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2016... WHAT A YEAR!... BRING ON 2017!! We celebrated our ten year anniversary, had our biggest year for growth yet, made the Times 100 Best Businesses to Work For list (don't forget we cant publicly anounce this until February) and we’re coming back energised after our biggest annual retreat yet!

To kick off 2017 we’ve put together a newsletter jam-packed with insight into the initiatives that we and our partners have been involved in over the last twelve months, as well as highlighting some of the exciting developments across Planet Hakim.

The Times Are Changing And So Must We… by Imran Hakim

Its important that we stay relevant to the 21st century consumer and the customer experience that they have come to expect. Over the next five to ten years, there is a lot that will change within the optometric profession, as well as within the optical industry and these changes are closer than you might think. A lot of this change is being driven mainly by technology and demographics. One of the main drivers of change within the industry is the cost of miniturisation of technologies is constantly decreasing. In essence, what we are seeing is an ‘Uber-isation’ of technology. For example, it’s already possible to produce an OCT machine that is one fiftieth of the cost of what you would get in practice and you can now do fundus photography on your smart phone via an app. This is going to become easier and easier and it’s going to become increasingly hard to regulate this, especially if companies from outside of the UK start introducing these technologies. Another factor driving change, is that population figures show that between the years 2010-2030, the number of 65 to 74 year olds within the population will increase by 50% and the number of 85+ will also have doubled within that period. Continued >>

We hope you enjoy this edition of Viewpoint and look forward to hearing any feedback you might have. If you have any thoughts or suggestions about how we can improve the next edition, please email

MEGATRENDS shaping the future of Optical Retail













Customers are accustomed to sharing info but want you to reward their loyalty. Use modern marketing methods to make your messaging tailored and specific for each interaction.

OMNICHANNEL Omnichannel shoppers spend

more, are more loyal and are more active influencing others to buy from you. Evolve your bricks and mortar offering to embrace other channels. Everyone is doing this.


Digital devices overtook humans and will reach 4 times as many by 2020. Collect emails & social details for customers.


25% Of shoppers will be spending over £50 per week on mobile within the next 5 years and 1 in 3 already use mobile wallets. Make it easier for your customers to pay by introducing up to date payment methods.


Many retailers experimenting with pushing promos direct to customers in close proximity. Will your pms system allow you to do this? If not then what other apps will allow you to do this?


Driven by time poor and convenience craving shoppers. Amazon has already introduced amazon dash. How else could you make it more convenient for someone to buy from you?


Driven by the social revolution, many shoppers will check what your social streams are saying before they buy. Ensure your social presence is current and positive. Go where the eyeballs are.


Millenials will account for 30% of all sales by 2020, and 75% of the entire workforce by 2025. These are your future presbyopes. Does your brand of retail appeal to them.

SHOPPING WITHOUT BORDERS Technology and the internet has

removed geographical boundaries and competitive threat comes from anywhere globaly. What overseas trends will disrupt your industry. Keep yourself well informed.


The picture is one of uncertainty. Salary growth will probably lag behind inflation for the next couple of years. Your product and service proposition must be more compelling and interrogate your business running costs with a magnifying glass.

>> Continued from front page Knowing that we have always shouted about eye care as being independent led and something that the independent practices can be a little bit stronger at, we have to make sure that this now stacks up and is indeed the case.

What we know is that as eyes age, there is an increase of disease within them, and with an increase of disease with the eye, there is therefore an increase in the cost of eye care. If we take this 20 year window (which we are already one third of the way through), it tells us that the cost of eye care is going to substantially increase during this time period. Furthermore, the burden for the NHS to deliver this eye care is going to increase, when already their pockets are being squeezed. This will put further pressure on change and push the responsibility of eye care back into the community, as the cost of eye care in the hospital is far more expensive than on the high street.

These changes are already happening and what we want to do as a group, is to be well placed to participate in this opportunity in the landscape. A lot of independent practices will be too slow to react but that is certainly something that we won’t be doing! We will ensure that we, as a group, are perpetrators of this change, not the victims of it . Our practices must be well equipped, and our optoms and DOs accredited to allow us to take advantage of the opportunity that will be available in the next five to 10 years of optometry around enhanced eye care. This will do doubt drive footfall which will additionally convert into patients, who will use us not just for their eye care, but also, their eye wear.

While all of this can be seen as a threat, it is also an opportunity and I certainly look at it as the latter. However, to take advantage of this opportunity, we have to be well informed and we have to be ready. The way we will do this, is by ensuring our practices are well equipped and our professionals are knowledgeable and fully prepared for the changes that are afoot.

Ultimately, our history is not a justification for our future and we must adapt in order to thrive. To quote President John F. Kennedy: “Change is the law of life. Those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

We will begin to see a big shift in some of the multiples, mainly Specsavers, in the way they market to consumers, which will no doubt drive some of this change. They are now heavily promoting, or will very soon via marketing on TV, be promoting eye health clinics. This will see a shift in their usual message, which used to be centered around value i.e. 2 for 1 etc. to now being all about eye care. This is because they also realise the opportunity that will be available as the market shifts and re-manoeuvres over the next few years.

We’re living in changing times, we’re living in exponential times but as a group, we are most certainly living in interesting and exciting times.

Currently, all the optoms at Specsavers are getting accredited, ready for enhanced services and their marketing is getting geared up to change public perception about enhanced services.

