Article

IN THE OPTICAL

The Optical Checklist

APRIL

Optician + optical manager Sheena Taff has you set for spring with an inspiring checklist

Spring enlightens us with a new attitude—a fresh new season of eyewear and an enthusiasm to enjoy the great outdoors. It is also a time of year that can be hard on the eyes for allergy sufferers.

As eyecare professionals, we can use our knowledge and caring nature to build relationships that weather any season. Let’s freshen up our optical indoors and engage our patients in the seasonal solutions we offer to increase enjoyment outdoors.

WEEK 1: Spring Clean.

Embrace the season and evaluate the state of your business. A bright, clean exam room and optical shop frames patients’ experiences in a positive light.

WEEK 1 CHECKLIST

1. Now that the snow has thawed and the salt is cleared, it’s time to do a deep clean on your flooring. Have your carpet professionally cleaned to remove ground-in dirt and smells. If you have hard floors, wet mop or have them professionally cleaned.

2. Brighten up your practice and reduce your energy bill by switching out lightbulbs for bright daylight LED bulbs. Add spotlights to highlight frame displays, especially sunglasses, which tend to absorb more light.

3. Consider adding a fresh coat of paint that can instantly brighten, refresh, and modernize your exam rooms and shop. Not ready to go all the way? Buy Magic Erasers and give the walls a good clean. Removing scuffs and stains creates a cleaner clinic.

WEEK 2: Address Allergies.

Spring is synonymous with allergies, many of which cause discomfort for the eyes. Draw in new patients with solutions and relief.

WEEK 2 CHECKLIST

1. Check your sundry selection. Do you have a good inventory of eye drops, eyelid cleansing wipes, and eyelid cleansers in store? Set up a display at the front desk or in a central location and educate your front-end staff on the correct use of the products.

2. Create a social media post about how allergies affect the eyes and the solutions your office offers. Promote it to capture a wider audience, while the flowers are in bloom and many people are suffering from seasonal allergies.

3. Give an incentive to encourage contact lens wearers to update their eyeglasses and ease their seasonal discomfort in contact lenses. Giving patients a discount on new glasses when they purchase contact lenses prevents overwearing CLs and increases eye health.

WEEK 3: Navigate Newness.

Eyewear designers have released their new collections, and now is the time to share all the arrivals with patients and staff.

WEEK 3 CHECKLIST

1. No matter your patient demographic or practice location, having fresh eyewear entices new purchases. Read up on eyewear trends from trade magazines such as EB, ask vendors for lookbooks, and peruse social media to see which eyewear styles are gaining attention.

2. Refresh current stock by pairing it with new arrivals and showcasing color or shape trends. Reshuffling frame boards may prompt patients and staff to reconsider frames that might have gotten lost on the displays.

3. When you get new products, snap a picture or download a photo from the supplier and post it on your website and social media. When sales reps come in, share the buying experience. This will show patients new frames are on the way!

WEEK 4: Look Ahead.

With the first quarter of 2020 in the books, ensuring your filing cabinets and paperwork are tidy will keep things from slipping through the cracks.

WEEK 4 CHECKLIST

1. Check up on inventory by doing brand inventory spot checks. A general count can help you gauge the overall accuracy. Reviewing inventory reports to identify frame brands that are not selling versus ones that are will help you make better frame buying decisions for your location.

2. Audit insurance and outstanding third-party payments. Send reminder emails to patients who have glasses to pick up and submit any outstanding paperwork to collect balances.

3. Return any warranty frame parts that are in the practice. Follow up on credit memos and warranty returns to ensure all frame parts/warranties that have been returned since the beginning of the year have been correctly credited to your account.

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.