The Optical Checklist


Read on for a fresh take on this popular EB column, delivered by second-generation optician + optical manager Sheena Taff

The start of a new season—particularly the spring season—is an opportunity to refresh your optical’s appearance and entice your patients to change their glasses and add to their eyeglass wardrobe. This month, let’s focus on rejuvenating your optical area for spring. This helpful monthly checklist is broken down into weekly “to-dos” to make your staff and your sales blossom.

Week 1: Clean Slate.

Spring is a perfect time to shake off the dullness of winter and brighten up your practice or optical shop. Let’s focus on making it a clean and safe space for patients and staff.


1. Check your lighting. Make sure all lightbulbs are in working order, spotlights are properly angled at the displays, and patients have well-lit areas to see themselves when trying on frames.

2. Reduce clutter by clearing off the counters and fitting tables. Throw away outdated promotional materials, counter cards, and brochures.

3. Check all fire extinguishers, ensure emergency exits are clear, and look for any tripping hazards in both the public and staff areas.

Week 2: The Bottom Line.

Simple things like not updating your price lists or misunderstanding manufacturers’ warranty policies can hurt your profitability and add up over the course of the year, costing the business money.


1. Call suppliers and request their product price list for 2019. Review your price lists and invoicing to ensure everything is adding up to meet your markup expectations.

2. Request each supplier’s warranty policy in writing, and create a binder for staff to reference.

3. Review your business’s warranty procedures with each staff member and go over the best ways to clearly communicate it to patients.

Week 3: Out With the Old.

If you are going to Vision Expo East this month, it’s time to get prepared. Even if you’re not going, your sales reps will be returning soon with lots of new releases, and it’s time to get ready for them.


1. Pull a “slow movers” report for your inventory, making note of frames that have been on the board for over six to eight months. These should be the first ones to exchange when you see your sales reps.

2. Make appointments with your sales reps early, so that you are the first customer they come see with their new spring collections.

3. Tips for preparing for Vision Expo East:

      Download the Vision Expo App and review the floor plan and schedule of education and other events.

      Make appointments for your “must see” collections.

      Write a list of needs/wants before you go, including frame styles and sundry items.

Week 4: Spring Eye Style.

A new season means new styles and trends as well as a consumer focus on refreshing their wardrobe. Spring is also the time when frame suppliers release plenty of new frames.


1. Reinvigorate your team and your patients by refreshing the practice with new visual interests. One easy way is to change out posters and counter cards.

2. Consider a seasonal window display. It might catch the eye of a potential new patient or intrigue existing patients to come see what else is new and different in the optical shop.

3. Encourage staff to be up to date on eyewear trends and styles. Have them do research by reading the latest optical magazines and searching eyewear styles online. [Hint: Search hashtags such as #FashionGlasses #Eyeglasses #EyewearFashion on social media.]

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.