Biz Tactics

Clever Ideas to Market Your Business Before and After Small Business Saturday

By Staff
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 10:24 AM NEW YORK—Small Business Trends, a great resource for all types of independent businesses, in an updated post this month, suggests 50 Clever Ways to Market Your Business Before and After Small Business Saturday, a post by Annie Pilon. 

Independents Can Navigate Challenges With The Merchant Map

By Mary Kane
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 10:48 AM You’re inspired and passionate as an independent optician or eyecare practice, but you might also want to be inspired and glean successful ideas from others. If so, you can check out The Merchant Map, a different and resource-rich site that describes itself as “The exact blue print to build your retail confidence and gain creative control….by prioritizing the right work at the right time so you can grow your business in your own way.” The site and its programs are run by Chris Guillot, the designer of The Merchant Map and founder of Merchant Method, a boutique consulting agency. She was named a 2019 (and 2018) retail industry influencer by Vend and featured on Business Insider, among others, for her retail insights.

Guillot explains that The Merchant Map and Method offers a signature planning process and workshops for retailers of all types, geared to those with “inventory-based businesses.” The Merchant Method and its blog offers other resources and tactical tips.

EyeCarePro’s Optometry Marketing Ebooks Now Available for Download

By Mary Kane
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 10:10 AM NEW YORK—For ECPs who are looking to grow their practice, increase online presence and enhance revenue, EyeCarePro is offering their complete collection of ebooks, all available for free. These in-depth guides feature everything from how to shoot great practice videos to developing your practice brand and more. “Our mission is to give every eyecare practice the tools and strategies needed to truly grow. Now, we’re one step closer to that cause,” EyeCarePro said. As part of the library of Optometry Marketing ebooks, EyeCarePro continuously writes about and develops the most advanced marketing strategies, articles on best-practices, as well as guides for those practices that want to do-it-themselves.

Ebook titles include Beginner’s Guide to Online SEO, Guide to Practice Branding, Responding to Goggle reviews and more. Click here to peruse and download their library of ebooks. 

Do You Know About Google’s Retail Resources?

By Staff
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:00 AM NEW YORK—So it turns out there are a range of resources which Google offers to small businesses. On a special section of its site, Google for Retail shows you how to make best use of Google’s tools. Currently, a Playbook for Holiday Sales illustrates and explains how retailers can drive both in-store and online contact from consumers. There are multiple step-by-step guides, which you can also download, such as the Merchant’s Beginner’s Guide and one on Getting Started with Google Shopping Campaigns which tells users how to maximize their Google search dollars.

PECAA Launches Office Manager Certification Course

By Staff
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 4:53 PM PORTLAND, Ore.—PECAA, a nationwide doctor alliance group for independent eyecare professionals, has kicked off its Office Manager Certification Course - Leadership Academy, which will begin Oct. 14, 2019. The Office Manager Certification Course (OMCC) was initially developed in 2014 by OD Excellence prior to its merger with PECAA. The course was the first of its kind to feature education, testing, certification and continued enhancement and support to office managers in an independent eyecare practice. Since its launch, over 300 individuals have been certified. 

ShopKeep Offers a '101' Guide for Small Businesses

By Staff
Thursday, September 12, 2019 11:29 AM NEW YORK—Brick and click software resource ShopKeep offers a getting-down-to-basics small business guide for startups—but the ideas are useful even for long-term small business owners. The free guide can be downloaded here. In addition, ShopKeep site's Small Business Hub offers a roster of resources that can be helpful on topics ranging from operations to merchandising to learning how to offer gift cards to customers. While the site offers advice and expertise for all types of businesses, retail and small service businesses can learn, too, and connect via text or webinar with experts. Offers a Range of Resources for Small-Sized Retailers

By Staff
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:00 AM NEW YORK—From a range of articles exploring the best sources to host a terrific Grand Opening event, to features that explain the newest mobile payment trends or tactics for the best store layout and visual merchandising ideas, FitSmallBusiness/Retail is a dedicated resource section with tons of helpful info and pointers for independent retailers.

