Article

IN THE OPTICAL

The Optical Checklist

OCTOBER

Follow these tips from optician + optical manager Sheena Taff to fully shift gears to fall/winter

Well, the third quarter has wrapped up and the end of the year is in sight! However, as darker days and colder weather sets in, it’s time to shift our focus to creating a warm and welcoming optical shop—no matter in what climate your practice is located.

This month, let’s work on giving patients (and staff) a new outlook on eyewear. With fall’s new frame styles arriving, it’s time to get a fresh perspective on visual solutions. Here are some things to focus on.

Week 1: Low-Light Driving.

This is the season of driving in lower light and poorer conditions. This is the perfect time to share lens solutions to improve vision in different situations. A new crop of lenses tailored toward our visual needs while driving is gaining speed.

WEEK 1 CHECKLIST

1. Schedule a staff training session with your lens consultant to educate your staff on the variety of lenses designed to improve vision when driving.

2. Create a social media post or takeaway flier to highlight the benefits of driving lenses and coatings that reduce glare.

3. Send recalls for patients who are due for an exam, haven’t bought glasses in two years, or haven’t reordered contact lenses.

Week 2: Fall-Fresh Boards.

If they haven’t already, the new fall eyewear styles will be arriving soon. It can be easy to get excited and focus only on the new, but it’s important to keep staff and patients looking at all your inventory.

WEEK 2 CHECKLIST

1. Pair fall arrivals with similar frame styles already on the board. This will freshen up existing stock, while also allowing patients—and staff—to see it in a new light.

2. Pull inventory reports to address your slow movers. Ask staff why these frames are not selling. Is it their location, or are they a poor choice for your patients?

3. Challenge your staff to focus on a collection or style that is being overlooked. Make it a game to see how many patients they can get to try on the frames.

Week 3: Weather Ready.

Prepare the practice for the elements. Even in warmer climates, the winter months can bring unwanted weather. Don’t let yourself (or your team) sleep on the store’s needs.

WEEK 3 CHECKLIST

1. Set up an umbrella rack and doormat to ensure water and muddy shoes are not tracked through your practice. It’s also wise to have a dry mop and “wet floor” sign on hand.

2. Everything should be bright and well lit. Consider reducing window posters that block natural light during the fall and winter months.

3. Meet with each staff member to focus on morale. Ask them how they are doing and their point of view on what is running smoothly in the practice and what areas can be improved.

Week 4: Patient Appreciation.

Don’t forget to check on patient morale as well. Consider showing patients your appreciation for their loyalty through a promotional giveaway for each patient or a charitable gift to your community at large.

WEEK 4 CHECKLIST

1. Plan your staff holiday party. Send out a save-the-date; everyone’s schedule fills up fast during the holiday season.

2. The gift-giving season is the perfect time to give away promotional items. Order them custom-printed with your business’s name. Remember, custom printing takes extra time.

3. Choose a charity and plan an event or way to collect donations in December. Canned food drives, a winter coat collection, or monetary donations give patients an incentive to come to your office. The increased traffic will benefit everyone.

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.