The Optical Checklist


Optician + optical manager Sheena Taff lays out a plan to end the year on the right foot

One common narrative that I hope you noticed in these checklists throughout the year is my belief that organization leads to business success and smooth day-to-day operations. Business success and smooth daily operation provide everyone with a good work-life balance.

With the last quarter of the year full of family-focused holidays, be sure to create a fair and balanced work environment to ensure your staff is happy—and spreading cheerful suggestions to drive sales through the end of the year. Here are some other things to take care of during the holiday season to ensure business success.

Week 1: Flexible Spending Promos.

Use it or lose it. Many insurance plans and flexible spending accounts expire at the end of the year. Remind patients to make good use of them before they turn over.


1. Create a social media campaign to remind patients to check if their eyecare benefits are about to reset as the calendar changes. Encourage them to maximize their benefits by stopping in.

2. Facebook has affordable options to target potential customers by location, demographics, interests, and behavior. This will help push your shop across the finish line and ensure you are not leaving any prospective sale on the table.

3. Discuss how to sway a sale from using just what is available on insurance to using those funds to get a better product at a discount.

Week 2: Tidy Up Loose Ends.

Be ready to start the new year off on the right foot. Organize and take care of any outstanding tasks.


1. Review outstanding accounts receivable; send invoicing or reminders of a balance owed. Pay outstanding invoices so you go into the new year with as little owed as possible.

2. Clean up warranty returns; often these are credits that are waiting to be collected. Start the year by getting reimbursed by your frame or lens suppliers!

3. Send holiday cards to important clients, sales reps, and lab facilities—these are the people who helped you achieve your goals this year.

Week 3: Reward Staff and Give Back.

’Tis the season to show how grateful you are for the hard work your staff has done throughout the year.


1. Decide whether you’ll give the staff year-end bonuses, gifts, or profit sharing.

2. Have a special day of the week where you serve hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies for staff and patients. Keep it simple so you don’t have to worry about any special food service permits.

3. Plan an ugly sweater day or funniest festive hat day. Have everyone who enters your store that day vote for their favorite.

Week 4: Clean the Store.

Give your business a fresh start to the new year by giving it a good clean.


1. Take down holiday decorations and put up what you have to celebrate 2020. Make a list of tasks you can delegate if you experience an after-holiday lull.

2. Clean your shop top to bottom: office space, frames, frame boards, sales floor, and storage room. After holiday festivities, it may need a little TLC.

3. Do a year-to-date sales analysis. Calculate your year end: sales, costs, inventory. Knowing where you finished will help you set realistic goals for 2020.


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.