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Your Thoughts: How COVID-19 is Impacting Eyecare

BRAIN SQUAD: Our survey panel of eyecare professionals share their thoughts on recovery prospects and how to get there.

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DO YOU OR DON’T YOU?

Do you or don’t you think independent eyecare businesses will recover from this major setback in time to salvage part of 2020, the year of vision?

Yes: 77%

  • While I think practices will have to accept that this isn’t going to be a growth year, it can still be profitable. The ability to pivot is critical right now and we are uniquely poised to take advantage of the increasing reliance on digital media. As ECPs re-open their businesses, I believe it will be possible to profit if costs are reduced and owners capitalize on the opportunities in front of them. —   BECKY FURUTA, AVENUE VISION, GOLDEN, CO
  • People will still need glasses and exams but it will take them a while to feel comfortable going out. We need to let the public know we will do our best to keep everyone safe. —   MAGGIE RYAN, OPTICAL ARTS, TOLEDO, OH
  • I have close to 30 pair of eyewear sitting here in my store right now ready to pick up. Why? My clients want to wait until we can fit them. They know the value of a professional optician fitting their eyewear to them. Amazing! — BRANDY WALKER, LESTANNE PROFESSIONAL OPTICIANS, ATLANTA, GA

ONE QUICK QUESTION

Given the current global health crisis, and its financial repercussions, how are you feeling about your professional future in eyecare?

