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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 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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Calendar

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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