Starting an optometry practice can be overwhelming, especially if you are doing it all by yourself. There are a lot of things that you need to consider before you can even start. Unfortunately, the business side of establishing an optometry career is not always taught in schools. Below are some tips that can make the process of starting an optometry practice less stressful.
Choose the Right Location
Even in the age of the Internet, finding an ideal location is still important no matter what kind of business you are establishing. To ensure that your optometry practice will have the best chance to succeed, you should find a location with an under-served population, an area that has limited access to optometrists. When choosing a location, you should ask yourself these two questions: is the market already saturated and is there a potential for growth. Choosing the right location can help your optometry business rise to the top.
Invest in an Electronic Health Record System
When you are in the process of establishing your optometry practice, saving money should be a priority. You should always think about the long-term. Keeping paper records can be expensive, and storage will become an issue in the future especially if you only have a small office space.
A wiser move would be to invest in an electronic health record system (EHR). It is easier to organize records with an electronic system, and there’s less chance of misplacing a patient’s record. You should keep in mind that patient records are the most valuable assets of a medical practitioner.
Register Your Optometry Practice on Online Directories
Online directories is a place where people go to find eye care service providers near their area. For example, if they live in Denver, they can just search for Denver Eye Doctors and Optometrists through these online directories, making it easy for clients to see your practice.
Invest in Marketing
Have business cards printed and make sure that you carry them everywhere you go. Build a website and make sure that it is optimized for local searches. You should also create social media accounts for your practice.
Create a Facebook page and an Instagram account where you can share details about your practice as well as general information that your community will find useful such as eye care tips or tips on choosing the right frame.
Develop Smart Employee Policies
It is almost impossible to have a successful optometry practice on your own. You need excellent staff to support you. This is why it is important that you hire only the best and the brightest people. You should also invest in training and developing your employees.
A good start is to draft an employee handbook that clearly explains office policies on matters such as work hours, leaves, and payment schedule. Of course, you should refer to your state’s labor laws before drafting your employee handbook. Smart employee policies are your best protection against labor and employment-related problems.
Think Twice Before Spending on High-End Frames
It is quite tempting to offer high-end exclusive frames. It will be a boost to your image and having a display of high-end frames will make your office look good. But you should ask yourself if it will really be good for your business. In choosing frames to offer, you should consider your patient demographics and the location of your practice.
Spending too much on high-end frames can overload your inventory and deplete your working capital. Instead of investing in high-end frames, you should spend money on areas of your practice that will give greater returns for your money.