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Manager's To-Do

Get Your Share of Graduation Business and More May To-Dos

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WEEK 1May 1-6

OPERATIONS Spring cleaning: The rule is if it hasn’t been used in a year, toss it. That applies to old advertising, POP materials, displays and any other optical debris.

INVENTORY Maintain the spring renewal theme, show your inventory tough love as well. Dig into your POS data. If a frame hasn’t moved in 18 months off to the clearance rack or consider donating it. Fine-tune ordering to deepening the best-sellers offered.

MARKETING Summer is a great time to extend your reach beyond the store. What health fairs, business expos, street fairs or sport events can you attend? Start researching.

WEEK 2May 8-13

MARKETING Hammer out a sunwear strategy. What promotions, product tie-ins and, crucially, training is required for your store to prosper in the bright months? What does the latest research say? What are the key questions your staff must ask? Contact your reps to come help with training.

MARKETING Launch “Project Big Shot.” Start contacting local personalities — newscasters, society figures, athletes — to see if they are interested in sporting your specs and representing your store.

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WEEK 3May 15-19

MANAGEMENT During the day, step outside the store. Through the windows, assess your visuals, displays, but mostly watch the customer/associate interactions. It’s amazing how much you can observe without sound. Some research suggests words account for only 7 percent of communication. What is your staff communicating?

 

MARKETING Finalize plans for summer trunk shows. Confirm dates with vendors and designers. Plan catering now and negotiate volume discounts for booking multiple events.

MERCHANDISING Redo your showcases to give them a fresh summery look. Replace tired florals and other décor pieces with new props to enhance the merchandise for the season.

WEEK 4May 22-27

MARKETING Graduation season is here. Place “Congratulations Class of 2017” signs in your windows. Consider advertising in graduation programs of local schools. Eyewear gift certificates help job-hunting grads see their future more clearly! 

MANAGEMENT Target reading one business book a month for the next quarter. Some favorites from the bestseller list: The One Thing You Need To Know by Marcus Buckingham, The Power Of Full Engagement by Tony Schwartz, and The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.

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STAFF Vacations should be scheduled by now. Do you need summer help? Students can assist you with projects your year-round team hasn’t had time to tackle, like cleaning up your mailing list or setting up your Pinterest.

WEEK 5May 29-June 3

STAFF If business slows in summer, organize a staff-appreciation event. Consider something physical with an air of fear — like paintball or zip lining — to inspire bonding.

OPERATIONS Here’s an ugh project: Master the ins and outs of insurance billing so that you can stop paying for that third-party billing service.

MARKETING Back-to-school is just around the corner.Research partnership opportunities with the local school system to possibly create a program for needy kids or to provide eyecare education.

Dr. Nytarsha Thomas of Visionelle Eyecare

 

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

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Manager's To-Do

Tips for Wrapping Up All Those Little Year-End Tasks and More Manager’s To-Dos for December and January

Including billing, Flex Spending, recalls and sales incentives for all.

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Dec. 1-7

OPERATIONS Push to get all pending billing done so you are ready for the busy end-of-year holiday period.

MARKETING We trust flex spending reminders adorn all communications. But take it to a new level with a year-end sale to drive use. It’s a double savings! And a good way for you to get rid of some aging inventory.

Dec. 8-14

OPERATIONS Only two weeks to go until Christmas. If you offer extended hours, be sure to promote that on your website and social media channels.

WEBSITE Add a sign-up to your website for customers to receive news or promotions. Give all employees a personalized address for customer emails. Update the copyright on your site to 2020.

Dec. 15-21

SERVICE Refine your intake procedure for repairs. Are you giving accurate estimates on delivery times and not disappointing customers? Can you offer a “rush” fee? Are you taking digital photos during intake so clients can’t claim that you damaged them?

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Dec. 22-28

MANAGEMENT Before you close Christmas Eve thank every team member personally for their effort.

Dec. 29-Jan. 4

MANAGEMENT Need a big goal for 2020? Try reducing the number of insurance plans you accept. Then staff can focus on understanding the remaining policies and codes.

OPERATIONS The next few months are typically the coldest all year. Have a plan if severe weather interrupts business. Could you, for example, offer a 2 percent discount for every inch of snow that falls if customers brave conditions to come in?

Jan. 5-11

MANAGEMENT Start strategic planning by calculating the dollar value of every customer = average purchase in your business per year x 20 years. It should be a heck of a lot of money. Post it for everyone to see in the back room.

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MERCHANDISING What can you promote for Valentine’s Day gifts? Highlight these in email bulletins and catchy displays.

Jan. 12-18

OPERATIONS Investigate outsourcing medical billing. Explanation of benefits, actual billing and follow-up is often time consuming and takes time away from providing patient care.

Jan. 19-25

CUSTOMER SERVICE Use your EHR to find patients who have not responded to recall notices and are overdue. Call and ask how they are doing.

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Coming Up with Your 2020 Resolution and More New Year Events

And we’re calling for a return of National Opticians Day, who’s with us?

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DECEMBER

2 CIDER MONDAY! We like this date: It’s an invitation for shoppers to visit a real store and touch real products and be greeted with a warm cup of cider. First observed by Toadstool Bookshop in New Hampshire, it offers a delightful twist on Cyber Monday, which kicks off the online shopping season today … got a special on your website? You should.

31 2020 implies vision and clarity. It demands something bolder than usual when it comes to New Year hopes, dreams and resolutions. Our suggestion? A pledge to work on your ‘Leadership’ (strategic) skills not just your management (operational) skills. Build yourself a business, not a job.

JANUARY

1 20 years ago, January 1999 was celebrated in the U.S. as National Opticians Month. Sadly, it was a one-off but the struggle goes on. Amid a lack of official recognition, make sure the pivotal role your opticians play is explained on your site and practice materials. Many still need help seeing their value.

16 National Nothing Day was started 45 years ago to provide Americans with one day they didn’t have to celebrate anything. A better use for you: how can you leverage more “nothing days” to drive traffic and smooth out revenue between the big retail seasons.

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Come Up With 20 (New) Questions and More November Events

And we’ve got an idea for a social media post any independent ECP can do.

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28 Two hundred and thirty years ago, President George Washington created the first holiday by presidential declaration, ordering America to take a day off to give thanks for its many blessings. To get in the spirit of Thanksgiving and gratitude, send a goodie bag of lens cleaner, lens wipes, and a mini bottle of wine (Seeing Red!) or whatever you can imaginatively come up with, to your best 50 customers. It’s likely they provide an outsize contribution to your success.

19 Peter Drucker was born this day 110 years ago. Among his many contributions to the management field, perhaps his most important was his maxim that if you’re a manager, staying aware of what genuinely deserves your attention is the most crucial thing you can do. Mark his birthday by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you’re being brutally honest, you don’t have time for.

24 The quiz show Twenty Questions made its debut on national TV on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session to come up with 20 surefire questions to get your customers talking, other than “Can I help you?”

30 Small Business Saturday … Print up a T-shirt emblazoned with the Small Business Saturday logo. Take a picture of yourself wearing it. Post on social media.

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