Inculcate these habits and take your optometry business to the next level; they will surely change the way you view your profession
If you have ever looked at the elite optometrists around you and wondered what makes them so effective, the answer is very simple – all successful optometrists are made so by their habits. They follow certain rules religiously and these habits, in turn, help them propel their businesses forward, week in and week out.
Here are seven habits of highly effective optometrists that can help you become more effective and take your business to the very next level.
Set clear goals
In order to be effective, you should always strive to be proactive rather than reacting to the demands imposed by market around you. And there is no better way to be proactive than through setting concrete goals for your practice and taking definitive steps to achieve them.
Many optometrists have goals but the problem with them is that they are too vague. For instance, goals like helping patients, planning for a nice retirement, etc. are too open-ended and do not give any clues on details like how much money you need to save for a healthy retirement. As they are not detailed enough you won’t be able to incorporate a plan for achieving them into your daily or weekly activities.
Another important point to remember is that you need to categorise your plans into short term and long term goals.The long term goals will be related more to your vision about the practice while short term goals are the interim goals that will help you achieve your target and could be daily, weekly or monthly.
Measure your progress
Optometrists spend the whole day taking measurements, however, when it comes to measuring the state of their business they are often known to ignore the details. So business decisions are left to intuition rather than on the analysis trends that the practice should rely on.
Managing your business with metrics is important as it gives you a correlation between the results that you get and the actions that you take. You can use the metrics to track your progress at regular intervals of time to see if you are moving in the right direction or not. A simple metric like sale of products by product type will help you understand which product among your assortment is in demand and more importantly which one is the least sold. The data is just invaluable! It would help you to avoid mistakes made in the past and also to identify growth opportunities.
Your success at satisfying patients largely depends on your staff which, unfortunately, might consist of people who are working at a minimum wage and have little or no motivation to work at a high level. In such a scenario, your role as a leader of the staff becomes ever so important.
Through formal training, daily coaching and personal example, it becomes your duty to keep your staff motivated and always at the top of their game. The effectiveness of your business has a lot to do with how effectively you manage the staff at your disposal. If your staff respects you and believes in your vision for the business, they will be more than happy to put that extra hour of work for you when needed.
Optimise your time
Time is the most precious resource that you have and effective time management could well be the difference between a middle-of-the-road practice to one that is soaring high. Most people struggle when it comes to using time wisely. They are caught up in unimportant, yet urgent, tasks that are imposed by other people and forget to focus on the important ones.
As a leader, it is your responsibility not just to make the most of your time but also to ensure that your staff is involved in activities that yield the most results. You should be delegating the low priority tasks and focusing primarily on tasks that are the real difference makers.
The best performing optometrists have the same amount of time as the low performers do, but they strive to use every single minute of their time effectively. They plan their activities way upfront and hardly ever deviate from the schedule.
If we could trace a common trait among all successful businesses, then customer satisfaction would surely be that one trait. Even in the optometry domain, good practices are known to vouch by the importance of this key trait and keep clients on top of their priority list. Rather than considering them as just a means to profit, effective optometrists continuously strive to build a human bond with their customers by expressing sincere empathy with their problems and helping them make the best choices for their eye care needs.
It is quite natural for practices to put personal goals like maximising profits above customer goals but it is a good idea to reflect back on the higher purpose of your work regularly. A happy customer list is the most significant sign of a practice that is ready to take off. So it is your duty to ensure that every step that you take is taken with your customers in mind.
Continuously Seek Improvement
In a rapidly advancing field like optometry, change is the only constant. For you and your business to thrive, you will have to continuously add to your existing skill sets. Not making progress could mean falling behind and hence, you will have to continuously sharpen the saw in order to stay head to head with the competition.
Highly effective optometrists are always on the lookout for things that they or their staff can do better. Simply put, they are always on the lookout for ways to improve their practice. A good idea can be to encourage everyone to take note the new things that they notice and discuss them regularly with their staff.
The hard truth is that your business won’t be a smooth sail all along; there will be ups and there will be downs. You will have tough decisions to make and you will be confronted by risky choices. But successful businesses cannot be created without accepting and making the most of these opportunities that disguise themselves as risks.
For instance, making changes involves risk, however, change is quintessential to progress and without change, your practice won’t be able to break the old habits and create new ones. As a leader, even you will have to move out of your comfort zone, accepting calculated financial risks for the growth of your business.
Positive habits practiced over long durations lead to sustainable growth. So start today! Follow these highly effective habits just as the top optometrists in the world do and plot your success story in the near future.