ABB Analyze, powered by Glimpse

April 19, 2021

Every practice’s data tells a story. Not just of where they’ve been, but where they’re going. That data can serve as the North Star, guiding the strategic direction of the practice. The planning that follows most often begins with evaluating previous performance, setting a goal, determining the activities in which to execute to achieve that goal, implementing those activities and adjusting along the way based on the results – rinse, repeat.

All the intricacies that make up the plan can be complex and of course, ever-changing. But those complications shouldn’t apply to the collecting, storing and organization of that data. That’s where ABB Analyze, powered by Glimpse comes in.

At ABB Analyze, our sole purpose is to help practices succeed by making business analytics simple. Created by private business owners looking to maximize their performance, ABB Analyze understands first-hand, the challenges of successfully managing a business.

The system is designed to be intuitive, customizable and readily available. We show you opportunities, areas of improvement and how you compare to your colleagues. Most importantly, we save practices time so you can focus on what should be your number one priority, your patients.

To get the most out of your practice, you need to get the most out of your data. ABB Analyze will provide a clearer pathway toward increasing revenues and practice success.

To learn more watch this 2 minute video

Now Available! ABB Analyze Lite – FREE Access to 9 Key Practice Metrics – Get Started Here!

Jeremy Bono – Sr. Technology Product Marketing Manager, ABB Optical Group

Turn More Callers into New Optometry Patients with Call Analytics

Call analytics has become an important component of marketing a practice. It allows you to understand consumer needs and wants in order to attract and retain clients.

Train your staff to receive calls efficiently in order to convert more callers into new optometry patients. Here is how your business can benefit from call analytics:

Collect Data

Call analytics can help you gather valuable information about your target audience. Phone logs are usually collected when patients make a phone call to your practice.

You can figure out the clients’ phone numbers, date and time of the call, call duration, the number of times particular clients have called, and even an audio recording of the entire call. Analyze the reasons why people call in order to better understand consumer demand.

Clients usually call to schedule an appointment or make changes to their appointment. On the other hand, people who are potential customers may call to survey the products and services you offer. Collect and organize data from calls to help with your marketing campaign.

Know Your Target Audience

Staff members who answer the calls should be trained to connect with patients and potential customers in a happy and upbeat manner. Use words unique to your practice to showcase the professional values of your business.

Ask the caller’s name in the beginning and keep using it throughout the conversation to keep them engaged. Work on the rapport by listening to the caller attentively and avoiding outside distractions.

Monitor the call and notice the words used by the customers. This can help you improve keyword search on your website. As a result, your marketing budget will be allocated in a way that maximizes profits. You can also use the phone numbers to send text messages advertizing your optometry practice.

Reduce the number of calls that are routed to voicemail. Make it easy for people to connect to a human staff member rather than an automated response system. If it is necessary to activate voicemail sometimes, make sure a representative gets back to them shortly. Engaging customers effectively will help you draw up an effective marketing plan.

Tracking and recording phone calls can help you determine the efficacy of your customer service. It will enable you to identify and rectify shortcomings in order to enhance customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Monitoring the sales team’s conversations with patients and prospective clients will also help you evaluate their interaction and work on areas that require improvement.

Optimize Your Marketing Campaign

According to studies, the conversion rate of calls is 10 to 15 times higher than web leads. Consider purchasing a call analytics software to get a clear idea of where your marketing campaign stands. They offer different levels of tracking, such as keyword level, campaign level, and multi-channel attribution tracking.

Detailed insight can help you determine which individual marketing are most beneficial for your optometry practice. Keyword tracking will allow you note which keywords are most used during conversations. This data has the potential to drastically improve your digital marketing campaigns, such as pay-per-click ads.

Information gathered through campaign level tracking helps identify which online and offline marketing campaigns are successful in drawing in the most customers. Multi-channel attribution tracking allows you to measure the entire journey of a client from the beginning to the end. It will enable you to figure out which online marketing channels result in offline phone call conversions.

Customer experience is of the utmost importance for an optometry practice. You need to be attentive to customer requirements and expectations in order to make your practice a success. A careful evaluation of call analytics helps turn more callers into new optometry patients.

4 Ways to differentiate yourself in Optometry

Optometry school may have equipped you with all the technical knowledge and expertise you need, but did you know that this alone does not a great optometrist make?

