MBA Insights — 2nd Quarter 2012
Implementing three pieces of advice have yielded positive results
To say that Bridgitte Shen Lee, OD, is a go-getter is an understatement. Featured in the 4Q 2010 issue of MBA Insights, Dr. Shen Lee is a business owner who sets out to achieve many goals and won’t stop until she reaches them successfully. She and her practice partner, Brad Owens, OD, strive to keep Vision Optique in the top percentage of the Management & Business Academy™ (MBA) practice metrics, even in their relatively small, 1,800- square-foot office with two exam lanes. Always on a quest to improve efficiency, she shares three ideas the doctors have implemented.
Become more social.
The practice’s two youngest employees seemed like natural candidates to take hold of the social media initiative. It’s a worthwhile investment that costs the practice only the staff’s time. “We have seen an average of four new patients, not attached to referrals, per day for the last year as a result of our social media presence,” Dr. Shen Lee says. The practice has more than 1,200 Facebook fans and more than 125 Twitter followers, and it is among the top-ranking optometric practices in the Yelp! Houston market.
Improve frame board management.
The optical dispensary is a profit center waiting to help your practice grow when managed and maintained properly. Dr. Shen Lee meets biweekly with her key frame buyer/manager for an in-depth overview of activity in the optical dispensary, and she reviews what was sold and reordered on a weekly basis. Every other month, frame representatives visit to analyze top sellers. “We pick out new frames and eliminate what has not sold, keeping no more than 20-25 frames in our understock,” Dr. Shen Lee says. An inventory turnover rate is determined for every frame line, and she always knows the top three sellers in sun and ophthalmic lens category.
Increase exam fees.
Even though MBA faculty members reassure attendees that an increase in exam fees won’t send patients scurrying, many doctors still worry about the impact. Dr. Shen Lee decided to increase her professional fees in the fall of 2011, and she plans to continue analyzing and adjusting these figures annually. This change came just as the practice was voted Best Optometrist in the Houston Press—a category the practice won because a number of dedicated patients wrote in “optometrist” where no such category existed. “The Houston Press would not reveal how many votes we received, but staff members personally came to the office to present the award, and they were very impressed with how determined our patients were in wanting us to win,” Dr. Shen Lee says.
She also set long-term goals.When the practice hit $1 million in revenue in 2006, Dr. Shen Lee and Dr. Owens took the staff for an all-expense paid trip to Vision Expo East in March 2007. They also laid the groundwork for the next goal: $1.5 million in revenue. The results have been increased sales of higher-end frames and increased revenue per patient.