This too shall pass. I’m gonna keep on keeping on. 75%


I am rethinking everything about how I’ll proceed going forward. 24%


I am out of here ASAP. 1%

Total: 127

  • I think we will have more traffic than previously because people will realize they need backups/spare glasses for emergencies. This is the time we have probably been waiting for people to really understand healthcare. —   CAITLIN WICKA, SAN JUAN EYE CENTER, MONTROSE, CO
  • This is just a “pause.” Patients will be returning and the demand will be greater. Many people have realized the importance of having multiple pairs prescription glasses. Even contact lens patients are now aware of the necessity of an annual exam. My only concern is for those who have not benefited from any stimulus or were unable to collect unemployment. We are Texas Strong and we will bounce back! — PAM HOUSLEY, TEXAS STATE OPTICAL MIDCOUNTY, PORT ARTHUR, TX
  • I think businesses will start getting a decent flow this summer, busier in the fall but if this virus peaks back up, null and void my comment. —   COLLEEN GALANTI, PASCARELLA EYE CARE, NEWTOWN, PA
  • We are a feisty bunch and truly want to help people. Seeing how many phone calls we’ve gotten, patients are realizing how much they really depend on us. —   FRANCES ANN LAYTON, EYE ASSOCIATES OF SOUTH GEORGIA, VALDOSTA, GA
  • I think there will be an immediate surge of business. Healthcare plans have continued to mature during this time and many people will be looking for something to make them feel better after all this trauma. A nice pair of specs can improve your view on life! — SARAH BUREAU, SBSPECS, ST. CATHARINES, ON
  • At least for our office we have lots of patients who can’t wait to get scheduled once we’re able, so I think by end of summer or early fall we will be doing just fine. —   KATIE BILLMAN, MERIDIAN FAMILY EYECARE, MERIDIAN, ID
  • I think it really depends on where your practice is located and financially where you were going into this. I think most will be okay by the end of the year. —   JANNA NELSON, A NEW VISION, BEAVERTON, OR
  • It will be slow. People will still come in for exams but be less willing to spend on higher end products/services. —   CHRIS LOPEZ, ROBERTS EYECARE ASSOCIATES, VESTAL, NY
  • Truthfully, we are scheduling people for the near future and it appears to be very busy. Regardless of this pandemic, people still have their vision priorities on their mind. —   TIM GRAY, VISUAL EYES, HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PA
  • By summer time we should be beginning to resume normalcy. —   RITA ELLENT, OD, THE GARDENS EYE CARE, FOREST HILLS, NY
  • In my opinion, May will be the month most opticals will start to open back up but I think it will take a few months to get back to normal. By mid-summer optical will thrive again. —   SCOTT FELTEN, FOX VALLEY FAMILY EYE CARE, LITTLE CHUTE, WI
  • Of course. I believe this will only help us pour more of our personalities into our practices. This will make us stronger and it will make our patient relationships stronger! — BETHANY CASSAR, COMPLETE EYE HEALTH, HOLLAND, MI
  • Hopefully in the fall of 2020. —   MARC ROSENBERG, M&J OPTICAL, BROOKHAVEN, PA
  • We are not going to be closed for the rest of the year, so business will return but I doubt it will be enough to make up for the losses. —   HARRY ROTH, EYEQ OPTICIANS, MILLBURN, NJ
  • Fourth quarter. Big companies won’t be able to import their glasses from China. Made in USA will be up and running again. —   HALEY MENGE, HI-LINE EYE CARE, GLASGOW, MT
  • I think there will be a rush when things open back and then back to regular. We were in an upswing right before this happened. —   Bret Hunter, Sports Optical, Denver, CO
  • I think we will recover by this coming fall, if the economy bounces back and people are not afraid to spend money. —   DENISE ROBERTSON, WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY VISION CLINIC, PULLMAN, WA
  • ECPs are passionate about eyecare and their patients. And ECPs’ patients are loyal. We will work twice as hard. I don’t think 2020 will be a big win, but I do think we will come out running a leaner office. We will be more focused on the future and how we can better serve our patients and communities. —   MICHELLE WRIGHT, DEPOE EYE CENTER, STOCKBRIDGE, GA
  • June will be the watershed month. Many of us will be back in the office in May and will get back to doing what we do. Big question is — given the fact that many of us will have had a month or more out of the office — have you spent the time refocusing, marketing, branding? — KEVIN COUNT, PRENTICE LAB, GLENVIEW, IL
