Week 1 / AUG. 3-7SALES Your back-to-school promotions should be in full swing. If your appointment calendar isn’t full of young people, ramp up with reminders on social media, phone calls, emails and text messages to clients with school-age children.
TECHNOLOGY Create an “@pending” folder in your email account for those unresolved exchanges which, if left, will disappear into the bottomless pit of your inbox in two or three days. The @ sign will ensure the message stays at the top of your list of folders. (This works for just about all email programs — Gmail, Outlook, Apple mail etc. — except Yahoo.)
STRATEGY Your goal? Target something in your business — a frame line? a filing system? an insurance plan?! — that has become “outgrown ... obsolete ... unproductive” in the immortal words of management guru Peter Drucker. Then euthanize it. Commit to finishing the process by Sept. 1. Clear way for the new!
Week 1 / AUG. 10-14STORE DESIGN Envious of the best-of-breed retail environments in this month’s America’s Finest feature? Good. Let that hunger inspire you to improve your own business. Not all eyecare pros have the spare cash for a total redesign. If not, start small by adding stylish details to your boards, walls and windows.
TRAINING Train staff to give one-minute store tours while telling your business story. It’s the perfect introduction to new customers.
PLANNING Don’t let any more great ideas get away. Download an app like Evernote (evernote.com) onto your phone.
Week 1 / AUG. 17-21BUYING Begin Vision Expo West shopping research. Split duties between team members. Have a look at magazines, vendor catalogs, Pinterest pages and fashion blogs. Your goal: a wish-list of products to check out at the Las Vegas show Sept. 17-19. (Not yet signed up? Register now at visionexpowest.com.)
MANAGEMENT Color-code your display case keys. Some stores have identical-looking keys on a ring, each of which will open only one case. The result? A long wait for the client while staff members fiddle around trying to find the right key.
CUSTOMER SERVICE Do all of your employees have a store email address? If not, get them one.
SALES Pledge this month to really listen to your staff verbally interact with customers and patients: the questions they ask, their product-knowledge statements, and their “tests” to ease the closing of a sale.
Week 1 / AUG. 24-28TECHNOLOGY This really ought to be a no-brainer, but we get lots of emails from eyecare pros (and you know who you are) without an email signature. This is simply a few lines of text (which behave better than a photo or HTML) at the bottom of every email you send. Include your name, business name, location, website, phone number and hours. We spend the time and effort tracking down your business and location because it’s our job. Do you want to make it that much work for your clients, too?
MARKETING All media outlets, from local newspapers to blogs, prepare gift guides to help their readers with holiday ideas. Find out the deadline for these guides — for magazines it is often four or more months out — and start pitching some unique suggestions.
PROMOTIONS Explore the idea of a pop-up store downtown or in a top area mall this holiday season. It’s cheaper than you think.
This article originally appeared in the July-August 2015 edition of INVISION.