Blog
Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blog
IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Nathan Hayes | 11/6/2017
WHY SMALL INDEPENDENT OPTOMETRY PRACTICES STILL MATTER

With all the talk of private equity roll-ups and regional alliances, many practice owners are concerned that if they aren’t a large, multi-office, multi-doctor practice, they don’t have a future in independent optometry. 

 Is that right?  It’s certainly true that larger practices are at an advantage compared to their smaller peers. 

  • More revenues typically mean the practice has better cash flow 

  • A larger staff means one or more people dedicated to things like recall or insurance receivables. 

  • Multiple doctors make it easier for any one OD to go on vacation 

  • Larger office spaces with more lanes can make for more efficient patient flow. 

And I do think there will be an ongoing trend of consolidation among independent practices, mostly because the pool of new graduates who actually want to own their practices is getting smaller.  Going forward, owners who want to grow will have ample opportunity to buy up their competitors as those doctors retire. 

But just because you have the opportunity to make your practice larger and larger doesn’t mean you have to.  After all, the whole point of owning your practice is so that you can make it what you want. 

My rule of thumb?  Unless you really value control of your schedule, at a minimum a practice owner needs to be earning more in income than you would earn working for someone else. That doesn’t it’s wise to ‘hit’ a revenue and income number and then stop making any effort to grow, but it does mean that smaller practices can work very well for their owners, especially in markets where costs are lower. 

So no, you don’t have to build an empire to have staying power as a private practice owner.  I do think there are important targets to strive for like getting an appropriate income for the extra time and headaches ownership brings and continuing to grow at a reasonable – not necessarily explosive – rate.  

But always remember ‘why’ you bought a practice or bought into a practice in the first place.  For most owners, control – the ability to do things and care for patients the way they want – is the key to ownership. And for most owners, control is enough to make owning worth their while, even if they don't choose to build a mega-practice. 

Nathan Hayes
Practice Finance Consultant
Nathan Hayes joined IDOC with a solid background in the eye care industry and serves as IDOC&rsquo;s Practice Finance Consultant. Before Prima launched in 2011, he spent five years in business development for Red Tray and HMI Buying Group. Nathan graduated from Vanderbilt University in three years, with a degree in Spanish and a minor in mathematics. <br/><br/>After graduating, he spent a year working abroad. During that time, he worked for two firms in San Jose, Costa Rica. He interned with Grupo Juridico de San Jose, working in environmental policy to protect a threatened parcel of land, then he worked as a project manager for a US-owned precision machining shop. Nathan then spent 6 months working with street children and orphans in Mexico. <br/><br/>Before getting into the healthcare industry, he was an Assistant Store Manager and completed the Corporate Training Program with Haverty&rsquo;s Furniture Company in Atlanta, GA. Nathan and his wife Heather have a son, Daniel, and a daughter, Hannah. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys reading and outdoors activities - especially cycling and hiking.
 LinkedIn
Trending Blogs
 
 

2/22/2021 | Author: Amy Alvarez

Maybe you’ve experienced some unpleasant events in your practice that you didn’t have a policy to cover, or you team is large enough that you vacation policy isn’t working anymore. Maybe you have never liked you scheduling and time management policy but do not know how to go about changing it.... Read more


1/14/2021 | Author: Ximara Vega

Every year people tend to make goals for the upcoming new year. Somehow a new year inspires others to reinvent themselves in some way and like most initiatives, they lose their luster after a few weeks. I was supposed have rock hard abs like 3 years in a row. If ever... Read more


10/15/2020 | Author: Geronda Wollack

A friend of mine was out in the job market and applied for a job as a Dental Assistant. She called me for some advice around interviewing, and during our conversation, she mentioned a shocking reality. She said, "Geronda, there were a few companies that I was interested in, but the job... Read more


9/24/2020 | Author: Maddie Langston

By now, most of us are familiar with online reviews and understand their reach and influence, particularly on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. As a marketing consultant at IDOC, I work with optometry practice owners and managers to increase the number of new patients at the practice, retain... Read more


9/11/2020 | Author: Geronda Wollack

During a phone call with my favorite sister (now, let's not share this with anyone else), she shared the following sentiment with me, "I was just as excited for my kids to go back to school this year, until I realized that I have one kid staying home and doing virtual learning and the... Read more


8/13/2020 | Author: Maddie Langston

Let’s say one day after an exam and a visit in your optical, a patient reviews their experience on your Google business listing and Yelp.

The review includes many details which makes it clear to anyone reading that they visited the practice, had an exam, and worked with an optician.... Read more


8/7/2020 | Author: Ximara Vega

Take a step back and think about your business. Are you in tune with the performance of your optical? Are you achieving your desired results? If not from you, where are your patient’s purchasing their eyewear? Why? How do your offerings compare to your competition? Investigate, by... Read more


8/7/2020 | Author: Nathan Hayes

“I’m shockingly flush with cash. My checking account balance is fantastic.”

This isn’t what I expected to hear on the tail end of the most prolonged economic catastrophe of our lifetime. But many practices, after leaning out all their expenses during the... Read more


8/7/2020 | Author: Nathan Hayes

“I’m thinking of selling my practice.”

“Should I sell my practice now while prices are at all-time highs? How long does the private equity phenomenon last?”

Practice owners often focus on market trends in the pricing of practices when deciding when and whether to sell. Let me... Read more


7/17/2020 | Author: Patricia Basile

Careful frame and lens purchasing habits are needed in an unpredictable time.

Many optometric practices are experiencing a surge in eyewear purchases due to pent-up demand and the ability to... Read more

© 2020 IDOC. All Rights Reserved