  • Probably not seeing an upswing until July. —   KAREN PAILTHORPE, UNIVERSITY OPTOMETRISTS, KINGSTON, RI
  • People still have vision insurance and flexible spending plans and I feel there is a pent up demand. —   BOB MCBEATH, EDINA EYE, EDINA, MN
  • Only if this is done and we can go back to ‘business as usual’ by June/July. —   JENNIFER KEADY, FAMILY EYECARE OF HARNEY COUNTY, BURNS, OR
  • Hopefully by June, by giving the same great service we always do. —   BECKI MARTIN, HARRINGTON VISION CENTER II, FLORENCE, SC
  • June through December will rebound. —   RICK PASCUCCI, TOWPATH VISION CARE, CLINTON, NY
  • This is life, we have good times and hard times. It’s nice to know that the world is going through this, not just me individually. It brings me some comfort that I know in the end all will end up better off than we were. —   JULIE URAM, OPTICAL OASIS, JUPITER, FL
  • I believe human nature will prevail. As soon as it’s safe or we’re given the “all clear,” people will come out. I am hopeful that business will bounce back but it might be slow to meet goals. As optimistic as I am, I’d probably write off 2020 because of this pandemic and look ahead to 2021. Habits will definitely change in how we congregate and socialize. I hope that it offers people a new perspective on living life and how to treat others. —   MITCHELL KAUFMAN, MARINE PARK FAMILY VISION, BROOKLYN, NY
  • I’m hopeful that people will understand Shop Small more than ever. —   JENNIFER LEUZZI, MILL CREEK OPTICAL, DANSVILLE, NY
  • Third and fourth quarter. It will take a re-launch of the optical, but people need eyewear and will be ready for a new look. —   Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson, Oxford Eyes, Orlando, FL
  • I think it will force many independents to reinvent themselves. Whether it’s exploring doing more business online or separating themselves from companies that aren’t willing to work with you during this hard time. —   TRAVIS LEFEVRE, KRYSTAL VISION, LOGAN, UT
  • I certainly think we will all need to regroup with a plan on how to go forward. Marketing will be key. We can’t plan on business as usual — flexibility and creativity will be important for the “new normal.” I do believe that some businesses will not survive. —   PAULA HORNBECK, EYE CANDY & EYE CANDY KIDS, DELAFIELD, WI
  • I think there will be a serious hit to eyeglass sales since people who need them, and may not have considered online glasses before, may choose that option and not return. I think there will also be quite a bit of pent up demand for unique and independent eyewear when people return to work. In six months, I’m hoping we’re close to regular capacity. I have faith in the brilliant minds around the world working on a vaccine. —   SARAH JEROME, OD LOOK + SEE EYE CARE, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
  • The next BTS season will hopefully be the start of a recovery. —   WILLIAM CHANCELLOR, EYE CAN SEE EYEWEAR, MCDONOUGH, GA
  • Patients will see the value in coming to us. —   CHRIS CORDES, FISCHER LASER EYE CENTER, MARSHALL, MN
  • Everyone will eventually recover. We have been through some major setbacks, as a nation, over many years and we’ve always bounced back. But it’s hard to say when and how when everything is uncertain at this time. —   DEANNA PHILLIPS, CLEMMONS FAMILY EYE CARE, CLEMMONS, NC
  • I think it will be fourth quarter before things are even half way back. —   KRISTINA SWARTZ, THE EYE SITE, MISHAWAKA, IN
  • November and December could be crazy if insurance benefits are still in place. A condensed time frame and we will be trying to still apply social distancing and not booking appointments as close together. —   KIM HILGERS, MONSON EYECARE CENTER, OWATONNA, MN
  • Most practices will still have insurance monies coming in for a little while, hopefully enough to last until small business financial resources are issued. Offices will need to be more disciplined on purchasing, once we get back up, but in the long run that’s not a bad thing. —   CARISSA DUNPHY, MONROE VISION CLINIC, MONROE, WA
  • By the end of July. The need for eyecare is cumulative. —   ANGEL MILLER, CYNTHIANA VISION CENTER, CYNTHIANA, KY
  • It’s going to take the rest of the year, but I think that independent eyewear will shine during this time of uncertainty and start to re-think their position of trying to be like the mall stores. It’s about time. —   NIKKI GRIFFIN, EYESTYLES OPTICAL AND BOUTIQUE, OAKDALE, MN
  • Gross and net will suffer a little but we will have lower lab bills. —   TEXAS L. SMITH, OD, DR. TEXAS L. SMITH & ASSOCIATES, CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA
