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Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: Another Chance To Start Anew

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Good fortune awaits businesses that eagerly embrace curiosity and change


If 2016 is already flying by too fast for you, take heart: There’s another New Year celebration this month, and the Chinese Zodiac tells us it’s the Year of the Monkey. People born under this sign are clever, curious and a little mischievous: all good qualities for people who run small businesses. Adaptability is another great trait, and one we definitely celebrate here at INVISION.

You’ve probably noticed a few changes to the magazine so far this year. Better Vision is our new department that features areas where you can build your business by better serving your clients’ needs, whether for driving lenses, contact lens options (this month’s topic), dry-eye relief, golf-optimized glasses and more. This month, we also debut the new Buying Guide department, which helps you find gear that’ll make your business more customer-friendly, from shopping bags to display props and better lighting. And our Designer Insights take a look at what inspires the people who create the frames you sell. We’ll share more about upcoming changes next month.

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As we mentioned last month, entries are open now for our 2016 America’s Finest Optical Retailers competition. Check out our handy series of how-to-enter posts at invmag.us/finest, where you’ll get insider info on how to make your entry stand out. We look forward to seeing just how fine you are, so get those entries ready and be sure to submit by the March 15 deadline. (Yep, that’s a few weeks earlier this year.)

Wishing you the best in business,


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
[email protected]

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

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FIVE SMART TIPS FROM OUR CURRENT ISSUE

Celebrate Middle Name Pride Day and Lady Gaga’s 30th birthday in March. Calendar, page 16
No travel budget? Hold an in-office mini-conference with your staff as expert presenters. Manager’s To-Do List, page 18
Aspiring to be a high-end shop? Play the part with a classy bag. Buying Guide, page 22
Why it’s better to bunch appointments than space them out. Tip Sheet, page 52
Your exterior is your very best advertisement. Marketing Haikus, page 53

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Editor's Note

Small Changes Repeated Over Time Can Change the World

Better yet, they can benefit your business.

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I’M NOT REALLY an all or nothing sort of woman. I am a big fan of incremental improvement, the cumulative effect of making small but better choices over time … the do better today than you did yesterday school of thought. For me, done is better than perfect and waiting for perfect just means nothing ever gets done.

It’s definitely the approach I take toward the environment. I recycle at home. I own reusable straws. I mostly use eco-friendly cleaning products. I choose organic where I can, have reduced my consumption of meat and swapped what I do eat for free-range, grass fed or sustainably farmed whenever possible.

But I’m also “aging gracefully” with all the scientifically engineered help I can get, recently bought a big jug of chlorine bleach to combat the coronavirus, and will never be able to completely give up the cold, sweet chemical deliciousness that is Diet Coke.

The point is, I do what I can and I appreciate businesses that do the same. In our industry we have a growing roster of companies that are making small changes to improve their social good or environmental impact. Like Morel swapping out its old packing material for compostable peanuts and Eastman’s new Acetate Renew material made of biobased and certified recycled content soon to be available from Mazzucchelli. On page 24, we have a whole slew of brands giving back to LGBTQ youth, teachers, animals, and people in need; while Latest Releases (page 26) features a few eco-friendly styles new to the market.

These small steps are important for a long term improvement. Regardless of your political affiliation or where you fall on the issue of climate change, I don’t think anyone is effectively arguing in favor of poisoning the planet.
And it’s not just small changes to save the planet, they can save your business too. We’re living in uncertain times. Exert a little control over the fate of your business by checking out our Big Story — Recession-Proof Your Business — on page 34 for some ideas on how to combat the financial turmoil this global pandemic has thrown us all into. We only wish we had published it sooner.

Small changes repeated over time can change the world… and they can certainly benefit your business.

Best wishes for your business,

Five Smart Tips From This Issue

1. Few things are as feel-good as cute animals in glasses… and yep, there is a week dedicated to that. (Calendar, page 18)
2. After a slowdown in business, get buzz going again with a contest. We tell how to host one. (The Social Eye, page 18)
3. Forget monetary bonuses, give the people what they want: pizza and compliments. (Tip Sheet, page 50)
4. Wondering how to structure (or improve) your new staff onboarding program? Readers shared what they do… with lots more online. (Do You or Don’t You, page 66)
5. Cut the BS and make sure you aren’t just parroting nonsense. (Columns, page 62)

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Editor's Note

Please Stand By While We Experience Technical Difficulties

Glitches are temporary and nothing unplugging for a minute or two can’t fix.

