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John Marvin

One Extra Exam a Day Can Grow Your Business 15%

When we start tackling a big goal, we often think it is too large to accomplish. The key is to understand and use the compound effect.




“The accomplishment of any goal is the progressive accumulation or compound effect of small steps taken consistently over time.” – Darren Hardy from The Compound Effect

I GUESS IT IS natural to think about what you hope to accomplish in your practice at the beginning of each year. Recently, I asked a doctor what his plan was for his practice in 2023. He said, “I’m not really sure. I would like to grow but I’m not sure what to do that I’m not doing already.” I asked how much he would like to grow his practice and he replied, “I’d like to grow it by 10 or 15% but I don’t think that is realistic.” I asked why he thought it wasn’t realistic and he said, “Because, I haven’t grown that much in quite a long time.”

Such comments are not unusual. When we start to tackle a big goal, we often think it is too large to accomplish. The key is to understand and use the compound effect, by asking yourself, “What do I need to do DAILY to accomplish my larger goal?” For example, the doctor’s practice is over 10 years old. The practice revenues in 2022 were a little more than $825,000. 15% growth would mean an additional $123,750. Seems like a lot, right? But this goal can be reached by using the compound effect.


First, Take Inventory

This particular office is open six days a week for 52 weeks a year. That is 312 days the office is open and scheduling patients. The office averages $350 dollars in revenue per exam (RPE). This also means that the practice performed 2,357 exams in 2022. ($825,000 divided by $350 in RPE).

The owner has two options to reach his goal of growing by 15% or $123,750.

1. Grow revenue per exam. If the practice chooses to perform the same number of exams in 2023 as in 2022, they need to increase their revenue per exam average to $405. The 2,357 exams at an average of $405 results in total revenues of $954,585 or an increase of 15.7%. There are several ways to do this.

Start by asking, where is the biggest opportunity to add $55 to each patient’s exam? This is built, tracked and managed each day. Involve your staff to come up with ideas to add to the revenue for each exam. Manage and track this effort daily. This is the key. By adding $55 to each of the 7.5 exams a day the office is already scheduling, it adds up to $129,585; it compounds by each exam, each day.

2. Grow the number of patient exams. Currently the office is averaging 7.5 exams a day. In most offices, a full schedule is two exams an hour for eight hours or 16 exams each day. Averaging 7.5 exams a day means this doctor’s schedule is at 47% of its capacity and has room to add exams. At $350 per exam, this doctor needs to perform an additional 370 exams to grow by 15%. That means, this office needs to add one exam each day, every day to grow the practice 15% in revenues. Just one exam a day!

By breaking down the goal into what is needed each day, it is manageable and can be accomplished.

You will never change your life or your practice until you change what you do daily. Daily habits, consistently followed, compound and enable you to achieve any goal you set.


John D. Marvin has more than 25 years of experience in the ophthalmic and optometric practice industry. He is the president of Texas State Optical and writes about marketing, management and education at the blog. You can email him at


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