How can I use what I have in my practice to ensure my business is prosperous?
I suggest you focus on three things: quality frames and lenses, technology, and measuring things.
Quality frame and lenses
Don’t be tempted to try and compete with online retailers or local competitors when it comes to the price of your frames and lenses. This becomes a race to the bottom. Provide your patients with quality frames and lenses and give them good value but not cheap. Educate your patients on the value they get from visiting a team of experts and purchasing quality products instead of running online to find the cheapest option. There are many ways you can go about proving the value of your expertise and your products. One way is by comparing the cost of frames and lenses over the course of two years with other common monthly expenses, such as takeaway meals, daily coffees, lunches, fuel for a car, car insurance, and smartphone packages.
Have a look at your equipment and see if you can spend a little/reasonable money to improve your technology and make things easier and/or helpful in terms of diagnosis for your patients and/or staff. A practice where I work replaced a non-contact tonometer with an iCare tonometer. This uses a rebound technique and the patient doesn’t feel anything. I can see the relief on many patients’ faces when I tell them I don’t need to use ‘the puffer’ to measure their eye pressure and they certainly prefer the iCare once they’ve experienced it. This reasonable financial investment makes things better for the patient and quicker for the eye specialist. Just make sure that all the eye specialists are well-trained in any new technology.
Paying attention to different metrics can play a role in growing your business. It’s not enough to randomly sit down and look at the numbers every now and then.
Gross revenue per patient is the income to the practice over a certain period divided by the number of patients seen. The number of new patients per month. The number of patients purchasing glasses from you is sometimes called the conversion rate or the optical capture rate; you can do this for each prescriber. The number of dispensings made by each member of staff. These measurements could highlight staff that needs more training. Other things that you think might be helpful to know. Not useful if done once a year but very helpful if done every week or certainly every month.
Be kind, provide good value (not cheap), have some technology, and measure a few things and your business will prosper.