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Advisory for the Complexities of Running an Optometric Business

Williams Group is the industry’s most trusted, experienced and knowledgeable Start-Up Business Advisory Team, and for good reason.

  1. Expertise: Williams Group possesses specialize knowledge and experience in all aspects of starting and running an optometric practice, such as business planning, financial forecasting, market research, feasibility studies, lending, attracting new patients, patient flow and optical operations, leadership and staff management. Our expertise can help you navigate challenges and make informed decisions.
  2. Risk Management: Starting a new business involves inherent risks. We will help you identify and mitigate risk by providing strategic guidance and contingency plans.
  3. Individualized Solutions: At Williams Group, we tailor our advice and recommendations to suit your specific needs and circumstances, and work closely with you to develop strategies and action plans that align with your goals and objectives.
  4. Objective Perspective: We provide an unbiased and objective view of your business ideas. Based on our experience, we offer insights and suggestions that you might not have considered, helping you avoid potential pitfalls and missteps.
  5. Save Time and Money: While hiring a consultant involves upfront cost, our guidance ultimately saves you time and money by helping you avoid costly mistakes and inefficiencies. We help define and streamline operational processes and allocate resources more effectively.
  6. Vendor/Supplier Opportunities: Williams Group has a network of the industry’s best business partners. Leveraging these connections can open doors to potential financial lenders, suppliers and vendors which can be invaluable for best pricing, terms and conditions.
  7. Access to Resources. We have proven tools, templates, and resources that can accelerate your business growth. Financial models, industry benchmarks, bookkeeping/payroll/tax prep services and best practice operational processes, policies and procedures can jump start a practice.

Partnering with Williams Group not only yields big payoffs in the critical early stages of building your business, but also sets you up for long-term practice success. The benefits of Williams Group’s expertise, perspective, and resource access provide a lifetime of financial rewards, practice enjoyment and pride in ownership.

Learn more about start-up practice consulting or schedule a call to discuss starting your practice with Tammi Sufficool, MBA. 

Tammi Sufficool, MBA

President Practice Start-Ups / New Business Advisor

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Quality of Life / Work-Life Balance

Quality of life encompasses a broad array of factors that contribute to overall well-being and personal satisfaction. While specifics may vary, certain fundamental elements are commonly recognized with quality of life and work-life balance.

Physical, Mental and Emotional Well-Being.

Key foundational pillars set the stage for a balanced life. Without physical health, it’s difficult to enjoy other aspects of your life to the fullest. Having a sense of purpose, emotional stability that comes from social connections, support systems and the ability to cope with stress and adversity play a crucial role in promoting mental health, a sense of belonging and a quality-of-life balance.

Economic Stability.

Earning an income is another essential component to enjoying a quality life. Your income as an optometrist not only provides you and your family financial security but also the ability to participate in leisure activities that contribute to personal satisfaction. You can earn a living practicing anywhere, with any mode of patient care, but it does not guarantee total fulfillment and personal actualization as a provider/practitioner.

Professional Fulfillment and Self-Actualization.

Being able to choose how you practice optometry, how you serve, how you impact the lives of your patients, and how you control the decisions in your life are key to professional fulfillment. Ownership equity in your own business can also yield a higher state of fulfillment and realization of your true potential.

Work-Life Balance.

The equilibrium between your professional responsibilities and your personal life hinges on effectively managing time and energy to fulfill both career and personal aspirations without one overshadowing the other. Below are significant ways owning your own business can enhance your work-life balance.

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Flexibility in work hours can better accommodate personal commitments while meeting professional patient care obligations. Setting specific hours for patient care, administrative tasks, marketing/networking and family time contributes to an enhanced work-life balance and overall well-being. Flexible work arrangements can yield discretionary time for leisure and recreational activities, providing opportunities for relaxation and personal growth.
  • Choosing your Technology: While your mode of practice dictates your technology, your technology serves to improve your practice efficiency, workflow and professional fulfillment.
  • Outsourcing: Choosing to utilize specialty services to manage tasks that don’t need your constant or personal attention, (e.g., bookkeeping, payroll, IT) can buy you time during the week.
  • Clear Boundaries: Establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life helps prevent work from encroaching into personal time. Prioritizing tasks, setting realistic goals, and avoiding procrastination are essential steps for maximizing productivity during work hours and reducing the need to working late or bring work home.

