Optical Retail Success 166
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.
Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
What Comes After The Virus?
The last two months have been insane. It all feels too strange even to be a movie. In this case, there is no doubt that truth is stranger than fiction. Watching the virus spread across the globe, the denial, the ensuing tragedy, the economic shutdown, the mixed messages, the inability to fight the invisible enemy, the uncertain and ever-changing timeline, the media frenzy, the politics, the personal challenges, the worries, and what lies on the other side.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed and exhausted. As governments in the U.S. seem to be preparing to get back to “normal”, it’s easy to (at least want to) think the worst is behind us, or perhaps that this was all a massive overreaction or bad dream. The reality is there is still a tremendous price left to be paid; first in lives, as we emerge from our homes with still no way to combat the virus and second in economic devastation as the bill comes due for our lack of production and trillions of dollars in government spending.
Clearly, as I have been writing about the last few weeks our first concern needs to be how do we come back to work—whenever that may be—while keeping our customers and employees safe?
But after that, then what? Even when the virus is a memory, the world in which we find ourselves will not be the same one we left. It never will be the same.
The business of doing average work for average people—the unfortunate staple and long-held gold standard for the optical industry, which was already being taken from the hands brick and mortar ECPs—will be commoditized more and valued even less.
Businesses forced to strip themselves bare will come back lean. Automation, digital solutions, telehealth, will all take a more prominent role in our new reality, not only as companies are being forced to make these changes but as they begin to see their value.
Consequently, once the corona-bill unemployment checks are tapped out, the job market will be much tighter. Average employees doing average work will be less respected and less valued than ever.
As consumers look for more safety and more value, employers will too.
Of course, from all this devastation, new opportunities will arise. They always do.
So what comes next?
What needs to come next is a new commitment to learning, to connecting, to maximizing the value we bring to the world both as businesses and individuals.
The virus has shown us that we all have more digital access to other humans and resources than we even realized. The downside is that humans will be needed less, at least for a time. The upside is that humanity (i.e. creativity and connection) will be needed more. How fortunate is it that if we want to learn something or if we want to build something, we can? There’s nothing holding us back. Digital resources and connections are so incredibly powerful, but the leadership and initiative to do something with them are what matter most.
The world will be different. We have start thinking now about how we will adapt and what we will create.
Daniel Feldman has some well-written thoughts on what to consider before emerging from the cocoon and spreading your wings.
Georgia on My Mind
Keep an eye on Georgia. Given that we’re the first and quickest to jump on the “open back up” train, Georgia is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Georgia will serve as an important signal to the rest of the country as to whether or not reopening at this time makes sense. While many businesses in Georgia do not yet feel it’s safe to open, I can tell you many freedom-loving Georgians are already acting as if nothing ever happened. Knowing that the incubation period for the virus is roughly 2-14 days, we should see the effects of our actions around the middle of May.
The Masked Optician
I was chatting with an optician friend of mine the other day about the use of masks. He thought it might not make sense to require masks in store because people don’t know how to wear them properly and no one wants to one a mask while trying on eyewear.
Here’s my perspective: The effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of the virus in public environments doesn’t come from their proper wear and ability to keep you from inhaling airborne virus particles. Masks essentially keep you from spitting in people’s faces. So, if you wear a mask while working with a customer, you are protecting your customer and making them feel safe. If you have your customer wear a mask during those same interactions, you are protecting yourself and your staff. If your customer is standing alone trying on eyewear, their use of a mask may be debatable. However, disinfecting afterward remains a concern. That’s not to say properly worn respirators don’t provide an additional level of personal protection, just that masks, even the most rudimentary ones, are effective in helping to prevent the spread of the virus.
OpticianWorks Video of the Week: Vertex Compensation
Martin Goergen, retired Navy Chief and instructor at the Virginia Optician Apprentice Program stopped into the OpticianWorks training center. So, we decided to let him take over the whiteboard to show you his take on calculating vertex compensation for higher powered lenses.
Share the Love
I have quick a favor to ask of you. So many opticians are not working right now. We see it all too clearly in the lab every day. So, if you can please, take a minute to share the three years worth of FREE optician training and how-to videos available on the Laramy-K YouTube Channel with someone who you know can benefit from it. Perhaps it can provide a much-needed constructive distraction or maybe help someone come back with more knowledge being better prepared for whatever our post-corona reality has in store for us. I thank you and your friends will too!
Also if you haven’t yet subscribed yourself, please head over to YouTube and hit that subscribe button. It would mean a lot to us!
Thank you so much for watching, subscribing, and sharing!
Laramy-K Optical is still open!
We’re running on a skeleton crew, but doing our best to stick around and be the best independent optical lab 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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