Optometric Management Tip # 462   -   Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Your Strategy for Greater Profit: Answer One Question

I'll start with the assumption that you would like to see greater profitability for your practice in the year ahead. To help you formulate the strategy that will achieve that goal, I need you to answer one critical question:

Which of the following statements most closely describes your typical backlog of patients?

The strategy
Every week I speak with ECPs in all of the four categories above and even those with moderate to strong patient demand often are not earning anywhere near their true potential. Doctors with weak demand obviously have even more trouble generating high income levels. Read on for a super-simplified strategy to increase profits based on your current level of patient volume.

Stronger demand
If you answered a or b above, you have fairly strong patient demand. That is a wonderful situation in this economy and you are indeed fortunate. I view those patient appointments that are in the future as a very strong asset and I strongly urge you to convert some of it into cash flow.

It can be difficult to change the way things are done in your practice, but everything around us is changing very quickly and practices that don't adapt will decline. You can make changes in a step-by-step fashion over time. This type of practice is fairly easy to change because the revenue will increase right away. Just get started and make things happen.

Weaker demand
If you answered c or d above, you are like most eye care practices and you have weak demand. Our focus is different for this practice. Increasing profitability is harder and will take longer, but it can be done!

Best wishes for continued success,

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