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5 Essential Business Planning Tips That Can Help Optometrists Survive a Recession.

Various small businesses could be severely hit by a recession. Proper planning is the key to long-term business success. And it becomes all the more important in the face of uncertain circumstances such as the ones we are facing currently.

Here are five essential business planning tips that every optometrist must follow if they wish to power through a recession and ensure sustained growth in the coming year.

1. Think Strategically

There are several strategic approaches that optometrists can benefit from. Strategic thinking is what helps you succeed in a competitive market. Businesses that don’t have a strategic plan in place are bound to have a hard time in fulfilling their short term as well as long term goals.

Take time to think about your business’s vision and mission. What is your unique selling proposition? How do your products and services differ from those of your competitors? Do you do any specialty care?

Focus on aspects that will prompt customers to choose your services over the alternative options.

2. Don’t Skip Marketing

Your revenues may be down these days, but that’s no reason to skip marketing. Marketing plays a key role in keeping your business in the public eye. You can cut down on the marketing budget if you want. But don’t forgo it altogether.

Identify the channels that can bring in the maximum customers and run your marketing campaigns on those platforms only. Staying active on social media is a great way to connect with your audience, so don’t forget to leverage that.

3. Form Alliances

One of the most strategic business planning tips in today’s economy is to form alliances. Collaborating with other optometry businesses operating both locally and other medical professionals can help you gain access to new streams of income. It can enable you to identify and exploit opportunities that still exist in an otherwise halted economy.

4. Sort Out Your Finances

Finances are the core element that determine the viability of your business plan. Make sure that you always have sufficient capital at hand for debt servicing, asset acquisition, business expansion, and the likes.

In addition to the current expenses, think about other costs you may incur down the lane.

5. Structure Your Workforce

You need to think about the future implications on your business in regards to your staff.

Will those employees be willing to rejoin when your business gains momentum again if you cut their hours? Do you want them to rejoin or wish to hire new workers instead? What are the skills you will need to keep your business running in a changing economy?

If you plan to hire new employees, make sure you have capital available for any training that may be required.

End Note

No one plans to fail; they fail to plan. So, follow these business planning tips to help your optometry business not just survive, but thrive regardless of how the economy may be performing.

Recipe for Success in Optometry: Grit and Resilience

Grit and resilience are key ingredients in the recipe of success. Humans possess a remarkable ability to work hard towards their goals and keep recovering from setbacks in the way.

You can succeed in your life and career as an optometrist once you understand the growth mindset and discover the power of grit and resilience. Keep reading to know how you can boost your resolve and keep setting and achieving high targets.

What is the Growth Mindset?

The Growth Mindset is a belief that you can achieve something once you acquire the skill to do so. Carol Dweck, an American psychologist, has identified two kinds of mindsets: fixed and growth.

A person with a fixed mindset believes that basic qualities are inherent and different ones cannot be developed. Growth mindset, on the other hand, dictates that you can enhance your qualities through efforts.

An individual may have a fixed mindset about some abilities and a growth mindset about others. For instance, a person may firmly believe that sketching well is a built-in talent that they cannot acquire. On the other hand, they may feel that they can improve in sports with enough practice.

It is imperative to approach your life and career with a growth mindset in order to succeed in your life and career as an optometrist. You may not have scored a high grade after studying optometry, but that doesn’t mean you cannot become a successful optometrist after gaining experience in the industry.

Developing Grit and Resilience

Grit implies resolve, and resilience refers to your ability to bounce back from a stressful situation. People who are able to grow are those who learn to overcome obstacles and setbacks. Here is how you can develop grit and resilience in your life and career as an optometrist:

1. Asses Yourself

Want to figure out how resilient you are? Take a quiz online to evaluate the extent to which you adhere to a growth mindset. Gauging you abilities will help you determine whether you are on the right track. If the results show that you have a growth mindset, work on enhancing it. In case you discover that you have a relatively rigid frame of mind, it is time to start taking corrective measures.

2. Stay Around Positive People

Your mindset helps define your life. Likewise, the thoughts and behavior of the people around you also influence your reality. You cannot always opt to be around the people of your choice, but you can selective about who you wish to spend most of your time with. Engage in productive discussions with fellow optometrists and keep in touch with your mentor in the field to stay motivated.

3. Set Goals

Grit involves maintaining interest and effort towards long-term goals. It can get difficult to make a lasting commitment, especially if you face several hurdles in the way. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that success comes to those who stay strong, even through times of crisis. Don’t shy away from ambitious targets. Work hard and persevere to make your mark in the field of optometry.

