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More Tips on Practice Success from Dr. Walter West

Vision Source is there to support independent optometry and help your practice succeed.

Dr. Walter WestWalter West, O.D., FAAO is our very own Vice President of Practice Development. For many years, Dr. West has spearheaded Vision Source's practice management education for member doctors and staff.

You may be wondering--why Dr. West? As a former practice owner himself, he sold his practice in 2003 and established Walt West Management and Consulting. In addition, he is the author of When Your Success is on the Line and Pulse Points of the Million Dollar Practice. 

Here's an example of Dr. West's three solid strategies to achieve just that:

1. Make customer service your Patient Service Proposition (PSP):

You may be on the same playing field as the corporate entities in our industry and the rules of the game may remain the same. But you alone decide your practice strategy and how you want to play the game. To stand out from the crowd of other optometric practices and stand your ground in the face of competition from the competition, you need to attract your patients with something that they don’t get too often from other practices . . . excellent customer service.

In my experience, any business that treats its customers well, keeps its promises, and does not take advantage of their customers is worth staying with, even if it’s a new practice and yet to prove itself.

2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew:

Most private practices that fail, make this mistake over and over - they aspire for too much in a bid to compete with the larger fish in the pond and are then surprised when they fall far short of their goal. Your aspirations and visions of what your practice is must correspond to your capabilities.  If you take on more patients that your facility, equipment and staff can handle, you not only lose out on time, effort and money, your reputation also takes a severe beating. So be sure to work within your current limitations, push your efforts to the extreme, and you will be on the road to success.

3. Practice what you preach:

A private practice is made up of a limited number of employees and is more like a family working together than a corporation with management hierarchy, multiple rules and policies. So unless you set an example for your staff, they’re not going to be motivated to work hard to push your practice higher in the direction of success. Also, when you expect them to do all the hard work while you slack off and take things easy, you’re not only setting a bad example but also setting yourself up for failure.

Remember, it is your practice and you have to lead your team in working hard towards achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself and your practice. When you treat your employees well, they are loyal to your practice and work hard for its success.

While these are three strategies for practice success, they are not the only strategies for success.  However, I’ve found these three to be foundational and far-reaching in their effects.

 Looking for more valuable advice? Feel free to contact Dr. West at 281-318-7837 for more information. 

Author Vision Source — Published January 23, 2014

Posted In Practice Management