MAKING A SPLASH NEW SHARKS IN 2016 2016 was a whirlwind year for us. Congratulations to the following new sharks who have joined our journey. •

Riyaz Jasat

Susan Scaffardi

Clodagh McGovern

Wendy Diddams

Lee Choo

Martin Viggars

Paul Forsythe

Simon Mann

Derek Michael

Mike Daybell

Debbie Smith

Sarah Dineen

Garry Kousoulou

Angela Nicholson

Six Tips On Telephone Reminders

Telephone Reminders by Zubair Hakim

1 Contact Robin at Visual Extreme on 01403 784248. Ask him to email an up-to-date copy of this months reminder list, if you haven’t already received it. Open the attachment. This will contain the list and it should look like this.

2 You then need to re-order the list into recall-step order. Click on the Sort & Filter button

3 Select “Custom Sort”. If this screen comes up:

Then always select “Expand the selection” and press Sort (If this screen does not appear, go to step 4).

1 Choose your patients carefully . When you go through the reminder list from Visual Extreme , try to first identify which patients will be “Easy Wins”. The kind of patient you’re looking for here are patients who spend well and with whom you have a good relat ionship. When you speak to this group of patients, it is much more likely they will be responsive to your call and it is a simple matter of selling the phone call reminder as a service to them. 2 Get into the habit of asking pati ents if they are happy to receive a phone call reminder whe n their next test is due. Make sure you mark on the record that they are ok with this. This will make phoning much easier next time. 3 Keep a clear record of who you have phoned. Whether it is a red line through their name or skull and crossbones next to it, make sure you know that a patient has been contacted. It may be time-consum ing initially, but I find the best way to do this is to put a line through the patient's name on the reminder list to show contact has been made. Then, whenever you receive a new month’s list, cross-reference, removing any patients who received a call on the last list. Contacting a patient too many times or in too short a space of time will alienate them. 4 Don’t waffle! Be direct about why you’re phoning but be pleasant as well. You need to dev elop a speech to the patients that you are comfortable with and that sounds natural and to the point. Always keep in mind that what you are doing is actually of benefit to the patient. This is a long job, but can really help to keep the diary afloat. 5 This job needs to be done prop erly. Give the job to one person and let them dedicate the time that you put aside for solely doing this job. 6 Good Luck

4 Click on the arrow in the Sort By box:

5 Next, scroll down to the bottom and select “Recall Step”. Click OK. This screen will show up:

6 Always select the top option. Click OK again. All the recalls will now be organised into Recall Step order, starting with 1st reminders through to whatever your highest number is.

7 You need to now go through the list, phoning each patient to ask if they have received a reminder letter as you have installed a new computer system and you are making sure everyone has received their letters. Whilst you have them on the phone, ask whether they would like to book in. You now need to indicate that you have contacted the patient. Left-click on the number at the beginning of the row of the patient you have just contacted, to highlight it, then right-click anywhere on that row, left click on Format Cells, then left-click on Fill, choose red and click OK

8 You can select other colours to indicate if a patient would like to be contacted at a later date or if a message was left and you need to get back in touch for example. Then go back to step 7 and repeat. When you are finished, click on the Office Button. Choose Save As and rename the file, including todays date.

Taking A Fashion-Forward Approach Is Key To Maintaining Profitable Practices by Angela Campbell

It’s no secret that keeping your finger on the pulse for the latest in eyewear fashion is essential to keeping ahead of your competitors and sustaining a profit flow. As we move into the summer season, it’s a great time to start to start looking for fresh new styles to brighten up your range of frames.

Another hit this summer are solid black acetate frames with thick, bold sides. Perfect for creating a strong, edgy look, when juxtaposed against someone with more delicate facial features. Justin Timberlake is just one of many A – listers following this trend.

What better way to monitor eyewear trends than look at some of the styles being modelled by some of the most famous celebrity faces in the world?

Indentifying the trends is half the battle… now it’s time to sell them!

Eye-catching colour is a must for Spring / Summer 2017. Be bold. Look for combinations of colour with lighter shades reflecting on the inside of frames.

With a well-stocked practice, brimming with the latest eyewear trends, perhaps what is most daunting is selling the right frames to difficult, fashion-conscious patients. Here are some practical tips:

Think acetate laminates combining crystal and tortoise. If you need inspiration, look no further than these beautiful frames being worn by Gwen Stefani.

• Ask about patient lifestyle. Always ask patients a bit about their lifestyle, such as their work life and play life. Ask what they like or dislike about their current frame style and if they want to try something a bit different from what they are wearing. Always try to have a few fashionforward, trend-setter-type frames on your board for those who are more fashion-conscious. • Think ‘out of the box.’ If your practice is fairly conservative and mainstream, it is important to have a few “out-of-the-box” frames to pull. Also have those types of frames for another reason. Sometimes you have someone who has been in a very conservative basic frame—colour, shape, etc.

Shapes that “demand attention” are set to be all the rage this summer, like the Cat Eye modelled by JLO. Another great style that combines retro throwbacks are double bridges, mixing vintage with futuristic. Natural hues in tones of pale blue, dusty grey, and hazy taupe evoke a clean minimalist look and soothing feel. For gents, what could be better than a classic pair of tortoise shell, round eye aviators? They’re a timeless style that have adorned the faces of everyone from Robert Downey Jnr to Ryan Gosling.

They want to make a change and more of a fashion statement, but are really looking for a professional opinion and permission to do so. If you can show them an extreme difference from where they are, it makes them more comfortable to at least go somewhere in the middle and a little further away from where they’ve been in style. • Find the perfect match. The other thing to remember is sometimes fashion-forward or trendy frames don’t look as good on the board as they do on a face. They can be intimidating with some of the colours and shapes, but if you get that frame on the right person, it can look amazing!


t h e l ook!

