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Manager's To-Do

Summertime and the Business is Easy … Well, If You Stay Active

Here’s what you need to do in July.

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SALES “I’ve got two daughters getting married this month. So, I just need to go sell some glasses and make sure there is lots of money in the account! — Cleve Barham,Fine Eyes, Ridgeland, MS

July 2-8

MANAGEMENT Summer means different things to different ECPs. If it’s slow for you, take the chance to fine-tune strategy: Work out a schedule to assess your goals, find new ways to automate operations, grow your network, plan inventory reductions, speed patient flow and so on.

MARKETING The back-to-school sales period is weeks away. Check product availability  and staffing. Check out the INVISION archives for our features on back-to-school sales in May this year and 2016: invmag.us/archives.

SALES With the mercury rapidly climbing, everyone’s mind is turning to taking a break. Make this month’s spiff a sales contest for an extra paid day off. Target a category most staff neglect such as colored contacts or performance eyewear.

July 9-15

EVENT PLANNING Now’s the time to start planning a fall trunk show.

WEBSITE Put together a “What’s New!” web page in anticipation of new arrivals from show orders.

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STORE Pick a remodeling job. Paint the optical, or change out the fluorescent light kits for a more modern lighting solution. See page 50 for more low-cost ideas.

MARKETING Hit your social media channels to remind any vacation-bound clients to pack a backup pair of contacts or glasses in their carry-on. You need to start educating them why it’s essential.

July 16-22

MARKETING Hire a pro to take photos of your store and team while everyone is sun kissed and glowing. These are valuable marketing tools you can use when meeting new vendors at trade shows, dealing with local press, or even entering your store in next year’s America’s Finest contest.

CLIENT RELATIONS Pick two or three things you want every customer to experience and talk to staff about how to expose clients to these areas.

OUTREACH Draw up a schedule to visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Prepare business cards so that clients can share them.

July 23-30

SERVICE It’s hot out there. Welcome customers into your store with a cool washcloth and a cold beverage.

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MANAGEMENT Review the services you offer with a focus on return on effort. If repairs or another service are draining resources for little reward, reconsider them.

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

Are Your Displays Peak Sun Season Ready? And More Manager’s To-Dos for June

And no time like the present of a little ‘Spring Cleaning.’

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June 3-8

MERCHANDISING Before we reach peak sunwear sales period, cast a critical eye over your displays. Do your best-selling brands have a clear prominence? Do your more fashion oriented names catch the eye? Is it clear you have something for everyone? If not get busy.

MARKETING Father’s Day (June 16) is almost here, so highlight a special sunwear and eyewear selection on your social media feeds or website. Each day, post your choices for a different dad type — Baseball Dad, Barbecue Dad, Sports Car Dad, Hipster Dad, etc.

June 10-15

WEBSITE What hours are you open? Do you accept insurance? What frame lines do you carry? Think of the top 10 reasons people call you and then get the information up on your website in the form of an easy to find FAQ page.

STORE Switch up the videos on your in-store monitors. For the next six weeks, drop the promotional videos and run something a little more summery and kid-oriented, preferably with a hero who wears glasses; Simon from the Chipmunks, The Princess Diaries, Emma Wiggle, even Superman’s Clark Kent, there are a ton of cool characters who sport funky eyewear.

June 17-22

EVENTS In a lifestyle center, strip mall or downtown location? Take the lead in organizing a community block party. Loads of fun and a great crowd generator.

ONLINE If you don’t know how visitors are interacting with your website or where they are coming from, it’s hard to devise an effective online strategy. Google Analytics is free and easy:  there is a great tutorial on the Google site and a bunch of YouTube “how to” videos that can help you understand how to use it. Make mastery of Analytics a summer priority!

June 24-29

MARKETING Has a customer ever asked you what your practice’s name is as she is writing a check? That’s a sign you need to boost name recognition. Start with a prominent but tasteful sign in your waiting room, and then check your other collateral (trays, doors, appointment cards, lens cloths, etc.). It’s hard for people to recommend your services if they can’t remember your name.

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

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Start a Campaign of Fear and More June Events

Plus, sometimes letting your business go to the dogs is a good thing.

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21 Ask any Washington insider and they’ll tell you the best way to start a campaign is with a solid base of fear. When it comes to the sunny months ahead — summer officially begins today — and people’s need to protect their eyes, there’s plenty to be scared about. Skipping shades contributes to AMD, pterygium, basal cell carcinoma, cataracts and more. Yet according to The Vision Council’s 2015 UV protection report, more than one-third of parents said their kids never wear sunglasses. Prep your inventory. Get social. Get out in your community. Instill fear.

1 Sales of audiobooks have surged over the last 15 years as smartphones made downloads as easy as a tap of the finger. During Audiobook Appreciation Month, do a Google search for “bestselling business audiobooks” and catch up on some of the great management advice that’s been published recently.

23 Dogs with faces only their owners could love gather at the Sonoma-Marin Fair for the World’s Ugliest Dog contest. Hold a similar competition. Ask your staff to vote on what they think is the most aesthetically challenged style in the store.

27 Happy Birthday to You turns 160. Send a singing telegram to any patient who shares a birthday with the world’s most sung song. Include a gift to be claimed in-store.

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Manager's To-Do

A Little Staff Research Project and More Manager’s To-Dos for May

A seasonal slowdown is often imminent for many of you, here are some business project suggestions to fill the time.

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May 5-11

MARKETING Send out Mother’s Day promotional email. Why shouldn’t Mom get new eyewear, sunwear, readers, computer glasses, LASIK or low-vision services this year? (Promise free gift-wrapping as well. Sons and husbands — and probably some daughters — would love the help with that!)

INVENTORY  Make this hot season a big one. Kick it off with “Pre-summer sales event” to show off all the new frames you scored at VEE.

May 12-18

OUTREACH  Farmers’ markets are a great way to get out in the community, meet new people, promote the eye health message and just get out of the store on a few weekends this summer. Investigate what it would take to get a stand.

SALES  Assign staff a research project to find talking points for their favorite brands, such as J.F. Rey’s carbon wood treatments or ic! Berlin’s screwless hinge. Ask them to come up with four bullet points for each brand that they can share at the next weekly meeting.

May 19-25

GENERAL  Print business cards for your team that include your office’s Facebook, Instagram, website, and other social media outlets. Hand one out any time you ask a satisfied customer for a referral.

OPERATIONS  Slow season is on the way for many ECPs. Start thinking about some minor “re-model” projects you could implement. An extra exam lane, revamp your website, spruce up the exterior.

May 26-June 1

MARKETING  Assemble “optical travel kits” that your clients can take with them as they head to the beach, lakes or mountains over the next few months. The kits could include inexpensive plano polarized suns with a soft case/cleaning cloth and spray, or for contact wearers, a travel lens case with a mirror.

PLANNING  If you typically take your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in late August this year? Who knows what your community’s eyecare needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present?

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