Read on as we take a look at some of the things they should be teaching you in optometry school, but don’t.

Listening to patients

This may seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised to know that some medical professionals don’t truly listen to what patients are trying to tell them.

Each patient is different. Rushing through appointments isn’t going to do anyone any good. As an optometrist, you owe it to patients to give them your time and respect.

After all, hearing out a patient is integral to determining what is troubling them, and coming through with the correct diagnosis.

A good place to start the conversation would be finding out what the patient in question does for a living. This can help you gather basic insights into the kind of lifestyle they lead, and reach a more informed place before treating them.

Managing inventory

The importance of this simply can not be stressed enough, especially considering current pandemic times.

You can be almost certain that the equipment you need, or the medicine you require is either in short supply, or is not going to be delivered on time.

It would thus be prudent to be proactive and take out the time to figure out all that you might be needing to ensure the smooth running of your practice.

Dealing with numbers

No matter what your profession, it would serve you well to follow these words of wisdom to a tee.

It’s important to understand that at the end of the day, you’re running a business. While it’s understandable that as an optometrist, you may want to focus on treating patients while hiring someone else to deal with the monetary side of things, you must set aside a bit of time poring over orders, receipts, and invoices.

No one’s asking you to do a deep-dive, but it will only benefit you and your practice if you’re aware of some basics: service rates by the hour, supply pricing, and how to avail the benefits of loyalty programs offered by various companies.

Managing staff

People management is not as simple as it’s deemed to be. It is, in fact, one of the more challenging aspects to running a practice.

Any practice that is running like a well-oiled machine is sure to have an efficient, meticulous team working behind the scenes.

Maintain employee motivation by empowering them, trusting them, and granting them due recognition for their efforts.

A good way to go about this is by first trying to gauge how good they are at making decisions. To do this, you don’t necessarily have to entrust them with a task; you can start by having routine discussions at the clinic to see where everyone stands.

The tactics mentioned above will help add value to your practice, and even guarantee long-term success.

The Potential of Artificial Intelligence in Optometry

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that uses various techniques that aim to mirror human intelligence. One AI technique is machine learning, which relies on vast data sets to learn and predict results without human intervention.

Artificial intelligence has slowly made its way to optometry as well. It is unlikely that it will ever replace an optometrist but instead has the potential to ease their jobs. This doesn’t mean that robots will be running around in our healthcare facilities, but rather AI focuses on a large amount of patient data to give insight into diagnosis and treatment methods.

Let’s look at how it has the potential to change an optometrist’s practice.

Streamline management

Many software is coming to the market that provides autonomous management of tasks related to patients. Repetitive tasks like scheduling, billing, and follow-ups can be done on the fly and updated as new information is received. This improves organizational productivity for many optometry practices, making them more efficient, and leaves more focus on patient care.

Early detection

One of AI’s advantages is that it can process vast amounts of data more quickly as a computer is doing most of the legwork. This especially comes in handy when processing optical coherence tomography (OCT) images, retinal images and dry eye. It can look for patterns within these images that optometrists might miss because of the subjective nature by which these images are analyzed.

Diabetic retinopathy

Machine learning can monitor these images over time and see if any changes are occurring that lead to eye diseases that manifest progressively. FDA-approved AI systems are already appearing on the market that analyze fundus photography to detect elements of diabetic retinopathy such as hemorrhages, aneurysms, and other lesions. It can detect these changes early on, leading optometrists to formulate a health plan with the patient. Additionally, this system requires minimal training and can outperform humans.

Glaucoma

The technology is currently in its early stages to detect other ocular diseases such as glaucoma by fundus photographs, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and visual fields. It is beneficial for open-angle glaucoma cases where symptoms don’t typically exhibit themselves. Since glaucoma can’t be cured, early detection may help manage the disease to prevent it from getting worse to the point of blindness.

Dry Eye

New technology has emerged in the Dry eye arena. Advanced Opthalmic Systems.

When it comes to talking to patients about their dry eye disease, a picture is worth a thousand words. Conversations become easier when you can show a patient an image of their ocular surface. Suddenly it all clicks. (Pun intended) AOS is one company that takes it a step further with innovative technology. The platform automatically grades an image for Bulbar Redness, Injection and Lid Redness. In Staining mode the software counts punctate of a fluorescein image. It can also convert a fluorescein image into 2D and 3D which brings a real wow factor.