4. Celebrate Milestones

Success doesn’t always have to be measured in the form of outcomes. Sometimes, you make painstaking efforts, but victory gets delayed. Pat yourself on the back for the hard work and know that setbacks are always a possibility. Making efforts in the right direction will always be fruitful, even if it takes some time.

It takes time and effort to reach your goals and to stay strong in the face of obstacles. Once you adopt grit and resilience, you will understand that hard work always pays off. A positive and driven mindset will eventually bring success in your life and career as an optometrist.

5 Ways to Reduce Optical staff Errors when Collecting Fees for Sublease ODs.

Being an optometrist isn’t easy as there are so many things to look after, primarily when you are sublease and don’t have control of the optical staff. Subleasing has plenty of benefits to offer, including having trained staff who works under your wing and assists you in your daily operations via your contract.

So, what happens when your staff makes errors and makes it difficult for you to run your practice? Such errors include not collecting payments on time from patients. This isn’t beneficial for your practice and can result in significant losses. So, what should an optometrist do in such a situation?

Let’s find out.

Collect Payment Before Treatment

This practice may not be allowed in some states, which is why it’s crucial to check before implementing it. When you collect payments from your patients first, it can help you have clarity whether the patient has paid or not. If your optical staff fails to collect payment from the patients after the treatment, you’ll be looking at a loss. You would’ve provided quality treatment to the patient and wouldn’t even get paid for it. Hence, see if you can collect payment first.

Hire Your Staff

When you sublease space to run your practice, you’ll have to work with the existing staff. However, it can become problematic once the optical staff makes enormous mistakes. In such a situation, you should hire your staff. You can interview yourself to see their potential. When you have the right people for the job working under you, you’ll experience fewer errors and more ease. Hence, interview potential candidates thoroughly before appointing them, and have a much smoother experience at work.

Set Up Online Payment

If your staff forgets to collect payment from the patients, one thing you can do is ask them to call those patients and ask for the money. Since your staff made the mistake of collecting payment, they should be the ones who would have to make the call. Also, another suitable way to collect payment would be to set up an online payment option where patients can pay before getting the treatment. This way, you’ll receive the amounts, and your staff wouldn’t have to go after the patients regarding payments.

Paperwork

There should be paperwork for everything, including collecting payments from patients. You should have access to the invoices stating that the patient has paid a certain amount of money to receive a particular treatment. Once you have all the documents, you’ll have proof that the patient has paid, and your staff didn’t forget to ask for the required money. Also, if there’s an invoice missing, you’ll immediately know that your employees failed to fetch the payment.

Do it Yourself

This isn’t your job as an OD, but if your staff is not on top of things, you’ll have to step in. If you want to ensure your patients pay you the money you’re entitled to receive, you should collect it yourself at the end of the treatment. This way, you won’t have to run after optical staff to do so, and you’ll have your dues as well.

5 Questions to Consider Before Buying Equipment

If you want to ensure your practice is a success, you’ll have to equip it with the best and the latest tools. If you don’t get the right tools to do the job, you may not be able to provide the value your patients expect. So, investing in the right tools is a part of ensuring success for your practice.

However, you’ll have to be careful when buying such equipment. If you aren’t as vigilant as you should be, you might get faulty equipment on your hands, which will affect the quality of patient care you provide. So, it’s better to ask yourself the following questions before buying any equipment for your practice.

1. How Will it Set My Practice Apart?

If you want the edge over other practices, you need to equip it with the modern tools that help you differentiate your practice. So, before purchasing any equipment, you need to ask yourself whether it will promote your practice and get you more patients? If you get a positive answer, by all means, purchase that equipment right away. As an optometrist, you need to offer your patients the best treatments that would require the appropriate tools.

2. Will My Patients be Appeased?

Most people these days have become super tech-friendly. They also hold those places that are pretty tech-savvy in high regard. So, will the equipment you’re about to invest in impress your patients? Will your entire practice make your patients feel comfortable? If yes, you should undoubtedly equip your practice with such tools. Whatever it takes to make your patients see the modernistic approach you’re taking with medicine, do it. As long as your patients are satisfied, you shouldn’t have a problem.

3. What More Do I Need?

You’re mistaken if you think your practice has all the necessary equipment and couldn’t need anything more. You might be forgetting something, whether it’s your firm’s digital presence, good word-of-mouth, or what matters the most – patients. You can always benefit from doing more. So, it’s better not to sustain by doing the bare minimum. Recognize what your practice needs, and give it to them to flourish and succeed even more. Develop a robust digital presence, employ software that helps with patient management, whatever it takes!

