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Competition

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The February 2014 Pet Age Publisher’s Letter as it was printed

With it, your business will face ups and downs and you may have months of struggle but then again, you could be extremely successful against it. Without it, you don’t have the drive to continue to improve yourself and your business and be the best person and business that you can be; and if you produce your own products, there will be less of a drive to improve it.

It’s something that every business, no matter what you do, will face. That’s why this month our cover story is about the strategies independent retailers have used to “beat” the competition.

The competition can be a wide range of things, even though most tend to think of the larger competitors. While those stores may be your main competition, there is also competition online and with other stores in your local area. In the end, you have to do what is best for your store.

We have spoke to several retailers about their store, the adversities they have faced and how they overcame them. Because of this, we have set up the cover story a little bit different, in hopes that it will be easier to read. We wanted you to hear directly from the retailers themselves and not interfere with the advice they can give you. Hopefully from these stories, it can help you think of new and exciting ways to improve your business.

We have also put up on our website a few other retailers that wanted to share their stories. Feel free, and it’s something we strongly encourage, to comment on our webpage, Facebook page or anything you want to, to share your success stories. The more ideas that people put out there, the more people will be willing to share and in return, help you with different ideas of beating the competition. Also, if at any point as a retailer you are struggling with a problem with your store, feel free to post it on our social media channels. We have grown those channels to help network retailers together and we will do our best to help you find an answer.

Pet Age is a small business and we understand the struggles you may face. There are challenges at every turn and we at Pet Age spend a lot of time learning different ways to improve our business. Besides the advice you will read in the cover story, my other big advice is to prepare and prepare early.

With the new calendar year, we prepare for the different trade shows and open houses we are going to visit. It’s something we start to plan out months in advance and continue to work on until the day it happens. We constantly think of things we can do at shows, such as Global Pet Expo, to give you the full experience.

For retailers, start making plans and figuring out who you want to sit down with at Global, whether it is current companies you work with or ones you hope to work with soon. Figure out your schedule now, before the hectic schedule starts.

The more planning you can do ahead of time, the better, because it’s only going to get crazier as we get closer to that March date.

In the Pet Age office currently, I am planning out the different companies and friends I will see at Global, not including the time I enjoy walking around the showroom floor saying “hi” to everyone I pass. Also, our sales and editorial staff have been planning on whom to see and the new products to check out.

I could go on about this forever but the long story short, start planning now it’s going to save you a headache or two down the road, trust me.

- Craig Rexford

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