February 10, 2014

Take for example this issue of Pet Age. We planned to have everything done early, because we were scheduled to go to print right after the New Year. Then came extended holidays, snow storms, a broken water pipe that shut our building down and servers crashing.

Not exactly how we planned. But, we, as well as our printer, were flexible and did what we had to do to get it done. None of us freaked out. Instead, we assessed the situation, contacted who we needed to contact and did the best we could, which is all that you can ask from you, and your staff.

We’ve seen similar things happen at pet retail stores across the country, especially this winter. Photos with Santa were canceled, stores closed early or didn’t open at all, because of weather.

It’s annoying, upsetting and disheartening, especially because you likely put so much work in it.

But, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Not everything is going to work out the way you planned.

Whether it be an in-store demo postponed because of icy weather, a canceled flight to a conference you wanted to attend, a vacation that didn’t turn out as planned or a shipment of new dog toys that didn’t arrive in time for your biggest sales weekend of the year, there is nothing we can do about it.

We’ve learned, however, the best way to deal with these situations, is to concentrate on what you can control. So, if weather cancels a big adoption event at your store, have your meltdown and then get to work on creating new plans.

Trust me, I understand it is easier said than done. Just ask my staff. I’m not always the best at it, but it is something I strive to get better at, because in the end you can only control so much.

Speaking of new plans, I am very excited to tell you about Pet Age’s newest venture, the Pet Age Business of the Year Awards to be presented during a breakfast at this year’s SuperZoo in Las Vegas.

Our Business of the Year Awards will recognize independent pet businesses for excellence and entrepreneurial success across the pet industry including, but not limited to: pet retailers, groomers, dog walkers, veterinarians, dog day care centers, boarding facilities and training facilities.

We wanted the categories to not only recognize businesses overall, but for specific programs they do, such as a social media campaign, an awesome website, a natural products section and more. You can nominate yourself, or another business you think deserves recognition.

The awards will be judged by an independent panel of pet industry professionals who will be using a specialized scoring system set up by our top-notch events staff.

To learn more about this, head on over to www.petage.com and click on the events tab.

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