4. Return on Investment: Is It Enough?

When you’re setting up your practice, you’re investing in equipment you can only hope will provide you with long-term growth. It’s all hoping that you might get more significant returns by using modern technology on patients. So, they’ll know your practice is a class apart. However, are returns enough? Are you barely breaking even? You’ll have to make severe calculations to understand how much you will make in the upcoming months by investing in certain pieces of equipment.

5. How Can I Maximize the Equipment’s Full Potential?

When you’ve got the best equipment to boost your practice, it’s also necessary you use them in the right way. You’ll have to ensure you have the right staff who knows what they’re doing. You might have to provide training in the beginning to make them aware of how a specific piece of equipment is used. The more trained your staff is, the better they’ll be able to use the equipment.

The Problems with Under-Coding and How to Avoid Them

Under-coding is a popular concept in optometry practices. Many times under coding can be considered fraud and lead to an audit.

Many problems arise due to under-coding; one is the unnecessary investigation of unreported medical cases. Under-coding is considered a severe crime as it’s highly illegal and unethical. If your office is experiencing under-coding, there are ways you can stop it.

Let’s explore how you can stop under-coding.

Train Your Staff

The best way to overcome under-coding at your office is by ensuring your staff is adequately trained. They’ll ensure every patient walking in has a proper file and officially gets recorded when they’ve received sufficient training. If you want your office to succeed while avoiding any audits due to under-coding, you must hire efficient staff who know how to work. As long as they’re well-equipped, you hopefully won’t encounter under-coding at your facility.

Uniform Coding Is a Must

Two types of patients walk into a optometry office: those who pay cash and those with insurance. Ideally, these patients should go into the registers if under-coding is avoided. The best way to ensure that happens is by providing a code. There will be no confusion when uniform codes are present for each type of patient. Also, there won’t be any discrepancy between patients with codes attached. Even if there is, you can easily sort it out through the billing. Also pay attention if you are billing routine eye exams to vision plans when you are supposed to bill it to medical because the patient has significant cataracts for example.

Double-Check Everything

When you have a high inflow of patients coming in, the wise thing to do is double-check everything. This includes their files, medical reports, history, etc. It’ll be easier to manage to code when you know everything about your patients and keep up with their cases now and then. You can stay on top of your coding game by ensuring there’s no case of over or under-coding whatsoever. However, you’ll have to be pretty vigilant to do that.

Hire a Professional Medical Billing Company

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your facility’s billing, you can always employ a professional medical billing service. They’re professionals who specifically deal with numerous healthcare facilities’ billing. That way, you won’t have to stress so much regarding billing, and you can also avoid the constant problem of under-coding. Yes, such companies charge a fee, but paying them is better than paying large sums of money as penalties if your facility is under investigation for under-coding.

Don’t Overuse Codes

If you want to avoid under-coding at your facility, it’s recommended you don’t use the same codes repeatedly. Using the same codes often leads to confusion regarding patients’ files, which might result in double-coding. If you don’t want that to happen, please keep using new codes each time you enter a patient’s information into your system. The newer your codes are each time you have a new patient, the fewer chances of under-coding. Hence, please focus on using codes appropriately.

How Optometry is Changing Because of Millennial ODs.

There is an effect of generation on the optometry industry that is changing expectations from optometry clinics. Millennials and optometry have an important correlation since there are steady changes happening in technology, practice management, work-life balance, patient care already and diversity and inclusion.

Trends in Optometry

Millennial ODs have economic reality and attractive flexibility. Since millennials have high debt, don’t have huge capital possibilities, corporate optometry has become the an attractive option.

Millennials are part of the digital generation, where technology is prioritized for every industry. They also wired to expect high efficiency and productivity. They also use technology to build relationships with patients.

Digital Future of Optometry

Modern offices are turning towards digital space to increase efficiency. This can include looking into software for billing, appointments, and booking – things like cloud access and digital imaging for records and patient data. Optometry offices are being expanded to digital spaces for greater accessibility.

Cloud Adoption

The willingness millennials have to turn towards the cloud is great in the millennial general. Millennials and optometry involve incorporating IT setups, hardware, and software. It can mean more training as well as costs from tech glitches. If an optometry clinic has different office locations, it can mean the use of multiple IT systems, which can lead to expenditure cost.

