WEEK 1 / AUG. 1-5

MARKETING Organize your back-to-school campaign. List specials on your website by the end of this week; email your first promotion early next week.

ONLINE Clean up your digital presence by closing down old accounts. If you tend to use the same username, services such as namechk.com can help you track down your errant accounts.

WEEK 2 / AUG. 7-12

OPERATIONS Launch a “wow project” to add something special to every step of your sales process, from your greeting to check out. Ask your staff for examples of the best customer experiences they’ve ever had to get you started.

STRATEGY Holiday-season planning starts. Contact community organizations to get a feel for potential fundraisers or other ways you can help out. Make sure your mailing list is up to date, and begin thinking about this year’s holiday cards.

WEEK 3 / AUG. 15-19

MARKETING Start looking into gifts to hand out with receipts during the holidays. Mini bullet lip balms and store logo golf balls always go over well.

OPERATIONS Watch how customers move through your store. Take advantage of your customers’ natural instincts to strategically place cases and collections.

WEEK 4 / AUG.22-26

MARKETING Contact other local small businesses to see if they are interested in some reciprocal social media action via Pinterest. You could have boards like Coffee Shops We Love, Florists that Inspire Us and Bakers that Know Our Weakness.

WEEK 5 / AUG. 29-SEPT. 2

MARKETING Design a postcard for Grandparents’ Day (Sept. 11) with an offer inviting customers to your website for special promotions.

WEEK 6 / SEPT. 5-9

MANAGEMENT Develop a standardized gripe response formula. Be sure everyone on the team knows how to execute it perfectly.

STAFF It’s time for the second of your biannual employee reviews.

WEEK 7 / SEPT. 12-16

BUYING Vision Expo West starts Sept. 14. Encourage staff to build ties with trade publications at the show. Being featured in these magazines helps distinguish you from your competition and the relationships developed help you stay on top of what’s working for other retailers.

TEAM BUILDING Life isn’t all work, and a trade show shouldn’t be either. If you’ve brought other team members, why not take a day to hang out at the pool?

WEEK 8 / SEPT. 19-23

TRAINING Have the showgoers train the rest of your staff in what they learned when you return. A two- to three-page summary can pay huge dividends.

MERCHANDISING Are your windows working effectively to support your sales? Here is a good rule of thumb: If your store gets foot traffic, use small props; if it gets drive-by traffic, oversized props and graphics work best.

WEEK 9 / SEPT. 26-30

INTERNET Today’s customers demand a frustration-free experience on all their devices. Test your website on different devices using 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi connections.

MARKETING Opt to send “green” holiday greeting cards this year. Recycled paper, sugar-cane by product, soy ink ... that sort of thing.


“Manage online reviews better. Our internal reviews through Solution Reach are great; our only complainers seem to go to Yelp and Google. We need to better control that.” — Dr. Joseph Smay, Family Eye Care, Pittsburgh, PA

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


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