The images show patients proof of their condition and the analysis provides context. It’s much like the difference between stating a fact and telling a story. We can now give meaning to symptoms felt and seen in the eye. And it’s especially useful for assessing progress during follow up appointments. Lower redness numbers or lower punctate counts tell me and the patient we are on the right track. AOS analysis improves patient education which helps boost compliance. Better compliance leads to better outcomes and that leads to happy, loyal patients.

Reduce false positives

False positives occur when a test result shows that a disease is present when it is not in reality. Here AI can help as well. By looking at vast amounts of medical data regarding symptoms that a patient presents, it can predict the likelihood of a disease or condition is present.

This helps the patient from any unnecessary discomfort in terms of added consultations to their optometrist or an ophthalmologist, saves their time, and saves money on any unnecessary medication they may require.

Artificial intelligence is showing its potential in many medical fields other than optometry, like oncology, dermatology, pharmacology, and genetics. Though still in its infancy, improvements in this technology will help doctors verify their diagnoses and interpret data faster independently. This does not mean that a doctor’s work will become redundant, as AI algorithms are not yet 100% accurate. There will cases when a doctor’s insight will be invaluable in diagnosing diseases. It can be considered a tool to their advantage.

3 Important KPIs to Improve Your Optometry Practice

If you run an optometry practice, you have to worry about your patients’ eye health and, on top of that, manage resources, improve productivity, and ensure profitability. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential factors to consider when analyzing your practice.

By monitoring KPIs, one can assess where their practice is lacking, what needs to be improved, and what redundancies need to be addressed. This leads towards a more growth-oriented optometry practice and ensures a patient-centric model of operation.

Patient Wait Time

When it comes to sight, patients get very anxious, as it is the sense we most rely on. Longer waiting times can exacerbate a patient’s anxiety and make them frustrated, leading to an unsatisfactory visit to their practice. More importantly, it hinders patients from getting the care they need, especially those requiring emergency treatment.

Reducing patient wait times is perhaps the simplest way to improve patient experience. Additionally, it helps to improve another KPI, patient satisfaction, improving patient retention. An excellent strategy to reduce patient wait times would be to adopt a patient portal where an optometrist can gather information on their patients, in turn, reducing wait times before their appointment.

Patient Follow-up Rate

This performance metric deals with patient care after a prescribed treatment by the optometrist. These can include simple procedures like examining patients, prescribing glasses or medication, or complicated procedures like performing tests to diagnose rare eye diseases and post-surgical care.

An optometrist may have to perform multiple procedures if a prescribed treatment doesn’t work or if a disease progresses. By analyzing the cases with an increased follow-up rate, treatment becomes streamlined for similar cases, whereby the patient’s needs are met promptly.

From a business point of view, a patient is more likely to revisit if their needs are met proactively. Hence, using multiple communication channels such as emails, texts, and surveys may determine the best course of action for a patient’s ailments.

Missed Appointments

A patient can miss their appointment for many reasons such as financial troubles, transportation issues, or just plain old forgetfulness. However, they do not know the impact of their missed appointment. Other than a practice missing out on opportunity costs, resources can be diverted to taking care of patients in their stead.

The onus falls on an optometrist to check in with their patients before their appointments and confirm their availability. This can also be an excellent opportunity to gain valuable feedback from the patient to seek a reason for their missed appointment. It can point out deficiencies in your practice that may need improvement.

There are many more KPIs one can analyze in their optometry practice to make it grow even further, but the ones mentioned above are perhaps a good starting point that provides value to both patients and doctors.

Creating an Inviting Eye Clinic Reception

Eye clinics may not always invoke positive feelings among patients. People rarely look forward to eye tests, especially people who are squeamish about someone getting close to their eyes. While this may seem like dramatization, it can be more prudent to do something actionable.

By creating an inviting eye clinic reception, you can appease apprehensive patients. Creating a good atmosphere to welcome patients with can make a great first impression on them. The first impression will dictate how they feel about the rest of the experience too.

Here are some ways to create an inviting eye clinic reception.