  • Recovery probably won’t start until late June to late July. For the year, everyone will be down but the majority will be able to bounce back. —   MARK PERRY, OD, VISION HEALTH INSTITUTE, ORLANDO, FL
  • When all is said and done, people still need to see. When the doors re-open we will be happy to see all of our patients that have done the right thing and waited. Our community is amazing and our patients are the best. —   NICOLE LEONARD, CUSTOM EYE CARE, SAN ANTONIO, TX
  • I see everything coming back by the end of the year. Once the infections start to drop and the panic starts to subside, people will start going back to their usual purchasing patterns, as their finances allows it. —   PABLO E. MERCADO, OPTIMA EYE CARE, ALPHARETTA, GA
  • Six months to recover for private offices. SBA grants/loans and federal relief packages will help. —   JEREMY GOLDMAN, OD, OWINGS MILLS, MD
  • Hopefully by quarter three … patients are anxious to get back in our chairs. —   CYNTHIA SAYERS, OD, EYESHOP OPTICAL CENTER, LEWIS CENTER, OH
  • The minute we reopen there will be a back log of people. We will have to extend our hours and days to accommodate everyone. I hope this happens by June. —   MARC ULLMAN, OD, ACADEMY VISION, PINE BEACH, NJ
  • I’ve been in this niche for over 30 years, too late to bail! Stay true to your values and we’ll get through this like we did during the last economic down turn. —   DAVE SCHULTZ, OD, URBAN OPTICS, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
  • I’m a believer in the “glass is half full” versus “half empty,” so I am hopeful our business will come back and be better. —   RON CATTERSON, CLEAR VIEW OPTIX, THE VILLAGES, FL
  • I don’t think we’ll see anything promising until Q4, but I’m hoping by then not only will things be more “normal” but we’ll make up for all that would have been done during the shutdown and see a surge in the industry. —   CHRISTINE HOWARD, ATTLEBORO VISION CARE, ATTLEBORO, MA
  • I believe we will come back better than ever. It will take some time though. This won’t happen overnight. To completely recover I would say about a year. Our attitude is very important at this time. Take this time to look at our offices to see what things we could do better, simplify, or cut all together. What things do we need to add? We all get too busy in our everyday life that we don’t take the time to evaluate our businesses. Now is that time. Embrace it. —   ANN-MARIE WEAVER, OPTIMAL EYE CARE, LEWIS CENTER, OH
  • People still need quality and hopefully all the hard work is not forgotten. —   SABINA KRASNOV, I2IOPTIQUE, SCOTTSDALE, AZ
  • I can’t imagine that any small business (optometry, barber shop, bowling alley, restaurants) can remain closed past June 1. We will have to modify how things are done (social distancing, perhaps masks for everyone, etc.) but we will have to reopen. —   KENNETH D. BOLTZ, OD, DUBLIN, OH
  • I think we will recover. I think if we can capture some of this stimulus money to make it through, I think this summer will be the summer for people to catch up on self-care including going for an eye exam. —   ANNETTE PREVAUX, THE VISIONARY, ALLEN PARK, MI
  • Later on in the year and with a lot of effort. —   DAWN LAWSON, ROBINSON FAMILY EYECARE CLINIC, FORT WAYNE, IN
  • We are not a recent cold start anymore; this is our fifth year, so luckily not in the red. However, we are not so established that this will not affect us. Trying to stay hopeful. —   AMINA EBRAHIM, OD, D VISION EYECARE, ALLEN, TX
  • For us, since we are a small town business, rescheduling appointments, once this virus gets under control, will make it a fairly easy transition to normalcy… I hope. —   RICK RICKGAUER, VISION ASSOCIATES, GIRARD, PA
  • I think it will be around July, although I feel there may be some small independent boutiques that may not recover. —   SUSAN KANTOR, CENTRAL PHOENIX EYECARE, PHOENIX, AZ
  • Those who tried online glasses will come to appreciate the value and quality of their doctor’s optical and private opticians. —   PAUL PASCARELLA, OD, PASCARELLA EYE CARE & CONTACT LENSES PC, NEWTOWN, PA
  • When we reopen, I feel Americans will bounce back and the economy will as well. Will we be at the same revenue? No, we will not. — JOCELYN MYLOTT, D’AMBROSIO EYE CARE, LANCASTER, MA
  • Probably won’t recover till late summer and the recovery, of course, depends on the virus down turn. —   SCOTT KEATING, OD, VISION TRENDS, DOVER, OH
  • Patients want personal service. We are working with patients on a case per case basis under the stay at home rules. We made sure we are always there for them regardless of the circumstances. —   ROBERT M. EASTON JR, OD, FAAO, OAKLAND PARK, FL

