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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. 

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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.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 21 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Do You Or Don't You

The Majority of You Still Have a Physical Fax Machine

As with the beeper, the medical industry seems to be a stalwart holdout for this old school piece of equipment.

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Yes: 85%

  • Lab status updates. RX from doctors’ offices, offers for cheap vacations, and bargain roofing! — Mickey Bradley, Patrick Optical, Fort Worth, TX
  • I wish I could use an emoji to express my own embarrassment on still using a dinosaur but I hate the thought of looking for something new even more! — Monika Marczak, OD, Eye Candy Optical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • We use HIPAA compliant email as much as we can. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Everyone wants to fax or be faxed, especially the folks in the optical biz. What the fax is happening? — Billy Isgett, Eyecare of Florence, Florence, SC
  • Reports to MDs. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • Simple transfers for other locations that do not use scan capabilities. — Leisa Lauer, Westcliff Optometry, Newport Beach, CA
  • Old school, will be changing over to internet faxing soon. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Until tomorrow, new VOIP phones are being installed! — Kristina Swartz, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • We use a fax machine combo printer in one office, and SR Fax in another office. Cheaper to use the fax machine and you don’t have to set up anything new! — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown and White Plains, NY
  • Our doc and staff is a little old school, we still haven’t changed to EHR (much to my millennial dismay). — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • We have a lot of business with state agencies, and they tend to send faxes more than anything. Maybe we haven’t given them another option … hmm … — Jim Williams, Eye to Eye Optometry, Mexico, MO
  • The office had one when the doc bought it six years ago. Other than that … I don’t have a clue. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Other offices fax us reports, Rxs, referrals, etc. — Jill Schnurer, Village Eyecare, Clarkston, MI
  • So many doctors in my area only send over Rxs via fax! — Siobhan Burns, The Eyeglass Lass, New London, CT
  • Many doctors’ offices still fax or ask for faxes of patient records as it is HIPAA compliant. 1-800Contacts still send faxed verification. Insurances still fax over authorization and EOBs. — Nytarsha Thomas, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • I don’t trust HIPAA compliance of emails, fax is easier to use. — Rick Pascucci, Towpath Vision Care, Clinton, NY
  • I have no idea why we still have a fax. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Some doctors offices and vendors still want faxes sent instead of emails. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • It’s only used for other opticals to fax prescriptions over. We have a handful of local opticals that refuse to email an Rx. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • We use email/text for the vast majority of our communications but there are a small percentage of people that still prefer fax. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • Some insurance companies will not email, just fax. Unbelievably, some offices still insist on a records release signed and faxed before releasing a prescription. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • Because some things still can’t be sent through email. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Are you kidding me? Easy to use, HIPAA complaint, and never hackable. Plus, all the other doctors’ offices in our town use them. We get a bazillion faxes per day, and send about an equal amount. Probably our biggest consumption of paper at this point — but we make sure all our paper gets double-sided use. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • We receive faxes from the labs letting us know where are jobs are sitting. Have to fax the lab whenever they screw up and charge me for a REDO. I know scanning and email would be better but, hey, talk to the other guys about that, it’s what they prefer. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • We still use one as a backup for lab orders that can’t be in put online for various reasons (Usually safety). And our doc likes to send referral letters that way. We also receive Rx verifications as well as prescriptions from other opticals on it. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • Because I don’t know what else to use instead! And with OMD’s in the area still using paper charts (pretty sure that is even worse) we would never get records! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Part of our copier and still use it to fax in safety orders for local businesses. — Susan Frein, Ames Eye Care, Ankeny, IA
  • It’s right next to my abacus and slide rule! — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Still easier to send things out that aren’t in files on a computer. — Fred Sirotkin, OD, Eagle Eye Care, Columbia, MD
  • We still use one as we found e-fax did not work well for many of the places we had to fax to. It also was more work/time with our work flow then the traditional fax. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • We have several doctors that we correspond with that do not have secure email and require faxed info. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • We fax and scan. Whichever is handy at the time. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • I ask the same question: Good Lord, why? — Preet Kaur, Gary Tracy Optometry & Eyewear, New York, NY
  • Because a lot of offices send us faxes? — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • We still get lab reports and fax Rxs to other optical stores. We mainly e-mail. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • Some doctor offices still use it to send us current customer Rxs even though we give them the option of emailing it. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • We email, a lot. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • We send and receive dozens of faxes every day. For me it’s the norm, and I think that might be the case for a large portion of the medical community as a whole. I think part of it is because old habits die hard and faxing has such a large user base and also because of the belief that it’s harder to hack a fax. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Some doctors we work with still use them! — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • We use a fax machine because it is one of the few methods some of our customers can use to get their prescriptions to us. — Pablo E Mercado, LensCrafter, Alpharetta, GA
  • Looking for another way! — Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • Um….what other options are there. We DO have a virtual fax, which I have no idea how works (secretary does). That’s 21st century, right? — Jennifer Leuzzi. Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • When doctor’s fax Rx to us. We don’t have an eye doc on staff so clients have to bring in their prescription. — Margot Lanham, Ulla Eyewear, Madison, WI
  • It works!?! — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • It works! Less time than mailing. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • No doctor in my office so when I call other places for an Rx, they will only fax. — Bob Schmittou. New Eyes Optical, Wyandotte, MI
  • Some of us old people still communicate the cave man way. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • Doctor’s offices still use it so we still use it. — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • Many of our tertiary care providers still send reports back to us via fax. — Quick and easy! Kenneth D Boltz, OD, Dublin, OH
  • Old fashion but immediate response and no typing! I’m 73 have 7 places and it’s worked for 40+ years. — Alexander Saper, Great Glasses, Houston, TX
  • We still fax reports to other doctor’s offices. — Kimberly Riggs OD, Ligonier, PA
  • You don’t really want to know! — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC
  • I don’t think my office knows what an eFax is. — Jade Kowalick, Ryczek Eye, St. Petersburg, FL

