Manager's To-Do: December-January 2015

Make a Christmas karaoke video with you and your staff belting timeless holiday classics. Upload to YouTube and your website.

WEEK 1 / NOV. 30 - DEC. 4

MEDIA Contact local reporters to pitch a story about how people can use flex dollars for eyecare and prescription eyewear — and not just by Dec. 31, but during any January grace period they may have, too.

TECHNOLOGY All Meaningful Use tasks for 2015 must be completed by Dec. 31. In January, it’s time to attest — and since 2015 was the first year for mandatory EHR participation, Medicare will begin charging penalties to doctors who did not use EHR properly for at least one quarter in 2015.

Week 2 / DEC. 7-11

WEBSITE Does your website have a “Wish List” function? Try it on those hot-selling sunwear lines you carry.

MARKETING Present a new gift idea every day, in every way that you can. That means your website homepage, email bulletins and social media.

Week 3/ DEC. 14-18

FUN Make a Christmas karaoke video with you and your staff belting timeless holiday classics. Upload to YouTube and your website. You can even play it — quietly, please! — on the video monitors in your business.

STAFF What should you get your staff for the holidays? Inspirational business books are always a good idea. Or check out our Holiday Eye Pro Gear column at

Week 4 / DEC. 21-25

STAFF Take your employees for a bite to eat and talk one-on-one about their year. Ask them: What do you need from me next year? How’s your job? How’s your life? “Give glorious feedback to employees who’ve earned it,” urges sales trainer Harry Friedman. What do people want most? Often, it’s the opportunity to be effective.

MANAGEMENT If you live in snow country, be sure your staff and clients stay safe this winter. Keep shovels, salt, sand and kitty litter handy by the door. Bonus: Managers can show the love by clearing snow from employees’ cars at the end of a busy day.

Week 5 / DEC. 28-JAN. 1

MARKETING January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Make sure your clients know that the very best way to avoid glaucoma is ... regular visits to see you!

Week 6 / JAN. 4-8

SALES In honor of Show and Tell at Work Day (Jan. 8), ask each of your staff to pick out a favorite frame. At the next staff meeting, each person will show the eyewear and tell what excites them about it — and how they sell it. Share the passion and watch sales grow.

FINANCIAL The new year is a great time to introduce new financial policies to your patients. Is it time to raise contact lens fitting fees, hire a collections agency, or charge for PD measurements without an eyewear purchase?

Week 7 / JAN. 11-15

PLANNING Success depends on trying things that fail. In 2016, make “heroic failure” your No. 1 goal. Fail trying new things, not old ones. Fail fast. Learn and move on. What’s first on your list?

SERVICE Refine your take-in procedure for eyewear repairs. Are you giving accurate estimates on delivery times and not disappointing customers? Can you offer a “rush” charge? Are you taking photos of incoming frames so clients can’t claim that you damaged them?

Week 8 / JAN. 18-22

FINANCIAL Take a few moments to plan your 2016 charity budget, which can save you time (and guilt) later. You might let your staff vote on how to allocate all or some of your donations within the community.

Week 9 / JAN. 25-29

MERCHANDISING What can you promote for Valentine’s Day gifts? Highlight these items (or suggest gift cards!) in your email bulletins and in catchy displays./p>

TRAINING Write down a new skill for each staff member to learn this year. Start helping them this week.

This article originally appeared in the November-December 2015 edition of INVISION.