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Manager's To-Do

Start Stretching! Flex Spending Season is Almost Upon Us and More Manager’s To-Dos for November

Are you ready to make some money?

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Christine Howard of Attleboro Vision in Attleboro, MA.

What you’re doing this month: “We’re moving and that is taking up a lot of our thought processes and energy. We’re focusing on what we can do when we do open up our new spot in terms of our Grand Opening, rebranding ourselves a little bit, and working more with the community we’re in to remind them we are there to serve the city.” —  Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision, Attleboro, MA

Oct 29-Nov 4

OPERATIONS Fine-tune your schedules. HSA and FSA spending brings in a lot of revenue at this time of year and you want your doctors in for those extra hours, or at least squeezing in extra exams.

OPTOMETRIC Draft an action plan for those patients who have yet to show their faces this year, especially those with coverage or HSAs. Experiment with a direct mailer followed by phone calls.

MARKETING Create a “Holiday Gift Guide,” maybe with the trend-tracking advice from The Vision Council’s Eyecessorize.com blog. Include gift suggestions by gender, age group, and style (sophisticated, sporty, rugged, glam, etc.). Put it front and center on your website, at the top of all your holiday emails, on your reception area TV, and even on an iPad in your dispensary.

Nov 5-11

CIVIC DUTY Nov. 6 is Election Day. Make arrangements to ensure you and your staff have time to vote. 

MANAGEMENT November and December are big planning months. Set growth targets but focus on the actions that will achieve that growth.

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MARKETING Send “Save the Date” cards and e-mails for all events. 

Nov 12-18

STAFF You and your staff should start your own holiday shopping soon to get it out of the way. Have business cards for your store handy so you can hand them out to the people you meet.

MARKETING Invite some local bloggers in to come and play with your holiday inventory or learn about a recent technological advancement in vision. For inspiration, see what Zeiss did with The Girls With Glasses for their Digital Lens: invmag.us/101802.

Nov 19-25

ONLINE Holiday-season shopping begins this week as consumers start visiting the websites of favorite retailers. Update your site with seasonal elements, feature gift ideas and highlight your wish-list function.

MARKETING Read an article in a local publication extolling the joys of online retail? Be sure to get your side of the story across with a letter to the editor.

MARKETING Record a new message for your telephone to reflect the holiday season.

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Nov 26-Dec 2

DISPLAY Create and lay your first holiday display window. In a backroom, post a list of all inventory— to remind staff of what needs to move before the end of this year.

MARKETING As you potentially interact with the largest number of customers you’ll see in your store all year over the next month, pay staff $1 for every name and address they collect for your distribution list. E-mail addresses are a must.

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

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
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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?
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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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