A Welcoming Environment

Generally, eye clinics rarely radiate warmth. Clinical and cold colors are often used, which can lead to a lack of warmth. By adding more color to the reception area with soft furnishings, you will experience

more friendliness and warmth in the reception. You can even have some gentle music playing in the ground. You can even add some games or toys for kids and magazines for adults. If you think no one actually reads newspapers anymore, you can simply provide free Wi-Fi so folks can use their phones in peace while they wait. It can set patients at ease.

Welcoming and Warm Staff

A lot of patients may be on edge, so they don’t really need the extra bonus of a non-empathic staff. Some kind words and welcoming staff at the reception can be crucial for setting the patients at ease. It can also create long-term, loyal patients if they feel welcome in your clinic.

Make sure the person who manages the phone is also warm and kind. An abrupt or cold approach can lead to the patient not even attempting to enter the clinic in the first place.

Flexible Payment Mediums

You need to understand that healthcare is definitely expensive for a lot of people. If you provide patients with plenty of options to make payments, such as mentorship programs, it can make them feel much better about visiting your clinic. Considering their needs means to be upfront about costs and have transparency in the billing portion too.

Effective Scheduling and Appointment System

One of the biggest mistakes is to make patients wait around even after they are on time for their appointment. In rare cases, it can be quite inevitable, but you should still keep a strict check on time. An inviting eye clinic reception is one that operates on time so that no patient gets frustrated. You can automate the scheduling system to send patients text alerts for any schedule changes or delays too. The staff should also be trained properly in handling patient timings.

Creating an inviting eye clinic reception is more than just doing the bare minimum of adding furniture. You have to consider the needs of the patient and design your work culture and clinic accordingly.

Implementing an Optometry Compensation Plan

Optometry compensation plans need to be executed carefully since they are highly controlled expenses for an optometry clinic. You need to do is the right way to ensure that you don’t end up costing the clinic too much money. Here is how you can implement a proper action plan that will make the entire process more efficient.

1. Determining the Right Market Pay Rate for Every Position

Each position at the clinic will require a different compensation amount. You will need to use a salary survey to establish bands for salaries. These bands are basic groupings of existing salary rates based on

the experience of the candidate or the employee. You will need to determine the amounts for senior, mid-career, and entry-level positions. This can help you make decisions about hiring and raises.

2. Creating Comprehensive Job Descriptions for Every Position

You should think carefully about the responsibilities and duties of every position. Having a detailed and proper job description that includes duties, required skills, educational levels, and working hours can help the candidates and employees understand their position in a better way. The description should also have a summary of expected employee behavior.

The more accurate you are, the more realistically the employees can approach the task. The optometrists should make sure that the employees do their tasks well, and the job description can help with that.

3. Explain the Entire Process to the Team

Making sure you are transparent is the most important thing. You should answer any questions and make sure the employees know everything they can about the job. You can also meet with every employee individually to make sure they have a clear understanding of the expectations and compensation plan. This process will pay off in the long run.

4. Ensuring Team Accountability

The performance standards and responsibilities need to be met, but don’t wait till the end of the year to update the employees on their standing. You should give regular and clear feedback throughout the year to ensure that they are able to improve their performance. Frequent evaluations and reviews will help them, and they will definitely appreciate it too.

5. Reviewing Team Performance, Revenue, and Potential Raises

Evaluate who are the top performers for the year and reward them before anyone else. Then, you should look at the employees who may not have met your expectations and consider other options. For example, you can look for new hires or provide a chance for them to develop further. Offering formal reviews for all the team members can help.

Optometry compensation plans may not always be easy to execute, but only if you don’t follow the right steps. It doesn’t have to be such a complicated procedure if you have an action plan in place.

How to Attract and Retain Your Ideal Patient on a Budget

Visiting an optometrist is a fairly common practice as they offer patients a solution for bad eyesight, eye disease and help with detection of general eye problems. Research suggests that around 39 percent of adults in the USA consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist once a year.