Physical, emotional and mental health, personal fulfillment and work life balance are fundamental elements that are universally important for leading a satisfying life. While achieving a positive work-life balance requires conscious effort, prioritization, and adaptation to specific needs and circumstances, new business owners who cultivate harmonious relationships between their professional and personal lives enjoy greater satisfaction and well-being.

Learn more about start-up practice consulting or schedule a call to start talking about achieving the work-life balance you seek with Tammi Sufficool, MBA. 

Tammi Sufficool, MBA

President Practice Start-Ups / New Business Advisor

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Creating a Vision for Your New Practice

Creating an authentic vision for your new business involves delving deep into your passions, values, and aspirations. Below is a guide to help you craft a meaningful vision:

1. Reflect on Your Values

What principles are most important to you? Consider aspects like integrity, innovation, community engagement, and business sustainability. Your business vision should align closely with your core values.

2. Identify Your Passion

What excites you? What problems do you want to solve? Passion is the fuel that will drive your business forward, so choose a venture and specialty services that genuinely interest and motivate you.

3. Define Your Impact

How do you want to make a difference? Whether it’s through products, services, or initiatives, clarify the positive impact you aim to have on your patients and your community.

4. Envision Success

What does success look like for your business? Visualize the future you want to create, including milestones, achievements, and the overall legacy you hope to leave behind.

5. Consider Long-term Sustainability

Think beyond immediate profits and consider how your business can thrive sustainably over time. This might involve factors like technological innovations and fostering long-term relationships.

6. Embrace Authenticity

Your vision should be true to who you are and what you believe in. Avoid chasing trends or trying to mimic other businesses. Authenticity breeds trust and loyalty among customers and employees alike.

7. Communicate Clearly 

Once you’ve formulated your vision, communicate it clearly and consistently with your patients, partners, and staff. This ensures everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals.

A compelling vision serves as a guiding light for your business. It defines who you are and how you will serve. It will inspire you and your team to make decisions, overcome challenges, and pursue growth with purpose and passion.

If being deliberate to act on your vision is your next great step, Williams Group advisors will help you chart a path toward successful business ownership and a fulfilling career as an independent optometric practice owner.

Learn more about start-up practice consulting or schedule a call to start talking about your vision with Tammi Sufficool, MBA. 

Tammi Sufficool, MBA

President Practice Start-Ups / New Business Advisor

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Financial Pitfalls Every New Optometry Practice Owner Should Avoid

Starting your own optometric practice is a significant undertaking and not without financial challenges. Financial missteps early on can complicate your path to success. As you prepare to step into your next great adventure, it’s important to lay a solid foundation for a successful business. Williams Group is an expert in optometric financial management and will help you enhance your financial skills and knowledge to safeguard your new venture.

Below are serious financial pitfalls new practice owners often encounter.

1. Not Budgeting for the Full Picture

Pitfall: Many new owners underestimate the full cost of launching their practice. From high-tech equipment to office furnishings and initial inventory to the operational costs of staff, occupancy, and marketing, start-up expenses must be accurately projected with a comprehensive multi-year cash flow analysis. Williams Group has the financial experience and expertise to help you navigate this complex and pivotal step.

2. Skipping the Business Plan

Pitfall: Without a detailed business plan, it's challenging to stay on track with your financial goals and operational strategy. Disorganized efforts yield wasted resources. We’ll help you create a comprehensive strategic plan of action, based on your unique vision, and update it as you gain more insight into your market and practice needs.

3. Poor Debt Management

Pitfall: Planning accurately for your start-up costs is key to successful debt management. Overleveraging with high-interest loans can hinder your financial stability. Williams Group is an industry leader to help you carefully explore start-up financing options for best and favorable terms to ensure your debt levels are manageable relative to your expected income.

