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

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Channel Your Inner Pamela Anderson and More April Events

It’s a month devoted to administrators and women and we have some ideas to help you celebrate.

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23 A HUGE date in history. Not only is it the 30th anniversary of the premiere of the most watched TV show ever – Baywatch – but it’s also the date on which both Miguel de Cervantes (author of the second-most-read book in history, Don Quixote) and William Shakespeare (author of several notable titles) died (1605, 1616 respectively). If you can tie together red bathing suits, tilting at windmills and midsummer nights in a marketing campaign, you also deserve to go down in history.

1 WOMEN’S EYE HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH. According to Prevent Blindness, women make up 63 percent of the blind and 62 percent of the visually impaired. This month, get involved in the effort to educate women about the special risks they face.

22 EARTH DAY. Look into carrying more products that “give back.” Lucky for you we’ll have an entire feature devoted to Eco-Friendly frames in our April issue. Stay tuned if you need pointers.

25 Google “secretary” and you’ll get an image of a woman wearing glasses. It’s a tacky stereotype with a kernel of truth in it — many office workers wear glasses. On ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY give thought to what special corporate package you could offer that office park around the corner.

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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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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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