Sound Advice

Marchon Open Day At Southam

by Pete Clack

by Richard Hatton

Amplify Hearing

Janet Porter Opticians

We live in a world of sound. It can be the source of some of life’s most precious moments, such as your child’s first words or on the other end of the spectrum, pure irritation, like the music seeping from headphones from the person next to us.

Our ‘holy grail’ for daily turnover at Southam is £3 000 - a barrier we have only once overcome. During our open day where we showcased the complete collection of Valentino, Michael Kors and Salvatore Ferragamo frames, our orders totalled a monster £5,897.18!

It stems back to our conceptual existence, the ability to communicate with our fellow species and yet we never really consider or appreciate its true force and power.

Years ago, I tried a similar event which in all honesty was a complete ‘dead duck’ even though we advertised extensively including Derby local radio. The main difference this time was that we had a full appointment book so the practice was always busy. Previously we had kept the appointment book open so that those coming into the practice could have their eyes tested on the day – and of course no-one did!!

Amplify Hearing aims to enlighten patients to the sheer force of sound and how we must respect the ability to hear and harnesses its full meaning, for without sound, we lose our ability to communicate and become isolated. The services we provide regarding aural health care includes: hearing tests, speech tests, otoscopic examination of the external ear, ear canal wax removal, hearing aids and assistive devices, ear protection, aftercare and servicing on hearing aids. You will now be able to offer new services for your practice, together with the added benefit of extra revenue, new patients for your database and the peace of mind that you now offer audiology which some of your competitors already have. The synergy between optical and audiological health care is becoming prevalent within the market place so lets ensure we stay ahead of the rest of the pack!

The brilliant relationship we have with the representative, who is a regular visitor to the practice, also helped. She provided three great prizes for a raffle supporting Vision Aid Overseas as well as giving a generous extra 10% discount on all frames sold on the day. Ijaz from HQ also supported by working out our very own ‘Social Contents Calendar’, as did our creative marketing team’ who helped promote the event. We also sent out extra letters to those patients who hadn’t responded to previous reminders. Finally, the advantages go beyond the financial rewards. The Open Day was always about getting our name into the community regardless of whether any orders were placed. It has also helped staff morale and given everyone a boost during a month when we may have struggled to reach our target. Everyone worked extremely hard and really enjoyed the day.


This year, Imran was presented with the Outstanding Alumnus Award by University of Manchester! The award was given in recognition for his achievements in business, as well as his contributions as a director of entrepreneurship at The University of Manchester Intellectual Property. Imran provided graduates at the ceremony with a fantastic inspirational speech to send them on their way into the world of business. If you haven’t already, be sure to head over to our YouTube channel and give it a watch.

Sharing Ideas across Practices by Paul Newell Waterloo Eye Centre

Paul Newell, Waterloo Eye Centre shares his insights into record keeping, having ‘a quick look’ and Optix. Record keeping is an important part of what we do. A thorough record card is your best defence in the unfortunate event of an NHS investigation or a GOC fitness to practice investigation. Always try to record any advice given to existing or new patients, particularly if it involves advice to go to A&E. This applies to front line staff (receptionists) as well as optometrists, dispensers, frame stylists etc. If talking to a patient on the phone or a walk in, try and get into the habit of getting their record card up on the screen or creating a brief record card for new patients to record any verbal/written advice given the patient. For optometrists using their own abbreviations, it is good practice to have a list of abbreviations and their meanings, so other colleagues looking at your record cards will understand what you saw last time. The quality in optometry record card audit is a useful tool to assess the thoroughness of your record keeping. Visit

A Quick Look It is not advisable to “just have a quick look”, I recommend a full eye examination for every patient. There have been a number of cases before the GOC for missed pathology when someone had a quick look.

Optix For those of you who have Optix, sometimes it may not record a record of your examination (Network/internet issues and Optix themselves occasionally) or record only a partial record. Frequent saves are advised to minimise the amount of data lost but where it all goes horribly wrong, please try to ensure you create a paper record and enter the information later. Optix will keep a record of the patient’s initial appointment but if you don’t have a clinical record of what you have done, then at best, a returning contact lens patient will have no details on the system as to what lenses they wear – making the next visit much more difficult and you may have to refit them and end up looking silly in front of the patient. The worst case scenario is you have to rely on your NON existent record to defend a GOC fitness to practice committee. The GOC view is if it has not been recorded, then it has not been done. On a brighter note, we are looking to tailor the clinical menus in Optix to make them more inclusive. If you have any suggestions please upload onto the clinical corner thread on Basecamp. However, a long list covering all options is just as impractical as a short list with the wrong options. We won’t be able to please everyone, but we will attempt to include the most used choices.

