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Manager's To Do

Tout Your Indie Status on Small Business Saturday, Plus More To-Do’s for October and November

Let our Manager’s To-Do List keep you on track during holiday prep time.





Oct. 3-9

SUPPLIES Now is the time to stock up on shopping and bakery bags, gift certificates, receipt paper, office and cleaning supplies … anything you won’t want to run out of during the holiday season when you’ll be too busy for a last-minute shopping trip.

HALLOWEEN Did you remember the humans when you made Halloween plans for your business? Something as simple as a candy-filled jack-o’-lantern at the register will let customers know you’re thinking of them, too. Skip the chocolate and anything with xylitol to keep counter-surfers safe.

Oct. 10-16

MORE HOLIDAY PLANNING Start thinking about how you’ll promote Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Jennifer and Allen Larsen of Firehouse Pet Shop in Wenatchee, WA, spend the week touting their indie ownership status. A past “Meet the Owners” social media post included a photo of their family alongside photos of the big-box chain store owners (corporate types in suits). Do the same to drive home that you live and work alongside current and potential customers.

Oct. 17-23

ONLINE Is your business address on the homepage of your website? If not, consider adding it so potential customers don’t click around and decide it’s too hard to find. If you use Google Maps as your sole address provider, include the address as text, too, because if the map doesn’t load, your address doesn’t display on your site.


MEDIA OUTREACH Finalize your holiday gift guide for pets and their people so you can begin sharing it with local press on Nov. 1. That may seem early, but much of the coverage gets planned around then, and you’ll be front of mind as a source for upcoming features. If you really want to grab an editor’s attention, send a holiday toy with a tag that has a QR code to your gift guide’s digital version. Not sure what kind of pet they have? Check out their social media. We bet they’ve posted a pic.

Oct. 24-30

INVENTORY Still looking for holiday products that move? Ask members of the PETS+ Facebook Community what toys, treats and other items aren’t still sitting on their shelves Jan. 1. Join at

Oct. 31-Nov. 6

CRM Do you give holiday gifts to your best customers? You should! Think branded merch with your logo, from can covers and pet bandanas to T-shirts and treat bags. How much you spend will dictate how many you give, but be sure to make it something memorable that customers will use and that gets your name out into the community.

MARKETING Hand out bounce-back gift certificates with all November purchases. The “bounce back” is to get the customer to return during the first quarter. Make a unique offer for each month to drive repeat visits.

Nov. 7-13

MERCHANDISING Have you made space for “impulse purchases” at your cash register? Move some low-priced, appealing “splurchandise” there to rack up additional income when people are looking for stocking stuffers.


Nov. 14-20

OPERATIONS Walk through your business as an outsider. What do customers or clients first notice when they walk in? How can you better guide them to new products or services? Such small things add up to big repeat purchases and referrals.

Nov. 21-27

STAFF Celebrate your team. The fourth quarter is exhausting, and it’s common for retail and service workers to burn out or lose their enthusiasm. “It’s time to turn up your communication,” Pet Boss Nation’s Candace D’Agnolo says. “Engage positively, listen and ask questions to help your staff feel heard, confident and part of the team.” And if you don’t already, consider giving bonuses to keep them motivated.



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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