This Month's Question: Have You Ever Taken an Online Educational Course To Improve Your Skills as a Business Owner?

Yes: 54%

  • I took some computer classes and it did help me a lot. Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Sharpsburg, GA
  • University level business courses. I got feedback from other industries and a different perspective. Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • I took a ton of webinars from female entrepreneur associations and other networks to help with mainly the marketing and social media side of the business. Things we don’t ever touch on in optometry school. Katie McElvaine, OD, Springfield Family Vision, Springfield, MO
  • Improving the use of social media in marketing. It was very beneficial considering I was muddling my way through it with no idea how/what I was doing. Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • I’ve done several CE courses through Quantum Optical related to competing with online sales that have been very helpful. Jesse Ellis, Claris Vision Dartmouth - Optical, North Dartmouth, MA
  • I went through my buying group PECAA. I like the ones that: a.) give you much needed CE credits; and b.) provide strategies to help with marketing, social media, etc. (i.e., how to run a successful frame show, how to get more social media engagement — I would tune into these even if there were no credits.) Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • VSP webinar on how to increase profit with their products. Meredith Hall, Miller Family Eye, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Webinars are great. I typically can only do ones that are recorded so that I can play them back later, but that works really well. They are usually about new technology. For leadership and communication training for my team I prefer TedTalks as an educational tool. Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Spanish, accounting and general small business. Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Assoc., Citrus Heights, CA
  • Typically, it is a marketing class to help me understand where my opportunities are and how to best take advantage of them. Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • I took the “classes” at Empower U. It gave me a new perspective on what I already do. Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT

  • Cash flow. Yes, it’s good to talk about finances and budgets! Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Vision Source’s VS-Learning. We use it to train new staff on proper phone etiquette and sales techniques. Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care, Hackensack, NJ
  • Coursera offers amazing online courses from accredited universities around the world. I took one called “Creative Problem Solving” which was fantastic at getting me to be more open-minded when trying to find solutions to problems in the office. I am taking another now called “Managing Social and Human Capital” which aims to explore strategies to motivate staff. I love these classes! And they’re (almost) free. Sarah Jerome, OD, Look+See Eye Care, Minneapolis, MN
  • “Finance for Non-Financial Professionals” was the most useful class I have ever taken (that includes all of my optometry classes, too!) I think that all business owners and managers should take a basic accounting and finance course. Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA

NO:  46%

  • No, because there are very few that are pertinent to optometry and the few that are always seem to be “unrealistic” (i.e., they say see an allergy sufferer six times a year or essentially want you to increase staff by 20 percent while keeping the salary ratio the same etc.) Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I prefer live, interactive types of education. I tend to let the “squirrels” get the better of my attention when I am doing webinars and the like. Ted McElroy, OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA

This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of INVISION.   

 
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