No: 15%

  • I recently switched to electronic fax and direct messaging. I’m SO glad I did! The system I use is called Kno2. — Angela Patteson, Sunset Eye Care, Johnson City, TN
  • Emails are much quicker. — Will Taylor, Eye 2 Eye Contact, Northville, MI
  • Email! — Leah Johnson, Central Texas Eye Center, San Marcos, TX
  • Computer. — Martha Davenport, Safe Vision, Wheatfield, IN
  • eFax. — Bart Parker, OD, Vision Source-Fox Optical, Lake Worth, FL
  • Papers are scanned and faxed via computer. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Computer based fax. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, OR
  • Well sort of. We fax using this thing called the internet. Faxes come through our email and we use our fax machine once in a while to make an old-school copy. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • We use an internet based provider. — Steve Geis, Metro Eye, Milwaukee, WI
  • We have a tool through our customized software that allows us to fax, email and text right through are program. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • We use Office@Hand to provide facsimile requirements of HIPPA. This way all of our staff can send and receive faxes from their computer. — Deborah Bosner, Northwest EyeCare Professionals, Columbus, OH
  • EFax. — Megan Lott, OD, Lexington Eye Care, Lexington, MS
  • EFax. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • SFax. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Iconic Eye Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

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.

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Do You Or Don't You

60% Of You Have Been Blessed to Have a Mentor in Your Career

Here’s how their relationships work.

