Do You Or Don't You Nearly Three Quarters of You Have Never Used a Business Consultant But the 27 percent who have would do it again. Published 5 years ago on February 5, 2019 By INVISION Staff Invision February 2019 Issue Online Extra Share Tweet Yes: 27% Absolutely, and I would do it again. I learned different benchmarks to manage my business as well as connected with other like-minded doctors to learn best practices. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK I have used consulting groups in the past. They are great to start the process of becoming a CEO of your business. Having a consultant within the first 3-4 years of a business is extremely valuable. Their ability to see best practices make them much more intuitive to business trends and help jump start a business. If I was a startup or taking over an established business where the previous owner had been there for a while, I would definitely invest in a great, well regarded consulting firm. — Ted A. McElroy, OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA Yes, helping to organize us in the midst of chaos. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL Yes, it’s fairly easy to write down your goals but a different thing entirely to actually implement them in a reasonable amount of time. Consultants help define your goals, set up a plan to reach them, and try and keep you on track. The caveat would be if you’re not motivated to get things done or make changes, no consultant is going to do it for you. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown, NY She had not helped with specific lines. — Charlene Gordon, Family Eye Care, Monroe, LA There is always something new to learn. Instead of reinventing the wheel, it is nice to learn from others. — Lee Dodge, OD, Visualeyes Optometry, Sherman Oaks, CA If everyone is on board it works. Our totals sky rocketed the first two years with the consultant and after that you get new hires who do their own thing and think they know everything and our totals got worse. — Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA How to run an independent eyecare? Yes, would highly recommend for new owners. — Elizabeth Atkinson, OD, Atkinson Eye Care, Algonquin, IL Just started using IDOC consulting services. My frame inventory is way too low. This has been affecting my capture rate to a large extent. Would definitely use them again. I like the way you can check in via phone/email as needed. And it’s a monthly subscription so you can discontinue at any time. Access to multiple consultants with different specialties (optical, HR/staffing, finance, clinical, marketing). — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA I learned a lot about planning for the future, goal setting, and hiring employees. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH A consultant is necessary in an area where you do not have expertise. The longer we are in business the less we have a need for consultants. However, when we started we used an arsenal of experts. People always try to take the cheap way out and think they will figure it out for themselves or rely only on friends, reps, and colleagues to solve business, technical, or marketing issues. In the end, you realize that you need the best advice even if it means paying for expertise. In the long run it saves headaches, time and money. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH I use a business coach: Conor Heaney out of Manchester, England. He has a unique approach to running an optical and driving business. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL We are currently working with a consulting group for the second time. We used them 12 years ago to help us transition from employees to practice owners. We’ve enlisted them this time to help with adding a new graduate doctor. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA My mentor/consultant is a SCORE volunteer. We keep in contact on a monthly basis and he is “my voice of reasoning.” I would highly recommend working with SCORE. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL It costs a lot and I feel like they tell you what you already know. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN We’ve used them to help with ways to sell second pairs and increase non-glare units. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX We didn’t learn much and wouldn’t use again. — Deanna Phillips, Clemmons Family Eye Care, Clemmons, NC I would, but only for a limited time. Too much consulting is stifling. — Bethany Cassar, OD, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI I wouldn’t. I didn’t get any value from a consultant. Maybe the one I used was not very good? — Diana Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL We learned that increasing your prices won’t run off business, especially if you treat your patients/customers well. I don’t think I’d do it again, since so many consultants want to change your practice culture, and ours is great; it is what drives our business and our referrals. — Jim Williams, Eye to Eye, Mexico, MO They suggested I should expand; now several years later I’m working on it. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ No: 73% If you read enough business books and are on a few professional forums/Facebook groups you should be able to figure it out yourself. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD We haven’t for a long time mainly due to the cost. Also, in our practice setting, some of their approaches and recommendations just wouldn’t fit our patient base. We have begun discussing it more recently however. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, St. Peter, MN Haven’t needed one yet, but would if needed. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, CA Going to CE, socializing, and reading magazines like INVISION are all I need. I also stop in every independent shop I pass and ask questions. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY VSP has all the answers for everything concerning my practice. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA We can get most of the advice we need through industry partners and media. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID Not sure what I would need one for. I wouldn’t mind some decorating help since our office is new. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO I work now at a corporate type chain, and they think they know everything. — Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA Years ago, our state association had an independent owners group within it and they would go to independent practices and offer comments and opinions relevant to what they saw and felt in the office. Kind of a cross between a consultant and a secret shopper. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI We used them years ago; I wish our doc would use them again. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY No, I already know most of what they say; I just need to implement stuff. Eyecare professionals need to “just do it.” To many of us get lazy or too busy. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH It’s never been discussed. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA We probably wouldn’t ever either. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, OD, Pekin, IL What’s the Brain Squad? If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here. Related Topics:FeaturedOnline Extra click to Comment(Comment) Up Next Forget Store-in-Store Displays — Nearly Three Quarters of You Don’t (or Can’t) Dedicate the Space Don't Miss You’re a Hard Working Bunch: 84% of You Do Not Close for Any Extended Breaks INVISION Staff Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. SPONSORED VIDEO Crizal® Sapphire™ HR: Invisible Shield of Protection Your patients’ main concerns of anti-glare, scratch resistance, and easiness to clean are covered. Crizal Sapphire HR, the latest and most advanced product in the Crizal No-Glare range, is now widely available across lab networks and through all major managed vision care providers. Crizal Sapphire HR is available with Essilor’s advanced lens designs such as Varilux® progressive lenses and Eyezen® enhanced single vision lenses. 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