No: 23%

  • I think it will take a good six months to a year for things to start to get back to normal which will also depend on if this reoccurs after the quarantine is over. —   TAMMY WARMOUTH, MAIN OPTICAL, LUZERNE, PA
  • It’s hurt a lot … we will survive, but not as expected. —   SUSIE PHILLIPS, DR. BRENDON JOHNSON, O.D., PEKIN, IL
  • Patients don’t want exams right now and I think when they do get their exams, they won’t want to spend the money on new eyewear unless it’s absolutely necessary. —   KIMBERLY RIGGS, OD, LIGONIER, PA
  • With the negative thoughts now surrounding the year 2020, eyecare marketing for “our” year will need to be subdued. It will take 12 to 18 months to recover totally. —   MAURY MURRAY, OD, EYECARE PLUS SCOTTSDALE, SCOTTSDALE, AZ
  • Possible that independent practitioners will never recover after this crisis. —   LEISA LAUER, WESTCLIFF OPTOMETRY, NEWPORT BEACH, FL
  • When people return to their jobs, having lost them for some time, the focus may be on saving money and buying discounted items. —   NYTARSHA THOMAS, OD, VISIONELLE EYECARE, ZIONSVILLE, IN
  • We would need an increase in exams to count it as “year of vision.” If we are shut down for half the year, only the existing patients will have room to come in. —   ADAM RAMSEY, OD, SOCIALITE VISION, PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL
  • I think very few industries are going to have a “good” year, period. It’s going to take multiple years for the global economy to recover from this … anyone who pretends otherwise isn’t paying attention. —   JEN HELLER, PEND OREILLE VISION CARE, SANDPOINT, ID
  • Patients who have lost their disposable income and now have to dip into savings or sell stocks or bonds will remove me from the immediate care. I’m not sure how long ,if ever, the recovery will last and whether I will be able to return to a practice of over 45 years. —   KEN WEINER, OD, LIVINGSTON, NJ
  • With most places being closed for at least a month right now which could be longer depending on the state you live. The recovery will be slow to start if people are able to get past their fears. The pandemic has created a new normal which will take some time to adjust to. —   DANIELLE DONIVER, HERITAGE OPTICAL, DETROIT, MI
  • Those that survive will not see a return to normal until mid-2021. —   DAVE GOODRICH, GOODRICH OPTICAL, LANSING, MI
  • Depends on your view of salvage, and the length of time the economy is basically mandated closed. If it is closed through June there will not be time left. If it opens at the start of May we will all see a bump in demand come late summer but I assume revenues will be down 10-25 percent for the year for established businesses. —   ZACHARY DIRKS, OD, ST. PETER AND BELLE PLAINE EYECARE CENTERS, SAINT PETER, MN
  • This was a big year for us. We reached our four year anniversary in March, and unfortunately we were unable to celebrate it with our patients due to temporarily closing our doors. We were also planning our very first trunk show to take place this spring that was going to be a huge 2020 bash. We will most likely plan for this to be done in the fall now. We will combat this disruption by extending our anniversary promotion into the next couple of months and have a small celebration in our office for our patients. —   SELENA JACHENS, URBAN EYECARE & EYEWEAR, WEST DES MOINES, IA
  • People still need to see and need qualified individuals to provide the services necessary. 2020 the year that wasn’t. Will we recover all losses? No. Will some choose not to reopen? Yes. Let’s hope most permanent closures are bottom feeders. —   KEVIN BUSHOUSE, RX OPTICAL, KALAMAZOO, MI
  • I don’t think we will be back to work until mid-June. —   IVY ELAINE FREDERICK, OD, NEW CASTLE, PA
  • People have no money and can’t afford to splurge on luxury items. —   PAMELA MARZEC, MARZEC’S SPECS, STREAMWOOD, IL

