Article

IN THE OPTICAL

The Optical Checklist

JANUARY/FEBRUARY

Optician + optical manager Sheena Taff helps you kick off a monumental 2020

2020 is going to be a big year for the optical industry! The EB Optical Checklist is back for the new year to keep you on task by providing a helpful, manageable monthly checklist, broken down into weekly tasks that will help you stay organized and focused on all aspects of your optical business to keep it running smoothly.

This year, we will cover a multitude of topics, ranging from marketing to inventory and sales forecasts to staff development. Each checklist will help you keep an eye on a specific area of your business to make sure you realize your goals with 20/20 vision.

WEEK 1: Set Clear Goals.

Success starts with a clear outlook! Entering 2020, we should all aim to have clear objectives and goals.

WEEK 1 CHECKLIST

1. Review the last three years of sales to equip yourself with the data required to set growth expectations and goals for 2020. A 3-5% increase in sales is a healthy and achievable goal.

2. Build your yearly, quarterly, and monthly sales targets, with a realistic increase over your 2019 numbers. Post your targets in a visible place for motivation. Being transparent and inclusive with your team will help make them feel invested in the success of your business.

3. Mark your calendar with important industry event dates for 2020, such as Vision Expo East and West, the Optometric Management Symposium, SECO, and regional educational events.

WEEK 2: Focus on Staff Success.

You’re only as strong as your weakest link: Ensure your business has the same optics through everyone’s eyes.

WEEK 2 CHECKLIST

1. Hold a staff meeting to discuss best practices from 2019 and what changes or improvements can make the business run better.

2. Have staff reflect on how they achieved their performance goals from 2019 and have them set five new professional goals. It’s OK if there is carryover from last year; focus on what tools or training is needed to check them off in 2020.

3. Schedule refreshers regarding weak areas of knowledge or training that were identified. Partner staff for peer training sessions and schedule one-on-one time with managers to properly demonstrate how important tasks should be executed.

WEEK 3: Reward Staff and Give Back.

Best before: Make sure all your products are up to date and not past their expiration dates to save time and money.

WEEK 3 CHECKLIST

1. Discard all contact lens samples, eye drops, and perishable products that are past their expiry date and order new samples to replenish your inventory.

2. Got products with an expiration date? Organize any of these with the older products at the front and newer products to the back to ensure you do not discard products unnecessarily, using up those that are closest to expiration first.

3. Request discounted inventory lists from all your frame suppliers. With these lists in hand, pull any old products from the board and request return authorizations to exchange them from your sales reps.

WEEK 4: In With the New.

Make your mark in 2020: Visually impactful marketing will help you make a lasting impression and connect with new patients and customers.

WEEK 4 CHECKLIST

1. Download and utilize apps such as Canva to create cohesive and visually pleasing marketing and social media posts (it’s easier than you think and will save you time and money).

2. Connect with customers by posting on social media, and also sending out an email or text message notification of the potential vision benefits available with the turnover of a new calendar year.

3. Review contact lens sales from last January and February and call patients to remind them to reorder before they run out. This is a great opportunity to ensure patients are practicing proper contact lens wear schedules.

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.