5 Effective Habits of Successful Small-Business Owners

Pet retailers can improve their productivity and profitability by taking up these five effective habits shared by many successful small-business owners.


For small business owners, the action never stops, so it can be easy to forget to step back and look at the bigger picture. However, doing so is absolutely worth the effort. With this in mind, the following is a list of five great habits shared by many successful small business owners. Every pet store owner and operator is sure to benefit by making them a part of their regular routine.

1. Be forward thinking.
Keep innovating, and always keep your eyes open for new ways to improve your store. Develop short-term and long-term plans, set achievable goals, and make sure that you’re planning ahead financially. Great leaders take chances—don’t be afraid to try something new.

2. Know your customers.
Determine who your primary customer base is, and then, make sure you’re stocking the specific products they want. If you don’t know, ask. It is also worthwhile to cultivate relationships with your regular customers and with the community around you. Put a face to your business, and make sure they think of your store, rather than the competitor down the street.

3. Know your competition too.
Examine every store that sells similar products, so you can determine what your store does better and what it can do better. Make sure you’re focusing on your core offerings, and always be aware of where you can differentiate yourself in the market and carve out your niche.

4. Invest in yourself and your employees.
Take the time to learn new things, and provide training opportunities for your team as well. Talk with them about their goals and where they see themselves in the future, and offer occasional team-building activities or happy hours, so you get to know each other outside of the regular work setting.

5. Take care of yourself.
As a small business owner, it is easy to put your needs last, but your store needs its leader to be in peak form. Make a conscious decision to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle, and step away from work from time to time, so you don’t burn out or damage your personal and professional relationships.

These successful practices can help any storeowner or operator to improve productivity, processes and, ultimately, profitability. Of course, the perfect place to kick-start some new habits is at SuperZoo, which is packed with in-depth professional development opportunities designed specifically for pet retailers. Get out of the store, see what’s hot and trendy right now, and don’t forget to bring the team.

Doug Poindexter is president of the World Pet Association.

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