A Conversation With OD Innovators About Customer Engagement

By Staff
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:00 AM NEW YORK—Three innovative independent optometry innovators will discuss the ways they are bringing new ideas to vision care retail and office environments. They'll share best ways to address today’s customers and patients who expect easy, seamless interactions, speedier, more convenient service and new experiences in both retail and health care environments. Brief presentations and a conversation among the three practices will be a featured highlight of Vision Monday's Sept. 18 VM LIVE forum, "Smart Solutions at the Speed of Sight," to be held just prior to the opening of Vision Expo West in Las Vegas.

BuildFire Can Help Independents With Apps and Digital Solutions

By Staff
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 8:00 AM NEW YORK—With over 10,000 apps built to date and some 10 million users, BuildFire describes its mission as "empowering the business professional to solve complex problems with elegant mobile solutions that are simple to build, easy to manage and available to everyone." A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that "does for mobile apps what WordPress did for websites" enables non-technical professionals to rapidly build mobile apps with a minimum of custom coding or development. Anyone can operate, manage and administer the applications, no special training needed. Organizations from Fortune 500 companies to neighborhood community associations have used BuildFire to develop, publish and maintain thousands of apps that reach millions of users every day.

Finding Inspiration From The Shopkeepers

By Staff
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 10:00 AM NEW YORK—Plant shops? Bakeries? Interior furnishings? Jewelry? Eyewear retailers who are always in search of novel ways to display and design their presentations of frames, sunwear and other optical accessories and would be well-served to find inspiration and design ideas from The Shopkeepers. A beautiful website, The Shopkeepers also manage a distinctive and expansive social media presence, showcasing shops and vignettes from the U.S. and around the world on Instagram, Facebook and a range of amazing and colorful boards on Pinterest.

#indieretail: Get Ready for Independent Retailer Month This July

By Staff
Thursday, June 27, 2019 1:13 PM NEW YORK—In addition to marking the country’s independence, this month is also Independent Retailer Month. A campaign which started in 2011, the effort has evolved to a global initiative, and the month-long celebration encourages consumers to shop local and support indie retailers. The website itself is a rich resource, full of info, statistics and images that help independent retailers of all types promote their unique and distinctive store environments. Anyone can follow @INDIERETAILERMONTH @IndieRetailerMonth on Instagram to celebrate #indieretail.

Instagram Is an Essential Small Business Tool and Tactic

By Marge Axelrad
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 10:11 AM The folks at HootSuite, one of the most frequently-used social media scheduling platforms, have put together many resources to help businesses of all types maximize their social media presence and connection to consumers. For small businesses in particular, Instagram has become a critical “voice” for brands and business, amping up the power of social media connections for independents. Check out HootSuite’s recent Practical 6-Step Guide. It covers everything you need to know, including “how-to’s” as well as strategies, details about posting times and content creation.

Press Play: Why The Future Is Video

By Marge Axalrad
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 11:00 AM NEW YORK—The digital experts at Omnicore, an award-winning health care digital marketing agency, has pulled together some compelling info and statistics about the growing influence of video to promote businesses of all sizes and types as it is increasingly connecting with today’s customers. Omnicore posts, “Video has quickly become one of the most popular types of content on the internet. And it’s not hard to understand why. Video excites and engages people like few other types of content, whether they’re consuming entertainment, news, sports or branded messaging.

National Small Business Week Supports Independents Across the U.S.

By Staff
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 10:30 AM NEW YORK—Did you know that there is a National Small Business Week each year? This year, National Small Business Week, which is put on by the U.S. Small Business Administration, takes place from May 5 through May 11. Backed by an expanded group of sponsors including Score, Visa, Chase, Google, Constant Contact and Square, a range of new tools includes traditional support and several e-mail and social ones. Throughout the week, various events are available for small business owners, including virtual conferences, hackathons, award ceremonies, Twitter chats and more. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that over half of Americans work for or own a small business, meaning this week’s events will affect almost the entire country.

How Are Social Media Platforms Being Used in 2019?

By Staff
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:25 AM NEW YORK—Successful indie retailers and ECPs know that social media is playing a large role in building a business’ image and enhances connections to existing and prospective customers. It can be helpful to look at the broader trends among social media users to help independents fine-tine their presence on the platforms. The share of U.S. adults who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically unchanged from where it stood in early 2018 despite a long stretch of controversies over privacy, fake news and censorship on social media, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 8 to Feb. 7, 2019.