Agree to Disagree: What to Do When You Don’t Get Along with the Optical Manager

Do you prepare for work every morning like you’re going into battle? Are you ready to have a disagreement with the optical manager over your KPIs, hours and schedule? Some corporate opticals are more demanding than others and the simplest decisions take forever.

Let’s look at some of the potential causes for this and what you can do to avoid future disagreements and focus on patient care.

1. Take a Step Back

Before you decide to get hot headed and confront the optical manager or take a step back and try to find a reason for this constant disagreement. Take a look around the floor. If your manager only seems to have a problem with you, then maybe the problem is you. Figure out what you’re doing that seems to be ticking them off: maybe you’re not keeping up with the patient flow. You can either have a conversation with the manager to find out what needs to change, or figure it out on your own. If their attitude is the same with everyone, then you need to change your tactics when dealing with them.

2. Different Perspective

As with most things in life, having a positive attitude can solve your problems with your boss as well. Remind yourself why you’re working here in the first place. Whether it’s your dream job or you’re in it for the money or whatever else, your reasons for sticking around are important. This means that to stay, you need to make a smile a part of your daily attire. Taking a different perspective and focusing on the pros instead of the cons can help you change the vibe of the office. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and understand their struggles and make sure to have an open line of communication to have them understand your issues. Have weekly meetings to discuss your goals as well as their goals. It is important to have the optical staff understand that your experience at the office is vital to the success of the business.

3. Give it Time

With evolving work environments, no one sticks to a single job for a long time. If the manager is difficult to deal with in general, you won’t have to bear the brunt for their behavior. After having a conversation and trying to make changes the next step is to report to your Eye Care Director or regional manager.

However, in the real world, things rarely go as we envision them. Look for other jobs that fit your interests and requirements, and when you’re ready, take the plunge and move on. The work environment should be rewarding and challenging, but there is no need to deal with toxic people.

How to Create a Strategic Business Plan for Your Sublease

Building a strategy is vital for every business. The focus of a business plan is mainly to create a plan for one upcoming year by investigating the market and establishing financial goals. On the other hand, strategic planning is something entirely different. New business startups especially need a well-thought strategic plan to lead their businesses in the right direction. Same goes if you need to create a business plan for a sublease.

A strategic plan is theoretical and subject to constant changes. Market conditions are never consistent; they keep changing with time. Priorities can shift, customer needs can alter, new technologies can come in the picture, etc. In order for your small business to respond to those changes, it needs a well-planned strategy. That strategy will guide you towards your desired results. Your corporate optical has a strategic plan, understanding what their plan is can help you align your own business plan for you sublease and grow both businesses.

Face tomorrow’s challenges by building a strategic plan today with the following simple steps. It will also help differentiate you from other candidates looking to get the sublease.

Write a Mission Statement

A short summarized statement that describes the reasons for the existence of your organization and its overall objectives and identifies its operational goals is a mission statement. It also consists of the services or products provided by your organization, its main target market, its customers, and the geographical zone of operations. Just freely write one that aligns with your goals and you can edit it later. Add what you feel is vital to help the corporate optical grow and increase your patient base.

Analyze your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)

Conduct a SWOT Analysis. As the name suggests, first, consider the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. Think of all the internal resources and attributes that support or work against a successful result. Now look for opportunities. Figure out all the external factors that your organization can use to capitalize on or take advantage of. Lastly, examine factors that could put your organization’s success in jeopardy. Take into account increased competition, managed care plans, online sales, online refractions and telemedicine.

Set Goals

Setting clear and well-defined goals is important to move a business forward. You need to ensure that your goals are realistic and possible to achieve. They can be based on your budget, customer’s needs, or anything else that is relevant to your small business. Set long-term goals as well as short-termed ones. It is not necessary that you stick to them in the future but having goals to start with is important for continued success. In general a new sublease can take 3-5 years to grow and build a patient flowing. If the sublease is established set realistic goals to retain the established patients and seeing growth in revenue from the last OD.

