Discover the CEO of YOU™! Learn to Take Control!

Doctor overhauls her entire practice to achieve goal of retirement at 40.

In 2014, as Lauretta Justin, OD, was taking assessment of where her practice was and where it was headed, she wasn’t particularly thrilled. Dr. Lauretta does these assessments annually around her birthday, but last year was a milestone birthday and she approached it as a milestone for her practice, too. She and her husband and business partner, James Justin, came to the evident conclusion that if they wanted to take the practice to the next level they needed to make some serious changes.

Fist, she got focused on her Mission, Vision and Purpose for the practice and for her personal life.  She calls it her MVP.  “The MVP establishes your WHY, your WHAT and your WHERE”.  She always had her MVP for the practice, but had lost focus and direction over the years.  She realized as the CEO of the practice, it was her responsibility to develop, communicate and enforce the MVP.  Now that she knew what she wanted, she needed a strategy to achieve it.

Dr. Lauretta hired a business coach to help her streamline her practice systems. With the support of her coach and her husband, she did a full-scale revision of the service model.  Her office changed from providing “good customer service” to providing “Patient Excellence”.  That meant putting an end to discounted fees, and, in fact, she raised her prices. That also meant engineering every step of the patient experience to create the “WOW”.

[private]“In order to duplicate excellent service, everyone in the team has to deliver it. So we started working on our standard operating procedures,” she says. It was quite a task, as the first draft was 80 pages long. She has since edited and streamlined it so that some parts are applicable to all employees and others are area-specific.   It includes scripts for how to handle every patient encounter and guidelines for every step in the patient experience.

Her patients constantly tell her that they appreciate the more focused attention they get, either through thank you cards that patients can fill in while they’re in the office or through Websystems 3 reviews.

In addition, she upgraded the look of the office and the product offerings. She updated the color scheme to a sophisticated blue and white with a hint of brown. “We brought in new displays and more designer frames.  We didn’t really have to change the way we presented the options, but having more high-quality frames to present made the difference. We also aligned ourselves more with Vision Source® elite vendors.”  In fact, she relies on the Vision Source®  website as a major resource for practice and team development.

Now that she knew what she wanted and knew HOW to get it, she had to get the right team.  Her employees had to change from being her staff to being her team.  “Staff works for a company whereas a team works for a common goal,” she says.   She offered several of her existing employees the opportunity become part of the team, but “bad habits die hard,” she says. Within six months, she found herself with an entirely new team – all of whom are still with her a year later.  “Each of our team members believes in our MVP and knows that they are the ones WHO make it happen every day.”

The results have been impressive.  Not only did her average transaction value increase by 40%, she can now hire a full time associate doctor so she can focus on other business ventures.  “I have built the practice where it can now support my family without me having to work, now that’s something I’m proud of.”

Dr. Lauretta attributes her success to the three steps of her business development program, CEO of YOU™ and to utilizing the resources and benefits of the Vision Source network.[/private]

Related Articles

The New “Million Dollar” Practice

The new “Million Dollar” practice is about living life on your own terms. In less than 1 year, I went from working 6 days a week, to working 1 half-day per week. It was a bold and crazy move. From the outside, it looked like I had lost my mind. But the fact was quite contrary, for the first time in a long time, I had actually found it. I had reach my $1,000,000 practice goal in my own way. I was working less and I was making more money doing what I love.

This post is only available to members.

Should Optometrist Agree to Refund Patient Fees?

Returning money to patients may be a new trend, one that’s simply a twist on the common business practice of providing a “money-back guarantee.” For years, this approach has been used in the retail and service industries, and there are some indications it’s taking root in healthcare. What should ODs do? Should Optometrist Agree to Refund Patient Fees?

This post is only available to members.