BUZZ SESSION

QUESTION: In light of the current business environment, what do you feel is the most important thing to focus on in the immediate term to position your business for recovery?

  • First and foremost, businesses have to cut costs. This means identifying cross-trained labor to reduce staffing levels and taking a sustaining posture instead of a progressive one. Businesses that recover will be those that can cut costs by 25-40% percent. Second, I think it’s going to be important to take advantage of the low cost of capital, and to use that in ways to advance existing revenue. —   BECKY FURUTA, AVENUE VISION, GOLDEN, CO
  • Constant patient contact. Scheduling optical appointments. Like always, cleaning each frame that is tried on. —   CAITLIN WICKA, SAN JUAN EYE CENTER, MONTROSE, CO
  • It is important to stay connected with patients. Our office is closed, but I am here to answer calls, reorder contact lens and sometimes just be that “someone” who takes time to talk to patients. I look forward to getting back to business with renewed appreciation for my patients and my co-workers. —   PAM HOUSLEY, TEXAS STATE OPTICAL MIDCOUNTY, PORT ARTHUR, TX
  • The most important thing to focus on … I’ve been working on staying positive. But it’s so hard. I’m cleaning and re-organizing the office. Revamping our pricing schedule. Keeping our patients updated on social media. Working on contact lens sales via LensFerry. —   JENNIFER KEADY, OD FAMILY EYECARE OF HARNEY COUNTY, BURNS, OR
  • Taking things slow. Some offices are rushing things, being careless, some never closed or slowed down at all. Let’s all be careful so we can get back to normal. Wear masks, wash your hands before and after every patient, keep the office clean and please do not clean eyeglasses using the same cleaning cloth for every patient. Business will come back. Be patient. —   COLLEEN GALANTI, PASCARELLA EYE CARE, NEWTOWN, PA
  • Communication, availability, and customer service. What can we do for you in this time of trial? —   FRANCES ANN LAYTON, EYE ASSOCIATES OF SOUTH GEORGIA, VALDOSTA, GA
  • Trying to keep expenditures low and not have to take loans out. It is important to keep in contact with your patients so that they know that you are still around and able to take care of them. —   TAMMY WARMOUTH, MAIN OPTICAL, LUZERNE, PA
  • Planning! All the little things we put off because we are too busy? Now is the time! Cross them off the list and get your practice ready to crush the inevitable boom that will follow this slump. —   SARAH BUREAU, SBSPECS, ST. CATHARINES, ON
  • How to re-open correctly for all parties. —   SUSIE PHILLIPS, DR. BRENDON JOHNSON, O.D., PEKIN, IL
  • Patient care, so that they won’t turn to someone else once things are back to normal. There are several office in our area that have just closed up for the past several weeks and their patients are coming to us for emergency care and are liking our office better than their old ones. —   KATIE BILLMAN, MERIDIAN FAMILY EYECARE, MERIDIAN, ID
  • Improve efficiencies, reduce spending, work smarter, doing the same (or more) with less, all while keeping staff and patient safety top of mind. —   SARAH JEROME, OD, LOOK + SEE EYE CARE, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
    Reducing overhead. Thinking outside the box on the way things are done. —   JANNA NELSON, A NEW VISION , BEAVERTON, OR
  • Make sure we get the loans because even if we do open, business will not be like normal for a while. —   KALEENA MA, MK VISION CENTER, FOREST HILLS, NY
  • Focus on how to re-open successfully while managing the health and safety of our patients and staff. —   CHRIS LOPEZ, ROBERTS EYECARE ASSOCIATES, VESTAL, NY
  • We have to work on vision insurance increasing payments to doctors; $25 for an eye exam is less than a tip to a hairdresser or a waiter. —   SUSAN MILLER, BRIGHT EYES VISION, HARTSVILLE, PA
  • Don’t be shy about scheduling. Create a “yes” environment to help and assist everyone you can. —   TIM GRAY, VISUAL EYES, HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PA
  • Make sure we don’t overstretch whatever liquidity we may have left, if any, by then. It is highly unlikely our schedules will immediately bounce back to the levels they were. Our society and economy will have changed dramatically by the time this pandemic winds down. We will most likely need to tighten our belts and operate with as minimum overhead as possible in the early transition stage. —   RITA ELLENT, OD, THE GARDENS EYE CARE, FOREST HILLS, NY
  • Safety of our staff and doctors because without them we won’t have a business to take care of our patients. Then focus on patient safety and positioning our schedules to maximize quickest but safest processes for return on profit. —   CINDY BRUNER, PROFESSIONAL FAMILY EYECARE, COLDWATER, OH
  • To be available and be smart about our reopen. This will be slow and probably laborious, but again it will be worth it. —   BETHANY CASSAR, COMPLETE EYE HEALTH, HOLLAND, MI
  • Keep employee morale positive and forward looking. —   MAURY MURRAY, OD, EYECARE PLUS SCOTTSDALE, SCOTTSDALE, AZ
  • Making sure your staff and patients feel comfortable and safe. —   MATTHEW DANIELS, EYES ON THE LAKE, COLUMBIA, SC
  • Becoming a healthy community. — HARRY ROTH, EYEQ OPTICIANS, MILLBURN, NJ
  • Keeping our doctors and our team healthy and safe. —   DEB JAEGER, EYE CENTER OF THE DAKOTAS, BISMARCK, ND
