Optician + optical manager Sheena Taff keeps it real by highlighting the importance of routine procedures
In the ever-changing landscape of our current world, outside forces beyond our control—such as the current Covid-19 crisis—can adversely affect our business. Having routine procedures in place can reduce stress and ensure our practice is a safe space—one that is encouraging to staff sharing their point of view and open to creating a positive, uplifting experience for patients.
Once we are ready to reopen, it is important to stay positive and communicate our ability to make the world look like a better place through comfortable visual solutions suited to each and every activity.
WEEK 1: Create a Safe Space.
Conveying a happy, healthy setting in your business will welcome staff and patients into a positive environment. These tips will show your strong commitment to inviting everyone into a safe space.
WEEK 1 CHECKLIST
1. Start a weekly rotating store walkthrough where each employee has a chance to lead and discuss areas of opportunity from their point of view (stock levels, displays, cleanliness, and paperwork).
2. Create a frame-cleaning procedure with staff to ensure each frame is cleaned after every try-on. Communicate these safe practices to patients in the store and through social media.
3. Write out and post a cleaning procedure checklist and sign-off sheet for staff to follow hourly/daily.
WEEK 2: Spotlight Health.
Jump-start sales by sharing the large variety of sports and athletic eyewear options available. Educating the public and your patients on eyewear to bolster their well-being endeavors opens the dialogue about multipair solutions for eyewear.
WEEK 2 CHECKLIST
1. Reach out to local sports leagues and associations and offer to do a presentation on sports eyewear or provide information handouts on eyewear/visual solutions for the specific sport.
2. Create an email newsletter or social media post about prescription sports offerings such as swim goggles or eyewear specific to cycling, soccer, or baseball.
3. Many patients don’t know about UV or Transitions contact lenses. Contact patients within Rx range for the switch and educate them about their options.
WEEK 3: Stay Sunny.
Share your sunny disposition by getting everyone’s sunwear skills up to date in preparation for the summer season. You can increase your sales by enticing non-Rx wearers in to see what’s new.
WEEK 3 CHECKLIST
1. Review sunwear inventory and pull SKU-specific sales reports to identify your best-sellers from the last 12 months. Reorder top sellers and exchange out stale stock that didn’t work for your patient demographic.
2. Create an eye-catching window display to entice customers to make an appointment to see the newest sunwear styles for SS20.
3. Schedule a virtual training session with your lens rep to learn all the options available in tinted, polarized, and photochromic sun lenses, as well as the latest mirrors and coatings.
WEEK 4: Streamline Scheduling.
A healthy business is one in which each employee feels heard. Establishing a location for all communications gets everyone excited about working toward a common goal.
WEEK 4 CHECKLIST
1. Have a quick check-in with each employee and hand out self-evaluations for upcoming reviews. Schedule formal reviews for the first week of next month to mark the halfway point of the year.
2. Streamline scheduling, make staff time-off requests easy to organize, and have a single place for staff communications by using a free scheduling app; my recommendation is Sling.
3. End on a high note and create excitement by running a sales incentive or contest to drive sales through the end of the second quarter.
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.