Article Date: 6/1/2002

Thoughts on Effective Planning
This month Optometric Management looks at planning from start to finish.

This month's issue of Optometric Management offers some different perspectives on planning.

In their feature, "How to Prepare for the Unexpected," beginning on page 42, Jerry Hayes, O.D., and Ken Hicks, C.P.A., advise readers on how to plan for unexpected practice stoppages. Ideally, a practice would run its natural course with retirement and the sale of the practice as the happy ending of a successful plan. However, detours can occur between point A (where you are now) and point B (the sale of a practice and retirement).

The bottom line: Be prepared

Practice disruptions can take many forms. Some are temporary, such as those caused by fire, flood or short-term disability. Others, including death, can effectively end a practice.

Each of these disruptions has implications for you in your roles as patient-care providers, employers and practice owners. If your practice were stopped tomorrow, for any length of time, how would you and your patients, staff and family fare? Dr. Hayes and Mr. Hicks ask this question and provide the resources for creating sound answers.

Plan your staffing

Walt West, O.D., demonstrates how you can plan your practice's staffing effectively in "Delegate Your Way to Higher Profits," beginning on page 47. He includes a scenario with the fictitious Dr. Smith, who uses delegation to achieve his goal of realizing a $150,000 net. Dr. West suggests tactics for retaining staff as they accept more responsibilities.

Plan your career

Employed O.D.s in private and corporate modes and optometry students also need to plan. A good starting point for all optometrists is to review the opportunities available in the profession. Dr. Richard C. Edlow explores these in the feature, "Too Many O.D.s? That's a Matter of Perspective," on page 53.

You can tell from the headline that this is not a typical career overview. Rather than compare the supply of optometrists to the demand for their services, Dr. Edlow prefers to look at eyecare opportunities available to optometrists. These suggest a number of specialties and areas ripe for planning.

Plan effectively

As a final note: Advisors say that the most successful plans are not those carved in stone, but those that change to meet your needs. Planning is a starting point, and starting points change each time we take another step forward.


Optometric Management, Issue: June 2002