by Nancy E. Hassel, American Pet Professionals If you're like me, you are wondering how we are already looking at November, the holidays and the end of the year. 2017 has gone by in a flash and as pet pros so many areas of our industry are at their peak busy season over the next couple of months. If you are not strategically planning for November, December, and the new year you will quickly fall behind - and we don't want that! If you haven't already mapped out November and December - don't panic, but do get proactive. Taking time with your team, (or if you're a solo petentrepreur), to focus on the goals of what your next two months will be: what inventory you will need; what promotional strategies you are doing; events you may be hosting; employees you may need to hire; scheduling and so forth is so important. Take the time this weekend to really map out the next 8-12 weeks for your business. You will be glad you did and once you write them down or type them into your computer, you will have a clearer focus on each day, week and month to get you through - and be able to enjoy the season too. I asked some of our members what they have planned for the next few months to prepare and strategize for their businesses. See how they are planning below: Sue Johnson of Live Love Bark Animal Rescue said, "We plan for 2018, what events and fundraisers we are doing. We also have a year end meeting with our board to discuss what events did well in 2017, and what we can do better in the next year." It's important to have this information to move forward with any fundraising or event planning for animal rescues organizations. Reviewing and determining what worked and what could have been better will make for a much stronger event and fundraising outreach for the following year. Kelly Ison, of Einstein Pets, a pet product manufacturer, said, "We work on closing any open invoices, focus on the top three goals for Q1 of next year and identify to purchase capital goods we need before the year ends." Getting those open invoices paid, is super important to your bottom line and continued success. Focusing on top goals you want to accomplish in the following year is huge in my opinion, nothing like going back at the end of the year and being proud you accomplished those goals you set for your business! And having the goods you need to keep your business operational, especially for manufacturers is vital. If you have a big order come in unexpectedly, you want to easily be able to fill those orders. And we all know how quickly big trade shows creep up on us as well! Robyn Elman of In Home Pet Services said, " We start planning the holiday gifts for all of our clients at our location. We have a lot of clients! For the new year, I think about of any new policies I want to implement for our business." Getting holiday gifts for your customers and clients can be expensive, but it is part of doing business in my opinion. It is a simple way to thank your customers for their loyalty throughout the year and show that you care about them and their pets. New policies and procedures for any business can be tough for employees to follow - but if you are working on what worked and what is not working, it can make for a better working environment for everyone. And it can even be something fun, a great new incentive to keep your employees loving their jobs. Marian Craig of Elite Pet Grooming said, "For us it can be as simple as getting holiday cards ordered and holiday pet treats ordered to be ready for the rush of the holiday season." For a busy grooming shop, ordering these items now will help so you are not rushed waiting until the last minute. Also think of the upcoming specific holidays happening, pet and non-pet for November and December for promotional tie ins. Maybe you are a animal organization that helps veterans and military - Veterans day is Saturday, November 11, 2017 a great way to showcase what you do. Even if you don't have an event in mind, write a blog post, alert the media of what you do, have a social media campaign for what you do for pets and veterans and so on. Start planning now, because before you know it we will be saying Happy New Year! I would love to know what your end of year and new year strategies are, comment or shoot an email my way, info@AmericanPetProfessionals.com - who knows it may end up in this article too! Cheers to a wonderful and busy next few months!]]>
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