Never Say Never by Angela Campbell Project Management

My initial 22 year career in Optics began in 1978. I eventually owned my own small group of practices in the North West of England, recently described as “swanky”! It was hard work. I escaped into the digital industry for 14 years and ran a branding and web design agency; easier but not as rewarding. I’ve worked for myself for almost 30 years and vowed with a passion that I’d NEVER work in Optics again, or work for anyone else! I now find myself working back in Optics; not only that, but I have a boss! It’s taken some time, but there is a mutual respect and honesty in the relationship with my (never thought I’d ever say it) Boss! It works. It’s been a stretch for both of us; but I love every minute of it. I work hard… and I have enormous respect for Team Hakim! The Hakim Group is a notable company; wholesome moral principals are at the heart of the company ethos. The wider ‘family’, i.e. the ever expanding number of independent

practices in the Hakim Group are exactly that, “Family”. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true! Me! I am passionate about product design, retailing, great customer service and branding. I struggle to sell average products with an average service. Independent opticians under the Hakim banner can successfully survive in the same high street and live in harmony with the multiples. We are the choice for the discerning client. So let’s give them a different experience and product. The public needs a choice. But the independent optician needs the right tools and guidance to compete. I believe we are currently at a turning point, people are returning for that one-to-one experience. Watch this space for my thoughts on buying, retailing and serving in the independent sector. I can hear Imran in my ear saying “Angela, we all can’t do high end… Blah, Blah, Blah!

Hakim Group On Tour by Tom Franks

Hakim Group has been touring high and low spreading the good word of the HG journey, its values and product offering!

December 2015 - Fish Tank, Hotel Football For December 2015’s Fish Tank, we took the group for a two night conference at the infamous Football Hotel in Manchester, owned by non-other than Manchester United legends, Paul Scholes, Ryan Gigs, Nicky Butt and the Neville Brothers (No points for guessing why Imran chose this venue then!). Key note speaker, Juliette Lee provided us with a fascinating holistic look at to manage our work/life balance. Of course, no HG event would be complete without some fun and games. Manchester Christmas Market had no idea what had hit it after a flurry of HG Fish swept through it for our Christmas Market Madness challenge. Congratulations to Angela and her shoal of fish who came out on top to be crowned victors!

March 2016 - Fish Tank, Bolton We went back to our roots in March, bringing the Fish together at the All Souls Church in Bolton for a one day event. Imran opened up the event explaining the importance of Bolton for the fabric of the group’s heritage. The venue, All Souls Church, had specific importance to the family, as the late Ismail Hakim was instrumental in the renovation of the building. This event was a chance for the group to reflect upon its roots and how far it has come over the past decade.

May 2016 - Fish Tank, Northampton The lovely Brian and Nicky from Tompkins, Knight & Son welcomed us to their amazing practice in sunny Northampton. They guided us through their philosophy and provided us insight into how they have received their reputation of having one of the best patient journey experiences in UK optometry. We then headed over to the iconic venue, The Picturedrome for a spot of fish and chips, followed by a fantastic talk from the ever eccentric Brian on the importance of offering complete contact lens services. It was a fantastic day full of tons of (fish) food for thought!

December 2016 - Annual Retreat

Our 2016 Annual Retreat was our most ambitious ever, With 10 years of history to celebrate, it was going to take some doing to top 2015’s event but after bringing Hollywood to the bright lights of Blackpool, we can safely say we managed it in true HG fashion! Highlights of the weekend included a rousing motivational session from renowned speaker, Steve Head who showed us the importance of marginal gains and how this can enable us to achieve success in all aspects of our life, not just in work. We also flew in Glen Daley, to deliver a masterclass, covering why how to be better leaders in all aspects of our life and how to be the best verion of ourselves possible. Of course, who could forget the highlight of the weekend, our fantastic Hakim Hollywood Oscars Ceremony! We transformed the Imperial Hotel into the home of the silver screen to put on an Oscars party like no other. Your costumes were phenomenal and the meal was a huge success. We hope you all had as much fun as we did! Let’s see where next year’s event will take us!



Most Consistent Practice Netherton Eye Centre

Best Customer Growth Murrays Opticians

The girls put in a number of fantastic performances throughout 2016.

The team at Murrays saw exponential new patient growth throughout 2016 setting a shining example for the rest of the group. Well done!

Best Overall KPIs Tyrells and Emberry Strong result across the board with close attention to detail.

Best Diary Management Orrells Opticians The Orrells team were meticulous all your round when it came to managing their practice diary!

CL Practice of the Year Paul Cheetham Eyecare Great performance on a key area of focus within our business this year.

Practice of the Year Adlam & Coomber For the second year running! Fantastic monthly performance, great use of social media and a number of creative in-practice campaigns meant that that 2016 was their year! Can they make it a hat-trick and win it again in 2017?

Fish of the Year Evie Ballarano Alex Durie Once again, competition was fierce for this award and we simply couldn’t choose just one person! Congratulations to both Evie and Alex whose contributions to their teams has been immense over the last 12 months!

Shark of the Year Nichola Mason Faheem Sarfraz Another joint winners category (can you see a pattern forming here? It’s too hard to choose one!). Nichola took home the gong for Shark of the Year for the second year running, along with Faheem not bad for his first time at the awards!

Optical Adviser of the Year Karen Davitt

Best Customer Service Vera Wilton Optometrists

A fantastic achievement from Karen Davitt, who fought off stiff competition throughout the group to win this award!

The team in Dalton provided excellent customer service day in, day out, throughout 2016.

Employee of the Year Simon Jones

Turnaround Practice of the Year Morans Opticians Newbold Opticians Eye World There were so many great achievements from some of the newer practices in 2016 that it was impossible to choose just one for this award. However, Morans, Newbold Opticians and Eye World all put in outstanding performances which saw brilliant growth rates for all three practices during 2016.

He may be difficult to understand with his scouse accent but we won't hold that against him. This award was in recognition of simons 'just get on with it' attitude.

