For this post I thought it would be interesting to set out what makes up a “standard” day running our business. I’ve loosely based it around a recent Thursday, since it seemed to encompass a lot of what we get up to…
0825 Ed and I arrive at the shop with the car ready to load up the day’s delivery round. Sarah is already there having walked in earlier, and so is Ria who’s working with us today. Loading the car takes a while since there’s a lot of hay, a bale of shavings, and a number of bird food sacks, dog food and cat litter etc to fit in.
0900 I arrive at my first customer. She is one of our regulars and is at the door waiting for me! We have a quick chat and I give her a birthday card and some cat treats as a gift from us – we’d heard that she would be turning 90 this week . After a quick chat I head off. Today we have deliveries covering everywhere from Beltinge through the centre of town and on to Hampton, Studd Hill, Greenhill and even Whitstable.
I finish the deliveries with a customer just round the corner from our house in Broomfield so take the opportunity to call in, let our dogs out to the toilet and give them some attention.
1130 As I get back to the shop Sarah is receiving in the weekly frozen delivery from Natures:Menu. Raw feeding for dogs and cats is really growing in popularity at the moment and we recently added a second freezer in the shop to hold more stock.
Just as we finish filling up the freezers we get a visit from Tyler, a 9 month old Cockerpoo. He comes to see us most days and it’s no surprise to see him come bounding through the door with owner Steve not far behind! Ed is the first one of us that Tyler spots so he gets the most cuddles on this occasion. (Naturally, Tyler gets given a couple of biscuits, and he even manages to sneak a sausage off the shelf when he thinks no-one’s watching!)
Earlier in the week I started re-pricing the cat food section and Sarah reminds me that I need to finish the last few shelves. Each item has to be checked on the wholesaler’s databases then the till is updated with any changes. For quite a number of them I find that the manufacturers have reduced prices which means we will too! We are always working to offer the best possible value to our customers and this is one of the ways that we can do that.
1300 Sarah finishes off the “weighing up” for the day. We sell a large amount of small bags of bird seed, fish food and small animal food. However, since we purchase everything in 15kg or 20kg sacks, someone has to measure out or “weigh up” these smaller bags from the sacks to keep the shelves filled.
Then one of our regular customers rings to say she has run out of feed for her chickens. As it happens we go past her house on the way home and we agree to stop off later with the corn and mealworms that she needs.
1400 A couple bring their dog in to find him a coat for the winter so Ria takes them through to where the dog coats are on display. They look at several options together and Ed gives out some dog treats (after asking the owners’ permission first).
The next person through the door is a sales rep from one of the manufacturers. They’ve popped in to say hello and show us a couple of new products. We all agree that they would fit well with our range so Sarah and I promise to order some when we’ve made space on the shelves!
After finishing off the cat food section we decide that the next area to tackle is dog food. Ria makes a start by rotating the stock (checking the best-before dates) and giving the shelves a good clean down at the same time. Sarah and I have been discussing whether to bring in a new brand of dog food and we’re looking to see where it could fit in with our current offering.
1530 All of the local schools are now finished for the day and quite a few families come in to pick up supplies on their way home. A lot are heading straight to the small animal corner – with the amount of shavings, food, hay and treats being brought up to the counter it seems like everyone is cleaning out their rabbit, guinea pig or hamster tonight!
Sarah and Ed head out to a playground to meet up with some of Ed’s friends. Ed is home-educated so spends most of the time with us in and around the shop. Today is no different and his best friend, Sophie, along with her mum Audrey (who also works with us during the week) have been round to see us as well.
The town is getting quieter as everyone heads home so it’s time to fill the shelves and tidy up. The last customer of the day dashes in just before 5 to pick up some bedding substrate and two frozen mice for their snake.
1705 We bring in the pavement signs, bird tables and hutch, and close the door. I finish off filling the shelves and note down anything that we’re getting low on.
Sarah and Ed arrive back at the shop so we put together the bits to deliver on our way home and also write our to-do list for the next day.
1815 We’re home. The dogs are pleased to see us, and get even more excited when they realise Sarah is about to take them for a run around in the woods. After that it’s dinner time for all of us, and today the dogs get some Forthglade as well as their usual Symply dry food.
1925 I sit down to catch up on a bit of admin. There is always some paperwork to be done, but fortunately no bills to pay tonight!
Ed and Sarah start carving a pumpkin that they bought earlier. Meanwhile I finish off a post for our Facebook page with some pictures showing our new window display. Not everyone comes past the shop each day so using social media is a good way to highlight some new products or offers.
2100 Its my turn to do Ed’s bedtime and he and I head upstairs. I try to stay awake whilst he goes to sleep…I fail and doze off too…ah well, I didn’t want to watch that TV program anyway!