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Manager's To-Do

Start the Year Right and More Manager’s To-Dos for December and January

End 2018 right, and start 2019 strong with this month’s to-do list.

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Dec 3-9

INVENTORY Be sure to promote your store’s gift cards this month. One idea to make it easier: Add 10 to 20 percent cash value to any gift card you sell.

MANAGEMENT Holding an end-of-season staff party? Consider teaming up with a neighboring business.

Dec 10-16

OPERATIONS When the holidays are at their most hectic, a bathroom can offer refuge. Get your restroom in the holiday mood with a few extra touches: greenery, holiday towels and a scent diffuser.

DISPLAYS In a mall or downtown location? Tweak your window displays daily. it sends the message you have a wide range of merchandise that is moving quickly.

Dec 17-23

MARKETING It’s a week until Christmas — send a holiday email blast with sure-thing gift ideas. Feature exclusive deals to make your special clients really feel special.

GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every bag handed to customers.

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Dec 24-30

INVENTORY It’s time for that dreaded semi-annual frame inventory. Figure out which inventory failed to live up to expectations in terms of ROI and must go.

CUSTOMER RELATIONS Draft your end-of-year thank-you notes to customers and referrers and mail them as you complete each batch.

Dec 31-Jan 6

MARKETING A New Year resolution for 2019: Get out more to make yourself and your business more visible in the community.

STRATEGY Review how your advertising performed and create a plan for 2019. Is it time to find a new agent, try a new channel or target a new demographic? Be sure to try at least one marketing experiment in the new year.

Jan 7-13

STRATEGY If you typically set long-term business goals by quarter, month, week, etc., try something different this year: six-week project goals. Get everyone focused and working toward a goal that is almost tangible.

MARKETING Begin planning your 2019 marketing calendar (it should include social media campaigns, trunk shows, sales). See INVISION’s archives for inspiration (invmag.us/archives).

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Jan 14-20

STAFF Get systematic about training. Start with the way you onboard new people; see that they are trained properly and have written procedures.

WEBSITE Check your website to ensure it reflects new achievements, volunteer efforts, published articles or new accreditations. This is not the place for modesty; post anything that will enhance your image or inform patients or peers of your capabilities.

Jan 21-27

MANAGEMENT Problems don’t fester if they are brought into the open soon enough. Set aside an hour a month for a practitioners’ meeting to discuss day-to-day issues. For strategic issues, set aside a day for quarterly or annual planning sessions. The staff should also have regular meetings to discuss their issues, with doctors attending on a periodic basis. Strive for an environment in which colleagues can disagree and commit to resolution.

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
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

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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