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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

Crunch Those Year-End Numbers and More Manager’s To-Dos for February

And other tips for getting your inventory in top shape for Vision Expo

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Feb. 4-9

INVENTORY By now, sales reps should have year-end numbers showing how well each of their frame lines performed in 2018 after returns and any other post-sale factors. Ask for their data. With information on turn ratios, you can make comparisons with the performance of your own stock and plan your 2019 buying.
design “We’re looking at redesigning our office. It’s been about 9 or 10 years and we just want to keep it fresh. We’ve seen that if you display things correctly with the right cutting edge, it makes a huge difference.”

PROCEDURES Call a staff meeting and ask all employees for opinions on current procedures.

MERCHANDISING Valentine cards bring some seasonal life to your cases, boards or window displays. Better than the drugstore variety are those drawn by a child. Draft your kids — anyone’s kids — to create some Valentine’s Day cards, says display expert Larry Johnson.

Feb. 11-16

BUYING The Vision Council’s Eyecessorize campaign typically releases its Spring/Summer trend kit around now. Look for it on eyecessorize.com.

SEO Creating a ton of content on a company blog that Google can’t ignore may seem daunting, but it’s not so hard. Start with the 100 questions customers ask most and turn them into 100 blog posts with those questions as the titles. If you write two times per week, that’s a whole year’s worth of fresh content.

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BUYING Start your buying research for Vision Expo East (March 21-24). Stock up on fashion mags or start a private Pinterest wish list board.

Feb. 18-23

OPERATIONS It’s time to get your backroom organized. Purchase a small storage unit and go overboard with a label maker.

MARKETING Look into starting an email/text/voicemail program with a provider to enhance recall capture.

Feb. 25-Mar. 2

LIGHTING Bring in a consultant for a day. With his help, you may be able to replace tungsten halogen bulbs with LEDs and make other changes to add sparkle to your showroom. The savings will soon pay back the fee, says Ruth Mellergaard of interior design firm GRID/3.

SAFETY Buy a power-surge protector. A POS meltdown can be costly.

TRAINING Lifestyle questions create an opportunity to offer products ­— specifically second pairs — that will benefit customers doing the things where they spend their spare hours. They just need to be made aware. Pick up the tab on some coffees — we’re talking lifestyle after all — and invite staff to brainstorm ways to introduce outside interests into the sales conversation.

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Winter is Coming and More December and January Events

Who says glasses are just for summer?

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DECEMBER

21 We associate sunglasses with summer days, but WINTER poses the greater threat to the eye. Snow reflects nearly 80 percent of the sun’s rays. Beach sand? 15 percent. As you install a new seasonal display (think bare branches and cool whites and blues to avoid the Christmas schlock), get the word out – “Wear protection this winter!”


29 Today is TICK TOCK DAY . It means time is running out on 2018. It also might be the title of a bulletin to run in all your social media accounts to tell clients their annual flex-dollars will expire soon.

JANUARY

1 GLAUCOMA AWARENESS MONTH . You know the script: The best defense is … having routine, comprehensive eye exams. You can’t repeat the message enough. Speed the cure. Spread the word.

7 THE GOLDEN GLOBES kick off red carpet season and designer eyewear will once again take center stage. All hands to your social media handles!

8 On SHOW AND TELL DAY AT WORK give an assignment to your staff: Ask each one to pick their favorite frames in the store (at different price points) and at the next meeting explain what excites them about each and how they sell it. Share the passion — and the sales lines.

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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.

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).

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.

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