Prepare your Christmas gift program

Week 1 / AUG. 31-SEPT. 4

SALES Continue to push those back-to-school eye exams. Run extra promotional bulletins and print advertising, and you can even try contacting local school nurses to remind them how important annual vision checks are for students.

STAFF It’s time for the second of your twice-yearly employee reviews. (The last one was in March.) With the economy picking up, review and re-align job descriptions.

Week 2 / SEPT. 7-11

HOLIDAYS A National Retail Federation survey found that 40 percent of shoppers had started their holiday gift-buying before Halloween. Time to get busy. Draw up a to-do list covering wrapping paper and gift box orders, ribbon and paper cutting, merchandise rebalancing, cleaning and Christmas staffing. (And find a brilliant idea for a more exciting presentation of your gift certificates on page 62.)

MARKETING Develop an email-bulletin schedule designed to ease your customers into the holiday spirit. Constant Contact suggests you think in terms of percentages. For example: in September, post 20 percent holiday content, in October, 30 percent holiday content, and in November, 50 percent. If you’re promoting flex-dollar benefit spending, you might devote the following percentages to that aim: September, 10 percent flex-dollar content; October, 20 percent; November, 30 percent; and December, 40 percent.

Week 3 / SEPT. 14-18

FINANCES Meet with your CPA and discuss a strategy for your 2015 taxes. Are you taking full advantage of the new small-business tax breaks that have been introduced in recent years?

STAFF At Vision Expo West with your team? Be sure to take advantage of the exotic location for some productive downtime with your staff. A big-picture brainstorming meeting by the hotel pool is always a good idea. Follow up with a great dinner and maybe a show. (There are lots of discount show tickets this time of year, if you’re on a budget.)

Week 4 / SEPT. 21-25

SECURITY Check security camera angles and function. Run through your security drills with staff. Emphasize that you have insurance. No one should get hurt trying to defend designer sunglasses against thieves.

WEBSITE Hire a consultant to optimize your website tags, structure and metadata to ensure the best possible search-engine exposure, including for mobile users.

SALES Calculate the dollar value of every customer. (Average purchase in your business x 20 years = a heckuva lot of money.) Post it for all to see.

Week 5 / SEPT. 28-OCT. 2

SERVICE October is Home Eye Safety Month. Add tips to your bulletins telling your customers about safety precautions they can take to reduce dangers at home — the place where most eye injuries occur.

MARKETING Do a series of blogs and social media posts — or even local advertising — on computer vision syndrome. Tell your clients how to recognize it. Tell them what it can mean in the future. And then tell them how to start addressing this issue, hopefully with your help.

MARKETING Work that word-of-mouth. How about a friendly little sign near your exit that says something like, “Don’t forget to tell your friends about us!”

Actions for the month for eyecare professionals

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 edition of INVISION.



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