Optometrist of the Year Lee Thomas Yet another award going to team Adlam and Coomber! Lee’s fantastic patient NPS responses and ability to take on all that Nichola throws at him was a key factor in him winning this award.


by Tom Franks

Dispensing Optician of the Year Anna Kilner

Best Newcomer HGHQ Tom Franks

Having recently qualified as a DO, Anna somehow squeezed in three marathons this year, while also providing exceptional service to her patients.

Tom has made a real impact at HQ and the wider business in the short time he has been here. A calming individual to be around, not easily flustered, he is sure to go far.

Manager of the Year Karen Peel

Unsung Hero Award Declan Bailey Stuart Bainbridge

Underpinning the excellent growth in Rochdale was Karen's steady hand on the steering wheel ensuring the entire team were firing on all cylinders!

Best Margin Control Richard Hatton SB's favourite award, Richard has been extremely consistent in looking after the pennies and buying smart.

Best Newcomer Clodagh McGovern Since joining the group earlier this year, Clodagh has shown a tenacity blended with warmth and an Irish charm that has already seen the practice go from strength to strength. Thoroughly well deserved!

Two very deserving individuals, Declan most of you will know but our graphic designer, Stuart Bainbridge has been our secret weapon for almost a decade. Having placed the order for the awards himself, Dec’s still none the wiser as to how we snuck this one past him but you only had to hear the cheers these two received to see just how much the group appreciated the hard work they do for us every day.

Social Media Superstar Gary Kousoulou After he joined the group earlier this year, there was almost an air of inevitability with this award! Gary is leading the way for marketing independent practices online and within the community.

10 Years Service Award Mark Jones Muzza Patel Anyone who can work at HGHQ for a decade and still have their sanity deserves an award. These 2 are just like a married couple, they can't work with each other and they can't work without.

Meet Your HQ Heroes! Not all heroes wear capes you know! Here’s a chance for you to get to know the HQ Heroes who tirelessly work behind the scenes to help us with our work every day! Imran Hakim - CEO Superpower: Multitasking! Loves: His family at home, and at work Hates: Laziness!

Nathaniel Holmes - Social Media Guru Superpower: Teleportation Loves: The Gym Hates: Early mornings

Suaib Issa (SB) - Finance Director Superpower: Total Control Loves: Lamb Chops Hates: Time wasters & Fibbers

Stu Bainbridge - Graphic Designer Superpower: X-ray Vision Loves: My bed Hates: Nuisance sales calls

Zubair Hakim - Operations Director Superpower: Disappearing act Loves: Making a difference Hates: Wasting time

Dipesh Dhodakia - Junior Graphic Designer Superpower: Shapeshifting Loves: Achieving Hates: People who won't try something new

Shafiq Ahmed - HR Manager Superpower: Mind control Loves: Food Hates: Being hungry

Saliha Hakim - Dispensing Optician & Events Superpower: Absorbing other people's powers Loves: Happiness Hates: Sadness

Mark Jones - Accounts Superpower: Invisibility Loves: His girlfriend Hates: Muzza

Jayne Ferguson - Executive Support & Events Superpower: Telekinesis Loves: Husband Hates: Disrespectfulness

Muzza Patel - Facilities Manager Superpower: Astral Projection Loves: His children Hates: BT

Jo Macklin - Optix support Superpower: Flying Loves: Democracy Hates: Closed-mindedness

Lee Culshaw - Accounts Superpower: Transmutation Loves: Life Hates: Hatefulness!

Yamin Gani - Events Coordinator Superpower: Super healing Loves: Burgers Hates: Vegetables

Ijaz Awan - Project Manager Superpower: Control of all tech Loves: Spreadsheets Hates: Spreadsheets!

Paul Mothershaw - Practice Buddy Superpower: Shape shifting Loves: The great outdoors Hates: Complacency

Declan Bailey - Project Manager Superpower: Control time Loves: The present Hates: Yamin

Penny Goddard - Practice Buddy Superpower: Flying Loves: Her horse Hates: Parents with push chairs who block supermarket isles chatting!

Tom Franks - PR & Marketing Manager Superpower: Time travel Loves: Yorkshire Hates: Rain Jordan Worthington - Digital Project Manager Superpower: Telepathy Loves: Takeway food Hates: Vegetables

Angela Campbell - Practice Buddy Superpower: Reading minds Loves: Classic cars Hates: Undertakers Paul Forsythe - Practice Buddy & Operations Superpower: Flying Loves: His wife and kids Hates: Chaos!

Josh Gallagher IT and Optix isibility Superpower: Inv Loves: Guitar net Hates: Slow inter

Emily Ormshaw HR & Facilities Ex ecutive Superpower: Telep ortation Loves: The Beatles Hates: Lazy peop le

What do you do Josh? I provide support for our IT services and Optix software.

Hi Emily, what’s your role at Hakim HQ? Hi! I’m a HR and Facilities administrator.

How do you help our practices every day? The practices can call upon me for anything that’s related to Optix, whether it’s an issue with a patients record, an issue with a dispense or simply advice on how to use the recalls. They can also pick my brain for anything that’s IT related!

So what does your average day look like then? I’m help both Shaf and Muzza with various jobs that need completing such as administration for contracts, updating our HR system with new team members who join the group and much, much more!

What do you love about working at Hakim Group? I love the atmosphere. Everyone works together as a team and gets on so well making it a really fun and engaging place to work!

Who do you think is the funniest person in the office? Hmm, I don’t I want to say incase they take it the wrong way!

