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Manager's To Do

Create a “Spark File,” Host a “Guilt Hour,” and Get a Jump on the Holidays with Our Manager’s-To-Do List for September

Plus, now is the time to review client-order histories for year-end prep.




Sep. 4-10

MANAGEMENT Create a “Spark File” and never let a great idea get away. A spark file is nothing more than a notepad you keep in your top pocket, a running Word file, or a note-taking app on your phone. Set it up this month so you’ll be in position to capture all those smart thoughts you have as the fall season gets busy.

MANAGEMENT Have a Guilt Hour. “Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., we sit together and look at our task lists [and] identify the one thing we feel most guilty about not having done yet,” says Nick Jehlen, creative consultant. “Then we go around the table and name our One Guilty Task and commit to spending the rest of Guilt Hour working on it.”

Sep. 11-17

INVENTORY Start a log for staff to list types of substrates customers ask for, but you don’t carry or that weren’t in stock. Review the list with staff every week and decide whether you should stock these items.

ONLINE Your store should show up in the top three results for a Google search of “wide-format printer near me.” If not, get busy working on your SEO.

Sep. 18-24

MERCHANDISING Review client-order histories so you’re ready to make printing recommendations before end-of-year marketing begins. Collect images of past projects you can send to regular customers to inspire them.

MARKETING Below your email signature, add icons that showcase your connections to the industry, such as associations you’re a member of, awards you’ve won, and accreditations you have.


Sep. 25-Oct. 1

PLANNING Have a strategy meeting to brainstorm how you can make this the best October ever.

MANAGEMENT If you haven’t already, set dates for any in-store events you plan to have in the fourth quarter. Inform your team as soon as possible. Everyone is busy during the holidays, and this will be greatly appreciated by your staff.



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