Marketing your optometry business involves a careful analysis of marketing strategies and organizing a well through-out marketing plan. Here is how you can attract and retain your ideal patient on a budget:

Identifying the Ideal Patient

To make your optometry practice more effective and cover all your costs, it is imperative that you use relevant marketing tactics to attract the ideal type of patients. With the right patients coming in, you will be able to:

· Earn a higher return on investment

· Understand patient needs better

· Market your services in a cost-effective manner

Being able to target the right client base through better marketing strategies will enable your clients to have a better understanding of what services to expect. Having a good idea of what your customers want will also help you add value to your products and services.

There are 2 simple steps to identify the ideal target market:

1. Marketing Segmentation

Analyze the primary characteristics of your ideal patient. Start with segmenting the market into categories such as demographics, psychographics, geography and behavior. Evaluate where your target market stands to move closer to achieving a holistic overview of your ideal patient.

2. Patient Persona

Once you are done segmenting the market, you are bound to have a good idea about your ideal patient. Ask yourself what kind of patients you enjoy working with the most. List down some common attributes based on name, health attitudes, income, occupation, interests, habits, age and method of payment.

Figuring out the ideal patient does not mean you should refuse to treat those who do not meet your criteria. The goal is to make your business more profitable by prioritizing quality over quantity.

Marketing Tactics to Attract and Retain Your Ideal Patient

Good marketing strategies for your optometry business do not have to be expensive; they just need to be efficient. You should aim to market your products and services in a way that they provide valuable information to your target audience while increasing brand loyalty.

You can easily minimize your budget once you figure out details regarding your ideal patient and optimize your marketing tactics accordingly. Both traditional marketing and online marketing strategies are likely to benefit your business as long as you ensure you pick and choose the right ones based on the clientele you wish to attract and retain.

Conventional Marketing

Although the internet is gaining popularity as a marketing platform, it has not yet eliminated the need for conventional marketing practices. Some vital ones include:

1. Referral program

A patient referring your business to other people is not only an efficient marketing strategy but is also a compliment as it assures you that you are doing your job well.

Start a referral program by offers such as a voucher, discount, gas card or lucky draw token. This is a good way to show your appreciation and promote your services.

2. Take out time for local charities

Strengthen your brand loyalty by joining charities. This will help build trust and establish the reliability of your optometry business.

When patients will notice your efforts to give back to the community, they will have a higher opinion of your business. Your passion to help others is likely to make your customers keep coming back to you.

3. Broadcast or outdoor ads

An eye-catching advertisement or an infectious jingle will not fail to get noticed. Radio is an effective and reasonable medium to tap the local market.

A well-designed billboard ad is also likely to be retained by people. Whenever they will feel the need to consult an optometrist, they may recall your advertisement.

Online Marketing

In this day and age, the scope of digital marketing is growing tremendously. Having a noticeable online presence allows you to attract a large customer base and is easy on the pocket.

1. Email Marketing

Keep sending emails to your clients from time to time to reinforce their preference for your products and services. Ask people for their email addresses when they register with your services.

You can email people about new offers, newsletters, and reminders for yearly check-ups. Moreover, you can also market in subtle ways by sending out informative emails regarding eye health.

1. Website

Focus on developing a website that is designed well and provides people with valuable information about your products and services. When people search for an optometrist’s services, they are bound to use a search engine rather than a traditional phonebook, which is why it is important to have a powerful online presence.

Make sure the visitors on your website enjoy a good user experience. In order to be visible to the right kind of users, your website must be optimized for search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that ensures that the site is structured in a way to rank higher on the search engine results page. It involves tweaking your website to increase its loading speed, making it mobile-friendly and placing visible calls-to-action to convert visitors into customers.

2. Social Media Marketing The latest findings show that as many as 2.7 billion people are active on Facebook every month. The importance of maintaining your presence on social media cannot be overstated.

Make sure you are visible to your target audience on leading social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Routinely update your clientele about new offers and practices to keep them engaged.

Choose your marketing platforms wisely in order to attract and retain your ideal patient. Both conventional marketing and digital marketing avenues can be used in a cost-effective manner one you have a clear idea of your target audience and the way to reach them.

References:

1. Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/917000/optometrist-ophthalmologist-visit-frequency-among-adults-us/

2. Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/

The Impact of the Pandemic on Buying or Selling an Optometry Practice

The optometry business experienced steady growth from 2015-2020 due to the rise in aging population and increased awareness of eye health. However, similar to several other industries, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the optometry industry. Many older ODs are looking for an exit strategy more now than ever. Some might sell at a discount to be able to sell it faster. Loans have become lower but if you were out of work for 2-3 months than you might rethink getting a loan if a second wave could shut down a new practice again.