Millennials are turning the trend to optometry offices towards incorporating the right sort of technology into the right spaces. A model that needs HIPAA compliance and has a fully-managed and secure structure. It also gives room to optometry clinics to be more transparent with their customers. Through seamless integration, there is increased accountability of the optometry clinics too. With more optometry clinics, you can still have the same procedures and implement a similar structure with the help of technology.

Diversity and Inclusive

Young ODs want to feel part of something bigger. They make sure the promotion practices throughout the organization follow are unbiased and equitable. They are looking for a structured internal mobility program to provide equal opportunities. Many corporate opticals like Warby Parker have taken steps to help grow diversity in optometry. Many millennial ODs feel they belong at Warby Parker and have taken subleases and employed positions.

Millennial ODs have changed how the industry performs and works with its patients and workforce. This can be quite a positive change in terms of relationships, efficiency, and ability to expand.

How to Manage Entitled Employees

Entitled employees can be a pain for your office, mostly because they have this “we’re better than the
rest” attitude. Entitled employees can be from all stages of the career path. It’s one thing to be self-confident, but completely another to be entitled. These
employees expect to be treated much better than others, and that’s when the problem begins. It doesn’t matter if they work in a private practice, corporate practice or have completed a residency entitled employees need to be dealt with right away.


One thing to know about these entitled employees is their psychology works differently. Each must’ve
gone through something in their lives that triggered their superiority complex. Every employee’s reason
to be entitled varies according to the events in their lives.
Let’s go through what psychological entitlement is and how it can be dealt with.


What is Psychological Entitlement?
Psychological entitlement stems from an employee’s background and achievements. Some young ODs come out of

optometry school and feel like they can just walk into a practice and take over. The mindset that they are a Doctor

can provide that entailment factor. Many will have achieved great goals whether it be grades, residency or a family

member in the optical industry.

They start believing they’re better than everyone else and should be
treated differently, much better. Some things entitled employees ask for are more income right away, seeing less patients per hour, not working nights and weekends and making demands.


The mechanics behind psychological entitlement is rather complex yet simple. Anyone you meet exhibits
signs of entitlement would easily tell you how they’re raised. Yes, it has a lot to do with one’s brought
up. As stated earlier as well, the reasons behind entitlement vary. However, entitlement in the
workplace stirs a pot of politics, employee rivalry, and eventually, misconduct, which can become a pain
for the practice manager or owner.


Provide Constant Feedback

The first thing you need to realize as a manger is that you can’t change an entitled employee’s mindset. However, you can manage their behavior and even curb their entitlement.

You can do so by providing them constant feedback in a neutral manner that doesn’t set
them off. For example, you can call them and tell them about their good performance. Also, at the same
inform them about their shortcomings. This will balance your review, and you won’t come off as a bad.

Research states that employees tend to respond more rationally when they’re given a negative
review along with a positive one.

Monitor Their Behavior
Entitled employees need to be managed by checking their overall performance and their behavior
towards other employees. If an employee is entitled, chances are they’re going to flaunt their “I’m
better than you” attitude to others as well, and that’s not right.

All employees need to feel accepted,welcome, and most importantly, equal. If they feel that other employees are supposedly getting
preferential treatment, even if they’re not, it can negatively affect their productivity. Hence, as a
manager, you need to ensure such behavior is not enforced. It’s a big responsibility to manage all of
your employees and an even bigger responsibility to provide all employees with a sense of belonging.

Final Points
Entitlement is an issue that can make things worse for other people. When someone’s full of superiority
complex, they make others feel much less about them, and this doesn’t fare well for them. Hence, as a
manager, it’s up to you to ensure entitled employees keep such behaviors to themselves and not spread
them around the workplace. Entitled employees cause many issues in the practice, stop the issues before they get bigger!

Attracting Quality Talent in Optometry with Greater Transparency

Attracting quality talent entails optimizing your optometry practice in several ways. A focus on transparency and staff well-being will enable you to improve the profitability of your business in the long run.

Employees are more attracted towards practices that have a clear mission and adhere to their values. Here are 3 aspects that are of the utmost importance in hiring and retaining better talent.

1.      Develop good work culture

Work culture is an important part of an employee’s experience. Optometry practices usually focus on providing quality eye care, but their values and culture are hardly ever communicated.

Potential employees often research about a business before applying, making it a good idea to let them know what your practice values the most. For example, if teamwork is a key aspect for your practice, make that clear while you are hiring.

