Here's our list of business-boosting activities for you to engage in next month.
July 31-August 5
MARKETING Draw up a schedule to network with school nurses and all the pediatricians in your area. Yes, we hear that morning bell announcing the start of a new school year.
INVENTORY Vision Expo West is in six weeks. Look at sales, margins, and product quality and determine which manufacturers and brands stay and which go, as well as holes you need to fill. Data is your friend. Your gut? Not so much.
INVENTORY eBay shoppers start buying much earlier than other consumers. It’s a good channel if you want to clear board space before the real holiday-season action starts.
STAFF It’s time for the second of your twice-yearly employee reviews. Fall evaluations give your team time to improve ahead of an important selling season. This can also be a good time to plan employee compensation. Hit the books.
ONLINE In the era of local search, you need to settle on one name for your business. Is it “Jeff and Jane Optical LLC,” “J&J Optical” or some other variant? Inconsistency confuses search engines and your rankings suffer.
MERCHANDISING P.O.P. has its place, but too much of it — especially in your exam area — can take the focus off your commitment to vision care. Declutter now.
INTERNET Need a tech project? Learn how to integrate the tools on Google Docs so you can share store information (training tips, store manual, rosters) among staff.
August 28-September 2
MARKETING The summer selling period is starting to lose momentum. Evaluate your sunwear lines and plan an end-of-season sale.
DISPLAY Labor Day (Sept. 4) is the unofficial end of summer, so change that old window display. In fact, make a commitment to change your window once a month or at least every season.
MARKETING Draft an email campaign schedule. Promotional emails can boost revenue on any day — not just the major holiday shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday — if the offer is good and well timed.
BUYING Vision Expo West starts Sept. 13. It’s great to pre-plan, but leave some time free. It’s on the edges of the show that you’re likely to find the funkier lines and develop relationships with their owners.
BUYING A project for the flight home: Develop a product-launch plan and schedule training sessions to ensure the successful sell-through of the new lines you’ve just ordered.
MERCHANDISING Plan for at least one trunk show in the last quarter: a ladies’ night or Black Friday … Even if you’ve had success with such events, shake up your routine a little. You never want to get stale.
RESEARCH Give a staff member $50 and ask them to browse opticals in your wider market. Come holiday season, you don’t want to offer the same merchandise as every other store in a 20-mile radius.
This article originally appeared in the July-August 2017 edition of INVISION.
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