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Manager's To-Do

Monitor Your Online Reputation and More Manager’s To-Dos for May

Start by setting up Google Alerts for your business name.

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April 30-May 5

PLANNING Now’s the time to prepare for summer. Meet with staff to map out a strategy for sunwear and back-to-school. Sidewalk tent? Open house? What about targeting a niche like departing college kids?

INVENTORY Nytarsha Thomas of Visionelle Eyecare in Zionville, IL says she’ll “Re-evaluate how our frame lines are doing. We would love to have more independent frame lines.”

BRAND AWARENESS Someone, somewhere is talking about your business online. To keep track, set up Google Alerts for your business name (put quotation marks around names for the best results). For the result type, click on “Everything” to be notified when your store is mentioned on blogs and discussion sites.

DISPLAYS Position your best Mother’s Day (May 13) specials in a showcase just inside the front door. Offer a wide range of price points but simplify the selection process by highlighting a few classics or current trends.

May  7-12

WEBSITE Does the “About Us” section on your site include only lists and categories? Is the information purely factual or are you using stories to help illustrate who you are? The best marketing writing is written to be said, not to be read.

MERCHANDISING Reel in the tax rebates: Create a display of eyewear that falls into the $100 to $300 range and promote it. That’s close to the sweet spot for branded sunwear.

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May  14-19

SAFETY Here’s something small you can do today that may save lives in the future. Ask your employees to designate ICE (“In Case of Emergency”) numbers in their mobiles.

EVENTS Finalize plans for summer trunk shows. Confirm dates with vendors. Plan your catering now for discounts.

May  21-26

FINANCES Business coach Laurie Owen recommends giving your profit-and-loss statement a spring makeover. Consolidate some expenses and group them into like categories. Then, next to the dollar amount, list the expense amount as a percentage of sales. “It helps you see when an expense is increasing as a percentage, and not just going up because your sales are increasing.”

INVENTORY Ever tried a “Christmas in July” promotion? Maybe this could be the year.

MARKETING Send your first Father’s Day (June 17) postcard this week.

May  28-June 2

MANAGEMENT Start thinking summer reading. Set yourself a target of reading a business book a month for the next quarter. Some of our favorites from the past few years: The Captain Class by Sam Walker, If You’re In A Dogfight, Become A Cat by Leonard Sherman, and Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal.

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Manager's To-Do

Become a Party Animal and More Manager’s To-Dos for October

And do you have a local professional photographer on speed dial yet? There are so many ways they one can benefit your business.

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Sept. 29-Oct. 5

MARKETING Hire a professional photographer to capture your eyewear in an artistic light. Then use for your gift guides, website and social media accounts.

INTERNET What would it take to sell digital gift cards directly from your website? True, it’s the kind of gift someone buys at 3pm on Dec. 24, but start researching now.

Podcast: Why Optical (and Especially Optical Retail) Is Lagging Behind Other Industries
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: Why Optical (and Especially Optical Retail) Is Lagging Behind Other Industries

Podcast: What the Heck is Marketing? And What Should ECPs Focus on to Attract New Clients?
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: What the Heck is Marketing? And What Should ECPs Focus on to Attract New Clients?

Podcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team

Oct. 6-12

MERCHANDISING Add the feeling of luxury with some fashionable dispensing trays. Ditch that dreary, scuffed old plastic number you’ve been using.

MANAGEMENT Get an outside view of your business. Hire a secret shopper to call or visit your store and report back on how he is treated.

HALLOWEEN Trick or treat! If you don’t have plans, look to see what the neighborhood merchant association is planning.

Oct. 13-19

NETWORKING Check your stock of business cards. What compelling offers do these little billboards make? For ideas, check out Benchmarks (page 76).

OPERATIONS The days shorten and the dim shadows of winter darken every corner. Check to make sure your lighting is consistent and bright.

MARKETING Add a personal touch to your referral game. Mail a hand-written thank-you note along with referral cards to your entire mailing list. People want to help spread the word about a service they trust.

Oct. 20-26

MARKETING Prepare recommendations for a holiday gift guide that can sit on your website.

SOCIAL MEDIA Go through your pages — Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest — and make sure they’re up to date. Holiday shoppers don’t want to see 2018 product.

Oct. 27-Nov. 2

PERSONAL Now’s the time to get your own holiday shopping done.

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT Set up an iPad with a “Thank You Board” to attract nice reviews.

DISPLAY Collateral materials cluttering your showcases? Buy a display unit that stores it all for opticians to present to customers.

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The Internet is Middle Aged and More October Events

And beware those household chemicals; the entire month 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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Manager's To-Do

Not on Instagram Yet? It’s Time and More Manager’s To-Dos for August and September

Plus call a meeting of your fun committee and a simple and inexpensive way to protect your business.

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July 28-Aug. 3

BACK TO SCHOOL Reach out to local schools to encourage teachers to check their students for signs they might need glasses. Supply posters for school nurses and bundle in vouchers for free pairs for students in need.

Aug. 4-10

SOCIAL MEDIA Sign up for a business Instagram account. Spending 5 mins a day scrolling through your favorite eyewear designers and fellow retailers is time well spent. Thrill your patients by featuring them in their new glasses.

Podcast: Why Optical (and Especially Optical Retail) Is Lagging Behind Other Industries
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: Why Optical (and Especially Optical Retail) Is Lagging Behind Other Industries

Podcast: What the Heck is Marketing? And What Should ECPs Focus on to Attract New Clients?
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: What the Heck is Marketing? And What Should ECPs Focus on to Attract New Clients?

Podcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team

Aug. 11-17

CUSTOMER RELATIONS Install a display in your waiting room featuring professionally shot photographs of all staff members wearing their favorite frames. Your customers will love it and it will help them get to know your staff better.

Aug. 18-24

MARKETING Check with your lab to see if they offer discounts on second-pair pricing that you can pass along to your patients. Then communicate the offer – say, “All additional pairs of lenses (meaning blue light, suns, back-ups, reading glasses) purchased within 30 days are 50 percent off.” It’s win-win-win.

Aug. 25-31

OPERATIONS Ever had a student extern? Reach out to local colleges to see what’s involved. It’s a great learning experience for you both and the student can help provide an improved experience for your patients.

Sept. 1-7

MARKETING Media outlets from newspapers to blogs prepare gift guides to help readers with holiday ideas. Find out the deadline for these guides — for magazines it can be four months out or more — and start pitching some unique suggestions. The editorial calendars for most trade and regional magazines can be found on their websites.

Sept. 8-14

OPERATIONS Power surges happen more frequently than thought. Surge protection devices are simple and inexpensive.

LOCATION Have you tried searching for your practice using a GPS app such as Google or Apple Maps? Sometimes there is a problem with these services so test them out occasionally.

Sept. 15-21

STAFFING Don’t hire and train in October to get ready for Christmas, says sales trainer Shane Decker. Hire support and sales staff now. If it’s part-timers, start with a few hours a week to ensure they are up to speed when the holidays arrive.

Sept. 22-28

OPERATIONS For the last quarter, call a meeting of your fun committee: What ideas do they have to add a little light-heartedness to your practice.

BUYING Back Home from Vegas? Don’t wait too long before you draft a product launch plan and schedule training sessions to ensure the successful sell-through of the exciting new lines you’ve just ordered at VEW.

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