OK, now for something a little more left field! What’s your Favorite cereal? Wheetos! Which football team do you support? Blackburn Rovers! Which person from HQ would you pick first to be in your football team? Erm... probably Declan! Last one, who do you think is the best table tennis player in the whole group? The best I’ve played so far is Zubair! Controversial! Thanks Josh!

Fair enough! OK we’ll try another one. Who would be the first person at Hakim Group that you would team up with to survive a zombie apocalypse? Definitely Jayne! She’s the most organized so she’d come up with a really good plan for how we would survive! She’s the most efficient! No arguments there! What’s your favorite food? Anything Italian! If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’m going to say California as I’m already going there on holiday soon. I can’t wait! We can imagine! Thanks Emily!

The Hakim Games Charity BBQ 2016 by Tom Franks

Our second ever ‘Hakim Games’ was once again, a huge success, bringing together our HG extended family for a day of fun, food and a healthy dose of friendly competition, all in the name of a fantastic cause. The level of generosity shown was outstanding and we raised the best part of £20,000 for our two chosen charities, completely blowing last year’s target out of the water!

‘Shout Outs’ From The HG BBQ • “My highlight has to be when Muzza dove through one of the inflatables on the obstacle course and unintentionally pulled his shorts down. If you missed it, you’ll be delighted to know it was included on the video highlights from the day. Head over to the HG YouTube channel and check it out!” Tom Franks, HQ • “Our highlights were watching all of the adults jumping in and out of the foam... because we wanted to jump in it too!” Hawwa and Aafiyah Hakim • “I loved the bubble football this year. Me and Richard showed the kids who’s boss!” Declan Bailey, HQ • “The foam is always a highlight but it’s lovely to be able to catch up with lots of the group that you haven’t seen for a long time! It’s also nice to able to chat with the suppliers in an environment outside of work, which helps to cement relationships.” Laura Roberts, Vera Wilton Optometrists • “The charity event was amazing fun. Very pleased & proud to have been a part of it. Lovely to meet up with everyone. Most of all, I’m so happy to have participated in an event to help those less fortunate than us." Jo Macklin, HQ • “One of the best gifts to give someone is the gift of sight. Be happy & keep smiling.” Dhiren Patel, Allan Miller Optometrists

Tips from the trenches… Bennet and Batty: Patient Journey Form by Joanna Halliday

At Bennet and Batty, we recently introduced a ‘Patient Journey Form’ to help us better communicate a patient’s requirements, from the moment they walk into the practice for their initial testing, all the way to the dispensing of their spectacles and finally, their two week courtesy call. Now we can’t take all of the credit for this process! The idea came about after Helen at Makerfield Eye Centre advised that she had implemented a similar system which made the team more efficient and aware of their patient’s requirements. We adapted her current format to fit our individual needs and so far the results have been fantastic! The form reminds our girls of the important data we need to collect, such as emails, and allows us to record any important information during the initial conversation which might be useful to Neil or during dispensing. For example, if a patient is not wearing the same prescription that is currently on our files for them, we are then able take a reading of their current glasses, as well as the reading we determine from the examination and make a note of it on their patient journey form.

The journey form then stays with the order and any subsequent conversations are detailed such as notifications or delays. Once the patient has collected their specs, we keep the form open until we have completed a 2 week courtesy call with them and we’re fully satisfied that all the patient’s requirements have been met. All in all, since introducing the form, it has helped us to make our patients experience far more streamlined, preventing frustrating experiences that come from a breakdown of communication. You’re all more than aware how crazy it can get in the practice when you’re working flat out and inevitably some balls are going to get dropped! Our patient journey forms mean that even if Neil is booked in for a full day of testing and barely leaves the test room, he’s fully aware of the patient’s wants and needs. It also means we can have far more open conversations with our patients as opposed to simply ticking off a box on a form, creating better patient relations. It’s a win / win! Not only that, but we feel much more confident as a team and in tune with one another.


Performance Tracker

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by Ijaz Awan

Back in Q1, 2015, we introduced Workbook 2.0. An evolution of one of the most important tools we have within our business! By now, I’m sure you’re all more than familiar with its fantastic features such as its ability to allow us to evaluate trends, identify strengths and weaknesses and compare our yearly like-for-like growth against our targets better than ever before. Over the last year I have been listening to your thoughts and feelings on how you found using the new system and have come up with my five top tips for using your workbook as efficiently as possible! 1 Check for typos! You’d be amazed how just mistyping one little letter or number can completely alter a word or a figure. You’ve only got to google auto-correct fails to know what I’m talking about! This might be a really simple piece of advice but when it comes to reviewing your work, it can save lots of valuable time, as you’re not having to try work out where the odd bonkers figure has come from, or what you really meant to say instead of the random unrelated word you’ve accidently written down!