4. Mismanaging Cash Flow

Pitfall: A common oversight is not maintaining a healthy cash flow which can lead to problems covering day-to-day expenses. A robust financial plan accounts for operational production and all foreseeable expenses and some you might not expect, like emergency repairs or economic downturns. Williams Group will help you define a forecasting plan to protect you against slow business periods.

5. Ineffective Tax Strategy

Pitfall: Neglecting proper tax planning can lead to unexpected liabilities and potential penalties. Our industry-specific tax accountants will collaborate with you to ensure you take advantage of applicable deductions and optimize your tax strategy.

6. DIY Financial Management

Pitfall: Taking on all financial responsibilities yourself can lead to mistakes and missed opportunities for financial optimization. Our bookkeeping and payroll teams can manage your practice’s finances more effectively, minimizing your hands-on administrative responsibilities.

Navigating the financial complexities of starting an optometry practice can seem daunting, but with careful planning and strategic foresight, you can lay a solid foundation for a successful business. With Williams Group, you can avoid these financial pitfalls and be on your way to a thriving practice.

Learn more about start-up practice consulting or schedule a call to start talking about your next great adventure with Tammi Sufficool, MBA. 

Tammi Sufficool, MBA

President Practice Start-Ups / New Business Advisor

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How to Know When the Time Is Right to Open Your Own Private Optometry Practice

Deciding to open your own optometry practice is a significant career move that comes with great opportunities and known challenges. Knowing when to make this leap can be a matter of readiness and preparedness. Here are key considerations that can help you determine if the time is right to start your own practice.

Assess Your Experience and Expertise

First and foremost, evaluate your level of professional experience. Have you developed a robust set of optometric skills and a comprehensive understanding of business management? Typically, optometrists with several years of experience under their belt are better prepared to handle the complexities of running a practice. If you've been working in the field for 5+ years, you likely have the clinical expertise and patient management skills necessary to start on your own. Williams Group can help you determine if a start-up practice is the right next step for you.

Financial Readiness

Opening a practice requires significant financial investment. Before you decide to open your doors, you will want to have a clear understanding of the financial implications. If you have a solid financial foundation and a well-crafted cash flow budget, you may be ready to proceed. If you are a bit shaky on financial readiness, don’t worry. With our guidance and training, you will develop the financial acumen needed for your new endeavor.

Financial Plan: Do you have a robust financial plan that includes projections for your business's growth and potential financial hurdles?

Capital: Do you have access to the necessary capital, whether through savings, loans, or investments?

Budget: Can you create a detailed and realistic budget that covers startup costs, ongoing expenses, and unexpected costs?

Regulatory and Legal Considerations

Ensure you are aware of and ready to comply with all regulatory and legal requirements. Being prepared to handle these aspects is crucial for launching your practice successfully. If you aren’t sure of these steps, Williams Group has the expertise to position you for success.

Legal Structure: Have you decided on the legal structure of your practice (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC, LLP)?

Compliance: Are you prepared to comply with healthcare regulations, including those related to patient privacy and safety?

Licensing: Do you have the required licenses to practice and run a business in your chosen location?

Market Conditions

Understanding the market conditions in the area in which you want to open your practice is crucial. Consider these factors:

Demand: Is there a demand for new optometry services in your target location?

Competition: How saturated is the market? Can you offer something unique that differentiates your practice from others?

Economic Climate: Is the local economy growing? Are people likely to invest in healthcare?

A positive outlook in these areas suggests a good time to start your practice. Williams Group can help assess the current and future climate of your target area.

Personal Readiness

Consider your personal circumstances and lifestyle:

Independence and Work-Life Balance: Are you ready to independently determine the relationship and involvement you have in the lives of your patients? Are you ready to control the decisions that need to be made?

Income and Equity: Are you ready to earn for today and build equity for the future?

Entrepreneurism: Are you prepared to handle the demands of ownership and running a practice?

Support System: Do you have a support system in place? Do you have an experienced advisory team to help you not only navigate the initial stages of practice ownership but on-going challenges as they arise?

Long-Term Goals: Does opening a practice align with your long-term professional goals?

