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

Week 1 / JAN 5-9

CUSTOMER SERVICE January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month: Time to warn clients about this sneaky thief of sight. Make sure they know the best way to avoid glaucoma is regular eye exams!

SYSTEMS Audit your business for Meaningful Use and PQRS, to ensure you are on track with the new changes.

PROMOTION Continue to push your “flex-dollar” message. Many plans that ended Dec. 31 extend flex-dollar benefits until mid-March.

SALES TRAINING Client not clicking with a certain optician? Practice your turnover procedure.


Week 2 / JAN 12-16

STRATEGY Plan a staff retreat — even if it’s to the local pizza parlor — to review flex-dollar peak season sales. Go over your sales, marketing campaigns, and the competition’s efforts. What worked, what didn’t, and what did you learn?

CUSTOMER SERVICE Use your EHR system to find patients who have not responded to recall notices and whose appointments are overdue. Call and, with a tone of gentle concern, ask these patients how they are doing.

MARKETING Start identifying potential candidates for local cross-marketing projects — a powerful, inexpensive marketing technique that you shouldn’t overlook. Gyms, spas, jewelers and fashion retailers are all possible collaborators. Could you co-host an event? Cross-post on social media? Stuff each others’ promotional materials in your shopping bags?

WEBSITE Add a sign-up option on your website for customers to receive news, updates or promotions. Provide each employee with a personalized e-mail address for customer communications. And update the copyright date on your site to 2015.


Week 3 / JAN 19-23

NETWORKING Build your community presence. Look into joining the country club or sponsoring a local Little League team. Now’s the time.

CUSTOMER SERVICE Calculate the dollar value of every customer — it should be average purchases in your business per year x 20 years. The result should be a heckuva lot of money. Post that number for all your team members to see.

DISPLAYS Check your signage. Is it sufficiently welcoming? “Open” doesn’t fit the bill. Much better: “Welcome. We’re glad you’re here!”

SALES TRAINING Develop a checklist of questions to use to sell additional eyewear to customers: Do you play a lot of sports? Do you often go to gala dinners or black-tie events? How many hours of “screen time” do you get per day?


Week 5 / JAN 26-30

MERCHANDISING Put little hearts (“A Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift!”) on your frame board next to frames you think would make ideal presents on Feb. 14.

HUMAN RESOURCES Study 401(k) program for yourself and your employees. (One of the best ways around to keep staff long-term.)

BUYING Vision Expo East gets closer with every week. Resolve to be organized and professional in front of your vendors with properly prepared reports and forms. Start setting up vendor appointments — don’t count on “swinging by.” Get cellphone numbers for those people and others you may need to contact during the show.

MARKETING Create a fresh on-hold message promoting your brand and your latest specials.

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