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Be a Game Changer and Make Your Competition Irrelevant

Facing competition in your market? Make yourself into something completely new.

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“BUSINESS STRATEGY” is one of the most common phrases in the business world but its meaning is rarely properly understood.

Business strategy is the concept of planning for the further success of an organization. Optometry businesses often fail because they misidentify growth as a strategy, when it is in fact an objective. A saturated industry, with established players, will require a different business strategy than a relatively new one. An optometric business can thrive with the right motivation, mindset and perseverance even with increased competition from other opticals and online retailers. Be the game changer in your market. Why compete in an already highly competitive low-margin marketplace? Develop your own unique strategy that innovates the industry.

Strategies that lead to the successful optometry businesses are: 

A Growth Mindset

This refers to an optometry business’ ability to market well and gain more patients due to a growing reputation. An average practice should grow 2 to 3 percent a year. Evaluate your key performance indicators to scale your practice. Understanding how your practice compares to others is a good benchmark for evaluating the metrics of your practice. Having a growth mindset will help you see opportunities that others won’t. Use failure as a motivation to learn and continue to work hard to push forward. Your growth mindset will create innovative ways to approach challenges, identify what is lacking, and remove pain points for your customers.

The Competitive Upper Hand

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The business that is constantly being worked on flourishes. Blockbuster was Number 1 at once and didn’t see Netflix as a competitor. They even had a chance to buy them but declined. Always respect your competitors. They might have more income or resources but having the drive, motivation, and perseverance to continually pursue what you want is the ultimate competitive upper hand. Optometry offices can find a competitive edge with 3D printing eyewear, new technologies, value-based services, personal branding or a unique localized social media strategy. Social media alone is very powerful. Small businesses can now conquer a local market by creating fans instead of customers. Determine what specific niche you want to be known for and continue to pursue it, even when you are at the top.

Gain Higher Profits

The more patients an optometry business has the higher its profits. You get more customers by creating “fans” and providing niche value. Be unique instead of the best. A lot of companies try to be the best. They strive for the best product or the best marketing. They believe that’s what’s necessary to gain the largest market share. But, it’s the opposite. In an industry where several companies provide the same product or service, customers find it difficult to choose, so they decide based on lowest price. One way to overtake the competition is by investing in being unique. Offer a feature that other businesses don’t, or offer greater efficiency, to distinguish your business. That is a fundemental of a competitive advantage; a feature that sets you apart from your competitors. After that, increasing net profits can be achieved by negotiating vendor discounts, group pricing, cross training staff, medical model technology and seeing more patients per hour.

Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy is about identifying new untested waters. Warby Parker leveraged the industry to create its own competitive advantage. They broke out of the traditional model and created their own market space that has become a billion-dollar industry. They created an innovative value system offering online products that were unique and low cost. They differentiated themselves on value, price and image. Companies are shaping the industry with creative thinking. You could consider taking a different approach to social media where everyone is battling for Facebook/Instagram attention; try LinkedIn or Snapchat to find success. Create an innovative approach where it’s easier to be profitable with less competition. 

Dr. Maria Sampalis is the owner of Sampalis Eyecare in Warwick R.I. A practice management consultant, the founder of Corporate Optometry on Facebook and of corporate-optometry–careers.com and corporate-optometry.com. Email her at [email protected]

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Dr. Maria Sampalis is the owner of Sampalis Eyecare in Warwick, RI. A practice management consultant, the founder of Corporate Optometry on Facebook and of corporateoptometrycareers.com and corporateoptometry.com. Email her at [email protected]

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