  • Not only cutting costs any way possible but to focus on those things that are mandatory to maintain eye health in all ways possible. Utilizing the best quality products available. When any form of life preserving medical surgery is required is it ever acceptable to have less that the best surgeons to perform the procedures? Optical has to start comparing materials to other types of necessary procedure materials. —   LEISA LAUER, WESTCLIFF OPTOMETRY, NEWPORT BEACH, FL
  • Determine which low paying VCP need to be cut. Cash flow will need to be good when reopening. Don’t want to spin your wheels with low paying VCPs. —   HALEY MENGE, HI-LINE EYE CARE, GLASGOW, MT
  • It is extremely important to make sure my team is taken care of. We are still chugging away at 25 percent of normal sales with the showroom closed and operating off of phones and emails. —   BRET HUNTER, SPORTS OPTICAL, DENVER, CO
  • Our biggest concern coming back to work will be making sure we are profitable, eliminating waste, watching payroll and focusing on training. —   MICHELLE WRIGHT, DEPOE EYE CENTER, STOCKBRIDGE, GA
  • Marketing. Marketing. Marketing! – KEVIN COUNT, PRENTICE LAB, GLENVIEW, IL
  • Training to get our practice using her. —   KAREN PAILTHORPE, UNIVERSITY OPTOMETRISTS, KINGSTON, RI
  • Develop an economic recovery plan. Many people found out that getting service became much more difficult and took longer. Encourage people to but second pairs and larger supplies of contacts by incentivizing those purchases. If you are closed stay connected with your clients through regular social media reports on when you will be back! —   BOB MCBEATH, EDINA EYE, EDINA, MN
  • Plan, plan and plan for the future. Keep my eyes on the future and what I can be doing now. Updating my website, adding more ways for patients to find me online and order contacts through ME online (thank you LensFerry!). —   JENNIFER KEADY, OD, FAMILY EYECARE OF HARNEY COUNTY, BURNS, OR
  • By putting the customer first. —   BECKI MARTIN, HARRINGTON VISION CENTER II, FLORENCE, SC
  • Keeping our name out there even though we’re closed and catching up on work we have never been able to complete. —   NYTARSHA THOMAS, OD, VISIONELLE EYECARE, ZIONSVILLE, IN
  • Keep my staff employed, if possible, to be ready when we start up again. —   RICK PASCUCCI, TOWPATH VISION CARE, CLINTON, NY
  • After waiting for their eyecare people will demand timely service. —   JOHN LASHORNE, BROWN COUNTY EYE CARE, NASHVILLE, IN
  • Clean house, hit reset. —   CHRIS MARK, OPTIMARK, DES MOINES, WA
  • Developing strategy for re-opening business and re-capturing existing clients as well as attracting new clients through social media. —   VERBELEE NIELSEN-SWANSON, OXFORD EYES, ORLANDO, FL
  • Stay relevant. Continue to interact via social media and try to stay in your customer base’s mind. —   TRAVIS LEFEVRE, KRYSTAL VISION, LOGAN, UT
  • Patience. No one knows when this will be over. Now is the time to think creatively on how to promote your business and how to make it unique. —   PAULA HORNBECK, EYE CANDY & EYE CANDY KIDS, DELAFIELD, WI
  • Prepare for apocalypse! — MINH TA, SPECS APPEAL, DECATUR, GA
  • Keeping the employees and patients happy and confident. —   WILLIAM CHANCELLOR, EYE CAN SEE EYEWEAR, MCDONOUGH, GA
  • Cash reserves and taking your business digital so that after this wave is over you are prepared for the next wave. —   ADAM RAMSEY, OD, SOCIALITE VISION, PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL
  • Cash on hand. More marketing. Clean the office like crazy. —   KRISTINA SWARTZ, OD, THE EYE SITE, MISHAWAKA, IN
  • Lines of credit and loans. —   KIM HILGERS, MONSON EYECARE CENTER, OWATONNA, MN
  • Of course, businesses finances are the most urgent. Hopefully everyone can get the resources they need to stay afloat. This down time should be spent assessing business operations and what is needed to get back up and running or if changes need to be made to do so. I think many businesses, and people in general, will have a different financial outlook after this is all over, and reevaluate their nest egg. —   CARISSA DUNPHY, MONROE VISION CLINIC, MONROE, WA
  • The easy answer — meaning the first thing I thought of — is limiting expenses. That means not purchasing new frame stock, even when the optical gets visibly low (and removing frame displays to help offset the obviousness of it). And it means cutting staff hours before the bank account drops, which we’ve had to do. I think, however, the bigger thing is keeping your staff informed, positive, and engaged in society. Our group texts between staff members are trending less and less towards funny memes … now, they feature fun new projects that staff members are engaging in their personal lives — from picking up a musical instrument, to redecorating, to painting ceilings, to skiing UP mountains, to a shed full of baby chicks. It’s the team energy that will get each and every one of us through this. I’m so proud of (and humbled by) our crew! —   JEN HELLER, PEND OREILLE VISION CARE, SANDPOINT, ID
  • How to pay my recurring rent or lease as the case may be. —   KEN WEINER, OD, LIVINGSTON, NJ
    Having safety precautions in place for the staff and customers. All companies will need to create a disaster plan for the future. —   DANIELLE DONIVER, HERITAGE OPTICAL, DETROIT, MI
  • Social media. Time spent online has increased incredibly. That is the place to be noticed — everyone needs to determine how they want to be noticed/remembered during shelter in place. —   PAM PETERS, MIDWEST EYE, DOWNERS GROVE, IL
