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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 editor@invisionmag.com.

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Manager's To-Do

Schedule, Schedule, Schedule and More Manager’s To-Dos for November

Plus a reader tip for how she get this things done in a day.

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Nov. 3-9

LAYOUT Do a quick test of your store’s circulation. Look out for pathway dead-ends and store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. Fixtures that restrict visibility through the space kill the “spirit” of a store and the impulse to buy.

MANAGEMENT Novemburrrrrr! Winter is on the way and with it, flu season. Recommend staff members get a flu shot, on company time if need be.

MARKETING Prepare an editorial calendar for your blog and other social media channels. Aim to post something new every day, be it a blog, Facebook comment or new video. It will all help increase your main website’s SEO at the time of year when people are scouring the Internet for gifts and gift ideas.

Nov. 10-16

MARKETING It’s high season for functions. Accept all invitations to parties, Chamber of Commerce events, neighborhood fundraisers, open houses and mixers. Check your stock of business cards. Volunteer to be a speaker to talk about what your business has to offer.

ONLINE Mobile devices are expected to drive about 70 percent of all Christmas related retail traffic this year. Test your website and any apps to ensure the customer experience on tablets and phones is working as well as on desktops. It often doesn’t.

Nov. 17-23

MARKETING Post your advertising schedule in the back room. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what promotions will run when.

IN-STORE Investigate what it would take to allow prospective patients to take a virtual tour of your store or practice. Google provides a list of “trusted pro” photographers in your local area as part of its efforts to promote Street View. See here: www.google.com/streetview/contacts-tools.

Nov. 24-30

MARKETING Your Flex Dollars are expiring! Your flex dollars are expiring! Yes, this is how simple (and how loud) your message to customers should be over the next two weeks. Add a daily countdown graphic to your website.

OPERATIONS Done well, meetings ensure everyone is on the same page, not just with store policy, but with promotions, inventory and equipment. Why not invite a vendor in to lead a weekly meeting with a focus on getting the most out of those fancy tools you’ve installed?

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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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The Internet is Middle Aged and More October Events

And beware those household chemicals; the entire month is dedicated to eye safety at home.

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1-31 From flying leaf blower debris to splashed household cleaners, the average American home is a leading contributor to the 2.5 million eye injuries that occur each year. During Home Eye Safety Awareness Month, do your bit to educate patients on the potential perils and preventative actions they should be taking … starting with protective eyewear. Also, check your homepage has emergency contact information clearly displayed.

01 You know the arguments well by now: “Don’t do co-op advertising because you’re spending good ad dollars building up somebody else’s brand,” countered by, “It’s a brand age — the big names bring in the dollars and foot traffic and you should jump on those coattails.” At the start of Co-Op Awareness Month, when the holiday-season offers begin pouring in, weigh the pros and cons.

09 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in glasses. On National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day, feature a few bespectacled teddies in your cases.

29 Think the Internet is a fairly recent invention? It turns 50 today. Yes, it’s middle aged and bloated, but it still gets better every year. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure, sit down today and map out a more aggressive online strategy. The future is not waiting for you.

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