Several optometric practices have been forced to shut down as a significant number of people are now purchasing eyeglasses and contact lenses online.

If you’re considering buying or selling an optometry practice, here are some factors to consider before you take the plunge:

Purchasing an Optometry Practice

Before you purchase an optometry practice, you should have clear goals in mind. Think about your goals for buying an optometry business and how you can secure a perfect deal for yourself.

You can either make a complete purchase or a partial one. A complete purchase is when you buy the entire business at a certain price. You quote a rate and then negotiate with the seller to form a purchase agreement. Arrange funding to pay for the practice and your job is done. Purchasing a business provides you with complete control over it.

A partial purchase is not as expensive as a complete purchase, making it easier for you to get a loan for it. This involves negotiating with the current owner and buying a percentage of the business. The cost and cash flow will be based on the percentage you own. In case you plan to eventually own the entire practice, the agreement may initially include incremental purchases until you own it completely. Important criteria that you need to keep in mind when purchasing an optometric practice include:

1. Location

Optometry practice owners typically run a business in the city they live in. While this is not necessary, practicing along with community involvement is usually a factor in growth.

Consider the presence of other optometrists in the vicinity when you decide to purchase a business. Check if the market is saturated or there is a need for more optometry practices.

Assess whether there is a growing demand for your products and services in the area you decide to buy a practice. Evaluate the demographics to ascertain the general age groups of people and whether the community is retiring, growing or stable. It is important to weigh in other factors, such as the lifestyles of people who have been affected in the area due to the pandemic.

Whether buying a corporate or private practice consider that many people have a shifted to not going to mall settings or areas where many people gather.

2. Practice Type

Spend time deciding the type of practice you want to buy. Do you want to buy a large, well-established practice or a reasonably priced smaller practice that you aim to transform into a full-time one? Several small optometry businesses are now up for sale as the baby boomer generation is retiring.

If you prefer to buy an already established business at a high price, you will not need to make additional investments. On the other hand, buying a smaller and older business may require you to invest in updated equipment or get the place remodeled.

3. Finances

It is important to carry out a financial assessment before buying a practice. Consider hiring an accountant to review all records. Make sure you have a good know-how of fee schedules, cash on hand, income sources, account receivables, accounts payable, overhead, the sales contract and the transaction itself.

It is relatively easy to get a bank loan for purchasing an optometry practice. Banks typically look for good credit history, small credit card debt, and personal tax returns that can prove a high level of income. If you are married and your spouse is working, that is also a plus point with banks that finance private businesses.

4. Hire a Broker

Perhaps, you are looking to buy an optometry practice but do not have time to search for one. Moreover, you may lack sound knowledge of the terms of sale. In such a scenario, your best bet is to hire a practice broker.

Brokers conduct extensive market research to help you decide which kind of business is most suitable for you to purchase. You can focus on working full time while your broker confidentially surveys the market for you. They will also be responsible for determining a fair market valuation and negotiate the terms of the transaction. Finally, your agent can help you receive funds for the purchase and guard you against common mistakes, such as overpaying for the new practice.

Selling an Optometry Practice

Ever since the pandemic hit, most businesses all over the world have experienced a financial setback. This has shrunk the buyer market, making it challenging for you to find a buyer for your optometry practice at the same time you wish to sell it. Therefore, you must ensure your business is not only good enough to be sold but also gets you the value it’s worth.

1. Exit Strategy

It is often difficult for optometrists to slow down as they grow older. Many are solo practitioners who do not have many alterative options to choose from. Some hire an associate as they lessen their working hours. Others choose to sell the entire business and either work part-time or retire completely.

Here are some key factors you need to consider when deciding your exit strategy from your optometry practice:

Your Goals

· Do you want to retire or work for the new owner?

· If yes, then will you work full-time or part-time? If you own the building where you practiced in, do you want to sell it or give it up for rent?

· Compare your income from the practice with the amount you need to sell it in to be able to afford to retire.

Timeline

· Keep in mind that selling your optometry practice may take six months to a year. Smaller and rural practices usually take more time to sell than larger, urban practices.

