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Tools of the Trade

7 ways to ensure your business’ success in 2019—and the apps and services that will help you get there


In today’s competitive retail landscape, World Pet Association (WPA) provides the resources and tools pet retailers need to strengthen their businesses, stay relevant, attract customers and manage their businesses. Business success is as much about offering a compelling product mix and staying ahead of trends as it is about evaluating employee effectiveness and monitoring and managing expenses. From apps to strategic business reports, WPA has a few suggestions to help your business thrive in the coming year. 

It’s not news that running a business means juggling multiple responsibilities. What might be news to you, though, is that you don’t have to do it alone—thanks to a wide variety of online apps and tools at the ready to offer assistance. From crunching numbers to streamlining communication, and from organizing tasks and schedules to tracking inventory, your best business assistant is just a click away. Here are some useful ways online tools can improve efficiency and increase profits:

Say Goodbye to Spreadsheet Stress 

You’re in the business of pet products and services—not spreadsheets. Take advantage of online accounting tools to simplify financial processes, allowing you more time to fuel your passion.

  • Handle accounting tasks such as invoices and payments, sales and expenses with Wave, specifically created for small businesses with nine or fewer employees.
  • Manage payroll and all employee-related financial needs with Gusto.
  • Track finances with the classic accounting tool QuickBooks.
  • Simplify payments using the Square portable card reader and point-of-sale system.

Stay on Top of Pet Industry Trends

Specialized apps and online tools, built specifically with the pet business in mind, help you understand your market, stay on top of trends and manage your industry-specific operations.

Tap into pet-service tools with Pawfinity, a multifunctional management system for the grooming industry.
eep your business affairs in order. Utilize LS Retail’s Pet Store Software to help run loyalty programs and discount campaigns or manage your operations and finances.

Break Down Communication Barriers 

Engage staff in businesswide discussions and encourage teamwork with communication apps that aid in real-time conversations. This is an easy way to ensure everyone within your organization is on the same page and helps your business stay profitable.

  • Send push messages to any device and store communication all in one place with Pushover, a simple push notification service that integrates easily into web apps.
  • Encourage team collaboration with Slack, an instant-messaging platform for the professional space.
  • Support teamwork with a project management program such as Basecamp.

Become a Master at Time Management 

Organization is the key to productivity. Keep your schedule, your files and your deadlines on track with time-management and scheduling apps that help organize your life and your workday so you can swap administration time for animal-lover time.

  • Store spontaneous inspiration in your virtual Pocket, an online storage facility for thoughts, ideas and new information.
  • Keep grooming and pet service appointments top of mind with OmniFocus, your trusty online organizer, which syncs tasks and meetings between your smartphone, tablet and desktop.
  • Manage employee schedules with When I Work,  perfect for businesses that employ hourly workers.
  • Manage your to-do lists. Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. By managing multiple work projects, or just your general list of things to do in your store, Wunderlist will help you tick off all your to-dos.

Never Miscount Your Kitty Litter or Misplace Your Pet Food

Please your customers—and keep your storeroom in check—with online tools that take stock of shipping, tracking and inventory.

  • Track packages with QR labels created and printed by Boxmeup.
  • Print, mail, track and fulfill with the multifunctional ShipStation.
  • Keep track of stock and product trends using ​Shopventory, which helps you audit sales and make informed purchasing decisions.
  • Track sales and receive payments easily and at your fingertips with Vend, a point-of-sale system for the retail industry.

Add these applications to your organizational toolbox and you’re bound to see improved results. A successful retail business? There’s an app for that.

But there’s also WPA’s annual Retail Operating Performance Report. 

This report of real-time data, gathered for industry peers and economic indicators, offers a comprehensive analysis of the competitive pet retail and services industry. This robust content allows you to benchmark your business success against a cross-section of your competitors. A powerful tool that provides insider’s insight into industry financial, operational and sales information, the guide serves as a valuable resource to help you make strategy tweaks and improvements that will help you run your business profitably, effectively and efficiently— putting you on the most successful path forward! You will learn to monitor and manage expenses, to measure and improve productivity, creative ways to improve your company’s bottom line, and more.

The best part is that you don’t have to have an advanced finance degree or be a financial expert to use and understand the content within the Retail Operating Performance Report. You can use the report and easy-to-follow online tools to help compare your business to the industry as a whole, including profit leaders, companies that have comparable sales volume and are in comparable community sizes and geographic region, and more. 

Visit worldpetassociation.org to get your copy of the annual Retail Operating Performance Report today. 

Jacinthe Moreau is the president of World Pet Association (WPA). Moreau has broad international experience in the animal health industry. Her career trajectory, which includes a variety of roles at companies such as Vetoquinol, Merial, Merck, VetSource and VCA Animal Hospitals, prepared her to lead WPA. 

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