Optometric Management Tip # 155   -   Wednesday, January 05, 2005
What are Your Practice Resolutions for the New Year?

2005. Itís hard to believe weíre at the start of another new year. With the holidays behind us, itís a great time to reflect on your practice goals and direction. Time is flying by; is your practice on track to be everything you want it to be? Instead of making personal New Year resolutions, why not focus on practice resolutions? Set aside a few hours of uninterrupted solitude, get a pad of paper and a pen and use this tip as a guide to get you started.

Only you know the areas in your practice that need improvement the most. Start by being brutally objective and think about the following major categories of practice management. Begin with a clean slate, be open-minded, think big and think positive. Write down the category heading and just jot down ideas as they pop into your head. Make an outline of priorities and visualize the desired end result. How should your practice look and act? What resources would you need to make things happen? What time frame is needed? What will have the greatest impact? Can you accomplish several things at the same time? How will your staff respond to new challenges?

5 top categories for success

I consider the following 5 topics to be the management issues that need the most attention in optometric practice today. There are others, but these will give the most bang for the buck to improve production, revenue, profitability and efficiency. In the weeks ahead, starting with this issue, Iíll present some ideas for each of the following categories.
  1. Practice investment
  2. The year of customer service
  3. Delegation
  4. Fees, collections and managed care
  5. Staff training
This week, Iíll cover point number 1.

Practice investment

Spending money on your practice is one of the fastest ways to stimulate growth and profitability. Analyze your capital spending and see if youíre putting enough resources back into your practice. You should invest in something every year Ė but only you can tell how much and how fast. It may make sense to borrow or lease if necessary. Success in business always involves some risk and you must spend money to make money; just do it responsibly and carefully. Speak to a CPA and a banker about your plan. Here are some investment categories to consider:
Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management