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Manager's To Do

Time for Round 2 of 2018 Employee Reviews

With a strong economy, it may be time to review and realign job descriptions.




Sept. 3-9

INVENTORY College football is underway, and the NFL starts this week. Do you offer sports merchandise for pets? If not, explore the options at and

DESIGN Want to refurbish or repaint old shelves and displays cheaply and creatively? Hire fine arts students from a local college to help you add special finishes, and even to repair cases. “They have the eye, the updated vision and often the building skills. Work with them to explain what you’d like to accomplish,” says Sarah Yates, director of marketing at interior design firm GRID/3 International.

INVENTORY Ahead of every weekend, give a different staff member $50 and ask her to drop in and browse other pet businesses in your wider market. Come the holiday season, you don’t want to be offering the same merchandise as every other store in a 10-mile radius.

Sept. 10-16

TECHNOLOGY In 2018, we shouldn’t have to tell you how important that initial online contact is. Test how your website loads on 3G, 4G and WiFi on smartphones and tablets to understand how your site really works in the hands of users. Visitors won’t hang around if they get anything less than a good experience.

MANAGEMENT Develop a standardized gripe response formula. Be sure everyone on the team knows how to execute it perfectly.

PUBLIC RELATIONS Start plotting ways to get your face out into the community. Dust off your animal training speech, update your pet-fashion-trends analysis and volunteer to be the voice of the small business community. There are meeting halls and newspaper column inches to be filled.


Sept. 17-23

STAFF It’s time for the second of your twice-yearly employee reviews (last one was in March). With a strong economy, it may be time to review and realign job descriptions.

ONLINE Investigate what it takes to sell digital gift cards from your website. True, it’s the kind of gift someone buys at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24, but you should start researching now. Gift cards get more popular each year, and young consumers don’t have any issues with digital gifts.

MARKETING Launch “Project Tell-a-Friend.” Encourage your best customers to tell their friends about your store.

Sept. 24-30

TRAINING Work on greetings with new and old staff. Your welcome sets the base for the entire sales transaction. Keep it low-key and friendly, and try to avoid anything that elicits a conditioned or reflexive response, especially the dreaded “No, thanks. I’m just looking.”

EVENTS In the past, we’ve urged you to test holiday-season coffee and cookie offerings on staff. This year, why not invite your best customers in to help you choose the edible goodies you will serve at your holiday event(s)?

FINANCES Meet with your CPA and discuss a strategy for 2019. A string of new small-business tax breaks has been introduced in recent years. Are you taking advantage of them?




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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