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Manager's To Do

What Do Comfortable Shoes and Ice Pops Have in Common for Your Pet Business?

They will lead you to success. Plus more smart management tasks for August and September.





Aug 4-10

BUYING Complete any last-minute tasks for SUPERZOO, Aug. 14-16, in Las Vegas, NV. You already have your booth visits scheduled and mapped. Order forms for brands you plan to buy from are started, with lines left for add-ons. But have you broken in your new trade-show shoes? Get on it! You don’t want to develop a blister only 5,000 steps in.

INVENTORY Many stores do a full count this month. Paul Lewis of The Green K9 in Eustis, FL, shares, “August is a great time for us to do a store inventory. It helps with the end-of-year count we do for the accountant.” If you don’t have them already, Dorothy Vetrovec of Nature’s Feed in Spring Grove, IL, recommends getting barcode scanners. ”They run about $300 each and are so worth it!”

Aug 11-17

MANAGEMENT You keep plenty of frozen treats for pets on hand during the summer months, but what about for your team? Shane Somerville of Paddywack in Mill Creek, WA, says, “Have frozen treats in your back freezer for staff! It is so nice on a hot day.” Ask team members to add their favorites to your shopping list and rotate varieties throughout the summer.

NETWORKING We’re offering two opportunities for you to mix and mingle with your fellow indies at SUPERZOO. On Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 3 p.m., we’ll present the 2024 winners of the PETS+ America’s Coolest contest with their awards during a ceremony on the Show Floor Talks Stage. At 4 p.m., we’ll gather again at the PETS+ booth (#5019) to toast the winners — past, present and future because as you know we like to say to businesses, you just haven’t won yet. Stop by to enjoy a refreshment, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, on PETS+ and contest sponsor SUPERZOO.


Aug 18-24

OPERATIONS If you carry and/or board live animals, the warm weather provides the perfect opportunity for a deep clean. Amber Hudson of The Aquarium Pet Store in Weatherford, OK, says, “I roll my animal-cage holding shelves outside for a good hose, soap and scrub down, and then bake them in the sun to dry. I love doing this for my own allergies and the bedding dust.”

Aug 25-31

HOLIDAY PREP Natalie Kramer of Albany Pet Hotel in Albany, OR, also has a recommendation for day-care and boarding facilities: Share with clients now your 2024 peak holiday pricing and deposit requirements. Look at November and December of 2023 and adjust accordingly for your business. Kristina Robertson of The Pet Spa at Barkley Square in Falls Church, VA, adds this tip for grooming salons: “Offer a ‘Schedule early’ discount or offer a free luxury product upgrade” to clients who book well in advance.

MORE HOLIDAY PREP Product pre-orders done! Reminders sent! But have you scheduled the photographers for your holiday photo shoots in October, November and especially December? The best photographers will be busy this time of year, so reach out and book your preferred dates ASAP.

Sep 1-7

MANAGEMENT If you offer grooming, how regularly do you meet with your groomers to assess the health of the department? Erin Paitrick of Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming in Summerville, SC, does twice a year. “September is our second groomer meeting to prepare for the holidays right around the corner. We also discuss any needed changes for grooming schedules for the following year as we typically open the next calendar year’s schedule in October.” Follow her lead so you won’t miss the window of opportunity for change.

Sep 8-14

NETWORKING Spend some time reviewing the competition. What are their strengths and weaknesses compared to your store’s and does potential exist for collaboration? Keith Henline of Asheville Pet Supply in Asheville, NC, conducts regular such reviews. “I’ll recommend you for bird, fish, etc., if you’ll recommend me for dog, cat, etc. Building connections is a key to our success,” he says.


SELF-CARE Ann Somers of Chipper & Coco in Jackson, MS, says of September, “It’s a slow time of year for us, so we take time off.” If that happens at your business, do the same and book a vacation. The busy fall and holiday seasons will be here before you know it. Recharge!

Sep 15-21

OPERATIONS Patti Carney of Hollywood Houndz in Lake Mary, FL, does a September cleaning of client files each year. “I pull activity reports for any client meeting specific criteria, moving them to inactive and deleting paper or digital file agreements and records to make space.” Do this to free up physical and digital space.

Sep 22-28

MANAGEMENT To prepare for the fourth quarter, “kill” something. “The first step in a growth policy is not to decide where and how to grow. It is to decide what to abandon,” business management expert Peter Drucker says. “In order to grow, a business must have a systematic policy to get rid of the outgrown, the obsolete, the unproductive.” Make a list of projects, policies or products you should consider getting rid of, and then “kill” one.



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