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Yes: 60%

  • Mr. Greg Rodriguez has been a positive influence with his history and knowledge of the eye care field. He has an open communication, and still serves as a mentor to any “new” hire. — James Masser, Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Pueblo, CO
  • My mentor was years ago. She taught me a lot when I first went into optics. Nothing formal, just always explained the why and how whenever she assisted me. — Cassandra Brackmann, Danville Family Eye Care, Danville, IN
  • Someone there to look over your shoulder, guide you, advice when necessary, but allows you to make your own choices and decisions. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • He passed away in 2001, but he was an OD I met in Missouri. Always there to encourage me, in optics as well as life in general. Miss you Doc! — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • I worked for him for 20 years. he taught me everything I know and then I bought him out. — Chani Miller, OD, Park Eye Center, Highland Park, NJ
  • She’s actually my grandmother, so she’s pretty much always available for any questions I may have. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • When I had one our relationship was just as teacher/student with give and take. — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC
  • Carefull listening, asking the right questions, being respectful in debatable situations. — Steven Gouveia, Target Optical, Seekkonk, MA
  • I’ve never really had a one-on-one mentor. It’s mostly finding someone that I admire or respect and research about their lives and read their material, books, etc. to see how I can apply their teachings/ideas into my life/work. — Josh Bladh, Dr Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Worked for him 20+ years ago. He recently retired. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • I would not necessarily call any individual a mentor. However, I am inspired by others, who have excelled in Customer Service. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • When I started, I had no optical experience. She trained me and has taught me everything I know over the last four years. — Andrea Schall, Armstrong Eye Care, Kittanning, PA
  • I worked better when we were in the same state so we don’t see each other as much but anytime I needed guidance, she was always then to lend an ear. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Touch base on issues and concerns. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • He was a natural teacher and recognized the spirit of entrepreneurship in me. He shared those tips and tricks that you only learn from experience. He’s retired now but will always be there if I pick up the phone just to talk it out. He was adamant that you NEVER stop learning and now I know why. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • My mentor has been an amazing asset throughout my career: sounding board, job finder, drinking buddy and giver of advice! — Stacey Nutting, The Eye Doctors at CNY Eye Care, East Syracuse, NY
  • If I ever have a question all I have to do is call/text and he’s right there available whenever I need him. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Dan is my SCORE mentor he helps me look at the business aspect. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • I try to take something from everyone I’ve worked with even if they have been doing this less time than me. I really like to learn one new thing a day. I have many many mentors over the years in business and in Life. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Mutual admiration and respect with a healthy dose of realism and coaching. True Talk, no lip service in this relationship. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • I got into this business by helping the overwhelmed optician in the optical owned by the doctors I worked with. She taught the basics and things I did not learn when I finally enrolled in the Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing program. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • I have always chosen to be sponge around people more seasoned than myself. I have made sure that those people knew of my admiration for them. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • It was 38 years ago, but it worked great because most of what I know and can do now is because of him. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char,OD, Orange, OR
  • My mentor is retired but she was a wonderful teacher as well as a friend. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • It worked well he was my older brother. He was an Ophthalmologist and he brought me into the business and we became partners. He taught me that you never really win an argument with a customer/patient. A lot of what I learned from him was what not to do. He was a great guy and the world’s worst negotiator. So, I learned how not to negotiate from him and many other things. — Bob, McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • My mentor was always there to listen and give advice. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • I have several mentors that I call my gurus. I have attended lectures and gone to meetings with them. There is after hours conversations and email exchanges whenever a question arises. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Yes, we support each other. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • I would have to say that would be my sponsors that I had when I did my apprenticeship. Everything that I was taught in their business I brought to my own business. I basically feel that they were my what I call optical parents and I run my business the way they ran their business to this day in my shop is actually I feel an offspring of their store similar decor I even use the same receipts we used when I work there over 25 years ago. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • He is an OD that is ten years my senior and has been hugely successful in Optometry. I have always asked him about various business decisions over the last 50 years. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • I’m our practice the LDO’s seem to mentor each other. We have all grown strong in different areas of our craft and help enhances each other’s weaknesses. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • I have been blessed to have an OUTSTANDING mentor in my career, who is a Master in Ophthalmic Optics and also a former Optical Dispensary owner. He has given me a lot of insights into my profession and also a solid friendship with someone who understands what my concerns are and cheers me on as I try to make myself useful. — Pablo E Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • I had some early advice from my father although I likely didn’t follow most of it & Andy Gurwood was a big help instilling confidence & skills to practice optometry while I was a student. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Great to use for bouncing things off, ideas, troubleshooting etc. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • I’m a member of my local Rotary Club and there are many business people who have become good friends and business mentors. Priceless relationships. I ask advice and they lift me up! — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • He gives me advice and answers the many questions I have. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • When I first started out in this industry, as a young 17-year-old, the manager of the location I worked at took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew. We became very good friends, even outside of work, and he taught me not just about the optical world but many life lessons as well. While our paths have since taken us in different directions, I still think of him fondly when I do daily tasks like a re-string or remember some of the fun we had like attending Cher’s farewell tour! — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • It was many moons ago but I still do things, based off his influence and teachings, to this day. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • My boss. He’s been an optician for 30+ years and know so much! He has taught me everything I know. — Vicki Thompson, Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • I had a mentor for over twenty years! I initially started teching at his office as a teenager. He guided me throughout college and OD school. Now, I’m the 20-year veteran. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • I could call and ask him business related questions because he had practiced for years and he would ask me clinical questions on new techniques and tests. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Well when your mentor is your mother, the mentoring truly never stops. We’ve worked together for 30 years although she’s only been paying me for the last 5 (since I joined the practice) and while our learning and teaching styles differ drastically, we make our way to answers sooner rather than later. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Help with Business decisions. — Jeffrey Safarik, OD, Newport Mesa Optometry, Costa Mesa, CA
  • No longer living. — David Saxton, Kern Optical, Gulfport, MS
  • It is the good folks on Optcom list, ODWire and ODs on Facebook. It works by exchange of ideas and experiences. As a solo practitioner, it is good to learn from them. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • Just someone I worked with over 20 years ago, but I consider him a mentor. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Family. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • When I first started, under an old-school optician, I learned a lot of tricks and techniques. She is long gone but I think she would be proud of me. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI

