Optical Retail Success 164
Tasty nuggets of random goodness; tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you find the most success in your life and optical retail business/career.
When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. —Paulo Coelho
Time to Bounce
One day, when we have sufficient testing and tracking, enough masks to go around or perhaps when we have improved treatments for COVID-19; businesses will start to open back up. But, it’s clear that things will not simply bounce back to normal overnight. While many us are chomping at the bit to get back to life as we knew it, that simply cannot happen until we have a vaccine or infections in such great numbers to establish herd immunity—neither of which is likely to happen within the next year.
Of course, the world population can not stay at home for the next 24 months either. So, sometime before then, we are going to have to bounce back, not to “life as we knew it”, but to a new kind of normal. What will that new normal look like? Well, what better time than now, to try to figure that out and determine what our place in the new normal can or should be?
It’s interesting, btw, how this song is suddenly making it into everyone’s playlist.
Lenny Bruce may not be afraid, but many millions are. As we become even more accustomed to avoiding human interaction and ordering online, in-person eyewear sales and fittings could become an even tougher sell for many. What’s worse, the situation we currently find ourselves is likely to be the lightning before the thunder. The economic consequences of the global shutdown, unprecedented government spending, and what was arguably an economy long overdue for a correction, are likely to be with us for a long time to come. As unemployment numbers grow, the lower cost of buying eyewear online may look even more attractive for a great number of people.
Look, I’m not trying to be a downer here, but it’s better to think about these things now than to end up in another situation where you have no toilet paper. So, what will your new normal have to look like in order to overcome these challenges?
I don’t have a crystal ball and everyone’s situation will be somewhat different, but first and foremost, if you hope to stay in business, your customers and your employees will have to feel safe. How can you make that happen?
Clearly, most of us don’t work in traditional office environments, but there are some interesting ideas here in this newly imagined “Six Feet Office” as a way to maintain social distancing in a busy work environment.
20/20 Magazine is now offering a free continuing education course entitled The Hygienic Optician they may also be of assistance.
Let’s assume you can find a way to make people feel safe, how will you then convince customers to spend? It will be tempting to cut prices in order to compete or even to survive. And while it may be the right thing to in certain circumstances to help people in need, it can't become your new business model. As Seth Godin likes to say, “The problem with the race to the bottom is that you might win.”
Sure, you might make a few more sales by lowering prices in the near term, but for how long? The corners you will have to cut to slash prices will not gain you any loyal customers. Someone will always find a way to be cheaper. You will never out-Walmart Walmart or out-Zenni Zenni.
So the question then becomes what will you do to convince people that it is worth the extra time, extra effort, extra risk, and extra expense to buy their eyeglasses from you? One thing is clear. It will not be, “business as usual.” What’s also clear is the fact that the answer must be unique to you, not just because your situation is unique, but because “you” (i.e. the experience only you can create) is the singular reason you can be worth the extra time, effort, risk, and expense.
Hit reply and let me know what you think your new normal might look like.
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Stay Healthy: Get Outside
Getting outside, particularly in the midst of a “stay at home” order is critical not only for your physical well-being, but for your mental health as well. However, there are some important things to think about—some that you may not have considered—before venturing into the great outdoors. Even if that’s just your backyard.
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Stay Healthy: Exercise Your Mind
Lens Design for Night Driving - Today! April 16 at 12 pm EST
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Got a double header this week...
Laramy-K Optical is still open!
We’re running on a skeleton crew, but doing our best to stick around and be here for you and our staff on the other side.
Until next time, hang in there and we’ll try to do the same!
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