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Manager's To-Do

Take a Break! … and More Manager’s To-Dos for March

Try to grab a long weekend to recharge.

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March 5-10

OPERATIONS The year is gathering pace and those small operational adjustments you made in January should be starting to stick. Always document best processes as they emerge as well as common errors to save employees time troubleshooting later.

planning Jenna Gilberston of McCulley Optix Gallery in Fargo, ND says this month it’s “Probably time to look at all of our patient forms again. Plan a staff retreat day. Plan the 2018 event schedule … and that might just be in the first month of the year! First six months … always looking at better technology solutions, including a new email program for our office.”

STRATEGY Set times to meet with your advisers — your lawyer, accountant, banker, consultants and especially if you haven’t done it yet, your tax pro. Review the state of the company and take advantage of your changing tax obligations.

EDUCATION If you send staff to Vision Expo East (starts March 15), ask them to each pick a course they particularly enjoy and plan to recreate it for the rest of your staff.

March 12-17

OPERATIONS EMR/PM systems have undergone some big changes of late with features such as iPad sign-ins that encourage customers to update their demographic and medical histories, e-signature pads and so on. But in many cases the technology has outpaced the implementation. If you have yet to fully integrate the features in your practice, make it your big to-do item of the month.

MARKETING Start plotting a trunk show for summer.

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TECHNOLOGY Does the name of your network promote your services, as in “best-eye-doc-in-town”? It should. 

March 19-24

MAINTENANCE Schedule a tune-up of your A/C. Maintenance now will save you money come summer.

MARKETING Send a spring promotional e-mail highlighting your fashion frames. Longer, sunnier days are right around the corner. 

SALES FLOOR Step outside your store and assess how staff interact with customers. Research suggests words account for only around 7 percent of communication. What kinds of things are your sales staff communicating with their body language?

March 26-31

ONLINE The FCC’s recent Net neutrality ruling introduced a lot of uncertainty for small business with regards to how their online operations might be affected. Visitors to your site won’t have patience if pages don’t open quickly. Check your download speed with one of the sites recommended here: invmag.us/021802.

OPERATIONS Create an employee suggestion box but add a twist — they have just 30 days to suggest ideas to make your business and their working lives better.

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EDUCATION Take out your notes from all those education courses during Vision Expo East and start implementing the great ideas you learned.

GENERAL March is a good month to catch your breath. You’ve likely been working non-stop since the holidays. Try to grab a long weekend to recharge.

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

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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Calendar

Build a Better Boss and More August and September Events

See what’s coming up so you can start making plans.

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August

1 In early 2009, Google launched an internal workplace program code-named Project Oxygen. Its goal: To build a better boss by using data as opposed to traditional “gut instinct.” What Project Oxygen found was that employees prize even-keeled bosses who make time for one-on-one meetings; help people puzzle through problems by asking questions, not dictating answers; and take an interest in their overall lives. During ONE-ON-ONE MONTH, invest some genuine time in each staff member. It may prove to be the best way to prime them for the key holiday periods ahead.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

20-24 What is it about contact lenses that turns so many people into the equivalent of your slobbish college roommate with terrible hygiene? Make a note in your social media calendars for CONTACT LENS HEALTH WEEK and bring the admonishments. The CDC has some good resources to help with your heckling: invisionmag.com/071901

September

16-20 John Donne probably wasn’t thinking of paraoptometrics when he wrote “no man is an island” but the sentiment holds true, as any fair-minded OD or office manager would attest — little would get done without their hard work and dedication. Throughout PARAOPTOMETRIC RECOGNITION WEEK, get creative in recognizing their toil.

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Manager's To-Do

Approach Your Business Like A Customer Would and More Manager’s To-Dos for July

Plus don’t underestimate the power of mini-breaks or shortened work weeks during warmer months.

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Every summer we like to evaluate all our vendors and make sure we are buying from ones that are congruent with our values, with our mission. We do a cost analysis and see who we are going to keep and who we’re going to let go. The summer is always good because sunglasses sales are big so we reevaluate that as well. We’re excited to see what vendors get to stay and which have got to go. — Diana Canto-Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL

June 30-July 6

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT It’s parade season: Time to don frog suits, like the staff at Clarity Advanced Eyecare in Birmingham, MI, with their mascot, Miss Frog, or some other unforgettable costumed character and join in the July 4th festivities. Spread a message of fun, community involvement and vision health.

PLANNING If you can’t get away for a longer vacation this summer, plan some mini breaks. Even if it’s just three hours away, treat it like a real vacation. Splurge, take pictures, and go offline to ensure you get the maximum benefits. Your brain will thank you.

July 7-13

OPERATIONS Are there some summer days when you show up and just pretend to work? This month, experiment with an abbreviated week. Knowing you have less time in the store or practice to get things done may just prompt a burst of productivity — and give you the chance to better enjoy the warm months.

MARKETING Assemble “cleaning kits” for your young patients. Include solution, cloth and membership papers to the Secret 4 I’s Society – they meet annually. And before you start getting sentimental about the joy of childhood, start cleaning all those demo lenses.

July 14-20

ONLINE To stay relevant you should refresh your website every two years and tweak it every six months. That six months is up.

SECURITY Place discrete height markers along the doorways so police looking at surveillance footage can determine how tall a robber is.

STORE Usually, the direction of customer-traffic flow is influenced by features around the store, like the location of a parking lot, a mall courtyard, or a public transportation station. Maybe a tree branch is blocking the side view of your store sign?

July 21-27

STORE PET It’s not just sales associates who need regular training. Your store hound’s greeting skills could no doubt do with some sharpening as well. Look into providers in your area.

MANAGEMENT Undertake office reviews to tighten up operations; people become comfortable with the way things are done, however inefficient. Review everything— capture rate for contact lens wearers, speed of patient flow, paperwork — then blow it up, and consider if there’s a better way. This is the summer of disruption.

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