Build a Financial Plan

Now once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to create a financial plan. Evaluate your current and future financial state. Use the information that is currently available to you to speculate future asset values, withdrawal plans, and future income. Unless you are an accountant yourself, don’t perform this task alone. Many times a sublease is a turn key with minimal investment, but in a new sublease the volume can be lower than the norm so be prepared for less income at the beginning.

Decide Your Target Market

Decide your target market. You need to identify your customers and clients. Once you are sure about the people you’ll serve, you’ll do a better job at reaching them with marketing efforts. Now check your competition and analyze your products and services according to their growing or shrinking demand. Understand whether you corporate optical is a high end or value based patient base.

Lastly, come up with a marketing plan that will help you increase your customer base. Think of what sets you apart from the rest and embrace your uniqueness. Complete your strategic plan with a statement about your company’s brilliant future! Once the plan is in place, don’t waste any time before executing it.

What to do when you see your Sublease posted on a Job Website.

You are surfing on the internet casually and suddenly you come across job position that sounds very similar to your sublease location. You read the job description and state and to your dismay, you find out that it’s not only similar to your job but exactly the one you have right now. The posting is from your own organization! You might start wondering if your lease will be terminated and what your exit plan might be. You might enter into panic mode. But don’t do that just yet.

Read the following tips to consider if you see your sublease posted online:

Panicking Is Not the Way to Go

If your sublease is one of a kind, then it’s a different scenario but if that’s not the case, you don’t need to panic just yet. Sometimes, companies do not intend to replace an existing sublease holder. They just have reached enough capacity where they would like to open another location in the area or add additional ODs to one location. It’s definitely important to deal with the issue but panicking is not the appropriate solution. Talk to other ODs and have a conversation with corporate optical. Sometimes there is no communication between different departments and it is an error.

Collect All the Facts and Figures

There are some scenarios to consider before you stress out:

Is your corporate optical expanding to new locations or a well-established organization? If it’s a large company, then they are probably always looking to capture as many leads as possible in case an OD decides to terminate their lease. Sometimes it takes a corporate optical over 60 days to find someone to take over a sublease.

If you’ve recently taken over the sublease, it is highly possible that the job advertisement hasn’t been removed yet. Make sure that that’s not the case. Seeking clarification from the management can help you. It is an investment of time and energy to start and run a successful sublease.

Give Your Best Self to that Location. Your patients deserve it!

Don’t give management an excuse to terminate your lease. Give your 100 percent to your patients. If you take care of your patients, patients will be loyal and follow you. Work harder than usual to build your sublease. Building your sublease is more than income, it is personal branding, trust in the community and a loyalty where they will follow you where ever you go.

Have an Exit Strategy

Lastly, always have an exit strategy from day one. Whether a location is ideal you want to prepare for the worst if there is a decision to sell a brand, close a store or if management changes. You need to be prepared in case things go south. Make sure that you update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Identify the potential companies you’re interested in and apply for as many jobs as you can. Contact other Corporate ODs to merge practices or private ODs that you can rent space from.

The situation can be daunting but try to be positive. With the tips above, ease the transition process into your next adventure!

Thinking Outside the Box in Optometry

Who hasn’t heard the phrase, and at least once been told at some point in their life or another to ‘think outside the box.’

And if you are an optometrist, it is highly likely that you complain a lot about how tough your field is, how hard it is to handle the business of vision and eye care, how many patients you have to see, etc.

Whether you are a new OD, or someone who has been practicing eye care for a long time, you are likely to have felt bored or stressed with your work recently.

Read on to find out how you can ease your task and create opportunities for yourself in the field of optometry, and why those glasses belong well beyond their glass box.

What is your box?

Find out what bothers you most about your work. Obviously, no one can be the best at everything. Find inspiration to think creatively.

Self-reflect and evaluate yourself to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. And if you need help with that, certain assessment tools can you help you.

Evaluate other health care industries

Evaluate what other health care professionals are doing. We all face the same dilemmas as health care professionals. Understand how dental has dealt with Medicare and dental plans. Learn how other professionals dealt with increase competition, increase costs and changing industries. Use that knowledge to do something differently in optometry.

