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Manager's To-Do

Finding Ways to Be Different … and More Manager’s To-Dos for April

There are hundreds of areas where you can differentiate.

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April 2-7

MANAGEMENT Invest time in finding places where you can differentiate your business. These can be big and small. What does your door handle look like? What’s your telephone answering machine message sound like? What’s your 404 error page say? Could you make your cash register receipts more fun? Think of the power of 1,000 points of differentiation. And get busy.

MARKETING Call a brainstorming meeting for Mother’s Day (May 14). Dad and child evening? Mom and daughter event? Cross promotion with a spa? Bring a list of ideas to the meeting and ask the staff to do the same.

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!

Education. Rita Ellent of The Gardens Eyecare in Forest Hills, NY says that this month, she’ll “attend for the first time that Vision By Design Meeting that I’ve wanted to go to for the past few years (April 11-15)”.

April 9-14

MARKETING If you’ve never done an in-store event give thought to something small – a small trunk show, a product launch, participation in a local craft walk (hey, eyewear design is an art form!) Your goal should just be to get people in the door so they can experience your independent spirit and sow the seeds for a future visit when they have real vision needs.

MEDICAL Find a category of your business you want to improve — such implementing dry eye products packages — and draft an action plan to start making it happen

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MANAGEMENT Some things you should do spontaneously sometimes need to be scheduled. Here’s one: Find time this week for a few quality minutes of conversation with staff. It’ll do wonders for their morale and give you ideas into what motivates them

April 16-21

FINANCES Insurers don’t reward loyalty. In fact, via premium creep, they punish it while giving new customers great deals. Shop around to see if you can get better rates elsewhere.

STRATEGY Got an employee suggestion box? If not, you should create one. Offer $100 (or a paid vacation day) for any idea you implement.

NETWORKING Try networking with other eyecare professionals. Join online groups such as ODs on Facebook and Corporate Optometry on Facebook to see how your fellow professionals are faring elsewhere in the country.

OPERATIONS Sunday is Earth Day. Ban plastic bags from the office, ban water bottles from the kitchen, urge everyone to car pool for a week. It’s not so hard being green.

April 23-28

GENERAL. Study your parking lot. Devise and publicize a policy on staff parking. If necessary, can you encourage staff to take transit to free up spaces for customers? What do you do if a car needs to be towed?

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SECURITY Buy a Suspicious Incident Logbook for employees to record things that appear to be “not quite right.” The log can be used to write down license plate numbers, names used, time, physical description and other information that may later help police.

MANAGEMENT Institute a fun day like Carb-Wild Wednesday, Fried Chicken Friday or, even better, Beer Friday. Good spirits encourage better customer service, innovative thinking and staff loyalty. They also tend to encourage bigger waistlines, but such is the price to pay for bonhomie.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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