Ever since COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic, small businesses, in particular, are facing the brunt of it as most people are choosing to stay inside. Instead of waiting till the crisis is over, we need to look for ways to make sure our businesses can survive in these uncertain times.
As an optometrist, you may feel especially unsure about what the future holds for your practice and how you can ensure your business stays afloat when things go back to normal. Since it’s not possible for you to carry out regular check-ups or sell eyewear, you need to take advantage of the time you’ve been given to plan ahead and come up with a survival plan.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at three things optometrists can do during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure their business can thrive.
- Formulate Implementation Strategies
One way you can spread the word about your business during the COVID-19 pandemic is by setting up professional accounts on social media channels like Instagram, and YouTube. You can use social media as a tool to build your personal brand and reach out to your prospective patients.
You need to brainstorm content ideas that align with your business goals and let your potential customers know how you plan to add value to their lives. Your content strategy should be attract to what patients want to see. It will also help your SEO strategy. Using your time to help your ratings online is important. Use your down time to focus on things that you normally don’t have time to do in a busy practice.
Add some videos and pictures to your website to help with SEO as well. It will help with the organic search on google and move you up on the google rankings. The more traffic will result in increased exams. If you haven’t implemented online appointments consider adding that to your website and have new patients fill out questionnaires at home to save time in the office and reduce interactions.
Another thing you can do is to set up a professional email or text message campaign for your business to send relevant updates to your patients and when you plan to reopen your clinic for non-essential care. Provide them updates on what your office is doing during this pandemic and how you are protecting patients when you see them.
Align with your corporate partner to see what protocols they are putting together and what they think an open date will be to start to prepare.
2. Take Advantage of Telemedicine and other Technology.
Take advantage of telemedicine to provide remote medical eye care to the patients who need it the most. Secure video chat platforms will allow you to maintain social distancing and help look after your patients during these stressful times.
Some platforms that many ODs have considered are Doxy.me and LiquidEhr for free telemed services. Others have used zoom to interact with their patients. The rules about telemedicine have been a little more relaxed than before. Use this time to do your research and see how telemedicine can be implemented in your practice in the future.
Having an EHR system can help a practice take calls from home and answer questions for patients. Consider adding an EHR system to help your practice in the future during hours that you might not be open.
As coronavirus cases continue to grow in number, small business owners all over the globe need to do everything in their power to sustain their businesses and formulate effective survival strategies. Now, more than ever, they need to make use of the internet and find new ways to connect with their audience.
Even though there’s no way to know what the future holds, you need to make active efforts as optometrists to stay in contact with your patients, use telemedicine to remotely provide eye care, and improve your online presence to ensure you can emerge stronger on the other side of COVID-19.