Tip Sheet: January-February 2014

Don’t Just Fit, Outfit
More and more these days, the eyewear completes the outfit. You should do whatever you can to encourage this attitude, as it inevitably leads to extra frame sales. One way to get your clients seeing the whole picture of how eyewear works with their look? Install at least one full-length mirror in your store or dispensary.

Eschew Surplusage
Pro copywriters avoid bogging down their marketing messages with overly long sentences. But how long is too long? Exactly 17 words, says author Rudolf Flesch in The Art of Plain Talk. And be sure to mix things up with shorter five- to ten-word sentences.

Yessify Your Yesses
There is always a better answer than a mere “yes,” says author Dale Dauten, author of The Gifted Boss. He gives the example of asking a number of auto repair shops if they repair Lotuses. Most say “no,” a few say “yes,” but then one says, “Absolutely, we specialize in imports and the shop’s owner drives a Lotus.” Who do you think got the business? So the next time somebody asks you if you carry Oliver Peoples, find a better answer than just “yes.”

List Your To-Don’ts
OK, just about everybody regularly creates “to-do” or “start doing” lists. But Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, wonders whether you have a “stop doing” list. Think of all the harmful, unproductive (or even less productive) behaviors you engage in ... and put them on your list. Let your “stop doing” list help you focus on the things you need to do to make your business great.

Go with the Flow
Do you have traffic that goes behind your store or practice? Yes? So, do you have signage behind your business that’s designed to draw that traffic? No? Mary Gillen of IdeaSiteForBusiness.com suggests you get busy. Check out the traffic flow around your location and place signs strategically to ensure you catch the attention of the busiest traffic flow.

ICE Can Save a Life
Here’s something small you can do today that may save lives in the future. Ask your employees (and even your regular customers, if appropriate) to designate ICE numbers in their mobile phones. ICE stands for “In Case of Emergency.” Putting the “ICE” designation in front of a person’s name in a cellphone makes it easier to contact them immediately in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Serve up a Sandwich
You may have already heard of the concept of giving “sandwich” criticisms to employees. (Short version: Say something nice, make your criticism, end with something nice.) One other thing to watch out for, according to T.J. Schier, author of Send Flowers to the Living, is using the word “but” as part of the sandwich. That one small word can ruin the taste of the whole sandwich. Instead, use “and,” as in the following example: “John, normally you are my best employee, and it’s critical you are here on time so you can do that awesome job of client service. Now get out there and make it happen.”

Serve up a Sandwich (2)
Your biggest sale of the year is here, and you want to make sure that you’re jam-packed with customers. You’ve spent big on advertising and done heavy direct mailing. What else can you do? On the day of the sale, hire people to wear sandwich boards promoting the sale in big red letters — e.g. 50% Off! Today Only! Have them stand at major intersections within a onemile radius of your business.