The ‘new normal’ is a phrase that is bandied about an awful lot. I’d confidently bet it has slipped into your day to day vocabulary, like it has into mine, but let me slam on the brakes right here, my fellow optometrist.
I have a vital distinction for you. The media, politicians, your friends, family, and community are all talking about the new normal as if it is something that is happening to them. They speak as if they are the victim, powerless to do anything but accept the ‘new normal’ that has been forced upon them.
YOU, however, cannot think this way. You must not. You are an optical entrepreneur and you have to CREATE your optometry practice’s new normal. That’s the distinction that you have to understand.
You are the architect and designer of your practice’s new normal.
Many, if not most, optometry businesses are playing the waiting game, waiting to see what happens in their market, with their customers, in their community. The entrepreneurial spark that started their business is nowhere to be seen.
Think back to just before you started your optometry practice. You essentially created it out of thin air. It all started as an idea in your head. A thought: ‘what if I do this…’ And from your imagination you made it into your reality.
You don’t start a successful business by ‘waiting and seeing’ and you don’t recover from a worldwide pandemic by waiting to see what happens either.
You, as a successful optometrist practice owner, must envision your new normal, one that is within the realms of reality, but is to YOUR liking and then you get busy making it happen.
We have been having some of our busiest and best weeks ever in the history of my optometry practice, Jones & Co. Styling Opticians. That’s what our new normal looks like.
But at the same time there are many practices out there who are sleepwalking into a new normal that they are just accepting. They are still on the go-slow, acting like we’re still in lock down, waiting and seeing, keeping staff furloughed, reducing clinics and capacity to unnecessarily low levels, and ultimately, they are keeping their practice in an induced coma. The black and white difference between my new normal and their new normal has nothing to do with coronavirus, or market demand. It has everything to do with how strongly and confidently the person at the helm of the business is shaping and crafting their version of a positive new normal.
So what do you do? How do you shape your new normal at your practice? Every week I offer coaching and advice to members in the Optical Success Academy. Recently, I gave all my members a checklist to help them evaluate the plan for their practice and their lives. I encourage you to look through the list and ask yourself the same questions. Nothing like a global pandemic changing life as we know it to stimulate some deep thinking.
So amid all the chaos, take a minute to stop and ask yourself…
How are YOU doing? Where are YOU in heading towards your life goals? Take some time in the next week to think deeply about these subjects:
1. What really drives you? Of the things you do in your life, what would you still do even if money was not involved?
2. What are you really ‘world class’ at? YOU. Not your business. What are your unique strengths?
3. What do you really know about your business beyond the numbers? What is the higher purpose of your practice? *
4. Just how good are you at understanding the four major areas of your business – (a) Sales and marketing, (b) developing and getting the best out of your people, (c) the numbers and profitability, (d) the operations and processes.
The average practice owner spends very little time contemplating this subject matter, yet members of the Optical Success Academy know it is foundational. We are an intentional and forward thinking group of optometrists that strive to constantly improve ourselves to create the business and life that we want.
If you want to join this group of progressive and proactive optometrists for a A-Z discussion of the pandemic and get your plan to rebuild your practice revenue and profitability as quickly as possible, join us on our free conference call.
The pandemic may have given us some silver linings. Let’s examine those. The upside-down, topsy-turvy last 6 months is a great tool for highlighting what you want more of and what you want less of in your life. Think about the following:
– Many optometrists have had their eyes opened to the need for significantly higher dispense values, increased conversion rates and multiple pair dispenses.
– Many optometrists have realized the value of the relationship equity they have with their client base as well as the need for a robust marketing system with which to communicate with clients.
– Capacity issues some optometrists are facing right now are making them see that not all clients are equal and that they need to simultaneously attract their best clients and repel their worst clients.
– Some optometrists have temporarily slipped into the habit of trying to do everything themselves from answering the phone to packaging deliveries. Hopefully that frustrating experience reminded them exactly why they need a strong team around them and that the most valuable use of their time is the big stuff, not the little stuff.
– As an optometrist, investing in a team is the only hope of having a life on your terms outside of your practice. And it better be a good team if you care about the results your practice creates when you are not there. Some optometrists have now seen the true potential of the best team members they have. And the pandemic made it obvious who their under-performers are that need to go.
– And the financial stress on your business should have hit you like a hammer over the head forcing you to pay attention to what clients and activities and products and services produce profits and those which do not. Reflect on all this and smile because you’ll find the path forward has never been clearer.
The Optical Success Academy gives you guidance to navigate all of these areas.
We teach you how to find the best clients, how to set up marketing systems, how to navigate the numbers to be more profitable, how to create a practice that enables you to live your best life, and a lot more.
Join us on our free conference call to get the strategies we use in the Optical Success Academy. Conor Heaney, owner of Jones & Co. Styling Opticians and founder of Optical Success Academy, leads this free conference call to give you the tools you need to come out successful. Conor normally works in his optometry practice only one day a week, while taking in over $1.3Million+ in revenue a year. Through his unique strategies he has helped hundreds of independent practice owners to transform their businesses, make more money and have more freedom and time off.