Connect with us

Manager's To Do

Turn Your Checkout Desk Into a Branded Photo Op

In our To-Do List section, your fellow pet indies offer new and smarter ways to work in October and November.




Oct. 1-7

MARKETING Turn your checkout desk into a branded photo backdrop with this inspiration from Belly Rubs Biscuit Bar & Spa in Ashburn, VA. Owner Teresa Hogge, shown here, worked with Dox Designs to create five different vinyl wraps that apply to the front, the first being this fun illustration perfect for summertime pics. “We’ve already had three clients take photos and tag us on social,” she said on the day it went up in August, adding, “I can’t wait to get the winter design for the holidays … it looks like a snow globe!”

Oct. 8-14

SALES Your greeting to customers can start the sales transaction — or stop it and actually discourage spending in your store. Brainstorm with your team a variety of options they can use. Keep it friendly and inquisitive, such as “Who is this adorable pup you’re shopping with today?” or “Who is the pet waiting for you at home?” No matter what, avoid any greeting that elicits a conditioned or reflexive response, especially the dreaded “No, thanks. I’m just looking.”

HOLIDAY PREP You planned your Halloween event back in September, of course, but have you decided whether your staff will wear costumes? Have fun with it if so! Dress up as the Scooby Gang or the Irwin family or another beloved animal-centric team. P.S. You’ve booked your Santa photographer already … yes?

Oct. 15-21

MARKETING Introduce one staff member each month via your socials. This lets your customers get to know them a little better and learn their particular fields of expertise, and it strengthens their bond with your business.


Oct. 22-28

OPERATIONS Well ahead of the holidays, review and update as needed your protocols for illness — for pets and people. Natalie Kramer of Albany Pet Hotel in Albany, OR, shares, “We review our canine cough protocols because it will be our busier time (higher traffic = higher chance of it coming into our facility).” The same logic applies to viruses that can spread among staff. Ensure all know what you expect when it comes to flu or COVID diagnoses.

SUPPLIES It’s difficult, if not impossible, for team members to bring their “A” game if they are physically uncomfortable. Make sure everyone has the materials and equipment they need to do their best work as you head into the busy season. Cushy floormats for behind the checkout counter? Elderberry gummies to strengthen their immune system? We bet they’ll say, “Yes, please!”

Oct. 29-Nov. 4

MERCHANDISING Stock up on tiny Santa hats. Why? They’ll help you avoid beingstuck with holiday-themed product to clearance. Ashley Lancaster of Hot Diggity in Hyannis, MA, explains, “When we need toys but don’t want to commit to holiday, I add tiny Santa hats to bestsellers. December 26th, hats off!” No need to mark down.

STAFF Approve any time-off requests and finalize work schedules for the next 10 weeks.

Nov. 5-11

EQUIPMENT An excellent to-do from the PETS+ Facebook Community (groups/petsplusmagcommunity): To keep runners in your business looking their best, use a rental service that drops off freshly cleaned rugs on a set schedule and takes away dirty ones. Beth Staley of Happy Dog Barkery in Downers Grove, IL, says, “Clean carpets switched out every week. So nice! Not too pricey and worth it.” You can also use such a service for towels if you offer grooming and/or self-wash.

Nov. 12-18

SALES Roll out your holiday spiff. Cash bonuses are always popular, but what about a commitment to take a top performer to Global Pet Expo, SuperZoo or a distributor show next year? That’s also an investment in your business.

OPERATIONS Analyze your check-out procedure. Brainstorm ideas with your team on how to make it faster and more efficient, then implement changes.


Nov. 19-25

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Don’t forget the humans when planning refreshments for Small Business Saturday. Diane Marcin of Benny’s Pet Depot in Mechanicsburg, PA, shares, “We send customers home with all kinds of samples for their dogs and cats on SBS, but when they walk in the store and are offered a free mimosa and cookie, you really made their morning/day. Our customers look forward to the free drink and snack while they shop for their pets. Some even come back for seconds!”

Nov. 26-Dec. 2

EQUIPMENT Do you have a monitoring device for your freezers? Get one! You don’t want to learn that a freezer has failed after a long night of defrosting. Members of the PETS+ Facebook Community recently shared their favorite brands: Temp Stick, Tempy and Therma.

INVENTORY “Start doing inventory checks weekly with a different category each time, so when end of year comes it isn’t daunting to do inventory,” Colleen O’Fallon of Sweet Paws Bakery in Gainesville, FL, recommends.



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.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular