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    Why ODs need a business strategy

    Having a defined business strategy is key to maximizing practice success

    I hope you all had a great holiday season and as we go into 2018 that you are ready to have your best year ever. My wife Katie and I have five kids, so Christmas at our house is a big deal. 

    Here are the top things Santa left for ODs this past year:

    • Online refractions

    • Online contact lens prescriptions

    • Increased requirements on contact lens prescriptions

    • Continued chaos of the Affordable Care Act

    • Continued pressures by managed vision plans

    • Telemedicine changes and challenges

    • Scope expansion getting blamed for the opioid crisis in our country

    What a year!

    Previously from Dr. Spear: ODs’ top 4 gripes about vision care plans: Part 5—Misleading information and misinformation

    Identify your business strategy

    Do you have a business strategy to deal with the changes, challenges, and disruptors facing our industry?

    I work with many ODs, and several of them have a mission statement and goals, but rarely do I find someone with a true business strategy. I would argue that choosing a business strategy is the most important choice you can make as a business owner.

    A business strategy is the cornerstone for any business, and having a clear and defined strategy will make all other decisions simple.

    Let us take a look at the three basic or generic business strategies as laid out by Harvard Professor Michael Porter in his book Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance.

    1. Cost leadership 

    Cost leadership can be achieved by charging the customer prices that are at or below industry average prices. This can be realized by reducing costs to maintain margins and profitability. 

    Companies with this strategy typically employ technology to lower costs and employ a very efficient logistics systems. In this category, think about no-frills service and support with low prices—for example, Walmart or Kia. 

    Carl H. Spear, OD, MBA, FAAO
    Dr. Spear owns a multi-location group practice with his wife Dr. Katie Gilbert Spear in Pensacola, FL. Dr. Spear is commander of the ...


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