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Mark Hinton

So You Want to Be an ECP? Consider This a Shortcut to Some Hard Lessons

Work these bullets in to your business model and expect growth far more rapid than average.

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THERE ARE SO many things to consider when you’re starting out on your own or when you’re ready to grow your business. It’s likely you haven’t considered every possible factor. If you’re looking to increase your current growth, capture rate, revenue per person (RPP), and cash flow, here are some proven short cuts to success:

  • Mystery shop your demographic competition to understand how you’ll play.
  • Join a business breakfast networking group.
  • Three books to read and incorporate are: The 100x Leader: How To Become Someone Worth Following by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram, Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman and Radical Candor: Be A Kick-Ass  Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott.
  • Play “The Great Game of Business” for optometry regardless of how many team members you have. It’s smart to see where you’ve been, so you can know where you want to go.
  • Practice your game weekly as you grow your business. You can’t win on game day when you don’t practice throughout the week.
  • Develop a “Family and Friends” in-house eyewear savings club.
  • Walk your neighborhood and introduce yourself to residents and business neighbors. Leave a copy of your “Business to Business” eyewear savings club plan or a copy of your “Family & Friends” eyewear savings club plan, along with a microfiber cloth and cleaner in a hang bag on the door handle with an invitation to visit the office for a no-cost eyewear “tune-up.”
  • Invest in a social media expert sooner rather than later and review their plan quarterly.
  • Buy smart, upfront. Many non-brand progressives are equal in quality to brand names; flush them out. Brands are important but you can find non-brand PALs from your lab or rep for those price-conscious patients.
  • Buy closeout frames for more than 60% off wholesale. They’re brand new; they’re just being replaced by new ones in the rep lineup.
  • Develop expertise outside of insurance reimbursements: Aesthetics, Dry Eye, Ocular Nutrition, Vision Therapy and more.
  • Communicate with patients effectively: speak their language.
  • Make your pre-exam questions open-ended, not “Yes” or “No” answers.
  • Always get the patient’s buy-in or acceptance before they leave the exam room.
  • Make your optical handoff flawless and practice it often. It should always include the doctor, patient and optical expert/optician.
  • Never sell glasses. Instead, help patients purchase the better “outcome” the glasses provide.
  • Be sure your internet eyewear defense dialog is sharp and compels your patient to stay and buy.

You may be brand new to developing your business, or maybe you’ve now got one or two team members and want your business to continue growing. Work these bullets in to your “Traction” business model and expect growth to be far more rapid than average.

Mark Hinton is a practice owner, as well as CEO and president of eYeFacilitate, a private practice consultancy. A sought-after ABO/COPE approved practice management expert, with eYeFacilitate he helps practices drive optical efficiencies, maximize managed care revenue and profit, improve capture, and increase revenue through simple systems with a focused process. Email him at [email protected]

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