If your personal life can support the initial demanding years of establishing a new practice, it might be the right time. We can help you determine if your dreams of ownership align with your readiness.

The right time to open your own optometry practice depends on a blend of professional, financial, legal, market, and personal readiness. If you find that these factors align positively, it might be the perfect moment to start planning your venture in earnest. With the right guidance and preparation, you can establish a successful practice that not only meets but exceeds your professional aspirations.

Learn more about start-up practice consulting or schedule a call to start talking about your timing with Tammi Sufficool, MBA. 

Tammi Sufficool, MBA

President Practice Start-Ups / New Business Advisor

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Your optometry practice is thriving, patient demand is growing and it's time to welcome a new associate optometrist. How do you ensure this exciting transition doesn't turn into scheduling chaos? Let's explore 10 essential tips to prepare your schedule to be ready for a new associate optometrist!
1. Assess Current Patient Load: Evaluate your current patient load, and appointment types and patterns. What are your peak times and slower periods? Look for insight into your demand services to identify the potential for an additional associate optometrist. 
2. Forecast Future Demand: Analyze trends in patient visits. Do seasons affect your visits? Is your local population expected to grow? Are you able to expand services? This can project future demand for the need of an additional optometrist and potential patient influxes. 
3. Review Appointment Types and Durations: Examine the types of appointments your optometry practice currently offers and the average duration. The average number of routine exams, emergency visits, special testing, etc. is crucial for creating a schedule that maximizes the use of all optometrists time. 
4. Patient Flow Analysis: Observe and analyze the flow of patients through your practice from the patients point of view. Look for bottlenecks and/or inefficiencies that could be alleviated with the addition of an associate optometrist. 
5. Adjust Scheduling Templates: Modify existing optometry scheduling templates to accommodate another optometrist provider. This may include extending operating hours, opening new appointment slots, and adjusting the mix of appointment types. Cater to the varied patient needs while optimizing resource utilization. 
6. Implement a Staggered Schedule: Consider staggered schedules for the optometrists to ensure continuous patient care is available throughout the day to maximize the use of your practice's resources, enhancing patient satisfaction. 
7. Cross-Training Staff: Building a versatile staff means ensuring your optometric staff is cross-trained to handle scheduling for multiple optometrists. This includes managing overlapping appointments, handling referrals, and managing increased workload.
8. Use of Technology: Leverage optometric-specific scheduling software that can handle multiple optometrists. Ensure its user-friendly and can provide valuable data-driven insights for continuous improvement. 
9. Plan for Ramp-Up Period: Create a plan of action including a marketing plan to fill the associate optometrists patient schedule. Gradually increase their patient load as they become more integrated into the practice and as patient awareness grows. 
10. Communication with Patients: Inform existing patients about the new optometrist. Craft an engaging email or social media campaign introducing the new optometrist and encourage your patients to schedule an appointment with the new provider, especially during the times when your schedule is already full.
By carefully planning and executing these tips, you can prepare your optometry practice's patient schedule for the integration of an associate optometrist for a smooth transition and continued patient care.  
For tailored support, connect with Robin Elliott at Williams Group. We specialize in ensuring your practice thrives in schedule management and offer comprehensive assistance for hiring and onboarding of associate optometrists. 

Ready to prepare your schedule for a new associate optometrist? Contact Williams Group today for expert guidance.

Robin Elliott

President of Consulting
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Vision Expo West 2023 (VEW) in Las Vegas, NV, never fails to offer a comprehensive overview of the current trends in the optical industry. As consultants, we often find ourselves in the midst of these evolutions, trying to make sense of them for our clients. This past week my colleagues Bess Ogden, Ellie Rogers, and I explored VEW with open minds to continue to “sharpen the saw” for our industry. Here are a few of our significant takeaways from this year’s expo:

Continued Importance of Efficiency and Adaptability: The world of optometry business is no different from other industries - efficiency and adaptability remains paramount with the rising cost of doing business and technology challenging conventional thought. The concept of not leaving things to chance resonated with us. In today’s competitive environment, a calculated approach is the only way forward. We have a choice. Lie down and refuse to adapt as an ostrich or have the keen vision and alertness of a hawk to navigate.

