If you’re a practice owner and saw decreased revenue in July, you aren’t alone. An average practice saw decreases in both exam and material revenue in July 2022. It looks like the 2020 bubble coming back from COVID is still impacting as July 2021 and July 2022 were both weak months compared to the lion we saw roaring back from COVID during summer 2020.
Checking the Numbers
We’re also seeing a disproportionate drop between material sales (frame and lens) and exams. While exams were down ~6%, frame and lens sales dropped ~9% each. This is a complete reversal of the trends in July 2020, when exams grew only ~2% while frame & lens sales grew ~9% each.
This Isn’t “Back to Normal” Yet
As a practice owner, it’s important to understand that our typical cycles still have not reset themselves. Busy months may be slower than usual and vice versa. This makes knowing how to staff your practice properly more difficult. It can be extremely hard to predict unexpected shifts in demand under the best of circumstances. In this climate, it’s often impossible.
Staffing for Slow Months
You may be tempted to keep staffing to a minimum to avoid exaggerated personnel costs. However, we recommend erring on the side of having an extra body in the office to maintain growth and capacity. Work with your staff and get creative about handling long-term projects when exam numbers slow down.
Flexibility is Key
Consumer behavior just doesn’t seem to have completely stabilized yet. It’s hard to predict business for next week, let alone next month, so we need to be flexible and prepared to respond quickly, because we don’t know yet what demand next month will bring.
For more information on current eye care business trends, visit our Industry Trends page.