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Manager's To-Do

Make Your Holidays Rock and More To-Dos for December and January

Make it a rule: Everyone must greet each other with a cheery “Happy Holidays!”

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Dec 4-9

STAFF The last month of the year is one of the busiest. No better time to work on cross training. Shake up your roster, pick mentors/mentees and benefit from disruption.

MARKETING Prepare an offer for clients who make their first purchase this month — perhaps a voucher to get them back in. (Expiration dates encourage action.)

Dec 11-16

MEDIA Pitch a story to local media about how people can use flex dollars for eyecare and prescription eyewear in December and any January grace period they may have.

MARKETING Post a daily gift idea online. On Instagram, photos of daily best-sellers; on FB, a reminder: “Time flies, benefits end soon.”

Dec 18-23

IN-STORE Double-check every inch of case and window glass is sparkling. Don’t let smudges plant seeds of doubt in customers’ minds.

CUSTOMER SERVICE Make it a rule: Everyone must greet each other with a cheery “Happy Holidays!” each day. When all is said and done, you sell relief, and the staff’s good mood determines much of your success.

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Dec 25-30 

INVENTORY It’s time for that semi-annual frame inventory. Figure out what products failed to live up to expectations in terms of ROI.

DECORATIONS Did you see an adorable reindeer lawn ornament but didn’t want to splurge? The weeks after the holiday are an ideal time to buy next year’s decorations.

2018

Jan 1-6

DATABASE Enter all that customer data you collected in the last few weeks. 

STRATEGY Organize a staff retreat to review peak season sales. Go over your flex-dollar sales, marketing campaigns, the competition’s efforts. What did you learn?

STAFF Take them for a bite to eat and talk one-on-one about their year. Ask them: What do you need from me this year? How’s your life? People most often just want a chance to be effective.

Jan 8-13

FINANCES Get an early start on your taxes. On average, small-business owners spend more than 40 hours filing their federal taxes every year. Account for items lost to theft, disappearance or damage. They may be tax deductible.

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OPERATIONS Create a new on-hold message touting your brand, specials.

Jan 15-20

SALES Develop a question checklist to sell additional eyewear to customers: Do you play sports? How much “screen time” do you get?

BUYING Vision Expo East gets closer every week. Prepare to be organized and professional in front of your vendors. Set up appointments — don’t just “swing by.” Get numbers so you can contact them at the show.

Jan 22-27

MARKETING Spring is health fair season. These events are a proven way to drive new traffic to your office, be it those with the same coverage or just within your market. What’s planned in your area?

HUMAN RESOURCES Study 401(k) programs for yourself and your employees. (One of the best ways around to keep staff long-term.)

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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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Manager's To-Do

Figure Out Your ‘Hot Summer Offer’ and More Manager’s To-Dos for April

Also, the power of turning off notifications and developing a team ‘elevator pitch.’

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Mar. 29-April 4

MERCHANDISING Time to freshen things up: when displaying your product, use trendy color accents (Pantone is a good guide) in boards and cases that can be changed quarterly. “Your inventory may not all be new, but by changing the presentation you can keep it looking fresh,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer.

STAFF Encourage your technicians to get AOA certification and start studying now for the May test dates. (April 1 is the late registration deadline for May.)

MARKETING What will your “Hot Summer Offer” in 2020 be?

April 5-11

COMMUNITY OUTREACH There’s no escaping politics, so you might as well get involved. Look for community events to participate in, see what your Chamber of Commerce has planned, and introduce yourself to your local officials. If they want to stay elected, they’ll make time to meet a local, independent business owner.

EDUCATION Grab the notes you took at those educational sessions at VEE and start implementing some of the ideas.

April 12-18

MARKETING Call a brainstorming meeting for Mother’s Day (May 10). Dad and child evening? Mom and daughter event? Cross promotion with a spa? Bring a list of ideas to the meeting.

MANAGEMENT Having trouble sleeping? This probably won’t help, but it’s instructive nonetheless: Every Amazon shareholder letter written by Jeff Bezos in a single downloadable PDF (invisionmag.com/032001). The letters highlight how prescient and strategic he and Amazon have been since the 1990s and where he envisions retail in the future.

