WEEK 1
Jan. 30-Feb 3

STAFF The beginning of the year is a great time to do cross training as employees are usually more receptive to new concepts and the idea of change. Draw up a schedule for training on sales, customer service, managed care, new equipment … whatever needs attention (and is allowed by state law).

MARKETING Some flex dollars are still floating around. Keep reminding people who rolled over 2015 benefits or have spring deadlines.

NETWORKING Create a list of primary care providers you can meet in your market. Let them know you are eager to educate them on your ability to help them improve their HEDIS scores.

WEEK 2
Feb 6-10

MARKETING E-mail reminder: “Three days left ‘til Valentine’s Day!” List your top five (optical) ideas for gifts.

INVENTORY Buying season is on the way: it’s time to take a hard look at your inventory. Drill down into your data (GPM, brand performance, price points, markdowns) to weed out underperformers and identify any new category trends. Set targets and support plans for your emerging inventory stars.

FINANCES Most insurance claims should have been processed by now. Review the numbers as part of an evaluation of your vision care plans with an aim to get rid of the low-paying ones.

WEEK 3
Feb 13-17

INVENTORY As efficient as the new POS systems are, you should do a physical inventory (meaning a manual stock count) once a year. Post-holiday season is often the best time.

MARKETING Spring is on the way. Which means baseball signup season for many kids’ leagues. Look into setting up a booth to promote the benefits of safety frames. You’ll boost your child patient list — and get your face out in the community.

SALESFLOOR If your showroom is more than three years old, it may be looking tired. At five years, at least some of your decor is probably looking shabby. There’s no need to break the bank, says Ruth Mellergaard of interior design firm GRID3.  “Look for areas that can make a big impact for a small investment” such as a new photo wall or carpet, she urges.

WEEK 4
Feb 20-24

OPERATIONS As great as it is to offer a wide range of products, dealing with too many labs is simply inefficient and expensive. Re-evaluate lab costs and lens choices, explore all the market options; there may be new wholesale options that have entered the market since your last review.

BUYING SECO in Atlanta in early March kicks off show season. Start setting up appointments with vendors (if you group them together, you’ll have free time later for unexpected independent eyewear finds.) Plan, plan, plan.

CUSTOMER SERVICE Show your eyecare expertise by adding a monthly tip for better eye health to your website.

WEEK 5
Feb 27-Mar 3

DATA Do a manual backup of all your patient, customer and financial records and store it offsite. Your system should be doing this automatically — it’s always good to check occasionally — but in case of some catastrophe it’s vital you have a record to start rebuilding.

STAFF Do you have guidelines for handling complaints? If not, get busy. As much as possible, empower your team to make decisions without you.


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