You can easily showcase the work culture of your optometry business on social media or within a job description. Doing so will help you attract employees who are more in line with your work objectives.

An important factor in attracting quality talent is building trust. It helps develop an open and transparent company culture to hire suitable people and retain suitable employees. Make sure you improve communication within your organization so that employees can easily connect with each other to share valuable information.

Prevent toxicity by openly discussing current challenges with employees and coming up with solutions as a team. Moreover, keep employees motivated by sharing and recognizing their achievements.

2.      Offer thorough training

No matter how experienced your employees are, it is crucial to provide them with training relevant to your optometry practice. Optometry is a specialized field where employees should have sufficient knowledge about different equipment and vision-related issues.

When your hire employees, make sure you offer on-the-job training to get them acclimatized to their new work environment. Provide systematic training for each job role in your organization. Untrained staff is likely to soon feel disinterested and demotivated.

You on-boarding program should ideally begin with an introduction of your practice’s basic mission, followed by specific training for staff members. You can introduce job shadowing and role-play exercises to get new recruits familiar with the ins and outs of your practice.  Also fine tune their people skills, so that they are able to deal with patients more effectively.

3.      Compensate suitably

Remuneration is one of the prime motivating factors for employees. Allocate a budget for staff compensation to help manage finances more effectively.

Recruiting and retaining quality employees requires providing employees with a satisfactory package. Compensation generally includes salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other benefits. Experienced workers and practitioners are aware of their value in the market and seek a salary that is worth their services.

Make sure you offer a suitable amount to potential employees in order to hire the best candidates for your optometry practice. Recruiting efficiently will lower hiring costs and spare time and money for other important tasks.

Attract quality talent towards your business by ensuring employee satisfaction. With a good work culture, proper training, and worthwhile compensation, you are sure to draw in and retain competent employees.

Increasing Practice Value and Revenue with Technology

Increasing Practice Value and Revenue with Technology

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

Patient satisfaction no longer just pertains to whether or not the patient was satisfied with their exam. It is much more of an all-encompassing measurement that pertains to the entire patient experience. From booking the appointment to how they were greeted at the front desk and from the variety of frame choices to how they perceive the overall value for the money and time spent, all these things and more are critical pieces to the achieving the highest ratings from patients. Like it or not, patients are consumers. For many practices it is hard to make that connection. But for those who do, it opens a whole new viewpoint from which to manage their practice. The most successful practice owners operating with this mentality are leveraging technology to exceed patient expectations and maintain high levels of patient retention. The pleasant bi-product of implementing these systems is improved in-office efficiencies and increased revenue.

For the past 6 months, ABB has been conducting various surveys to gain valuable insight into the ECP’s thought processes. Consistently, topics of revenue and efficiencies rank at the top of the most pressing operational issues. Yet, the interest level of activating the very technologies that can ease these concerns rank at the bottom of the list. Lack of time, awareness, uncertainty, risk and cost are all very plausible reasons for the disparity between these thoughts, but they should prohibit the practice from at least considering these technologies. There are numerous solutions to help protect your patient base while appealing to their buying preference and addressing some problematic office workflows, but there is no need to over complicate things.

Simply start by asking – what does your patient base want and need from your practice, so you are their eye care provider for years to come? Is it varied communication? Ease to schedule an appointment or reorder their contact lenses? Maybe they want the option for a virtual visit, or maybe it’s as simple as helping them maximize their insurance benefits.

Did you know that an estimated 20% of your patients have unused benefits? The problem is that if they are not on your schedule the likelihood of them maximizing those benefits, which can amount to tens of thousands of incremental practice revenue each and every month, is extremely low. ABB Verify, powered by Affinity Analytics solves this issue by automatically pulling in-network benefits for all scheduled appointments through intuitive integrations with leading practice management systems. It then sends patient emails and texts, reminding them of services due and of insurance benefits that may be available to cover those services. This proactive, targeted communication drives more patients back into the office for exams or products to help keep your schedule filled. Doesn’t that sound like a value-added patient service?!

Fact of the matter is that proper use of technology can provide your patients what they need to hold your practice in higher regard than any other competitive option. And ultimately, that’s what you want, right? Additionally, this same technology can help bridge any gaps between profitability, process efficiency and patient satisfaction.

If you’re interested in learning how you can exceed your financial goals and patient expectations by making the most of unused benefits and cut the time it takes to pull authorizations in half, please contact us today to schedule a demo on ABB Verify. Your patients will thank you.

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