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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

Get Your OD’s Cleaning Those Frame Boards and More Manager’s To-Dos for February

And planning for Valentine’s Day and VEE should be well underway.

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Jan 26-Feb 1

INVENTORY Buying season is on the way (Vision Expo East starts March 27). It’s time to take a hard look at your inventory.

Feb 2-8

MARKETING Make plans to visit some local nursing homes to share the love this Valentine’s Day. Take flowers and business cards and prepare some vision-related conversational topics.

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TRAINING If your doctors do not do the frame buying, have them straighten up the frame boards at least once every two weeks. This way, they’ll become much more familiar with the product — and your frame sales will increase!

Feb 9-15

INVENTORY In the months ahead of VEE, use Pinterest to build a list of the frames you like, supported with captions that provide the model details (adding the Pinterest button to your browser will make this easier.) When you reach a vendor you’re interested in, whip out your phone and call up your boards.

MARKETING The America’s Finest Optical Retailers contest honors the country’s most innovative eyecare businesses. Enter before it closes in March: invisionmag.com/AFOR.

Feb 16-22

WEBSITE If you haven’t already, post a photo of your storefront on your website, along with text-based directions. It makes it easier for shoppers to find you and eases threshold resistance.

TRAINING Training staff on equipment and procedures always seems like a job for another day. Want an effectively run office? Today is that day.

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Feb 23-29

MARKETING Flex dollars are still out there. Keep reminding people who rolled over 2019 benefits or have spring deadlines.

FINANCES If you haven’t updated your props and fixtures for five years or more, they’re showing their age. Amortize and depreciate them as you do other equipment. Set a budget and plan to acquire new ones routinely. Discard at the first sign of overuse. Faded or dirty elements affect consumer perception.

INSURANCE Organize all insurance plan information. Current information should be in an easily accessible folder.

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Making the Most of that Extra Day and More February Events

Plis ideas for celebrating Punxsutawney Phil and pigskins.

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1 February is LOW VISION AWARENESS MONTH, fire up all of your communications platforms to emphasize the importance of annual eye health and visual performance checks to prevent low vision problems. You can also discuss available treatments or assistance options thanks to the useful resources at allaboutvision.com/lowvision.

1 African Americans have some of the highest rates of vision loss and blindness caused by eye disease in the country — and these rates are getting higher. During BLACK HISTORY MONTH, launch a campaign on the importance of eye exams for people with diabetes, hypertension and other diseases prevalent in the black community.

2 The SUPER BOWL these days is as much a test of a business’s advertising acumen as a sporting event. Make sure you’re ready too. America is watching.

2 OK, here we go again (and again, and again …). It’s GROUNDHOG DAY. Any excuse to have a party. Perhaps something like, “It’s Groundhog Day. 20% off if Phil doesn’t see his shadow!”

29 LEAP YEAR DAY only comes every four years so jump on this sweet little marketing op. Offer discounts to those leaplings who have the fortune — or misfortune —to have been born today. Get out your frog or rabbit promotions. Hoppy Hour, anyone?

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Manager's To-Do

Tips for Wrapping Up All Those Little Year-End Tasks and More Manager’s To-Dos for December and January

Including billing, Flex Spending, recalls and sales incentives for all.

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Dec. 1-7

OPERATIONS Push to get all pending billing done so you are ready for the busy end-of-year holiday period.

MARKETING We trust flex spending reminders adorn all communications. But take it to a new level with a year-end sale to drive use. It’s a double savings! And a good way for you to get rid of some aging inventory.

Dec. 8-14

OPERATIONS Only two weeks to go until Christmas. If you offer extended hours, be sure to promote that on your website and social media channels.

WEBSITE Add a sign-up to your website for customers to receive news or promotions. Give all employees a personalized address for customer emails. Update the copyright on your site to 2020.

Dec. 15-21

SERVICE Refine your intake procedure for repairs. Are you giving accurate estimates on delivery times and not disappointing customers? Can you offer a “rush” fee? Are you taking digital photos during intake so clients can’t claim that you damaged them?

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Dec. 22-28

MANAGEMENT Before you close Christmas Eve thank every team member personally for their effort.

Dec. 29-Jan. 4

MANAGEMENT Need a big goal for 2020? Try reducing the number of insurance plans you accept. Then staff can focus on understanding the remaining policies and codes.

OPERATIONS The next few months are typically the coldest all year. Have a plan if severe weather interrupts business. Could you, for example, offer a 2 percent discount for every inch of snow that falls if customers brave conditions to come in?

Jan. 5-11

MANAGEMENT Start strategic planning by calculating the dollar value of every customer = average purchase in your business per year x 20 years. It should be a heck of a lot of money. Post it for everyone to see in the back room.

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MERCHANDISING What can you promote for Valentine’s Day gifts? Highlight these in email bulletins and catchy displays.

Jan. 12-18

OPERATIONS Investigate outsourcing medical billing. Explanation of benefits, actual billing and follow-up is often time consuming and takes time away from providing patient care.

Jan. 19-25

CUSTOMER SERVICE Use your EHR to find patients who have not responded to recall notices and are overdue. Call and ask how they are doing.

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