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Editor's Note

Advil, F Bombs and Tears Went into the Making of This Issue

But the end result is an important and useful tool for ECPs that didn’t actually kill me.




CLOSE TO WRAPPING up this issue’s Big Story, a carnival rolled into town. It was a big deal because it was canceled last year … and it turns out my little beach town isn’t all that big in the off season. And by carnival, yes, I mean the kind with the rickety rides someone is definitely going to die on, the rigged games, and the overpriced, mostly fried concessions. But despite knowing all the reasons I shouldn’t enjoy it … it was still sort of exciting!

That’s how I feel about our Annual Big Survey. On one hand, I love data. When someone can take raw responses, extrapolate out trends and share the stories it tells, I find it totally fascinating. And as the shepherd of this magazine and brand, I think the end result is an important and useful tool for readers; one that I am proud of. But when the someone actually crunching the data is me … I hate it. That much math and collating endless spreadsheet entries makes me grumpy and my head hurt. A lot of Advil, late nights, tears and swearing went into getting it on the page. So, I hope you find the end result as fascinating as I ultimately do.

Like 39% of the ECPs queried considered leaving the optical industry entirely during the pandemic but 56% now think 2021 will be one of their better, if not best, years ever! And 50% of the respondents make $100K or more a year, but a third believe at least half of their staff would jump ship if offered 15% more elsewhere… that might help explain why 1 in 3 of you are having trouble hiring.


Wow, data… what a roller coaster! And I’m not the only one who loves data. Mark Hinton calls it king (p. 68), writing about the importance of data-mining and KPIs. 4ECPs wunderkinds Austen Kazakoff and Kristin Lathrop make sense of using marketing analytics to optimize ROI. Remarkable reads, both.

Now that this issue is over, I am packing up my Advil, tissues and best cuss words and heading out to that carnival. If the Big Survey didn’t kill me, I doubt their Ferris wheel will … right? right?!?

Best wishes for your business,

Advil, F Bombs and Tears Went into the Making of This Issue

Advil, F Bombs and Tears Went into the Making of This Issue

Advil, F Bombs and Tears Went into the Making of This Issue

Five Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. The key to a successful holiday campaign for small businesses is to keep it simple. This tried-and-true strategy works across multiple channels. (Monthly Project, page 20)
  2. Stuck on holiday gift-giving? We’ve got an @OpticianNow curated Gift Guide for all the eye lovers in your life. (Eye Pro Gear, page 30)
  3. Could you refrain from drinking coffee in the first couple hours of your day? It could give you the boost you’re actually seeking. (Tip Sheet, page 58)
  4. Why work hard on getting more patients in the door when you could just style more pairs for the ones already visiting? We tell you how.
    (Columns, 64)
  5. Who is on your bus and are they sitting in the right seats? (Columns, 65)


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