Manager's To-Do: July 2015 (Online Extra)

Eyecare professionals need to have some summer fun

Week 1 / JUNE 29-JULY 3

MARKETING Extend the spirit of Independence Day. E-blast an announcement that you’re offering a 10 percent discount to all active duty personnel, reservists, retired service members, veterans and their families for the rest of July.

VISION Find time to take stock of where your business is right now, and what adjustments you can make for the last six months of the year.

Week 2 / JULY 6-10

MANAGEMENT Make a commitment this month to really listen to your staff. No, not their complaints about the lack of parking but how they verbally interact with patients and customers. Pull out some paperwork, pretend to read but train your ear on the conversation. Listen to the questions they are asking customers, product-knowledge statements, and testing for customer reaction to items to ease the closing of the sale. Try not to look.

STORE/PRACTICE DESIGN Have you looked at your exterior windows lately? Don't let your look get stale! This week, make plans for more frequent changes ... and sketch out some ideas you can implement during the busy fall season.

WEBSITE Launch an effort to update your e-mail bulletin list. This can be either a simple request like, "To allow us to better help you with your important dates and occasions, please update your customer information now" or a more detailed campaign that offers a free check-up or eyewear tune-up in exchange for more information.

Week 3 / JULY 13-17

MARKETING Go Fishing Day was last month (June 18), but we bet you can still lure in anglers all summer with ongoing specials on fishing-specific eyewear from Maui Jim, Costa, Oakley and others.

MANAGEMENT Now's the time to fill most of the remaining holes in your appointment book for the back-to-school season.

MARKETING Take the lead in organizing a community block party. Loads of fun and a great crowd generator.

Week 4 / JULY 20-24

CUSTOMER SERVICE Write scripts for greeting customers, what to show them, handling take-ins, getting wish-list information, etc.

STAFF You should have this already, a file documenting employee performance through the year. Actually, you should be tipping your workers off about how they'll fare in their annual reviews. Not only does it keep everything moving along smoothly, but you also avoid those dreaded showdowns when employees get defensive.

SALES Devote a sales meeting to how to use company stories during presentations. Highlight how selling yourself and your store or practice is just as important as selling your services and merchandise.

MARKETING Plan your fall advertising campaign. Contact vendors and make arrangements for holiday-season trunk shows.

Week 5 / JULY 27-31

BRAINSTORM Don’t let any more great ideas get away. Set up a “tickler” file for all the terrific ideas you come across in your other reading. Here's an article on setting up yours.

PUBLICITY Make a realistic list of the top five media outlets (news/media outlets, blogs, or social media) that you feel your business would benefit most from being mentioned or featured on. Research. Sign up for their Twitter feeds, read their archived stories, and reach out to them to introduce yourself via the comments section or through email. Taking the time to understand their coverage can position yourself to be an expert resource for their next piece.

MARKETING Bolster your direct-mail list. If you’ve got the budget, buy a tailored name list. If you don’t have the funds, start building your own. Try sports clubs, business-association newsletters, social club rosters. Now’s the time to move so you’ll have a nice, fat mailing list by the holidays.

This article is an online-only exclusive to INVISIONMAG.COM.