  • Remain calm and try to protect those who you care about most. —   MARK PERRY, OD, VISION HEALTH INSTITUTE, ORLANDO, FL
  • Navigating the maze of restrictions and government paperwork. The ones that do it correctly stand the best chance. —   DAVE GOODRICH, GOODRICH OPTICAL, LANSING, MI
  • Reducing overhead. —   MICHAEL DAVIS, OD, OPTI-CARE, ELDERSBURG, MD
  • Sustaining cash flow. —  ZACHARY DIRKS, OD, ST. PETER AND BELLE PLAINE EYECARE CENTERS, SAINT PETER, MN
  • Continue to reach out to patients. Let them know that we are here for them, even if they cannot access our office in person. We are continuing contact lenses sales are seeing emergency visits. We are taking this opportunity to knuckle down on claims to receive payments and scheduling exams so we can pick up right where we left off. —   SELENA JACHENS, URBAN EYECARE & EYEWEAR, WEST DES MOINES, IA
  • First and foremost the well-being of our staff and patients. Once we have made sure the staff is taken care of, and that we are ready to receive our patients back, it will be just a matter of plotting the course and then full speed ahead! Staff that is taken care of is a staff that will take care of the business. —   PABLO E. MERCADO, OPTIMA EYE CARE, ALPHARETTA, GA
  • Maintaining positive mental attitude. —   JEREMY GOLDMAN, O.D., OWINGS MILLS, MD
  • We are making lists of patients that are due so when we get back we can email blast everyone that needs to come back. —   CYNTHIA SAYERS, OD, EYESHOP OPTICAL CENTER, LEWIS CENTER, OH
  • Keeping good employees. —  CHRIS CLARK, ADVANCED EYE CARE OPTICAL SHOPPE, PANAMA CITY, FL
  • I have one person going in daily with the door locked; she is servicing our contact lens patients with either mail order or pickups from our drop box outside. We are doing telehealth exams when able on existing patients and I am seeing emergency visits as needed. These few things should keep me relevant and ready to reopen to satisfied patients. —   MARC ULLMAN, OD, ACADEMY VISION, PINE BEACH, NJ
  • Watch your spending and make the most out of what you have. —   TAMMY WARMOUTH, MAIN OPTICAL, LUZERNE, PA
  • Communication. Tighter messaging. Better conversations regarding responsibility: where mine ends and the patient’s begins. —   KEVIN BUSHOUSE, RX OPTICAL, KALAMAZOO, MI
  • We will focus on sharing with our community that we are still here for them. —   RON CATTERSON, CLEAR VIEW OPTIX, THE VILLAGES, FL
  • I think being flexible and thinking outside the box is going to help us in the long run. For example, we’re currently being flexible with prescription expiration dates and filling contact and eyeglass orders for those who need them in this time of crisis. Showing compassion and understanding during this time instead of staying rigid will hopefully remain with our patients and entice them to return and refer to us. Also, staying connected is important. We’re stressing on our social pages that we are still available to help them in any way we can because we understand how vital vision is to daily life. —   CHRISTINE HOWARD, ATTLEBORO VISION CARE, ATTLEBORO, MA
  • Focus on ways to see the most patients in the most efficient ways when we are able to see patients again. Look for time wasters now while you have time. Have a plan for when the staff returns to maximize production. —   ANN-MARIE WEAVER, OPTIMAL EYE CARE, LEWIS CENTER, OH
  • We have focused on remaining in contact with our patients and let them know that we are still available for emergencies, contact lenses or replacement glasses, or even if they just have questions. We have posted on social media regularly, send email blasts, texted our best patients and more. —   KENNETH D. BOLTZ, OD, DUBLIN, OH
  • Staying in touch with our patients is top priority. Making them feel safe and comfortable as they return is next. —   ANNETTE PREVAUX, THE VISIONARY, ALLEN PARK, MIHow to make ends meet. —   IVY ELAINE FREDERICK, OD, NEW CASTLE, PA
  • Keeping the budget tight and increase advertising once back. —   AMINA EBRAHIM, OD, D VISION EYECARE, ALLEN, TX
  • Keeping in touch with our patients. We are doing curbside dispensing with jobs that are still at the office. —   RICK RICKGAUER, VISION ASSOCIATES, GIRARD, PA
  • Reevaluating every expense, from the purchase of pencils all the way to equipment. We took too much for granted and this was a wakeup call to look at spending and start saving more. —   SUSAN KANTOR, CENTRAL PHOENIX EYECARE, PHOENIX, AZ
  • Review inventory and services, and plan a marketing campaign. Also, evaluate efficiencies so when we reopen where are a well-oiled machine. Most of us will be busier this summer to accommodate all those exams postponed. —   PAUL PASCARELLA, OD, PASCARELLA EYE CARE & CONTACT LENSES, NEWTOWN, PA
  • Don’t add any extra cost of goods that are not absolutely needed (use of extra frame inventory) and don’t buy bulk stock of contact lenses. —   SCOTT KEATING, OD, VISION TRENDS, DOVER, OH
  • Having sales and telling people about back up glasses. —   PAMELA MARZEC, MARZEC’S SPECS, STREAMWOOD, IL
  • Incorporating any assistance financing to keep our account receivables paid and our labor force paid. In addition, we will continue recalling patients for primary eyecare once this stay at home rule is lifted. —   ROBERT M. EASTON JR, OD, FAAO, OAKLAND PARK, FL

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