2 Don’t forget to put in your contact lens direct debit amount in! This should go in on the last Sunday of each month. Forgetting to do so can seriously skew your figures so always remember to add this in! 3 Labour costs! To get a full picture of your overall-costs, remember to call the elves at HQ and grab these figures to add to your work book! 4 Lease payments! If you have any pieces of kit which are on a lease payment, please ensure you categorise this into “Other” not Capital Ex. This is because lease payments are a P+L expense! 5 Don’t copy and paste! Please, please, please do not copy and paste! If you copy and paste data into any of the fields, this will mess up the formatting on the page and can make it a nightmare to review! It might seem a little bit more work inputting the individual fields manually but trust me, it’ll save you lots more time (and a big headache) in the long run! That’s all for now! Keep up the good work everyone, we have an exciting evolution to the workbook planned for 2017... and if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

In The Media by Tom Franks

The practices have been active in securing positive media coverage in the community newspapers. Here are just a few of the articles that have been published in the press. If you would like any help in getting some column inches in your local press to shout about some of the great work you do, then please contact • Janet Porter gave long-time patient Terrence Kelly a fantastic 80th birthday surprise. In collaboration with Alan Miller, Terrence received a special birthday message from his favourite team, Salford Red Devils. Terrence also met all the players when Alan Miller went to fit them for their new sunglasses. • Adlam and Coomber were the catalyst to saving the sight of a local patient when detecting a detached retina following an emergency eye examination. The practice also organised a two-day fashion takeover showcasing Jimmy Choo and Hugo Boss new frames as well as exclusive offers. • Tyrrells & Embery played a part in saving a patient’s life! Following a routine examination which detected the signs of a tumour developing in her eye, the patient was referred to a specialist and received lifesaving surgery. • Bennett and Batty recently made the headlines in The Mirror and The Liverpool Echo after Neil spotted symptoms of an optic nerve tumour in retired policeman, James Peter Simpson’s OCT scan. Brilliant work Neil! • Halsey Opticians was involved in raising money for charity. Bob Halsey took part in a 60-mile canoe trail which saw him rowing for five days starting at Fort William and finishing in Inverness. Well done Bob. The practice also teamed with champion snooker player, Peter Ebden, to raise awareness of the importance of frequent eye examinations. Peter cited Halsey’s longterm care of his eyes as a major part of his success.

The Importance of thank you cards by Zubair Hakim

Whilst an obvious reason to send a patient a thank you card is to express appreciation, they can also suggest a call to action and encourage a positive perception of the practice. How can you apply this in your practice? The practice simply needs to apply the pre-existing Recall Group ‘Thank You 2 Month’ to any patient they want to receive the card. This then runs alongside their usual ST recalls. There is only 1 Step for this Recall Group, which is already set at an interval of 2 months. Optix automatically detects when patients are due for the cards and send them. If you let Robin Ling at Visual Extreme know that you are going to send cards, they will assist with the design and set it up ready for you to use (email robin@ or call 01403 784248).

Steps • Decide on the value of dispense for which you want to send a ‘thank you' card. For example, at Adlam and Coomber the values have been set at; Single vision - £160, Bifocals - £200 and Varifocals - £250. These amounts were chosen as they reflect approximately £100 frame dispense which is a considerable spend to some customers. • Decide if you are going to send a thank you for complete pairs or reglazes. • At the point of collection, update the recall for the customer to now include the Thankyouscheme which then generates a postcard 2 months from that period.

NOTE: Some practices have found a problem occurs when a customer returns specs after a month, needs a retest, remake etc. and the original thank you recall is not amended. Practice staff need to be aware that if they have dealt with a complaint, non tolerance issue, that they need to amend this date otherwise a thank you card could turn up before any issues have been sorted! Not the desired outcome! Practices with Eyeplan (like A&C) need a different scheme setting up. Due to the discounts offered, these customers cannot be added in the same way. At present these collections are recorded on paper and then cards specifically made for EP customers are hand-written. They are worded slightly differently and have no discount offer. If all else fails, call me at HQ or email me directly and I’ll get it sorted.

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE HG FAMILY The Hakim Group family hasn’t just been growing with new practices; there’s been lots of wedding bells and lots of pitterpatter of tiny feet from new arrivals.

First up, the new borns! • Husna Hakim - Born Saturday 26th Match 2016 A massive congrats to Imran, Sabina and Safaa! If you’ve not met her yet, she’s extremely cute, and as you can see, she’s already getting lots of love from the group!

• Next to make their big arrival was little Baby Li, who was born on Monday 29th August! Congratulations to Bruce, Michele and Nicole. We wish mum and Zak the best of health! • One week later, at 3am on Tuesday 7th September, Sohail and his better half Fatima welcomed the newest addition to the Hakim household, a beautiful baby boy, Ibrahim, weighing in at 7lbs 14oz. Congratulations to you all!

The Head Office Team is Growing by Shafiq Ahmed

The madhouse that is the HG headquarters has had a few new recruits to boost its ranks! Meet our newest victims... ahem... I mean, newest additions! • Tom Franks - PR and Marketing Manager “Some of you may recognise me from having previously worked together while I was at Raw Creative. “I absolutely loved working with you all over the last twelve months, so when Imran offered me the opportunity to join the team, it took a fair bit of restraint to refrain from biting his arm off at the elbow, so to speak! I’m extremely excited to be working with you all and you will no doubt be seeing/ hearing a lot more from me from now on!” • Jordan Worthington - Digital Project Manager “Hello, by now most of you should know who I am. I have taken great pleasure from meeting you all and joining the Hakim team over the last few months. I took over from Anil as a project manager and I look after the web development and social media among other things! I have a lot of experience in all elements of digital media, which I hope to continue to develop and put to good use going forward.”

• Josh Gallagher - Optix Support Wizard “My name is Josh and I have been working at the Hakim Group since the beginning of August, my role is to assist practices with the use of Optix and working on some of the back-end stuff some of you might not see! “The atmosphere in the office is fantastic and everyone gets along really well which always helps in getting up early in the morning to come to work! I’m looking forward to the retreats and trips we have coming in the near future and to continue working with the team as it continues to grow.” • Nathaniel Homes - Social Media Account Executive “Hi everyone, my name is Nathaniel! I am the new social media guru at Hakim Group HQ and assistant for other marketing projects. I have already spoken to some of you over the phone and I look forward to meeting you all at the upcoming events. “Working at Hakim Group has been brilliant so far because the atmosphere is great, everyone is friendly and the variety of the projects makes it really interesting! I am looking forward to learning many different new things, one of which will be video production so hopefully soon I will be working with some of you to create some great new content.”

