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Optometrical Practice Management Newsletter - Tips & Reviews. Volume 11. November 2007

Business Tip: Excellence in Optometrical Practice

In the last few months we discussed the first two parts parts to "Business Acumen ".

The first was management of the staff and the processes that make the business function. For those that did not catch this part you can get it here: Management.

The second was about tracking key indicators of the practice to keep on top of any trends. If you have not read this yet you can link to it here: Financials.

This month:

Part 3 & 4- Marketing & Attracting new prospects

Before any marketing can be done you need to be clear about who you are marketing to. The Eye Practice's target market is the male business person. Over the years it became obvious that this client was our most profitable so it made sense to try and attract as many businessmen as possible.

Other target markets for us are contact lens wearers. We specialise in the most difficult cases so even simple contact lens fits are attracted to our business.

Successful marketing requires using a number of different conduits. Each conduit needs to be tracked for success. In your own mind you need to know what defines success.

Ideally each conduit of marketing (at minimum)

should be cost neutral and ideally your marketing investment should bring in much more than you have invested.

What we need to remember is that from the clients attracted to our practice, over the course of the business relationship, they will return a number of times. This in turn means that if the investment to the practice is cost neutral for the first experience,any future transactions are fully profitable.

Over the years at the Eye Practice we have attracted a clientele that on average spends approximately $700 per visit; this creates about 70% profit, which equates to $490 profit. Because our marketing is targeted we can expect that from the very first visit a new patient will leave $490 profit for the practice.

Over the years of speaking with many optometrists the average marketing budget is close to zero. Other than being in the yellow pages there is a perception that spending on marketing is a waste of time. This mindset needs to be rethought, as if the first visit is not profitable , each additional visit with us definitely is. Over the life time of the patient visits the value of each new patient is worth $$$$.

We all know that word of mouth referral is probably the main conduit by which new patients come to our practice. This relies on INTERNAL marketing eg.

The atmosphere that the business has.

The Instrumentation and technology that is used.

The frame selection and the display.

The expertise of the staff.

These and everything else about the practice needs to align with your position. This in turn attracts the appropriate client profile that is happy to spend in your business.

Assuming we are doing this reasonably well, we need to also realise that there is a significant drop out rate from our business, due to things out of our control eg.

Patients relocate

They are attracted somewhere else due to convenience

They just want to try something different

They pass away or get too old to travel to your location.

Client attrition can be as high as 50%, most of which you have little control over. This is probably the main reason most practices reach a plateau, where the new patients just balance the retiring patients. We obviously need more than just word of mouth referrals. We need to continually prospect for new business.

Examples of marketing conduits are:

Local paper-for the suburban practitioner this is important

Presentations to large corporations

Presentations to schools

Sponsoring your local schools newsletter and making sure you contribute vision articles to the newsletter.

Because we are located in the middle of the Sydney CBD, our most successful marketing conduit is the internet. We have developed a very successful internet campaign that is extremely cost effective.

Over the course of the next six months we will develop a program by which we will be able to refer patients anywhere in the country. If you are interested in being part of this program please EMAIL me and I will keep your interest on file. Once the program is ready (early next year) further details will be explained.

Email me if you would like to implement

"Excellence in Optometrical Practice" into your business


Next month I will summarise the MBA course Day 2


MBA logo

Remember to talk to your Ciba representative about this exciting event. I believe it will transform optometry - it is not to be missed!

"We have started to use this

Find out how The Eye Practice is going with the new product in the next newsletters.”

For further information please contact:

Anne Guethoff, Marketing Manager

Phone: 02 9748 0988




Email me if you would like to implement

"Excellence in Optometrical Practice" into your business

A cost effective program of hurdling the challenges of optometrical practice and rekindling your passion for your profession is only an email away.

You can email me at:




Information Technology & Optometry

If you want to invest in new technology you must have a solid computer system to make sure that the use of the technology is efficient. Having a solid computer network for an optometry practice is way beyond the average optometrist's skill set. That's where Richard Rees comes in.

Richard Rees works for They are specialists in Information Technology solutions. Phone Richard on

1 300 553 559

Visit Lookup for all your IT needs                           






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