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The Big survey

When is “Good Enough” Good Enough?

ECPs weigh in on the areas of their business they have just had to make peace with.




THERE IS AN old adage “Done is better than perfect.” It’s the in that spirit that we recently asked readers “What is one area of running an eyecare business where you’ve realized good enough is good enough?” and you all did not mince words.

For roughly half of you, that isn’t a philosophy you ascribe to. We were offered several variations of “We are constantly evolving and changing,” “You should always be improving,” “Good enough means we need to keep working harder,” and “There is no such thing as ‘good enough’ if you want to run a successful business.”

But many others had no problem honestly, and efficiently, explaining the areas of your business you’ve decided are as good as they’re going to get. We’ve rounded up a (non-comprehensive) list of some of the most popular answers:

  • The building.
  • Promising expected dates for eyewear. We have limited staff and need to do more with less people. Even though some jobs turn around in a few days we schedule everyone out at two weeks for a dispense appointment. Some jobs do take the extra time, but this way we can monitor them in a less stressful way and we don’t have to actually contact most people, which takes time, since they already know when they are going to pick them up! Also if something doesn’t pass inspection, it gives us a cushion to restart the job and get it back in time.
  • Recalls.
  • Charting.
  • Giving of yourself/limiting the time given. It’s a profession not your life.
  • Staff education.
  • We always want to give lots of free goodies, gifts, parties, etc., but lately we are keeping it to just tote and cleaning cloth at dispense.
  • It’s better to sell a good frame quickly than to spend hours trying to coerce someone into a luxury product they aren’t comfortable with.
  • Frame selection. You can’t have it all, otherwise it would be a superstore and guaranteed there would be something lacking for someone still!
  • Glaucoma, not very passionate about. I prefer to refer those patients out.
  • Appealing to everyone. We focus on most.
  • Staff retention.
  • Pre-testing.
  • Follow up.
  • Social media.
  • Inventory tracking.
  • The check-in process.
  • The office decor in general.
  • Not needing to put an exam room in. Being independent of a doctor is good enough for me.
  • Vendor relationships.
  • Sunglass inventory. We have about 200 pair of eyeglasses. Most places have far less so we’re trying to keep that inventory steady.
  • Time efficiency.
  • When you’ve done all you can for a patient/client, and they’re still unhappy, simply refund and send them on their way.
  • Not worrying about the small things that staff do that are not up to perfection.
  • Holiday decorating.
  • Although I have good staff, I have learned not to have to high of expectations, like one of them picking up the piece of paper in the optical that I’ve noticed laying there two days or filling up the missing business cards that I mentioned over 24 hours ago.
  • Staff salaries
  • Not being able to schedule patients as quickly as they would like.
  • Front desk. The staff can only do so much in a day so we try to use as much technology as possible, and this makes certain patients unhappy.
  • New hires. We bring them in and give them a brief trial period and move on quickly if it doesn’t look like a good fit. I used to try to set up job shadows and really vet the new applicants before bringing them in, but with the scarcity of quality applicants I have moved away from that model.
  • Being super competitive and always wanting to be on the cutting edge of tech and advancements in care, sometimes that ambition to adapt and continually keep changing can be overwhelming and create a never-ending workload beyond just serving patients. We have come to realize that sometimes we need to stop, take a breath and realize we are so far ahead of what other similar practices are doing when it comes to so many areas of our business. “Good enough” will never be good enough for us — as we always strive to improve and advance forward — but it does help us to maintain a perspective knowing that what we have at any given moment is much more than others are doing around us.
  • Trying to check all the boxes required by insurance companies. If you tried to read every line of every newsletter by every insurance company and watch every webinar… it’s insane!
  • Display space.
  • Our hours. We are open 10-5:30 Tue-Fri and 10-3 Saturdays, which might not be the most convenient for our patients but it contributes a lot to our team happiness.
  • Lens design and understanding. I don’t need to be an engineer here. I need to understand lens design principles and how to work with a lens. I don’t need to write a white paper about them.
  • Contact lens fittings.
  • Sales. We try our best to only offer the best options available when selling glasses. But competing with bargain online eyewear options has become difficult. All we can do is educate and offer the best eyewear experience and options in person to let the patients know the value of having a professional assist them in their purchase.
  • Amount of full exams in one day.
  • There are some people that you will never make happy. We have some customers that we have gone above and beyond for numerous times and nothing seems to be perfect for them. We have slowly come to the realization that if we have given it our all, that’s all we can do.
  • The inability to make all things right at all times (unhappy patients, certain staff, the fact that conflict will arise, etc.) is perfectly fine.
  • Advertising. Once we became established we decided to spend our advertising dollars on sponsoring Little League teams, golf tournaments, school functions, and a little radio and social media advertising. Print seems to have gone to the wayside.
  • Patient account receivables. We will always have them due to orders and I’ve accepted it will never be zero.
  • Honestly, the accounting side/bookkeeping. I do my best but that’s why we have accountants hired to help make sure my work is checking out and helps me keep my QuickBooks organized.
  • It’s an important part of the job, but hard to become an expert on when you have about 75 plates to keep spinning.
  • Job turnaround time since it is mainly based on things outside of our control e.g. insurance orders, shipping, back orders, quality control, etc.
  • Quality of our exams.
  • The organization of my personal office space.
  • Insurance participation.

What do you think? Is there an area of your business (or life!) where good enough is good enough? Or is it the journey — constant improvement — rather than the destination, that matters?




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