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Taking Lemons and Making Lemonade: How We Overcame Adversity to Launch a Thriving Practice
We were on a family vacation when my husband and I got the news that we had five days to vacate the two corporate locations where we’d been practicing for more than 18 years. While our end goal had always been private practice, we were not yet prepared to strike it out on our own—and certainly not in five days!
Both my husband and I had been practicing happily in our corporate setting for most of our careers and loved the work/life balance our profession allowed. We’d been able to care for multiple generations of patients while raising four children and playing an active role in our community and mosque. However, our desire to open our own practice persisted, and we had recently purchased a practice that we planned to transition to gradually while continuing our existing jobs. When that plan was suddenly fast-tracked, we jumped into action. With the help of our dedicated staff, determined to stay with us, and our loyal patients, who followed us, we launched our new practice—followed soon by a second location!
Quickly realizing that despite our optometric expertise and experience, my husband and I lacked knowledge about fundamentals like selling glasses or getting new patients, we immediately hired an optician with 30 years of experience in private practice. He had worked closely with VSP Vision throughout his career and urged us to reach out to our VSP representatives to ensure we were maximizing that relationship. From the beginning, VSP supported our practice on so many levels, from helping us bring more patients in the door and increase revenue, to providing frames and lenses our patients loved and resources to help us train our staff.
When I first heard about the VSP Vision Premier Program, I said, "We have to do this." As a new practice, we’re always trying to find ways to save money, whether it be on our lab bills, our frames, or on equipment we have in the practice. That’s what first drew us to the Premier Program, and we soon discovered all the other resources available to support our practice, like the quarterly Practice Report to help us with planning, the Premier Academy360 training to quickly get staff up to speed on topics relevant to the practice, and most notably, the increased patient flow. As soon as we got the Premier Program indicator on the VSP Find a Doctor Directory, we had at least a patient a day coming through our door telling us, "Oh, we saw you on our VSP website and we wanted to come into your office." Having that indicator by our name tells patients they can maximize their benefits fully with us, which saves them money and builds loyalty to the practice.
While the past few years have certainly been challenging, I am so proud of our practice, how beautiful it is, and how far our family has come. “As Eye See It,” we took lemons and made lemonade—we built these practices through COVID; we built these practices through the adversities, unexpected things, and turmoil that have come our way. But we got through it. We got through it together; we got through it as a family. And for that, I am so grateful.
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