Rethinking Our Knowledge: The rise of virtual assistance forces us to reevaluate what we know. For example, the traditional roles, such as opticians, are being challenged. The question being– Do you want your revenue producers doing administrative tasks? Why would you have your optican in the lab ordering, billing, checking in inventory, etc., when they could be on the floor working with patients, and quite possibly in the room with you helping to directly generate income and enhance the value of the patient’s experience! Virtual assistance may be the answer to efficiently and cost effectively delegate tasks. Especially when we are dealing with hiring shortages and rising staff expenses. It's a sign that as professionals, we must remain adaptable. Virtual assistance may not be the answer for everyone, but it may be an option to continue to thrive. As we reflect on the implications of virtual assistance, it's evident that this is just one facet of a larger shift in the optical industry driven by technological advancements and changing business dynamics.

As technology and business landscapes evolve, so must industry practices and roles too. The emphasis on adaptability, efficiency, and the reconsideration of traditional roles – as seen with the potential of virtual assistance – highlights the need for professionals to be both proactive and innovative. Embracing these shifts, while tapping into the vast reservoir of industry knowledge, is crucial for continued growth and success. The insights from VEW serve as a clarion call for the optical community to anticipate change, adapt to it, and turn challenges into opportunities.

Most importantly, you have an industry of qualified professionals with years of experience to help you run a lean practice with a commitment to excellence and growth. Don’t be left behind. At Williams Group, we are committed, and invite you to reach out.

Ready to navigate the evolving optical landscape? Contact Williams Group today for expert guidance.

Robin Elliott

President of Consulting
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When it comes to the optical industry, staying updated and aligned with the latest trends and innovations is essential. Vision Expo East (VEE), Vision Expo West (VEW), American Academy of Optometry (AAO), American Optometric Association (AOA), Southern Council of Optometrists (SECO), and specialty conferences in general offer a plethora of opportunities for business owners and their teams, not just to gain insights but also to bond, celebrate, and widen their horizons. Here are the most compelling reasons to attend:
Discover Industry Innovations: Optometry-specific conferences are the hub of innovation and updates. Attending allows you and your team to gather vast amounts of knowledge in a condensed time frame. And remember, knowledge is power. Don't just attend; ensure you have a robust follow-up plan in place to capitalize on what you learn.
Foster Genuine Team Connections: It's one thing to conduct team-building exercises in a confined office setting; it's another to do it while exploring the vast corridors of optometry conferences. Navigating the expo halls together, discussing insights, and sharing perspectives can help foster genuine connections among team members.
Celebrate and Motivate: The conference isn’t just about work; it's also an experience. Take this chance to reward your team for their hard work. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and offerings of city's location. This not only serves as a treat but also motivates the team, making them feel valued.
Assess and Improve Your Practice: Use the conference as a mirror. It will show you what your business is doing exceptionally well and where there's room for improvement. By comparing and contrasting with the best in the industry, you can generate excitement among the team and motivate them to think outside the box.
Engage in Valuable Networking: VEW for example, is not just an expo; it's a networking haven. Engage with other professionals, learn from their experiences, and establish potentially beneficial connections. These events might pave the way for future collaborations or provide insights you hadn’t considered before.
Regardless of the conference, it's more than just an industry event. It's an opportunity for growth, bonding, celebration, learning, and expansion. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or a newbie in the optical world, every conference has something invaluable to offer to you and your team. So, mark your calendars and be sure to let us know if you will be attending. My colleagues at Williams Group and I would love to meet you in person!

Have questions about Vision Expo West or need more insight? Reach out to us, we're happy to chat! 

Robin Elliott

President of Consulting
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The world of optometry is as intricate as the human eye itself. For the optometrist who's been in the game for a while, you've witnessed the ebbs and flows of the business. But what if you're missing out on hidden revenue streams? What if, nestled between routine exams and lens prescriptions, there's untapped potential? We're on a quest of discovery for the invaluable gems hidden within the realm of your eye care practice.

