LEADING OFF: CEO Challenge: Visit a Successful Practice

My challenge for you this month: Visit at least one successful eye care practice.


While independent optometry can be a very rewarding career path, it can also be a very lonely place for practice owners. Many optometrists operate in a silo without advisors, leaving them with a lot of uncertainties about how to successfully operate a practice. A question I am frequently asked is: “How are other practices doing this?”

Asking to visit and observe another practice may seem awkward, but in my experience successful practice owners are very eager to share their strategies with other O.D.s who do not pose a competitive threat. This is especially the case for O.D.s who have built a successful specialty practice.


  • Identify successful practices outside your area. Target practices outside your competitive area, but within a reasonable drive. Sales representatives can be a good source for practice recommendations.
  • Contact the O.D., and inquire about visiting his or her practice.
  • Be clear that your objective is to learn, not compete.
  • I suggest a morning visit, followed by lunch — your treat — during which you can ask questions without disrupting the office flow. OM