Manager's To-Do: March 2016

WEEK 1 | FEB. 29-MAR. 4

MARKETING Send birthday cards to patients so they arrive a week before their birthdays — “wanted to be the first to wish you a happy birthday.” This way, your card won’t get lost in all the birthday wishes that people get on their special day.

CUSTOMER SERVICE Pamper your customers with a padded seat in the restroom.

STAFF It’s time for employee reviews. (You’ll do them again in September.) Set up a professional development plan for each employee — and yourself. Have everyone think about what they feel they need to learn and also what they would like to learn, then challenge them to come up with a plan to get that knowledge.

WEEK 2 / MAR. 7-11

MARKETING Highlight a group of fun green frames online as St. Patrick’s Day specials.

MARKETING Plan a trunk show for April or May. If you’ve struggled in the past, request event-management quotes from local PR and marketing firms. Not everything has to be DIY!

TRAINING Hold a mini-conference right in your own office. Assign each staff person a topic for a 5- to 10-minute presentation. Extra team-building points if you make the event a potluck!

WEEK 3 / MAR. 14-18

INVENTORY Have you explored selling frames on consignment? Weigh the pros and cons of taking on a new or unique line.

ACCOUNTING April 15, aka Tax Day, will be here before we know it. Give your office manager or bookkeeper a hand by investing in a scanner and software to manage receipts, like or

MADNESS Get your March Madness store pool ready: The NCAA basketball tournament starts this week.

WEEK 4 / MAR. 21-25

MARKETING Reward word-of-mouth. Make a list of everyone who referred customers over the past three months, and thank them with flowers — or maybe a gift certificate to a local restaurant for your biggest sales.

MAINTENANCE Schedule a technician for a tune-up of your A/C. Yes, it’s probably still cool outside, but maintenance now will save you money come summer.

BRANDING Add a line at the bottom of all store correspondence that says: “Shop and support local companies. You save time and energy and help our local economy.”

WEEK 5 / MAR. 28-APR. 1

MARKETING Your customers are thrilled with their new eyewear — so ask to take their picture and post it on your website and social media. Tell a little story about why the customer loves the new frame. Stories sell!

PROCEDURES Do you have guidelines for handling complaints? If not, get busy. As much as possible, empower employees to make decisions.

CUSTOMER SERVICE Work on your company’s organizational chart. Try consultant Philip Nulman’s idea and create it from the bottom up — putting your customers at the top.

SOCIAL MEDIA Network with other eyecare professionals. Join ODs on Facebook, Opticians on Facebook, Luxury Eyewear Forum or one of the regional groups for optical pros. Share war stories and swap ideas.

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