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Manager's To-Do

Get Ready for the Holidays With Our November To-Dos

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Oct 30-Nov 4

OPERATIONS Fine-tune exam schedules. HSA and FSA spending brings in revenue this time of year; you want doctors in for extra hours or squeezing in more patients.

MARKETING Did we mention promoting flex benefits? Call a meeting and get systematic about getting your message out. Reinforce it in calls, social media and correspondence.

OPERATIONS This month the clocks go back; it’s a reminder to back up critical data. Losing it can wipe out a small business. This week you still have time to back up your systems.

Nov 6-11

INVENTORY Investigate vendor spiffs. Suppliers want their lines to succeed; take advantage of their incentives.

TRAINING The holiday sales season is coming; monitor individual performance this month. Teach at every opportunity.

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MARKETING Clean up your direct-mail marketing lists. Cut the “least valuable” 10 percent and e-mail them instead. 

Nov 13-18

STOCK Make up a list of last-minute stocking stuffers and impulse buys — sunglass cords, repair kits, cleaning cloths and cute readers are all great options. 

SALES Create employee awards for the holidays – Top Seller, Most Items Sold, Biggest Single Sale – to reward as many salespeople as possible. Ask vendors to provide prizes.

MARKETING Offer free eyewear to people who work with the public if they agree to be styled by you. “We put them in cutting edge shapes and colors that stand out. They give testimonials when people ask where they got the awesome glasses,” says Dr. Scott Keating, owner, Vision Trends, Dover, OH. 

Nov 20-25

STORE Thanksgiving is Nov. 23. Hold a decorating party one night after work, or on a Monday (if you’re closed that day). Play music, order pizzas, have fun! Red and green are the simplest way to say “Christmas,” but if they clash with your store, go an alternate route: blue and white?

ONLINE In the Internet Age, holiday-season shopping begins as consumers start visiting retailers’ sites. Update yours with seasonal elements; feature gift ideas including one special every few days.

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MARKETING Four weeks to Christmas. Increase e-mail campaigns to twice a week, scheduling them on Thursdays or Fridays to stimulate purchases on the weekend.

Nov 27-Dec 2

MARKETING Nov. 28 is Cyber Monday. Even if you don’t offer e-commerce, you should still post a big special on your site and alert customers via e-mail and social. 

MARKETING Keep posting your event schedule on your social media outlets – mailed invites can go astray.

DISPLAY Get your hot sellers front and center. Holiday shoppers want “sure things” more than an experience.


This article originally appeared in the October 2017 edition of INVISION.

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An Excuse to Celebrate ‘Nothing’ and More July Events

A couple of ‘Dirty Thirty’ birthdays worth noting.

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3 The extreme heat across the country last year had people rushing to the sanctuary of air-conditioned malls. On AIR CONDITIONING APPRECIATION DAY, let the sweaty, heaving crowds know they’re always welcome in your store with some good old-fashioned lemonade and an invitation to relax and browse. Your summer policy: “No heat. No pressure.”

5 If your customers are “thirty-something singles with vague identities, no roots, and conscious indifference to morals,” then they’d probably respond to a SEINFELD Night to mark the 30th Anniversary of its premiere. Plan an event about nothing … a few beers, peruse the frame boards and wonder if Kramer was an insurance frame board or independent brand kind of guy.

23 Someone else turns 30 this month – probably the most famous spectacle-wearing child in the world. Yes, Harry Potter! DANIEL RADCLIFFE is entering his third decade. Celebrate the movie franchise that made glasses cool for kids. Eisenbrei Plaza Optical in Canton, OH, does a fun themed video and giveaways of Harry Potter items every year.

24 One of the few areas where Walmart is beating Amazon is with “buy online, pickup instore,” which is growing rapidly, especially in suburban areas. On NATIONAL DRIVE-THRU DAY, give thought to curbside pickup as an extension to your dispensary.

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Start a Campaign of Fear and More June Events

Plus, sometimes letting your business go to the dogs is a good thing.

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21 Ask any Washington insider and they’ll tell you the best way to start a campaign is with a solid base of fear. When it comes to the sunny months ahead — summer officially begins today — and people’s need to protect their eyes, there’s plenty to be scared about. Skipping shades contributes to AMD, pterygium, basal cell carcinoma, cataracts and more. Yet according to The Vision Council’s 2015 UV protection report, more than one-third of parents said their kids never wear sunglasses. Prep your inventory. Get social. Get out in your community. Instill fear.

1 Sales of audiobooks have surged over the last 15 years as smartphones made downloads as easy as a tap of the finger. During Audiobook Appreciation Month, do a Google search for “bestselling business audiobooks” and catch up on some of the great management advice that’s been published recently.

23 Dogs with faces only their owners could love gather at the Sonoma-Marin Fair for the World’s Ugliest Dog contest. Hold a similar competition. Ask your staff to vote on what they think is the most aesthetically challenged style in the store.

27 Happy Birthday to You turns 160. Send a singing telegram to any patient who shares a birthday with the world’s most sung song. Include a gift to be claimed in-store.

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Manager's To-Do

Are Your Displays Peak Sun Season Ready? And More Manager’s To-Dos for June

And no time like the present for a little spring cleaning.

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June 3-8

MERCHANDISING Before we reach peak sunwear sales period, cast a critical eye over your displays. Do your best-selling brands have a clear prominence? Do your more fashion oriented names catch the eye? Is it clear you have something for everyone? If not get busy.

MARKETING Father’s Day (June 16) is almost here, so highlight a special sunwear and eyewear selection on your social media feeds or website. Each day, post your choices for a different dad type — Baseball Dad, Barbecue Dad, Sports Car Dad, Hipster Dad, etc.

June 10-15

WEBSITE What hours are you open? Do you accept insurance? What frame lines do you carry? Think of the top 10 reasons people call you and then get the information up on your website in the form of an easy to find FAQ page.

STORE Switch up the videos on your in-store monitors. For the next six weeks, drop the promotional videos and run something a little more summery and kid-oriented, preferably with a hero who wears glasses; Simon from the Chipmunks, The Princess Diaries, Emma Wiggle, even Superman’s Clark Kent, there are a ton of cool characters who sport funky eyewear.

June 17-22

EVENTS In a lifestyle center, strip mall or downtown location? Take the lead in organizing a community block party. Loads of fun and a great crowd generator.

ONLINE If you don’t know how visitors are interacting with your website or where they are coming from, it’s hard to devise an effective online strategy. Google Analytics is free and easy:  there is a great tutorial on the Google site and a bunch of YouTube “how to” videos that can help you understand how to use it. Make mastery of Analytics a summer priority!

June 24-29

MARKETING Has a customer ever asked you what your practice’s name is as she is writing a check? That’s a sign you need to boost name recognition. Start with a prominent but tasteful sign in your waiting room, and then check your other collateral (trays, doors, appointment cards, lens cloths, etc.). It’s hard for people to recommend your services if they can’t remember your name.

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

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