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Mark Hinton

Can You See Your Business’ Future ‘At A Glance’?

If you’re not regularly goal-setting the business of your business you can’t forecast your growth.

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IN OUR OFFICES, we use a yearly “At A Glance” wall calendar to keep our eye on projects, responsibilities, outcomes and other metrics important to the business of the business. These include social media. With average screen times now at seven hours, the quality of our social media is top 10 on the list of measuring effectiveness. Social media is best evaluated monthly after posting. Some offices choose to use a savvy employee to manage their social media. But how strong is the knowledge of this employee of all the various social media platforms? Are consumers engaging? What is the marketing message? At minimum, it’s important to follow blog posts and podcasts of social media experts to understand the landscape.

A few favorites:

  • Denali Marketing Media is one of my favorite sites for tips on social media marketing.
  • Black Optical is excellent to follow, as they post regularly and offer excellent opportunities to study doing it simple, clean and right!

If you are not actively developing and marketing your online eyewear store, you are already way behind. Gen Z and Gen Y do much of their shopping online. To improve capture, you will at a minimum want to purchase low-cost lenses and frames to meet the growing demand. That doesn’t mean sacrificing quality; there are numerous IOT PAL lens designs and AR available through your labs that compete at the same levels as the “name” brand lens products you use for your vision plan choices. These will help you retain your cost-sensitive patients. If your demographic supports artisan and lux frame designs, add a few. Promote them on your social media and in-store. These are differentiators in a sea of average choices.

On our ‘At A Glance’ we also assign team members to scan INVISION and other professional magazines every month to understand what competitors and other ECPs are doing to stay ahead.
Vision Expo West could be your playground to explore “outside the box” lens choices along with frames for all patients. Review your frame board planogram, be sure you have the right mix for your demographic, examine price points, don’t buy similar looking frames that compete for the same price point. Rule: Total frame inventory, minus plano sun and children’s frames, should turn over 3X annually. If it’s 4X, you may not be displaying enough frames; 2X and you are likely overstocked.

Mystery shopping other offices and big box stores, websites and social media will give you an advantage over competition. You have to know what others are doing.
Blockbuster Video, once one of the nation’s biggest successes, went bust when they failed to adapt. Blockbuster was short-sighted when the board of directors decided late fees would be more lucrative than examining how “streaming” could be the future. Netflix and other streaming giants now own the space and knocked Blockbuster out of the market.

In today’s competitive eyecare profession, when you do not meet weekly with your entire team — including doctors — to review your competitors along with your own clinical and optical metrics then goal-set outcomes, you simply can’t forecast your future and growth.

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Mark Hinton is a practice owner, as well as CEO and president of eYeFacilitate, a private practice consultancy. A sought-after ABO/COPE approved practice management expert, with eYeFacilitate he helps practices drive optical efficiencies, maximize managed care revenue and profit, improve capture, and increase revenue through simple systems with a focused process. Email him at [email protected]

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