Here in New England, the days are getting longer, the weather is (hopefully!) getting warmer, and my flowers are starting to peek through the ground. This can only mean one thing — we have made it through the winter, and spring is here! While this winter was nothing to complain about, the change in seasons always has me looking to make changes, including a big spring cleaning.
While we often do a big purge at our houses of old clothes, toys, and other household items that are just clutter, how many of us take the time to do a deep clean of our offices? Springtime usually energizes us, and often we are coming back from one of many wonderful industry conferences with fresh ideas and changes to make. But should we first find a way to “out with the old” before we can “in with the new”?
Here are some of my favorite ways to clean and purge your offices to make way for those amazing ideas and plans you now have.
Walk In the Front Door to View Your Office as a Patient Does
So many of us have clever backdoor entrances to our offices so we can come and go without walking by patients in the waiting room. However, when was the last time you walked through your front door and experienced your office as a patient does? Make sure your waiting room is inviting and clean. Do your chairs match, or are they a haphazard mix of different styles? Check for any stains or discoloration and consider having any carpeting professionally cleaned — especially after all the winter wear and tear. Are your waiting room magazines well thumbed through and outdated? Toss all old reading material, worn out pamphlets, and other clutter that has collected.
Front Desk: A Hub of Activity … and Clutter
Take a good, hard look at your front desk area. Do you like what you see? Clear all the piles of clutter, stacks of paper, and post-it notes on computers and on the walls. Go through drawers and toss unnecessary items, purge old files and records, and do a deep clean of all surfaces. A clean, organized front desk sets the tone for the rest of the patient’s experience.
Goodbye P-O-P, Hello Valuable Storage
P-O-P, or point-of-purchase material, is a great way to display and showcase brands in your optical. However, it can quickly become overwhelming to keep and store all the P-O-P that accumulates year after year. How many of us store P-O-P for brands we no longer carry? Discarding older materials and only keeping the newest will keep your optical looking clean, up to date, and free up valuable storage.
Frame Board Inventory Must ‘Pay the Rent’
I consider my frame board real estate, and any frame on it must be able to pay the rent, or it is not earning its keep — and it’s actually costing me money. It can be hard to part with frames that we have already paid for. Many of us store these in boxes or trays as discontinued or package frames or keep poor sellers on the board to hope they sell. Having a retail mindset will help clear out these non-rent payers.
The first step is making an informed decision about what is and what isn’t selling and then having a plan to purge the stagnant inventory. Discounting and promoting those discontinued or poor selling frames is a great way to quickly move inventory — a strategy I learned from Kayla Ashlee of Spexy. This could be done as a closeout sale or by adding these frames as part of a budget or value package, clearing inventory quickly to make way for new products.
What can a deep spring cleaning do for our offices and opticals? It is a low- to no-cost way to freshen, declutter, and revitalize our offices. Showcase your very best selling frames and sunglasses with less P-O-P, and get rid of the stagnant pieces that aren’t moving. Make your waiting room and front desk look clean, inviting, and modern to match the care that you provide to your patients. We are always looking for ways to differentiate our practices, provide exceptional patient care, and improve the quality of the patient experience — this is a sure way to do that.
Do you have an annual tradition to deep clean your office and optical? What is your best strategy to move older, underperforming eyewear from your office? I’d love to hear your best practices!
Yours in success,
Jennifer L. Stewart, OD