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Friday / June 24.
HomemilastwordThe Last Word: It’s All About You

The Last Word: It’s All About You

When I spoke with a well respected business consultant about the world of optical retailing recently, he told me how he had launched into a mate of his about his attitude to running his practice, insisting: “It’s not about the corporates and what they’re doing… it’s all about you”.

Now, this may make you shift in your consulting chair but think about it…. for five, 10, 15 years or more, many optical practice owners have enjoyed boom times in retail and have taken advantage of limited competition. During this time, instead of working hard on patient service or updating their practice, owners have enjoyed living off the fruit and have often sat on their hands. Now, competition has come along from companies which saw a niche you could drive a Mack truck through and these same people are bleating about it.

“All strategy is local”, is a much touted business maxim which brings home the point that “it’s all about what you do in your business that counts”.

Be the best you can be.

When a business concentrates on what it does locally its execution will be far better than a corporate based in Guernsey or Milan.

When a business concentrates on what it does locally its execution will be far better than a corporate based in Guernsey or Milan. A local optometrist can change its local environment and service approach to suit the needs of each individual patient. A corporate can’t do that. It has to have centralised control and can’t adjust to meet the needs of each individual patient. That’s the core competitive advantage an independent has over a corporate.

It matters what you do with your patient who walks through the door. Forget the competition. How can you as an individual practitioner ideally meet the needs and wants of the patient standing in front of you in the next 15 to 30 minutes?

There are multiple events in the patient care pathway. You have to concentrate intently on every step of that pathway to prevent disaster.

The problem for many practitioners is the process (the pathway) becomes the end, not the patient and their needs or wants.

Communication is the key. The consultation is the process with the patient, but the main event for the patient is the five minute explanation at the end of the consultation. For a lot of health professionals the bit at the end is regarded as “not the main game”. It’s just regarded as “the bit at the end” before being able to diagnose the next patient’s eye disease.

It’s all about what you do for the patient in front of you, not on what the competition is doing. Be the best you can be.

The patient in front of you is “the main game”. Focus on his or her needs, get the ideal outcome for each patient and your business revenue will take care of itself.

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