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Treat Your Team to a Spa Night, Plus 7 More Tips for Thriving During the Busy Holiday Season

Your staff might appreciate pampering of their tired feet and hands.





MARKETINGCreate Better Holiday Season Emails and Posts

The human brain can process images at amazing speeds, with recent research measuring it at about 1/20 of a second. What does that mean for you? Images are a great way to get your message across quickly in your December and January email bulletins. The blog team at Constant Contact compiled this handy list of tools and resources for holiday images constant (tapping a range of sources from Canva to Adobe) to help you quickly create more engaging holiday emails and social media posts.

MANAGEMENTStay Calm and Keep Ringing

Just about everyone is in a rush during those last weeks of the year. Customers, staff, the UPS driver … but it shouldn’t be you. “People who are in a hurry shouldn’t make you feel like you need to rush through ringing; that’s how errors happen. Just try to stay cool and be thorough,” advises Shane Somerville of Paddywack in Mill Creek, WA.


MARKETINGPartner with Micro Influencers

If your holiday season marketing needs a late boost, consider a local micro-influencer (1,000 to 10,000 followers) to help get the word out in your market. According to a recent article in Forbes, they work fast (posting almost as soon as they get your product in their hands), can target a niche audience, and are “often considered more reliable by their followers as well.”


Buying lunch for staff during the holiday season is a smart move. As our Brain Squad members noted in a recent survey, not only does it keep them fueled during a draining time, but it keeps them in the store when it’s full of customers and it’s a nice reward for their hard work. Some owners spring the free meals randomly to add a nice surprise to a day. Others create a schedule — say, every Saturday in November through December. Krista Schmidt, owner of St PetersBARK! in St Petersburg, FL, does it the entire week before Christmas, supporting the message: This is peak peak time.

INVENTORYParty Likes It’s New Year’s Day

“Physical inventory” and “party” are two words that don’t always go together. But they do at Purrrfect Bark in Columbus, NC, to nice effect. Explains owner Laura Backus: “We do physical inventory on Jan. 1 with lots of food and drinks, music and laughs. Everyone participates, and we get it knocked out in a day.”

MARKETINGLeave a Good First Impression

You’ll probably never have as many people in the store as those final weeks before Christmas. Be sure to leave a good impression on these new faces. Jennie Dudley at Hairy Winston in Mount Pleasant, SC, does that by slipping samples into new customers’ bags. It’s a neat way to expose them to your product lineup and get them back in the store in the new year.


PLANNINGLooking Beyond the Season

The holiday season can be all-consuming, but keep one eye on the months beyond. “It’s important to have a plan in place for what the store will look like in January, when the holidays are over. Having a fresh look going into January really helps,” notes Jeff Jensen of Four Muddy Paws in St. Louis, MO. Nikki Tongg of Faux Paws Pet Shop in Summit, NJ, says the same applies to your inventory. “We always try to find new toys to refresh our January stock. People are sick of seeing holiday stuff by January so we like to bring in something new.”



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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