Article Date: 8/1/2013

Business Strategies
business strategies

Looking for That One Thing

Yes, there really is only one thing you need to do in order to succeed.

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GARY GERBER, O.D.

I’m often asked, “Given all your experiences, what’s the one thing every doctor must do in order to succeed? Just pick one.”

It’s certainly a fair question. You might expect an answer like, “Well, there really isn’t just one thing.” But that’s not the case. There really is one thing every doc needs to do in order to succeed. Of course, the way we define “success” certainly has a bearing on what that thing is. For the purpose of this article, let’s use the commonly used parameter of financial success, because we can assign a number to it. Your number may differ from another reader’s, but at least this helps us re-frame the question to a more pointed one of, “Gary, what’s the one thing that will make me more money?”

The answer is…

With that context, I can give you a simple two-word answer. Wait for it … “It depends.”

For example, Dr. A will discover heretofore unprecedented financial success by putting an inordinate amount of focus and energy on his optical. He needs to change the fixtures and furnishings, upgrade 75% of his inventory, change his retail pricing strategy, start prescribing brand X lenses instead of brand Y and then retrain his staff or fire them to ensure his sales are where they should be. So, A’s “one” thing would be to focus on his optical.

On the other hand, Dr. B has a high-performing optical that has an average sale of nearly $900 and a capture rate of 85%. She is booked three weeks in advance, has a very cohesive office team, grosses $2.6 million working 3.5 days per week, takes six weeks of vacation per year and is about to have her account cut off by her lab because she can’t pay her bills.

So, in her case, what one thing will make her “successful?” (Make more money in this case.) She needs to totally revamp her billing and collection process, since she has $400,000 in outstanding accounts receivables that is more than 90 days old.

So, there are two different ones for two very different practices. Yet, if each executes his/her own unique one thing, they’ll both be more successful and make more money.

Step two in this exercise of “one”

After defining success and uncovering your “one,” you must execute your “one.” If you don’t know what your one is, then it’s time for an outside set of eyes (i.e., a consultant) to get embedded in your practice and help you discover it.

For Dr. A, he needs to put together a logical, cost-effective step-by-step plan to turn his optical from anemic to stellar and high performing. In doing so, he needs to acknowledge that, while he is laser focused on this task, others won’t get it done, and he’ll have to live with that fact. With presumably the inability to clone himself, revamping the optical using the steps above is a time-consuming task. So, he must devise a plan to do so and then commit to getting it done.

Similarly, Dr. B must roll up her sleeves and, instead of trying to make more top-line money by adding a new piece of equipment, decide that once and for all her billing and collection problem will be addressed and fixed.

So you see, “It depends” is the only true one answer I can give you. OM

DR. GERBER IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE POWER PRACTICE, A COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN MAKING OPTOMETRISTS MORE PROFITABLE. LEARN MORE AT WWW.POWERPRACTICE.COM, OR CALL DR. GERBER AT (888) 356-4447.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: August 2013, page(s): 65