing. Loads of fun and a great crowd generator.

Aug. 9-15

SOCIAL MEDIA Engagement goes two ways on social media, and many platforms prioritize showing your content to users who react to and comment on your posts regularly and to those you proactively engage with. Spend time interacting with your customers’ (and prospective target audience’s) posts from your business account. This will signal to the algorithms that two-way communication is happening, and encourage the platform to show your content to those users more often.

Aug. 16-22

SALES If you’re a young store and don’t yet have a standout salesperson, a good way to create one is by sending staff members to other businesses to watch their great salespeople in action. Have a relationship with a non-competing business owner who has outstanding salespeople in your area? Write an email to them, starting with “Hey, I’d like to ask you for a really big favor …”

Aug. 23-29

MARKETING All types of media outlets, from local newspapers to blogs, prepare gift guides with holiday ideas. Find out their deadline and start pitching unique suggestions for their readers’ pets. The editorial calendars for most major, trade and regional magazines can usually be found on their websites.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won more than 20 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+ editors at



NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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