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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 21 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Manager's To-Do

Take a Team Lab Tour Field Trip and More Manager’s To-Dos for March

Plus spring allergy season is nigh and we see a marketing opportunity.

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Mar. 31-Apr. 6

MERCHANDISING New stock headed your way? Develop a product launch plan, or schedule training sessions to ensure the successful sell-through of the styles ordered at VEE.

MARKETING Spring is here along with allergy season. Sniffles aside it’s a great time to boost your daily contact lens business. Offer them as an add-on or as the central part of another marketing push. Talk to your suppliers as well — they often roll out rebates in the middle of the year.

Apr. 7-13

OPERATIONS Book a lab tour. Get in touch with your favorite provider and see if you can bring the staff around for a visit.

INVENTORY Start your Mother’s Day (May 12) preparations by going through last year’s data. Compare popular price points with what you have in stock now.

Apr. 14-20

MARKETING Launch “Project Big Shot.” Start contacting local personalities: newscasters, society figures, sports people, to see if they are interested in promoting your sunwear ahead of summer. The deal: Free eyewear that you’ll style them in with cutting-edge shapes and colors.
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Apr. 21-27

FINANCIALS Review your cash-flow projections. With the economy in something of a state of flux, it’s easy to run into a mismatch between the cash coming in, what you’re taking out, and what you owe your vendors.

SALES TRAINING Selling by face-shape: Brush up your guides for identifying flattering frames in inventory for those with square, diamond, oval, round and heart-shaped faces.

Apr. 28-May 4

INVENTORY  Finalize Father’s Day orders. Dad’s big day arrives just as men start thinking of fish-filled waters, a glorious drive down the 17th fairway or catching those beach rays from behind a pair of fine sunnies.

SALES Set up what sales trainer Shane Decker calls T.O. teams. When you see two people who work well together, schedule them together.

STAFF Ask employees for their summer vacation requests. And block your vacation time as well.

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Calendar

Banish Winter Blues by Going Green and More March Events

Don’t miss these important dates.

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17 Banish snakes? You can do better: Banish the winter blues. St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect date to raise a toast and bid the cold months farewell. Lay out some green drinks (kombucha, green tea, anything but beer), green foods and give prominent display to any green tinted or environmentally friendly frames. Everyone loves a party … and it’s really not so hard being green.

6 Dentists, celebrated today on Dentist’s Day, and doctors (who are honored on Mar. 30) are great customers and even better referral sources. Reach out to both groups to express your thanks with a card, phone call or flowers.

10 Daylight Savings … Invite your customers to inspect your latest frames during your “Great Leap into Spring Fashion” celebration with special daylight “savings.” Today only!

23 Thirty years ago we all nearly died. A huge asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth — a very close call according to NASA. Luckily, we survived and Near Miss Day was born. In thanks, dig up one of your business’ recent “near misses” and conduct an autopsy. In your next morning meeting, debate what may have saved the sale. A lower price? More questions? Bruce Willis?

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Manager's To-Do

Helping Staff Help You and More Manager’s To-Dos for March

Plus tips for making the most of the upcoming Vision Expo.

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Mar. 4-9

BUYING Start your prep for Vision Expo East (Mar 22-24) by plotting out your class schedule. Leave large blocks of time between classes for meetings with reps, beginning with those of lines you don’t currently carry.

FINANCE April 15, a.k.a. Tax Day, will be here before we know it. This one promises to be a particularly busy one as businesses make adjustments to reflect last year’s new rules and deductions, let alone the chaos caused by the shutdown.

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

Podcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team

Podcast: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Podcast: Try Not to Blink Talks About the Business of Cannabis, and Its Role in Modern Healthcare
Try Not to Blink

Podcast: Try Not to Blink Talks About the Business of Cannabis, and Its Role in Modern Healthcare

Mar. 11-16

OPERATIONS Even a simple reconfiguration of space can reduce the time employees spend handing off files and make their work easier and more productive. And often the best place to start the search for greater efficiency is with the staff themselves; they know where time and resources are being wasted. Be sure to ask them for their input at the next weekly meeting.

TECHNOLOGY Brands have probably never been more powerful and even if you don’t carry them, or begrudge that power, you need to ensure your SEO terms cater to anyone in your market needing “adjustments,” “repairs,” “emergency services” or upgrades for their “Ray-Ban,” “Oakley,” or “Maui Jim” frames.

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Mar. 18-23

MERCHANDISING Do you know your store’s merchandising hot spots – the places where frames sell best? Are the frames with the best margins in those positions? The impact of getting the alignment right can be dramatic, says Mick Kling, OD, winner of our 2017 America’s Finest Optical Retailer. If you’re not sure, get busy!

INTERIOR DESIGN Some recent studies found workers who glimpse a tree or two are happier and more productive; in one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a wall out to provide a view, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

Mar. 25-30

MARKETING Make contact with other small businesses to see if they are interested in some reciprocal social media action via Instagram Highlights like Florists That Inspire Us and Drool-Worthy Bakers.

STAFF Losing a key staff member can cause chaos if nobody has been trained to take over their tasks. Assign back-ups and roll out a schedule for learning all those mundane but crucial jobs like ordering supplies, invoicing, calibrating the tracer … and so on.

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