No: 40%

  • It was I who was expected to mentor and oversee the associates. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • Never needed. — Greg Kyser, Gallery of Eyewear, Marysville, WA
  • Didn’t have the opportunity. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Haven’t found someone that is very helpful. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Imperial, MO

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.

Continue Reading

Do You Or Don't You

Only 21% of You Have Failed So Spectacularly It Still Makes You Cringe

But each and every one of you said it taught you something valuable.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: Do you or don’t you have a business idea that’s failed so spectacularly that the thought of it still makes you cringe? What was it and what did you learn?

Yes: 21%

  • Shelled out $12K to a friend for a real estate venture: fix and flip a small house. Things were going well until he broke up with his girlfriend and moved into the house. Before you knew it the housing market crashed, he lost the house and has been doing my lawn for free for at least 10 years since he doesn’t have the cash to pay me back; moral is to never do business with a friend. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • In many ways, failure is more exciting than success. Failure happens when you step outside of your comfort zone, and go for the big wins. We’ve had many failed marketing campaigns and business strategies, but in every instance, we have revisited the plan to see if it was a problem in the planning or the execution. It’s made it clear what kind of marketing efforts best target our patient base, and it’s helped us determine which strategies produce growth. — Becky Furuta, Avenue Vision, Golden, CO
  • I’ve had several; it’s never been the idea so much as not having the right people or systems in place to execute. I’ve learned to slow down and get it right, instead of just doing it right now! — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision of Edmond, Edmond, OK
  • Trunk shows without enough promotion. Lesson learned: Do more promotion. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • We once had the idea long ago to trace all our frames and send trace files to the lab. It took forever and the lenses came in too large so often we stopped even doing it. Now the labs have all the trace files anyway. — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Lancaster, MA
  • We have had some events that have failed in a big way because of the time and energy it took to pull them off only to have no one show up. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Referral points. People would literally fight over who referred them and who they referred. Now we just thank anyone who refers someone with a nice card. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • When I first opened, I invested in an Amigo magnifier, which cost a LOT for a new business. Was sure someone would need it because one of my patients had one and thought it was the BOMB! Still is on my shelf…anyone need one? — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY

No: 79%

  • I said no but there are things we have done that have so far worked out but are maybe more work than they are worth. What I learned is before you make a change make sure that it will be worth the effort to the best that you are able and don’t feel bad about cutting and running if the reward doesn’t surpass the work. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • We have had so many ideas that have crashed and burned, but, each one has led us to a better way to do something, to find out what would not work, or to realize we were on the wrong track all together. — Ted A. McElroy OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA

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.

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