WEEK 1 / JUNE 6-10
MARKETING Begin Father’s Day specials on website. Promote stylish readers or gift certificates for progressive lenses and performance eyewear for golf, boating, hunting, etc.
ONLINE Review your website. Compare and contrast it with your local competitors’ websites. Then compare and contrast with national chains and online optical retailers. And finally compare and contrast it to non-optometric/ non-optical websites you admire. Your website is often the first impression you’ll make on potential customers. Make it a powerful one.
MARKETING Offer a complete makeover. Do you have a relationship with a local salon or spa? Why not? Arrange a frame trunk show at your practice/shop and have a salon/spa stylist and/or make-up artist there to consult on colors, styles, etc. Talk to the other business and put a package together. Add a masseuse, and no one will want to leave.
STAFF Everyone needs help. Make a list of strengths and weaknesses of each staff member. Have each of your staff coach/train/help in their area of strength those on your staff that aren’t up to par in that particular discipline.
WEEK 2 / JUNE 13-17
STRATEGY If you were to wave a magic wand and change things in your business, what would they be? Write it down. Look at the list. What’s stopping you from making those changes? If the answer is “cash” you may be looking at this the wrong way. Don’t think in terms of “how much it costs.” Think in terms of making an investment that will increase cash flow into the business. “Cost” is what’s happening now from not doing it well.
FINANCES Maybe your fixed costs are not as fixed you think. Analyze every contract — from the company that supplies the water cooler to your neighborhood banker — and look for places where you can get a cost reduction. Lease coming up? If you rely on walk-in, non-appointment business, keep an eye on traffic. It’s a good figure to wield in negotiations with your landlord.
MARKETING Start your planning for the second half of the year by asking yourself what one advertisement or promotion in your recent history elicited the biggest response. Just because a $100 gift card to local businesses was hugely successful three years ago doesn’t mean you can’t do it again.
WEEK 3 / JUNE 20-24
TECHNOLOGY Draft an FAQ page for your website. It’s a search-engine workhorse.
OPERATIONS Thinking of a remodel or a move to a new market or just need some advice on how to stay competitive? Give your local U.S. Small Business Administration center (asbdc-us.org) a call. There are approximately 1,000 service centers across the country that provide no-cost consulting and low-cost training.
FURNISHINGS Need any new office furniture? Now is the time to pick some up; showrooms are making room for new lines that come out in August.
WEEK 4 / JUNE 27-JULY 1
INVENTORY School’s out! And ironically, that’s the signal for you to start preparing for the time when school’s back in. Begin plotting for your back-to-school specials.
MARKETING Events are a critical tool in the modern eyecare professional’s toolbox. It’s your chance to roll out new lines, educate, move old stock and get clients excited and in a buying mood. September to December are the key months whether it’s a back-to-school promotion, trunk show, holiday party or all of the above. Start planning now.
IDENTITY Have you thought about the story you tell your customers and employees about your company? A good story goes a long way toward making people feel they’re part of something special. Build your own company mythology.
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of INVISION.