Being in the eyecare sector, your compass predominantly points to patient care. That's commendable! However, don't be misled into thinking it's the only direction. Your practice thrives and sustains itself as a business, and it's crucial to shine a light on its financial arteries.

Would you believe if I said you could hike up your revenue, all without escalating your patient count or burning the midnight oil? The magic lies in how the currency flows to you.

Golden Revenue Boosts

1. Rethinking Service and Product Fees: A Balance of Value and Profit

It's easy to fall into a pattern of charging the same fees for years. But the world changes, and so do costs and patient expectations. Reassessing your fees doesn’t mean hiking up prices. It means understanding the caliber of service you offer. With the right data and competitive analysis, you can align your fees with the current market rates, ensuring you're both fair to your patients and securing optimal revenue. Be sure to align with the 2023 CMS Medicare fees.

Quick math: if you add just $25 more per patient with 2,000 annual exams, you're staring at a treasure chest of $50,000!

2. Preventing Loss Revenue: The Art of Efficient Billing and Insurance Guidelines

One of the most common places revenue slips through the cracks is in the billing process. Whether it's a result of outdated systems, not keeping up with insurance policy changes, or simple human error, these losses add up. Streamlining your billing process and staying updated with insurance guidelines can not only plug these leaks but create a smoother experience for your patients.

3. Exploring Premium Services: Beyond Traditional Exams

Your expertise as an optometrist goes beyond traditional exams. Envision expanding your brand around luxury frames, lens designs, wellness checkups, and the sought-after Medi-spa treatments. Utilize your passion to ascend patient experiences and boost revenue.

4. Engaging and Educating: Positioning Yourself as the Go-To Optometrist

Building relationships with your patients goes a long way. Regularly communicating with them, offering insights about eye care, and presenting the latest in eyewear fashion can create a loyal customer base. An informed patient is more likely to trust your recommendations and invest in premium products and services.

Let's grab the map to embark on the expedition.

Have all medically necessary contact lenses been billed post-consultations?
Were any additional services, such as spectacle lens edge-polishing, invoiced?
Are all services transferred to the patient's ledger?

This isn't a fault-finding mission, rather a hunt to getting paid properly for the work you do for your patients.

The hidden revenue within your practice isn't elusive; it needs a strategic touch. By adjusting your fees, tightening up your billing processes, exploring new revenue streams, and building trust with your patients, you'll not only secure your practice's future but also reinforce your position as a leading optometrist in your community.

Key Takeaways:

  • Reevaluate your service and product fees
  • Optimize billing and insurance processes
  • Diversify your offerings
  • Build and nurture patient relationship

By keeping these insights in mind, established optometrists can truly unlock their practice's full potential and ensure a prosperous future in the world of optometry.Download our audit worksheet to guide you through the process of finding your hidden profits.

Robin Elliott

President of Consulting
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We've partnered with Optify!

Jakob from Optify wrote an excellent blog post explaining how to boost your optical sales! Read more now.

Are you looking to boost your practice's optical sales this year? Making business decisions for your optical practice without knowing your numbers is like attempting to read a letter chart with your eyes closed.

Data provides valuable insight into how your optical is performing, both as a healthcare resource and a successful business. Figures such as your capture rate, average order value per patient, and staff time spent with customers will help you understand your current operational climate and reveal clear directions for improvement or change to boost your optical practice sales year after year.

4 Expert Tips To Boost Your Optical Practice Sales

So how can knowing your numbers enhance your optical’s selling power, and what are some figures you should pay special attention to? Here are a few tips and examples to set you on the right path, along with expert advice from our partners at Williams Group Consulting.

1. Know Your Capture Rate

Your practice’s capture rate (the percentage of patients filling their prescriptions at your office) will give you a snapshot of how patients currently view and interact with your offerings. If something is off, the data will demonstrate that. In return, you can make more accurate business decisions that actually make a difference in your metrics and patient perception.

Example: Is your capture rate low? Use the data to identify where you should start. Are walk-outs not being recaptured? Are second-pair sales nonexistent? Can patients order easily if they break their glasses in-between exams? Ask these questions, check the data, and look at improving one sales opportunity at a time.

