I opened my first practice two years ago. During that time, I have not taken any time off from working in the practice. I am the owner, the main eye specialist in the practice, and the practice manager. I could do with a rest to recharge. I think I’m tired and that the business might be suffering because of this. What should I do?
Everyone deserves to take some time off to travel, spend time with their family, or just destress and return to work renewed. This can be difficult if you are the only eye specialist in the practice. No doubt you are concerned about the lack of income while you are away. Patients will be collecting and paying for glasses while you are away but there will be a decrease in practice income. However, if you think your tiredness is already affecting the business you could come back refreshed and make up any shortfall.
You are the owner, single eye specialist, and manager. Consider hiring a manager or promoting one of your current staff to that role. This will mean you can focus on eye examinations when you are in the practice and have a capable person managing the practice while you are away. This will help keep you fresh and also less worried while you are away.
Consider having another eye specialist work in the practice alongside you if you have space for two examination rooms or instead of you and take a day off. Use your personal network to find the right person that fits with your practice culture. You can then ask this eye specialist to work more than one day while you are on holiday. This person will be familiar with the equipment and practice systems and help keep a reasonable cash flow while you are on holiday.
However, it can be hard on your practice and business goals to leave the practice without an eye care specialist. Hiring a replacement takes a bit of research, interviewing, and trust, but it’s worth it if you want to take regular vacations.
We’ve compiled a few tips for keeping peace of mind during your vacation. If you can afford to close your practice to patients, we also explore ideas for keeping your staff occupied without an OD.
3 Ways to Take Your Vacation
Instead of worrying about losing loyal patients, close your practice and pay your staff for accomplishing the tasks they can’t get to when seeing patients. They can organize the office files and inventory, negotiate lower pricing with vendors, do a deep clean of equipment and furnishings, and maybe even get a day off if you’re gone a long time.
Search for locums through either your local optometric association, fellow group practice associates, or locum apps. Take some time to meet them beforehand to show them your practice, workflow, billing, and inventory preferences. Once you develop a trusting relationship, a locum could be the best substitute while you’re on vacation.