Redefine your box

Once you are self-aware of what you have and what you lack, take the required steps to help you shine. Flex your brain muscle to think creative ways it usually does not. Some people can have the best ideas in the morning over coffee while others are later at night when the day is done. Figure out when is the best time to tackle your box.  All your ideas don’t have to be the best but writing done many ideas can help lead to the best innovate idea.

If you are an OD and dislike working in on setting, perhaps consider a different setting in optometry? Or if you dislike your current responsibilities but overall like the field nonetheless, perhaps you need to reconsider your role.

In optometry, you can be an employee, an associate OD, a leaseholder, a contractor, or even a franchise holder depending on your goals and preferences.

Ask questions on how you can do things differently to “redefine your box”. Different perspectives can produce different outcomes. The eye care industry is a growing industry seeing the opportunities that others don’t can differentiate yourself from others.

If it’s your business you worry about, perhaps you need to increase your outreach. Ensure proper and appropriate marketing to build a customer base. Find ways to develop trust and loyalty with your patients so that your service speaks for itself.

If you are a new OD and it’s your limited skills that seem to be bothering you, then you should enroll in specialization courses or pursue further studies. Increasing your knowledge is always the best way to widen your horizons and discover not just the world around you, but also your own self.

And if you are an old practitioner, you should still delve deep into learning about the latest trends and technology and treatment methodologies in eye care. This will keep you up to date with the fast changing today’s world.

So, just clear up your mind, and with a bit of practice and the right attitude, you can think outside the box (or look beyond the lenses; whichever works best), to excel your career in optometry.

How Bad Regional Managers Drive ODs Away from Corporate Optometry

There are many modes of practices available to optometrists. Corporate Optometry has become more popular than ever to many ODs, they usually start their career by working in a commercial establishment. Many times regional managers can make or break a decision for an OD.

Working in corporate optometry has its own perks. Optometrists receive steady paychecks and they can make more money with annual raises. Some ODs are simply not interested in running a business.

Here’s how bad regional managers drive ODs away from corporate optometry

They Create Politics

Vindictive managers threaten the job security of their employed ODs. A leader should be the one to set a good example. Instead, they misuse their power and authority to put down the optometrists and to show them who the boss is.

They Give Unfair Criticism

Bad managers don’t understand the difference between constructive and unfair criticism. They can create unfair working environments. If one OD is able to do something than it should be good for another OD in that region. start insulting their employees instead of teaching them. If an OD is able to leave early and another is not then an OD can start feeling pressurized and unappreciated.

They Bully and Abuse

Regional managers, who are bullies, use abusive tactics to communicate with the optometrists. Ignoring issues and emails, and using the silent treatment can be viewed as a bully behavior. If you are being ignored than contact your Professional Relations department.

They Have an Ego Problem

If a corporate optometry has leaders who are know-it-alls, then it’s a huge problem for the employees. Egoistical managers will put all the blame on the employee when things go wrong and will take all the credit when they go right. Nobody likes someone who thinks that they are not capable of making mistakes.

They Silence Their ODs

Silencing the voice of employees is unethical and can make them feel unappreciated. A good leader listens to what the people have to say. If the employees feel that they can only talk about something when it’s safe to talk about it then it’s a sign that they have dominant leaders. Those leaders think of themselves as unquestionably right.

They Lie or Do not give credit

Manipulative bosses lie to their ODs in order to move their own agenda forward. Sometimes ODs are blamed for the business going down, other times when an OD is doing something to help the business, they do not get the credit they deserve. Make sure that your work is being acknowledged and also is know by corporate headquarters.

They Start Micro-Managing

Being a team leader doesn’t mean that one has to take control of everything. Finicky managers want to monitor and personally control each and every movement of their team members. No optometrist would like to be micro managed.

Managers play a vital role in the success of a business. Companies lose good employees just because of poor management. Regional managers tend to focus on the dollars flowing in the door and forget that ODs are the most essential part of their business.