· Plan your exit strategy in advance to increase the chance of its sale.

· Ideally, you should prepare for sale 2-3 years before you plan to retire.

2. Reputation

Reputation matters a lot in the field of optometry. Clients are usually loyal to particular practices and often choose optometrists who belong to their friends or family circles.

Make sure your practice has attained sufficient goodwill before you decide to sell it. Create brand awareness in your community, retain your employees, offer efficient customer service and develop a strong marketing campaign.

The scope of digital marketing has grown in leaps and bounds, especially after the pandemic struck the world. Focus on maintaining a fully functional website and advertising customer reviews online. Satisfied clients are more likely to recommend your practice to their friends. A good reputation build over time will enhance the appeal and value of your optometry business with potential buyers.

3. Electronic Record System

Purchasing an electronic record system has the dual benefit of adding to your goodwill and managing your business before the sale. It enables you to run revenue reports, track your clients and help with scheduling visits.

An electronic system is a modern way of managing patient care while you can devote your time to attract more clients and organize your financials to make your practice ready for sale. Make sure you begin planning your sale strategy 2-3 years in advance and consider hiring an agent if you feel the need for assistance in the process.

4. Hire a Broker

Decide whether you have time to manage the sale process alone or require a broker who can help you. If you are considering selling your optometry practice, then it can be challenging to handle the sale transaction along with attending to your patients.

Services of an agent or broker include producing an in-depth prospectus of your business, checking out potential buyers, marketing the practice confidentially, determining the asking price, facilitating the buyer in obtaining funds, and working with an attorney to draft the sales agreement.

Hiring a broker has the advantage of reducing your stress and receiving a good value for your business in the current circumstances.

While many people now prefer to buy eyeglasses and contact lenses online to reduce physical contact, COVID-19 has not completely extinguished to physically visit optometrists. Diagnosing and treating eye diseases are still important jobs that need to be performed physically. Did you know that more than 6 out of 10 people wear eyeglasses or contact lenses? Whether you are preparing to sell or purchase an optometry practice, make sure you focus on strategies to increase sales through digital marketing.

Get your website optimized and use social media for advertisement. You can introduce special services, such as enabling customers to buy eyeglasses online if they are free of eye disease and have a prescription that does not date back beyond a certain time period, such as 24 months.

References:

1. IBIS World, 2020 https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/optometrists-industry/

2. CBS, 2013 https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/news/2013/38/more-than-6-in-10-people-wear-glasses-or-contact-lenses

8 Tips for Doing Competitor Analysis in Optometry

One of the smartest and most effective ways to grow and develop your optometry brand is to research your competition. Keeping tabs on what other market players are doing helps you identify their strengths and weaknesses. This, in turn, can help you create a unique value proposition that makes your own services stand out. Here are ten easy ways to perform competitor analysis in optometry:

1. Go to Professional Conferences

Attending trade shows, professional conventions, and conferences is an excellent way to stay up to date with what your competitors are doing. Interact with their representatives to learn about their services and product offerings.

2. Read Industry Reports

This can help you gain insight into the current market conditions and the latest advancements in the industry. Corporate and even privately held optometry firms have to file certain reports with various regulatory authorities on a regular basis. These might be available directly on the local planning commissions’ website, or you may get access on request. Jobson has great surveys and information that they post.

3. Check Out Your Competitor’s Online Marketing Strategy

Every business in the modern world has an online presence. Browsing your competitor’s website can tell you a lot about their services and how they operate. If you have a basic know-how of SEO, you can use tools Google Trends to identify how other optometrists are attracting visitors. Take note of social media platforms they are using, how they post and what content they post. Engagement is key, how are they engaging their audience?

6. Email Strategy

You can subscribe to your competitor’s newsletter on their website. This will keep you in the loop in regards to how they communicate with their customers. You will get insist information on new topics or products in your inbox!

7. Secret Shopper

This is hands down the most comprehensive strategy for doing a competitor analysis in optometry. Getting someone to get information on employees, supplies price points and how patients view the practice is critical.

8. Partnerships

Look out for any advertisements and job openings that other players in the industry may post from time to time. Pay attention what they are looking for in a candidate and who they partner with for their business. You should be thinking big picture long term.