Finances

The Business Principles that Matter Most to Your Practice

Successful Eyecare Practices Employ Sound Business Principles

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Providing patients with needed eyecare services and new eyewear is, for many optometrists, a true joy. It’s a calling because sight is such a precious sense, and eyecare providers have the expertise and products to help so many people. Yet eyecare is also a business. Most optometrists cannot afford to provide eyecare at a financial loss on a routine basis. There are salary and overhead costs, not to mention the investments in inventory and equipment.

The good news is savvy eyecare providers can maximize their profitability while helping their patients access the care and products in a more manageable way by accepting CareCredit credit cards. Maximizing profitability doesn’t simply mean marking products up further to eke out more profitability. The basis of increasing key profitability metrics can be to provide patients with a comprehensive approach to all the products and care that they need.

Three of the measurements to track that can help business owners and invested staff understand that they’re moving in the right direction are capture rate, increasing sales of multiple pairs of eyewear and increasing contact lens sales. Fundamentally, the reason that these three metrics are so important is because patients need eyeglasses and contact lenses, and most could benefit from more than one pair or some combination of options.

So, when practitioners accept the tenet that they are prescribing a comprehensive solution to all of the patient’s needs, the next question is how to put that within financial access.

You’re not the banker
Practice management consultant Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD, says that he often advises optometrists not to think of themselves as the patient’s banker. It’s not up to you to decide how much the patient spends on his or her eyewear, or what factors the patient is weighing in that decision. Your role begins and ends with making the recommendation that is best suited for that patient. Remember that there are certain givens.

Patients want their eyewear to look good. They want flattering frames that they’ll be proud to wear.

Patients want choices. Probably every single patient who comes into an optometric office has more than one pair of shoes. Those individuals choose what shoes they want to wear that day, based on the day’s activities and destinations. Why shouldn’t the same apply to eyewear? For a sporty day, contact lenses might be ideal. Dress eyeglasses might be perfect for a day at the office, but an evening out with friends calls for frames with some flair.

Patients want the products they purchase to perform well. Patients who shave a few dollars off the overall cost of an eyewear package by opting out of anti-glare or polarized lenses might be very frustrated the first time they’re driving at night or on a sunny day and can’t see as well as they’d like.

The decisions these patients made in the office, constrained perhaps by the amount of money they had in their checking account at the moment, could prove to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Instead, encourage patients to consider patient financing to put the entire package within financial reach. They may not need to make the compromises they’re contemplating. >>READ MORE>>

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