Optometric Management

FEB 2017

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24 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 • O P T O M E T R I C M A N A G E M E N T . C O M FEATURE PRACTICE MANAGEMENT PERSONALITY, FINANCES AND OPPORTUNITY MUST ALIGN IS PRACTICE ACQUISITION IN YOUR FUTURE? Ann Rea Miller, O.D., Lima, Ohio I WAS five months pregnant when I be- gan thinking about my current practice's acquisition; I started the business when I was eight months pregnant. I made it happen because I had the drive, I was de- termined I could make it successful, and I was, and remain, dedicated to working on it every day. Here, I discuss how to determine whether an ac- quisition is for you, how to evaluate a practice be- fore deciding to buy it and the steps needed to make it happen. EVALUATE YOUR WILLINGNESS / ABILITY For me the benefits of being a practice owner far outweigh the ownership challenges, such as keeping up-to-date on insurance changes. e sense of pride I feel in seeing my accomplishments on a daily basis is extremely rewarding. Also, the loyalty from my patients keeps me motivated to continue improving the business and, potentially, acquire other practic- es in the future to care for even more patients. But, practice ownership isn't for everyone. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when de- ciding whether this is the appropriate course of ac- tion for you: • What tasks are you most happy completing each day? • What tasks are you least happy completing? • Do you give up easily when things don't go your way? • Do you like to work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.? • Do you like to make decisions? From here, evaluate your answers. (See p.26 for an example.) Perhaps some obstacles are insurmount- able to responsibly owning a practice and achieving your goals. Maybe, your goals align perfectly. Per- haps, it's something to re-evaluate in the future. VISIT THE PRACTICE If you've determined that practice acquisition is for you, it's time to visit the practices that have caught your eye. When evaluating potential practic- es, I recommend visiting the practice. While there, assess the condition of the office. For example, the aesthetic and physical needs: Will there need to be improvements to the building's exterior and/or inte- rior? Is the equipment what you need or is it outdat- ed? Also, factor in how much money you will need to invest on improvements to make the practice the FOR ME, THE BENEFITS OF BEING A PRACTICE OWNER FAR OUTWEIGH THE OWNERSHIP CHALLENGES. . .

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