You've determined that you're eligible, made note of your login email address and password (and put them in a place they won't get lost), appointed someone to take the lead on your contest entry, and scheduled a few minutes each week to work on it. At this point, it's time to start your entry.
The first section ("General Info") is straightforward. One potentially tricky bit: It's possible that your contact email (see below) will be different from your login email.
For example, maybe you, the owner, signed in initially using your email address as the login. But now you've handed the job off to an employee who has their own email.
The contact email is exactly what it sounds like: the email address we'll use to get in touch with you about your entry. So the contact email should be that of whoever is handling the contest entry. If it's the same as the login email, that's fine. If it's different, just remember that, so that you're not confused later about which address to use to log in. (That would be the login email.)
You can skip the "Online Presence" section for the moment; we'll cover it later. For now, go to "Store Stats."
Again, pretty straightforward. If your location hasn't been renovated since it opened, enter the same year for "Year opened featured location" and "Year last renovated." (It seems redundant, but that way we know you didn't just accidentally miss filling that line out.)
And under "Total square footage," it's helpful to fill it out as shown in the image above. Put the total square footage first, including the main floor, basement, and other levels; then, in parentheses, provide a breakdown of the sections. That helps judges get a better sense of the size of your business, and is useful information when we're writing about the winners. (It should go without saying that the numbers in parentheses should all add up to the first number, but we'll go ahead and say it anyway.)
Next time we'll talk about the "Online Presence" section. It would be a good idea, too, to start thinking now about the photos for your entry. Great photos can make a huge difference in how your store does in the contest, so you'll want to start mulling over who might be able to take those pictures.
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