Week 1 | JAN. 13-17
SALES: Training session: Encourage a collector’s approach to eyewear.
MARKETING: Set long-term business goals and break them down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and even daily action steps. Plan at least two big events for the year. If you want to try a trunk show, start contacting designers soon. “Hello, is Mr. Varvatos there?”
Week 2 | JAN. 20-24
FINANCES: The recession is over, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still need to watch costs like a hawk. Check all those ridiculous recurring expenses from services you rarely use. (Stamps.com? That credit monitoring service? Your gym membership?) If you haven’t used the service in the past three months, cancel it. You can always rejoin.
DISPLAYS: Check your signage. Is it sufficiently welcoming? “Open” doesn’t fit the bill. Why not “Welcome. We’re glad you’re here!”
Week 3 | JAN. 27-31
DESIGN: Bring in a lighting consultant for a day. With professional help, you may be able to replace halogen bulbs with LEDs and make other changes to add sparkle to your eyewear selection. The savings will soon pay back the consultant’s fee.
SALES: Training session: why AR lens treatments are worthwhile.
Week 4 | FEB. 3-7
STAFF: Do you have guidelines for handling complaints? If not, get busy. As much as possible, empower your team to make decisions without you.
MARKETING: Go ahead, get some of those Valentine’s Day dollars. See the Calendar (page 10) for an approach to extra Valentine’s Day sales.
Week 5 | FEB. 10-14
STAFF: Share the love on Friday morning. Buy chocolates for your employees this Valentine’s Day. Inscribe the card, “Love your work!”
SALES: Training session: selling sunwear for spring break.
Week 6 | FEB. 17-21
OPERATIONS: Dump Your Bacn. Those are the dozens of email newsletters you’ve subscribed to but rarely read — these are also known as “bacn” (named so for being a close relative of spam). A study by MessageGate estimates up to 30 percent of emails are bacn. A huge inbox slows searches and makes your head hurt.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Show your eyecare expertise by adding a monthly tip for better eye health to your website.
Week 7 | FEB. 24-28
SALES: Training session: give first-time customers a tour of your store or practice.
BUYING: Vision Expo East begins on March 26 (for education) and March 28 (for the exhibition) at the Javits Center in New York. Going? Now’s the time to build your plan for shopping and learning at the show.
Week 8 | MAR. 3-7
MARKETING: Basketball’s “March Madness” is imminent. Do you have sunwear in your local university’s colors?
STAFF: It’s time for the first of your twice-yearly employee reviews. Before you start, spend an hour thinking about your employees’ future and where you’d like them to be in one, two or five years. What do they need to learn to get there?