Top 10 ways to streamline your practice's busines operations

Optometrists and general retailers often both market products, are price competitive and service customers.

Many optometrists and general retailers share several things in common. They both market products, are price competitive, and service customers.

"It's sometimes uncomfortable for optometrists to refer to their patients as customers but the reality is that most optometrists today have a retail component to their operation," he said, referring to optical boutiques. "They need to run it as a retail operation with customer-service objectives."

2. Operate like Nordstrom. Whenever a shipment of high-end frames arrives, call your upscale customers to schedule appointments. Create a quiet space-or carve out a corner-in your boutique to service them privately. This will make patients feel even more special and that their business is valued.

3. Barcode your entire inventory. Barcoding enables you to better control inventory costs and manage loss prevention. Scan products when they arrive in your office and at the patient checkout when they leave.

4. Computerize your setup. Use a wireless laptop at each dispensing table that's tied into your office management software and lab-ordering system. With patients sitting across the desk, you can e-mail or print receipts that itemize every detail of their purchase or transaction. Barcode readers can download all of the specifics, such as frame style or model number, type of eye exams, or any supplemental testing and the type of lens, including coatings, treatments, tints, and warranties.