April 19-25

NETWORKING Contact a church, synagogue, Rotary or women’s group in your area, especially those involved with older demographics. Tell them you’ll speak for free about vision and eyewear at their luncheon meetings.

OPERATIONS Call a meeting to review HIPAA, OSHA and safety protocols. End with a quiz.

April 26-May 1

MARKETING What is your “elevator script”? Don’t have one? All staff should be able to give a “knock-your-socks-off” one-sentence description of what they do for a living, and where they do it, when asked by a stranger.

STORE ENVIRONMENT Take a moment to evaluate your office’s restrooms. Are they in need of a fresh coat of paint, new faucet, or updated artwork? Patients pay attention to these details!

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Calendar

Celebrating ‘Old Eye’ and More April Events

Also, dates dedicated to singing and accessing your goals year-to-date.

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15 “Would you like fries with that?” makes McDonald’s millions of dollars every year and there is much to learn about the art of upselling from the world’s biggest burger chain, which opened its first location in Des Plaines, IL, on this day in 1955. The most important is: Don’t suggest add-ons just for profit or to get rid of inventory. Instead, determine which products go well together (general rule: don’t go higher than 25 percent for the second item), and have your selling points prepared. If you can identify the perceived value, customers will be more likely to see it too.

1 There’s no way to prevent it. There’s no cure. Unaddressed it makes going to a restaurant hard. Yes, we’re talking about presbyopia, which sounds like a disease but isn’t. And that’s where PRESBYOPIA AWARENESS MONTH comes in. There are so many misconceptions about “old eye.” Do your bit to spread awareness and options.

9 Today is THE 100TH DAY OF THE YEAR — an excellent time to do a self-assessment of your progress so far. Dig out your journal entries or meeting notes from the start of the year and review how you are progressing towards the goals you’ve set for yourself.

19 So you’re no Beyoncé. Don’t let that stop you. Organizers of NATIONAL KARAOKE WEEK claim singing to synthetic tunes in public increases self-esteem, relieves stress and, when done with the staff, improves bonding.

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Manager's To-Do

Working from Home is the New Productivity Hack and More Manager’s To-Dos for May

Plus, those tax refunds are starting to hit people’s bank accounts, start reeling that ‘found money’ in.

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May 3-9

PLANNING May and June are slower months for many vision businesses, use it to plan. By now you’ve also got a good idea how the year is going, notes Vlad Cordero of Focus Eye Care in Hackensack, NJ, allowing you to “pivot if necessary or double down if something we did is paying dividends.” If you can, get away for a brainstorming weekend.

DISPLAYS Reel in those tax refunds: Create a display of fashion frames that fall in the $150 to $300 range. That’s close to the sweet spot for tempting people. “Having something exciting for summer and their new ‘found money’ works,” says Dianna Finisecy of Wagner Opticians in Washington, DC.

May 10-16

CLIENT SERVICE Run an EMR report on patients who have significant diagnoses, like glaucoma, and audit their appointment histories. If they have dropped out of regular care, a personal call from the doctor can reinforce the importance of monitoring.

FINANCES Maybe your fixed costs aren’t as fixed as you think. Analyze every contract — from the company that supplies the water cooler to your neighborhood banker — and look for places where you can curb costs. Lease coming up? Keep an eye on traffic. It’s a good figure to wield in negotiations with your landlord.

May 17-23

MANAGEMENT If you’ve got a backlog of admin work that’s built up, consider taking a work from home day. “You’ll be more comfortable and not have to worry about dispenses/other optician things, so you can really focus,” says Heather Harrington of Elevated Eyecare in Denver, CO.

ONLINE Know who’s visiting your Google Business page and what they are doing through the Insights tab. Create an Excel sheet and begin recording the data for the key metrics every month. You can sign up for
a monthly email from Google that will provide these Insights for you if you need a reminder.

May 24-30

MARKETING Back to school is just around the corner. Find out what is going to be the big back-to-school seller this year. Start your marketing early so you also reach those college kids before they leave this year.

PREPAREDNESS Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30. A generator is a wise investment if you live in an area prone to wild weather of any kind.

INVENTORY If your space is small, every inch matters. Identify your worst sellers and give them da boot.

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