Change is constant, and eyecare is proof. Whether we’re talking fashion trends, vision plans, or the opportunities ahead, it’s always best to be prepared for the shifting landscape ahead.
Success in such a dynamic environment doesn’t happen by chance. It requires foresight, strategic planning, and a willingness to adapt. As we stand on the cusp of 2024, let’s delve into how you, as an eye care professional, can navigate these changes and set your practice up for a prosperous year ahead.
Trends and best sellers
Most patients are looking for more than eyewear that corrects their vision, they’re looking for frames that make them look and feel good. They want styles that are in line with the latest trends and that reflect their personal style.
So, how do you identify these best-selling pieces? Start by analyzing your sales data from the past year. Which brands and frames were the most popular? Which ones had the highest turn rates? This data can give you valuable insights into what your patients are looking for.
You can also keep an eye on the latest eyewear trends. Attend industry events, follow eyewear fashion blogs, and stay in touch with your suppliers to get a sense of what’s coming up. Your frame vendors, especially, can be helpful. They’re keeping a constant eye on upcoming trends to ensure their products will sell.
A good sales consultant with the right vendor will help you ensure the frames fly off your boards in 2024!
Promotional prices and contract rates
Now let’s talk promotional pricing and contract rates. Anyone who has shopped for the holidays knows this time of year is packed with promos. And it’s no different with your vendors! As 2023 comes to an end and 2024 begins, you’ll have opportunities to save.
Sooner than later, take the time to identify these deals. That’s especially true for any chance to lock in contract rates. Some vendors offer the option to secure lower pricing early, to help you save and grow profits throughout the year. These are win-win propositions that continue your partnerships with vendors while giving you the chance to improve profit margins.
Identify opportunities to grow vision-plan profits
Chances are you’re seeing patients on vision plans. For most practices, competing in eyecare today means finding ways to grow with managed care. How do you ensure you’re maximizing vision-plan profits to put your practice in a position to grow? One way is to ask this question: Are your frame boards helping you grow your managed-care margins?
In other words, do you carry a frame line designed to help you profit with managed-care patients? For those unwilling to spend over their vision-plan allotment, these styles are an opportunity for you to ensure you’re still making margins your business can grow on.
Remember, improving profit from this segment doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. It’s about finding a balance between offering quality products and services and ensuring your business remains profitable.
Your plan for new patients
Another piece of the puzzle in planning for success in 2024 is patient acquisition. It’s not just about retaining your current patients, but also about expanding your patient base.
Let’s start by reflecting on your patient acquisition strategies from the past year. How did you acquire new patients in 2023? Did you rely on advertising? Did you leverage your vision plans? Or did you use a combination of strategies?
Next, evaluate their effectiveness. Did these methods work? Did they bring in new patients? What can you do differently to acquire more new patients next year?
Remember, patient acquisition is not a one-size-fits-all process. What works for one practice might not work for another. Find what works for your practice, and to continually refine your approach based on performance.
It’s easy to think of planning for the future as a luxury for those with the time. But it’s necessary for long-term success in the ever-evolving world of eye care. By taking a proactive approach, you can stay ahead of the curve, meet your patients’ needs, and ensure the continued growth of your practice. So, let’s embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and look forward to a year of growth and prosperity!