And now the weddings!

• Congratulations to Faheem and his wife, Fariah, who welcomed their little boy, Ismail, on 19th February 2016! We hope he has a lovely first birthday! • Congratulations to Alex and Kate on the arrival of their son on Saturday 20th February, Benjamin Robin Durie! As you can see he's super cute, and definitely not camera shy!

• Jayne and Steve While being an organisational super star and organising all of our fantastic events, Jayne also secretly buzzed away, organising an extra special day for herself and Steve… Their wedding day! We couldn’t be happier for them both! • Nichole and Roy Huge congrats to Nichole and Roy who tied the knot on Friday 3rd June 2016. As you can see from the pics, they both looked absolutely fantastic and we hear that a brilliant day was had by all!

BBGR Launches A Range Of Lenses And Coatings Designed To Reduce Eye Fatigue by Paul Forsythe

We have teamed up with BBGR to run a new lens promotion each quarter throughout 2017, helping to offer your customers added value.

Quarter 1 - Multi pair promotion Buy any pair of spectacles with a Neva Max family Coating or SMART coating from Rawdon and receive a second pair of lenses for 50% with the same coating. This can then be used as a patient lead offer with the following options. • Buy any lenses with a Neva Max UV or SMAR.T coating and get a second pair the same lenses (tinted / polarised) for half price. (Plus the normal cost of a second frame) • Buy any clear pair of complete spectacles with a Neva Max UV or SMAR.T coating and complete spectacles at half price (with the same lenses or tinted/polarised). • As above but from a selected range of frames.

Quarter 2 & 3 - Sunglass Promotion We will be running the same sunglass promtions from BBGR and Rawdon as we did in 2016: BBGR Offer • Buy any clear lens with Neva Max UV on and you will only be charged £10.00 per lens for the corresponding pair of Xperio (Polarised) or Transitions lenses. • Use the code “2NDPAIR” in the PO Box when ordering on line for the Xperio or Transitions pair. Rawdon Offer • Slightly different with Rawdon order the NuPolar or Transitions lenses and pay normal price for these and then receive the corresponding pair of clear lenses free of charge. Both pairs with SMAR.T coating. • When taking part in this promotion you need to use the following promotion code “2NDPAIR” Free of Charge on the CLEAR PAIR of lenses. • Buy any lenses with a Neva Max UV or SMAR.T coating and Get a second pair of either Polarised or Transitions lenses for half price. (Plus the normal cost of a second frame). • Buy any clear pair of complete spectacles with a Neva Max UV or SMAR.T coating and get a pair of Polarised or Transitions complete spectacles at half price. • As above but from a selected range of frames.

Quarter 4 - Multi pair promotion • Buy any pair of spectacles with a Neva Max family Coating or SMART coating from Rawdon and receive a second pair of lenses for 50% with the same coating. • This can then be used as a patient lead offer with the following options. • Buy any lenses with a Neva Max UV or SMAR.T coating and Get a second pair the same lenses (tinted / polarised) for half price. (Plus the normal cost of a second frame) • Buy any clear pair of complete spectacles with a Neva Max UV or SMAR.T coating and complete spectacles at half price (with the same lenses or tinted/polarised). • As above but from a selected range of frames.

Colorimetry ASBo style (All Souls Bolton) by Paul Newell

We recently held an education event at All Souls church in Bolton, to try and:

Unlocking h Potential Wit


• Help improve the confidence and utilisation of the Phase 1 colorimetry practices (those that already have a colorimeter) • To increase the knowledge of those phase 2 practices (those that have committed to get colorimetry in their practices) • To stimulate the interest of potential phase 3 practices (those that may wish to develop a colorimetry service) • To provide some education for staff generally In true Hakim style the event ran smoothly to Hakim time, mainly due to the M62/M60 carparks delaying a significant number of participants. The event kicked off with mother Hakims fantastic cooking, followed by Prof. Arnold Wilkins, one of the foremost experts in the field of visual stress and it alleviation with colour. His “in depth talk” covered the how and the why visual stress occurs and the potential to help with either coloured overlays or precision tinted lenses. The next session was a talk by Gavin Rebello a practitioner with many years experience of colorimetry and its practical application in the “real world.” Gavin discussed which patients may benefit, what useful questions we may consider using to identify potential candidates and how to market the service and reach those that may need help. Following a short break the clinical staff had a “hands on” visual stress workshop covering visual stress, overlays, colorimetry with a Q&A peer review session. Non clinical staff had talks on the more practical aspects of colorimetry in practice, delivered by Claire from Cerium.

Thanks to our own Suzanne Dennis who volunteered to be one of the facilitators and share her years of practical experience and all the back office staff without whose help the event would not have been possible For those that were unable to attend the event, we are compiling a colorimetry material folder which will contain Pdf’s of the speaker’s lectures, hopefully a video recording of the evening events, marketing material and the colorimetry training videos. For any practices that need any information or help with marketing, please contact Tom at head office.





IN BLACKPOOL Saturday 10th December

HG Viewpoint Newsletter  

...just go and have a look at what you did in 2016!

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