Manager's To-Do: April 2016

WEEK 1 / APR. 4-8

OPERATIONS Did you hit your March sales and/or client acquisition targets? Are you on target for the year? If not, it’s time for extreme measures:Get on the phone, do more direct mail and work those add-ons.

FINANCE When finishing up your taxes, don’t forget to account for items lost to theft, disappearance or damage. These may be tax deductible.

PUBLICITY Going to Vision Expo East? Let clients (and even your local media) how you’ll be attending one of the industry’s most important trade shows. Encourage email sign-ups now so people can learn about all your exotic new frame discoveries when you get back.

WEEK 2 / APR. 11-15

STAFF Don’t be “all business.” Balance casual conversation and business conversation with your staff. Just a few quality minutes each day spent getting to know the people who work for you will do wonders for their morale.

TRADE SHOW At Vision Expo right this moment? Don’t drink ... or rather, Don’t Go On A Bender. Nothing — repeat, nothing — will slow you down at a trade show more than a Force 10 hangover. Your business will thank you.

MARKETING Retailers everywhere seek their share of people’s tax refunds. Why not get a piece of that action? Offer a Tax Day discount and even layaway.

WEEK 3 / APR. 18-22

SIGNS Create signs identifying “Best Mother’s Day Gift Ideas” for your boards and cases. Cover all the key price ranges.

MARKETING What is your “elevator script”? Don’t have one? Everyone on staff should be able to give a “knock-your-socks-off” one-sentence description of what they do for a living when asked by a total stranger.

STORE ENVIRONMENT Take a moment to evaluate your office’s restrooms. Are they in need of a fresh coat of paint, new faucet, or updated artwork? Patients pay attention to these details!

MANAGEMENT Create a “sunshine file.” This is where you collect all expressions of gratitude — thank-you notes, photos, awards — you receive. When you’re feeling down, you’ll be glad you have this.

WEEK 4 / APR. 25-29

MARKETING One under-used (and usually free) promotional vehicle is supermarket bulletin boards. Find ones near you and get those promo flyers posted.

INSPIRATION Ask your staff to write down the top 10 reasons that people should do business with your practice/shop. Discuss this feedback at a staff meeting.

MERCHANDISING Turn your frame colors into flavors. People like color but love flavors. Instead of black, say gooey dark chocolate. Instead of red, say strawberries. Make colors luscious. Make your customers hunger.

OPERATIONS Call a company-wide meeting to review the HIPAA, OSHA and safety protocol we all sometimes take for granted. Make it fun and end with a quiz, to be sure everyone is on the same page.

Tanya Gill of Oakland Vision Center

This article originally appeared in the March 2016 edition of INVISION.