2. Create Attainable Goals

A big part of using your business statistics involves dialing back your expectations and creating goals that can be realistically met (incrementally, if need be) based on numerical feedback.

For example, your numbers might indicate that your sunglass sales are lower than RX sales. In response, you might provide better education, doctor-driven recommendations, and additional training for your opticians. These practices can keep your staff feeling confident when conversing with patients and ultimately boost your brick-and-mortar game.

Learning how to evaluate your practice’s current outlook to make realistic adjustments sometimes takes a good deal of industry wisdom to pull off, but can ultimately keep your business moving in the right direction.

As President of Consulting for Williams Group, Robin Elliott, put it:

“You don’t know what you don’t know. If you don’t track and understand what the numbers are telling you, it’s difficult to move both the top and bottom line. It is difficult to make confident decisions that impact the profitability, culture, and success of your business.”

Executive Management Coach of Williams Group, Michelle Bogeart, echoes this sentiment:

“Measuring key metrics is the best strategy for measuring success within your business. Understanding the metrics within your practice provides you with knowledge you need to monitor your practice health, measure productivity, and helps you to identify areas of opportunity with your practice.”

Take a hard look at your analytics and decide on a course of action to set goals that strengthen your practice.

3. Find a Business Consultant

A business consultant has the know-how to gather your most important optical statistics, interpret them objectively, and offer advice based on your current operational outlook.

Consultants specializing in optometry, like Williams Group, are masters of business management and possess the experience to see the opportunities and red flags that might be invisible to you. Good consultants will also stick with you long-term to make sure your business is thriving with their recommended changes.

Keep in mind that optical private practices are quite different from other businesses. Most patients view frames and contact lenses as considerable buys, meaning they tend to invest a great deal of thought into their purchases and aren’t willing to shop outside of specific stages in their buying journey. A specialized optical consultant knows this upfront and can provide recommendations accordingly.

Don’t be afraid to seek help from experts. The success of your practice isn’t something you want to risk. To stick the landing, objective advice from experienced professionals who can help you interpret your data and adjust practice strategies accordingly can be a game changer.

4. Track Progress with Good Software

Boosting your optical practice sales will require refining your numbers and gradually implementing changes for the long haul. This introduces two key elements to your optical success formula: time and persistence.

Shifting your sales figures will require actively keeping up with your business statistics as time goes on. Keep a close eye on your optical sales behavior relating to the time of year, your competition, and any new initiatives (marketing or otherwise) you and your staff are taking to attract buyers. Log these findings to see what works and what doesn’t.

Optical eCommerce technology can make this process easier and ensure accuracy. You’ll want software, like Optify and EyeCarePro, that records and compiles your sales, capture rate, website traffic, inventory, patient spending habits, and much more.

“When joining Williams Group and beginning to implement technology like Optify and EyeCare Pro’s Ring Analytics,” Bogeart said, “you are providing your consultant with real-time data and practice details that allow us to be more specific in our consulting strategy. We are quickly able to identify opportunities and are able to help you find solutions, and guide you in implementing those solutions with your team.”

Director of Operations and Education of Williams Group, Bess Ogden, states a clean EHR enables tech solutions like Optify to really shine:

“Make sure your EHR’s inventory system is super tight! Then Optify is well worth the investment, as it is easy for the practice to set up and administer, makes the frame select process smoother, is patient-friendly, and is efficient. Receipts per purchase tend to be higher for patients who pre-shop vs those who don’t.”

Final Thoughts

Knowing your numbers also means knowing what to do with them. Without a clear plan, the numbers won’t really mean anything. This is where a professional comes in.

Williams Group Consulting has helped many practices achieve success no matter what stage of development their clients find themselves in. Our industry experts know what it takes to compete in the optical market, from the technology you’ll need to the investments you should make to improve your patient experience. Williams Group knows that your data is the key to unlocking your practice’s full potential.

Ready to boost your optical sales? Join our Intensive Growth Program.

Already a Williams Group client? Gain access to Optify today!