Optician + optical manager Sheena Taff shares a hands-on guide to getting your optical ready for sun season
The first quarter of the year is over, and it’s the perfect time to take stock of what you have accomplished so far this year in the optical and pinpoint areas of further opportunity. April is also the beginning of the optical industry’s busiest time of year: sunglass and sports eyewear season.
This month’s checklist will help you focus on staff knowledge and general preparedness to optimize the seasonal opportunities to have your sunwear sales soar.
Week 1: End on a High Note.
Snap! Just like that, the first quarter of 2019 is over, and it’s time to ensure you are on the right track and are meeting your sales goals. Identifying any missed opportunities means you can act quickly to correct course.
WEEK 1 CHECKLIST
1. Schedule a meeting with your lab consultant to review sales and areas of growth, and set goals for the next fiscal quarter.
2. Have a staff meeting to share accomplishments with your team and discuss any other areas of opportunities.
3. Create a contest or game to help energize your team for spring. Make a “Bingo!” card for various items sold, or host a staff scavenger hunt to test and encourage product knowledge.
Week 2: Communication Is Key.
Whether you are connecting with your current or prospective patients—or even staff—it is important to have an open line of dialogue and a clear message.
WEEK 2 CHECKLIST
1. Plan social media posts for the weeks ahead. Focus on sunglasses and sports eyewear to plant seeds for the upcoming months.
2. Make sure your online business listings are correct and contain up-to-date contact information. Things such as email, phone, and social media links should be easy for patients to find.
3. Have an informal touch-base meeting with each of your staff. It is easier and more effective to correct behavior along the way rather than wait for the next formal employee.
Week 3: Set Up for Sunglass Sales to Soar.
Get ahead of consumer buying trends and be ready to capture new patients in prescription and plano sunglass sales. You can accomplish this by having the shop stocked and the staff well-informed.
WEEK 3 CHECKLIST
1. Ensure you have ordered sunglasses in a diverse collection of styles that suit both prescription and nonprescription wearers. Waiting too long to order sunglasses can result in extensive backorders.
2. Create a quick-reference sunwear binder. Include each of your lens suppliers’ sun lens style availability, color availability, and Rx range sheets.
3. Refresh your staff’s knowledge on optical calculation. Review base curve calculation with a lens clock and lens blank/decentration calculations for larger sunglass frames.
4. Make sure your tint and polarized lens samples are easily accessible, clean, and organized.
Week 4: Connect With Your Community.
As we come into the summer sports season, it is necessary that we inform the parents of our younger patients of the importance of eye protection during all sports activities.
WEEK 4 CHECKLIST
1. Create a flier and/or email newsletter about the importance of eye safety and protective sports eyewear for indoor and outdoor sports.
2. Do some research to find examples and pictures of professional athletes who wear protective eyewear while playing their respective sport. Kids and teens will appreciate seeing an example and have someone to relate to and look up to.
3. Reach out to youth sports leagues to share the flier/email and encourage them to share it with all the players and their parents. Request to attend a registration day to speak to parents directly and show examples of protective sports eyewear.
About the Author:
Sheena Taff is a second-generation licensed optician at Roberts & Brown Opticians in Vancouver, Canada. Since becoming the optical boutique boss, she has evolved and grown the business and taken it to new heights. Taff is familiar with the many roles an independent practice owner and employees must undertake and wants to share tips for growing a successful practice.