Week 1 / SEPT. 15-19CUSTOMER SERVICE With fall school sports starting, it’s a good time to brush up with safety guidelines from Prevent Blindness. Find tips to share with clients at invmag.us/safesports.
MARKETING Want to refurbish or repaint your old cases reasonably cheaply and creatively? Hire fine arts students from a local college to help you add special finishes and even repair cases. “They have the eye, the updated vision and often the building skills. Work with them to explain what you’d like to accomplish,” says Sarah Yates, director of marketing at interior design firm GRID/3 International.
Week 2 / SEP 22-26STAFF Do your six-month employee reviews (March and September).
MANAGEMENT Invite 10 customers or patients to join an advisory panel. Schedule three meetings each year and ask them to discuss what they’ve seen, what they like, and how they think you can improve. “Pay” them with lunch and gift cards — and most importantly, use what they tell you!
Week 3 / SEPT 29-OCT 3CUSTOMER SERVICE October is Home Eye Safety Month. See Prevent Blindness’s guidance on avoiding eye accidents and useful information to share with patrons — and maybe on your website? — at invmag.us/safehome. PROMOTIONS In a mall or lifestyle center? Ask management whether they plan to offer and promote mall gift certificates this holiday season. If not, push them to do so.
Week 4 / OCT 6-10NETWORKING Plot ways to get your face out in the community. Dust off your eye health, better vision or eyewear trend speech and be a voice in your small business community. There are meeting halls and newspaper column inches to be filled.
MARKETING Hunting season is coming. If you’ve got hunting-specific sports glasses, put them in your front window. While you’re at it, if you’re in a big hunting area, consider a special “Deer Widow” sale for people whose partners have gone off to shoot animals.
Week 5 / OCT 13-17MARKETING Is your year-end Flex Dollar Promotion finalized? How will you get attention from customers during the busy holiday season? Make your plans now. And check out one cool holiday window idea from Acuity Vision Optometry Boutique on page 72.
Week 6 / OCT 20-24STORE Are collateral materials cluttering the top of your showcases? It’s time to move them off center stage. Buy a display unit that can store materials for optical stylists to find and present to customers.
STORE How do your entrance mats look? If it’s been a while since you changed them, splash out some new ones. They will save your carpets by keeping out road salt and dirt this winter.
EVENTS Set aside two evenings for a private client sale. Which new pieces are likely to excite your best customers?
Week 7 / OCT 27-31MARKETING Launch “Project Tell-a-Friend.” Encourage your best customers to tell their best friends about your store.
MEDIA Beat the rush and call a local reporter to share a story idea: hot eyewear trends for holiday gifting and party-wear. Read Zach Zavoral’s column on page 62 for more PR ideas.