Step-by-step guide to your 2018 business plan

If you don’t have one, now is the time to start creating it.

Having a business plan – even at an optometry practice – is the key to maximizing your business’s potential.

Even though ODs focus on health, the fundamentals of how their practices operate are similar to those of businesses in other sectors. The bottom line, the costs, the staffing challenges, the customer service components are all there, and require attention. In order to increase eyewear sales, grow your patient database and reduce the number of empty appointments in your schedule, you need a plan.

Change doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it come simply from setting goals and revisiting them a year later. Your business plan is what will get you from A to B; from a schedule with holes, to one that is fully booked, weeks in advance. It will get you from your current level of revenue, to a much higher one. It will also help you and your staff build patient loyalty, and ensure all of your patients are keeping on top of their eye health.

There are many tools available for managing a business. There also exists a countless number of articles and resources available online to help get ODs and business owners started on identifying their goals, and building a business plan around them. To our benefit, there is so much useful information available for free – so much in fact that it can feel overwhelming and difficult to figure out where to start.

This is why I like the following article in Entrepreneur. It links to a number of helpful articles that can walk you through all the steps you need to take to create a business plan for 2018. These articles include answers to some common FAQs (such as how long a business plan should be), along with the different elements that should be included in the plan.

Check out ‘How to Write a Business Plan’, and let me know if you have any optometry practice-specific questions.

Happy planning!