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Plan now to bring your optical business back to normal

03/27/2020

You may have closed or partially closed your practice temporarily. There is tremendous uncertainty around when we can resume anything that resembles a normal business or personal life. You may be in the office alone or with only one or two staff members. There are always ways to keep a positive attitude and prepare for whatever comes next. One way to stay positive is to visualize how it looks and feels on that day we walk back into a thriving business. Another way is to not isolate yourself. Quarantine and isolate are two very different things. You may have to remain physically distant, but you can choose to not isolate yourself.

Please reach out to ask for help! The IDOC homepage features a wide variety of resources to help you cope with some of the most urgent issues around HR and Finance questions related to COVID-19. Or simply follow this link:

Click to access IDOC COVID 19 Resource Center

Who else can you reach out to?

You can schedule virtual meetings with:

    • Accountants
    • Consultants
    • Staff members
    • Software support, making sure data is perfectly recorded from the day you reopen

What actions can you take now to get back on track in a very positive way?

Complete business projects that have been put off:

  • Inventory realignment
  • Install bar-coding system for frames
  • Re-merchandising
  • Spring cleaning
  • Website updating
  • Social media marketing
  • IDOC Account review
  • Join (IDOC) Virtual Study Groups
  • Training: there are many, many online resources

What does it look like when you reopen for business?

Plan for:

  • Define your criteria for reopening: CDC guidelines, OAO guidelines, your own comfort level
  • Set a reopen date, a best guess with current information: I always find it less stressful to set a target date, even if it has to change, I feel more in control. This also gives you a date to reevaluate that date, keeping you from mulling it over and over.
  • Plan to fill the schedule: Who will be responsible to go in before this reopen date to call patients and fill the schedule? What will the new rules be?
  • Plan staff members’ return to work. Keep in touch with them, out of concern for their well-being and to be sure they will be available to return when the time comes.
  • Have a full staff meeting prior to reopening with a motivating theme: gratitude for being able to return to work, gratitude for our patients, gratitude to have escaped relatively unscathed by this nasty illness

Once you have set a reopen date and have put all these things in order that you have power over, put business aside and focus on your personal life. After having put your full effort into the things you can control, walk away. Except for checking your email and critical news items (those that affect your reopen date), at a designated time, walk away.

What can you do as you wait to reopen?

Personal projects that have been put off:

  • Organize family photos
  • Review your online health information
  • Clear out the garage, spare room, office, den, etc.
  • Prepare donation items for Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.
  • Learn more about Yoga, meditation, etc.
  • Read the books that have been collecting dust
  • Revisit a hobby
  • Hold a family virtual meeting at a time you would normally have been together in person

I hope we all get to the other side of this and take something positive out of it. We now know, firsthand, why we plan for rainy days, why we surround ourselves with positive and supportive people and why it is so important to be grateful for our many blessings as a country, as a business community and as a family.

 

Stay safe and healthy!

Pat Basile

IDOC Optical Management Consultant

AUTHOR

IDOC Optometry - Color Bar
Patricia Basile

Patricia Basile

Pat Basile has extensive experience in customer service, management and laboratory operations in the optical field. Licensed in Connecticut and certified by the ABO and NCLE, she has worked in both the large chain stores and in private practices. This gives her a unique perspective in knowing the competition and how best to survive the competitive era that we find ourselves in. She firmly believes that the consumer is much better served at the small, independent and caring optical practice, where they deliver more personal attention to the details that are so important to ensure that a great eye exam is followed by providing excellent eyewear. Pat will listen to your concerns, help you identify those things that can be done to bring your practice to the next level. Some of these things may include setting goals, training optical staff, inventory control and product mix.