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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 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

Take a Team Lab Tour Field Trip and More Manager’s To-Dos for March

Plus spring allergy season is nigh and we see a marketing opportunity.

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Mar. 31-Apr. 6

MERCHANDISING New stock headed your way? Develop a product launch plan, or schedule training sessions to ensure the successful sell-through of the styles ordered at VEE.

MARKETING Spring is here along with allergy season. Sniffles aside it’s a great time to boost your daily contact lens business. Offer them as an add-on or as the central part of another marketing push. Talk to your suppliers as well — they often roll out rebates in the middle of the year.

Apr. 7-13

OPERATIONS Book a lab tour. Get in touch with your favorite provider and see if you can bring the staff around for a visit.

INVENTORY Start your Mother’s Day (May 12) preparations by going through last year’s data. Compare popular price points with what you have in stock now.

Apr. 14-20

MARKETING Launch “Project Big Shot.” Start contacting local personalities: newscasters, society figures, sports people, to see if they are interested in promoting your sunwear ahead of summer. The deal: Free eyewear that you’ll style them in with cutting-edge shapes and colors.
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Apr. 21-27

FINANCIALS Review your cash-flow projections. With the economy in something of a state of flux, it’s easy to run into a mismatch between the cash coming in, what you’re taking out, and what you owe your vendors.

SALES TRAINING Selling by face-shape: Brush up your guides for identifying flattering frames in inventory for those with square, diamond, oval, round and heart-shaped faces.

Apr. 28-May 4

INVENTORY  Finalize Father’s Day orders. Dad’s big day arrives just as men start thinking of fish-filled waters, a glorious drive down the 17th fairway or catching those beach rays from behind a pair of fine sunnies.

SALES Set up what sales trainer Shane Decker calls T.O. teams. When you see two people who work well together, schedule them together.

STAFF Ask employees for their summer vacation requests. And block your vacation time as well.

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Calendar

Banish Winter Blues by Going Green and More March Events

Don’t miss these important dates.

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17 Banish snakes? You can do better: Banish the winter blues. St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect date to raise a toast and bid the cold months farewell. Lay out some green drinks (kombucha, green tea, anything but beer), green foods and give prominent display to any green tinted or environmentally friendly frames. Everyone loves a party … and it’s really not so hard being green.

6 Dentists, celebrated today on Dentist’s Day, and doctors (who are honored on Mar. 30) are great customers and even better referral sources. Reach out to both groups to express your thanks with a card, phone call or flowers.

10 Daylight Savings … Invite your customers to inspect your latest frames during your “Great Leap into Spring Fashion” celebration with special daylight “savings.” Today only!

23 Thirty years ago we all nearly died. A huge asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth — a very close call according to NASA. Luckily, we survived and Near Miss Day was born. In thanks, dig up one of your business’ recent “near misses” and conduct an autopsy. In your next morning meeting, debate what may have saved the sale. A lower price? More questions? Bruce Willis?

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Manager's To-Do

Helping Staff Help You and More Manager’s To-Dos for March

Plus tips for making the most of the upcoming Vision Expo.

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Mar. 4-9

BUYING Start your prep for Vision Expo East (Mar 22-24) by plotting out your class schedule. Leave large blocks of time between classes for meetings with reps, beginning with those of lines you don’t currently carry.

FINANCE April 15, a.k.a. Tax Day, will be here before we know it. This one promises to be a particularly busy one as businesses make adjustments to reflect last year’s new rules and deductions, let alone the chaos caused by the shutdown.

Podcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: More Ways to Motivate Your Own Eyecare Business Team

Podcast: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
INVISION Podcast

Podcast: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Podcast: Try Not to Blink Talks About the Business of Cannabis, and Its Role in Modern Healthcare
Try Not to Blink

Podcast: Try Not to Blink Talks About the Business of Cannabis, and Its Role in Modern Healthcare

Mar. 11-16

OPERATIONS Even a simple reconfiguration of space can reduce the time employees spend handing off files and make their work easier and more productive. And often the best place to start the search for greater efficiency is with the staff themselves; they know where time and resources are being wasted. Be sure to ask them for their input at the next weekly meeting.

TECHNOLOGY Brands have probably never been more powerful and even if you don’t carry them, or begrudge that power, you need to ensure your SEO terms cater to anyone in your market needing “adjustments,” “repairs,” “emergency services” or upgrades for their “Ray-Ban,” “Oakley,” or “Maui Jim” frames.

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Mar. 18-23

MERCHANDISING Do you know your store’s merchandising hot spots – the places where frames sell best? Are the frames with the best margins in those positions? The impact of getting the alignment right can be dramatic, says Mick Kling, OD, winner of our 2017 America’s Finest Optical Retailer. If you’re not sure, get busy!

INTERIOR DESIGN Some recent studies found workers who glimpse a tree or two are happier and more productive; in one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a wall out to provide a view, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

Mar. 25-30

MARKETING Make contact with other small businesses to see if they are interested in some reciprocal social media action via Instagram Highlights like Florists That Inspire Us and Drool-Worthy Bakers.

STAFF Losing a key staff member can cause chaos if nobody has been trained to take over their tasks. Assign back-ups and roll out a schedule for learning all those mundane but crucial jobs like ordering supplies, invoicing, calibrating the tracer … and so on.

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