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Manager's To-Do

One Quick Way to Be a Better Boss in 2018 … and More To-Dos for February

Win hearts and minds by remembering your team members’ important days.

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Start planning now so you won’t forget to celebrate any employee birthdays in 2018.

Jan. 29-Feb. 3

FINANCES Ask your bank if it offers payroll assistance. Many provide a service allowing you to log on to their website and enter your workers’ hours. The bank then makes a direct deposit into employees’ checking accounts as well as paying your federal and state withholding taxes.

STRATEGY Time for a strategic review. Look at what competitors are doing and learn from the good and the bad. Visit stores and websites, subscribe to newsletters, and have a staff member save their ads in a file. This will keep you up to date on trends, where your market is moving, and what others are advertising, discounting, and featuring. It’ll help you identify where to compete and how to differentiate your store.

STAFF  Pledge to be a better boss in 2018. Add your employees’ birthdays to our “ultimate calendar” in this issue. (Any gifts or similar gestures will win hearts and minds.)

Feb. 5-10

DISPLAY Starting with your Valentine’s Day displays, keep a record of your cases from now on. Take a photo of each display case the first of the month. This history will let you know what every holiday in 2018 looked like when it comes around in 2019.

MANAGEMENT There’s no one correct way to arrange a profit-and-loss statement. Ask your accountant to arrange the information so you can tell instantly what went right (or wrong) the previous month.

Feb 12-Feb. 17

MERCHANDISING Schedule a meeting with staff to discuss merchandising. Brainstorm buying strategies that will enable you to achieve your 2018 goals (do you want to attract more Millennials? Expand your kid’s offerings? Increase sales of blue light blocking lenses?)

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STORE Visit online florists to see if they’ve got stock left over from Valentine’s. 

Feb 19-Feb. 24

MERCHANDISING Create a display of sunglass or fashion frames that fall into the $100 to $500 range and promote it to attract those tax return dollars. Most households are expected to spend in the range of $100 to $300 (the sweet spot for popular sunwear).

TECHNOLOGY Google your store’s name. If you have to scroll down to find your website, you’ve got work to do. First, reply to any positive reviews on Yelp or Google. Then, consider a blog or a Twitter or Instagram feed that updates to your website to increase activity.

SALES Create “repair moments.” Don’t just hand items back; present them in a beautiful store-branded case and/or cleaning cloth.

Feb 26-Mar. 3

INVENTORY Get your frame boards cleaned up and sorted for the upcomg buying season.

BUYING Vision Expo East starts March 15 (education) and March 16 (the exhibition) at New York’s Javits Center. Start planning and appointment making now.

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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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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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Honor Those Older Americans and More May Events

Including a week dedicated to pet and the people who love them … in glasses.

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10 Mothers are key gatekeepers when it comes to the family’s vision health. Celebrate that fact this MOTHER’S DAY with a “mother-daughter” event. Cross-promote with a local salon or spa. Have attendees vote on the mother and daughter who look most alike. It’s easier when they are wearing lookalike frames.

1 OLDER AMERICANS MONTH. These are your people. Get involved.

3 NATIONAL PET WEEK. Post a different photo of a pet in sunglasses on your Facebook and Instagram page. Really. They aren’t very hard to find.

13 They are your first impression and your first line of defense. This year, how about a few days before RECEPTIONISTS DAY you promote gift certificates for computer lenses? Bleary-eyed receptionists everywhere will thank you.

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