Summer is one of the best times to prioritize business management tasks ahead of a typically busy fall season.
This is especially true this year, when many optometry practices have been adjusting and facing one challenge after another non-stop since the pandemic started.
August is a good time to take a moment and assess what has changed, and what needs to be done to close out the year.
Several times a year, INVISION Magazine publishes a list of manager to-do’s. The latest management list covers August and September, and includes preparing for the fall buying season, freshening up your clinic, and training your staff to share your business story with customers.
We may be halfway through the month, but there is still time to take advantage of a potentially slower month before September, back-to-school, fall and holidays.
My management recommendations for August (COVID-19 edition), include prioritizing patients who won’t have as much time for an appointment next month. Now is the time for a recalling push that encourages students and families to visit your practice for their annual exam if they haven’t already.
Staff training and engagement should also be top-of-mind. Many optometrists have had to make difficult management decisions over the past several months. Your practice’s team may not look the same; you may have new employees, or you may have lost some, and with them – their skills and knowledge.
I recommend a skills audit of your team: what skills are you underutilizing, and what capabilities could you use. Before business ramps up, consider training that can help your staff address any needs in your practice. Recalling is a critical skill, and it is best to have more than one team member capable of recalling patients. Marketing and eyewear sales skills will also be useful ahead of the fall season.
As for engagement, there is no doubt that the pandemic has taken a toll on teams and individuals. While the sun shines, consider safe and practical ways you may be able to boost staff morale. You could host an in-clinic “retreat” that includes takeout, brainstorming and team-building, or a physically distanced outdoor activity – if allowed – that sets business aside and focuses on fun.
For more management ideas, read INVISION‘s list of management tasks here.