REMODELING ON A SHOESTRING

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McGee’s Badgley Mischka won best new product at last year’s Vision Expo East, a point worth noting in an in-house display.
WHY REMODEL? Remodeling makes sense for several reasons, including keeping patients engaged and interested. Some planners suggest that following a remodel, business tends to increase 5% to 10% in most cases. That’s because people-like your patients-enjoy doing business where things look and feel clean, bright, and organized. And people tend to be more productive in fresh environments and it’s a morale booster.
P-O-P from Marchon’s Dragon Eyewear can help establish a surf-inspired theme within a practice.
SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN Whether you do a lot of remodeling or a little, you need a plan. What do you want to accomplish? What needs to be done? Will it involve contractors and/or building permits? Moving walls, plumbing, wiring (and more), means you’ll need skilled help. When is the best time to remodel? That depends on your clientele and your staff. Will you have to close and run a limited schedule during the remodeling? That is contingent on how extensive the remodeling is. Plan your remodel in advance to avoid problems and maximize the outcome.
Using photos of celebrities who endorse products you carry, like Transitions’ celebrity ambassador Cal Ripken, Jr., can be inexpensive yet effective.

Think of your office as a stage and you’ll understand why it needs to be ‘set’ just right. 

Remodeling is good for every business. It keeps the office looking fresh, it enables you to express your professional image to your patients in a nonverbal way, and it sets the stage for the professional and sales activities you’ll be conducting in your office.

A total remodeling job can take a lot of time and cost a great deal of money. But there is a lot you can do to provide your office with a renewed appearance that will cost little or no money. This kind of remodeling on a shoestring, so to speak, can be very effective. Here are some suggestions.

MOVE IT, MOVE IT
Many offices use displays that are modular. That means eyecare professionals (ECPs) don’t have to-and shouldn’t-leave them in the same place all the time. What better way to freshen a look than moving the office furniture and displays? Look around and visualize how your furnishings can be rearranged. I suggest mapping out your vision of your new dispensary to scale on some graph paper and illustrating your furniture and displays. It’s a lot easier to get an idea of what will work this way than moving stuff around to discover you don’t like it or it won’t function well. Keep these drawings in a file for when you want to rearrange again.

Don’t keep everything against a wall. Having displays arranged in a flowing pattern draws interest and can freshen the look of any dispensary. When you’re moving displays or furniture, remember to check carpeting and walls to see if they need assistance since they can become dented, scuffed, or somehow marred by the furniture.

COLOR YOUR WORLD
For some offices, a simple change in paint color can completely alter the look of the office and give it that fresh revitalization it needs. While some offices may need to contract the job out, those who are handy can do it themselves and save a boatload of money. My recommendation on painting is not to scrimp on the quality of your paint. Make sure that it is washable, as that can help with keeping your look clean and fresh longer, especially if you have a children’s area. While there are trends in paint colors, don’t hesitate to mix colors for a different look. Try using contrasting colors on adjacent walls. You can also try using contrasting colors on different areas of the same wall.

In painting, like any kind of decorating, harmonious blending is important. Make sure you understand the differences in warm and cool colors and don’t mix the two, as you will get a look that is not inviting and you will need to change it again very quickly.

ECONOMICAL FURNISHINGS
If you’re on a very limited budget, consider buying antique or faux antique furnishings. You can buy these items at a fraction of the cost of commercially produced optical furniture and it creates a unique and personalized look. If your budget allows it, mix in some commercially produced optical office furniture or displays. Some offices have completed gone the antique/faux antique route with good results.

ACCESSORIZE WITH PLANTS
In decorating or redecorating, remember to view your office as a patient would. Plants are inexpensive but they lend a warm, friendly, and alive look to your office environment. While plants and accessories are great in an office, they should be used creatively and sparingly so they don’t become the office’s focus. While you may love the look, too many plants may make your office seem more like a greenhouse than an optical dispensary. Keep the focus on your products and services and use plants and accessories as accents.

UPDATE YOUR DISPLAYS

Simply refreshening your displays can be done in a short time and for virtually no cost to you. For example, change the frames you have in a display or move the props you have within the display to give it a fresh look. Another good idea is to update your displays seasonally according to sports seasons.

If you’re in an area where there are a lot of children’s sports or recreational activities, pair a sports eyewear/sunwear display with a helmet, ball, glove, etc. from a local team. Using photos of celebrities who endorse products you carry is incredibly effective. For example, Cal Ripken, Jr. is a Transitions lens wearer and celebrity ambassador for Transitions Optical, and is talking to consumers about how they can enhance something they love-like playing a sport-with the use of the right eyewear.

MAKE THE MOST OF P-O-P
Many optical suppliers offer point-of-purchase (P-O-P) materials to help you promote their products like frame and lens products. Utilizing these materials creatively can give an area a facelift and create brand awareness simultaneously. The P-O-P from Dragon Eyewear (from Marchon Eyewear) utilizes photos of world famous surfer Rob Machado. Consider using the banner and countercards with the three-piece display, logo plaque, and the two one-piece highlighter displays to create a surf-inspired theme for this brand.

I have been very successful with mixing the P-O-P included from manufacturers with complementary branded accessories to make a striking display, such as scarves, perfumes, purses, etc. For example, with Luxottica’s Coach brand, utilize their P-O-P along with a Coach scarf, purse, or wallet.

When using P-O-P to create a display, it’s important to feature only one brand. Mixing brands dilutes brand awareness. You want to reinforce the brand’s name and not confuse the consumer.

If you carry a brand that has won an award, consider displaying a press release to highlight the product. Badgley Mischka from The McGee Group won best new product in Spring 2013 at Vision Expo East. The display McGee used at Vision Expo featured some of the collection paired with a Badgley Mischka purse, logo plaque, and risers that reinforced the brand.

Remodeling your office doesn’t have to cost a fortune. While that may be nice to do, you can do a lot to refresh and revitalize your working space on a shoestring budget. All it takes is a vision, some research, and a little work.

Diane F. Drake is a licensed optician, writer, lecturer, and consultant to optical professionals in Jackson, GA.

WHERE TO FIND IT:

Luxottica
800-422-2020 • luxottica.net

Marchon Eyewear
800-645-1300 • marchon.com

The McGee Group
800-966-2020 • mcgeegroup.com

Transitions Optical, Inc.
800-848-1506 • transitions.com

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