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MANY CAN PROBABLY remember that screen on TVs … “Please stand by, we’re experiencing technical difficulties.” It would usually happen
at the best part of whatever show you were watching. Now, we just get the spinning wheel of death, or a flashing “buffering” as our program reboots. A modern update to a frustrating event.

I wish we had something similar in life when we’re just not functioning the way we want to. For those off days, when we didn’t get enough sleep, or we’re feeling under the weather, or overwhelmed … “Please stand by, Dee is experiencing technical difficulties. She’ll be back as soon as she reboots.”

Drs. Adam Ramsey and Darryl Glover Talk About Fostering Relationships Between Black ECPs and the Industry at Large
INVISION Podcast

Drs. Adam Ramsey and Darryl Glover Talk About Fostering Relationships Between Black ECPs and the Industry at Large

Podcast: Make That Money! How to Improve Sales, Dispensary Performance and Patient Communication
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: Make That Money! How to Improve Sales, Dispensary Performance and Patient Communication

Podcast: Is Eyecare in Canada Really More Like the US Than We Think?
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: Is Eyecare in Canada Really More Like the US Than We Think?

There’s a quote from Ann Lamott that says “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” And isn’t that the truth? While proofing this issue, InDesign, the program we use to lay out the magazine before sending it to the printer, went kaput on me. I have no idea why. One minute it was working, the next I couldn’t do a thing. It took me nearly a day, and several emails to people more familiar with it, to get it up and running again. Not a great feeling when you’re on a deadline.

But that’s the thing, life doesn’t slow down when you’re experiencing technical difficulties, literal or figurative. The best you can hope for are some resources to help you solve the problem. And that’s what we strive to provide in each issue, including this one.

If you’re looking for a short cut to what’s new at VEE, we got you on page 42. Has your business suffered from a bout of bad press? Or worse, no press?? Then visit our DIY PR special feature on page 50 for how to get out the good word. And of course, our Manager’s To-Do (page 22), Columns (page 60) and Tip Sheet (page 56) are crammed full of their usual great advice and creative ideas.

Remember, glitches are temporary — and nothing that unplugging for a minute or two can’t fix.

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Editor's Note

The ‘Year of Vision’ Has 366 Days

So how are you going to make the most of your extra 24 hours?

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DO YOU EVER FEEL like there just isn’t enough time in the day? Or days in the week? Or weeks in the year? … Those are rhetorical questions. I know we all feel that way… on a regular basis.

We all also know a common year has 365 days. But this year, a leap year, the “year of vision” no less, we get 366 days! How cool is that? This year we literally have an extra day to get our sh*t done.

So it’s pretty appropriate that this issue’s Big Story is about doing just that. On page 34, we give you 22 ways to stop thinking and start doing in Act Now! My personal favorite, and one I plan on implementing, is #12: Don’t substitute talk for action. There are always immediate deadlines in publishing and sometimes the larger, long-term projects suffer because of them. But the “No Zero Days” concept is approachable enough that I can apply it immediately and chip away at those big tasks little by little, without letting the more pressing ones suffer.

However, if a whole extra day just doesn’t seem like enough, our Special Feature on page 42 is all about how you can steal a few minutes back out of every day. I am a big proponent of a daily to-do list — which I priority plan for the whole week on Sunday — in a Word doc so I can have the visceral joy of crossing things off (thank you strikethrough!) and the practical ability to move things that don’t get done to later in the week (hello, cut and paste!) It’s really all about finding a system that works for you and if you don’t have one yet, this story should really help.

And hey, if what you really need is to take that bonus day and do abso-freaking-lutely nothing, then do it! Rest is a valid form of self-care and if you’re not at your best, how is your business supposed to be?

So how are you going to make the most of your extra day?

Five Smart Tips From This Issue

1. Want more good news? Then here is the perfect Instagram follow for you. (Eye Spy, page 12)
2. Video is huge… but many are scared of it. We’ve got some easy tips to get you started. (Monthly Project, page 16)
3. Keep your staff happy and healthy. Implement a Wellness Reimbursement Program. (Best of the Best, page 48)
4. Just cause you’re the boss doesn’t mean you’re always right. Let a staff member win once a day. (Tip Sheet, page 50)
5. Think your biz is too small to need an official employee handbook? You’re wrong. Luckily, building a barebones one is easy. (Columns, page 56)

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