The New Year is the perfect time to plan a fresh strategy for your optometry practice. A sound understanding of your competition, threats, strengths and weaknesses is imperative to increase business revenue and profitability.
A well-thought-out approach will help you determine your standing in the market and understand emerging trends. Here is a step-by-step process for creating a solid optometry practice strategy for 2021.
1. Know Your Competitors
Conduct a thorough competitor analysis to find out where your competitors are located and the scale on which they operate. There are several ways of discovering how your competitors operate.
You can start attending professional optometry conferences to stay in touch with your competitors’ activities. Get to know about their products and services by interacting with their representatives.
It is mandatory for many optometry businesses to regularly file reports with different regulatory authorities. Try accessing them to gain a better understanding of market conditions and the latest trends in the industry.
An effective method is becoming a secret shopper. Ask someone to approach a competitor and get to know about their employees, prices and clients.
2. Interact with Stakeholders
A stakeholder is a party that affects a business or is affected by it. Employees, investors, suppliers and patients are among the most important stakeholders for an optometry business. Classify them according to the level of participation, influence, and interest in your practice.
Stakeholders can provide a useful insight into the efficacy of your business to help you stay on track. Keeping your stakeholders engaged and satisfied will build your reputation as a trustworthy brand. Feedback from stakeholders will help you understand how they view your business and help you plan a strategy for 2021 accordingly.
3. Study Your Target Audience
It is crucial to study your target audience in order to provide valuable service and stand out among competitors. Prioritize customer service and figure out their eye care preferences.
Understand the market demand by interviewing your past and current customers, or going through already collected patient feedback. Ask them about the factors that are most important for them when choosing an optometry practice, what made them opt for your services, and what they liked and disliked about your practice.
4. Analyze Marketing Strategies
Figure out the most effective marketing strategies through your past experience as well as competitors’ strategies. It is vital to re-engage old patients as well as attract new ones.
Digital marketing is bound to deliver the best results in 2021. Optometry practices that were able to survive COVID-19 were mostly those which used social media and video marketing to build a loyal customer base. Create a responsive website, upload quality content, and boost your social media presence to stay relevant in the optometry industry.
5. Conduct a SWOT Analysis
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A SWOT analysis is a tried and tested means to assess a business’s market position or develop a strategy to expand the customer base.
Ask patients to fill out surveys to determine what they like best about your practice. Positive aspects may include customer service, location, or pricing. Focus on these factors to maintain an edge over your competitors.
Your weaknesses can be difficult to face, but identifying them can help you improve your practice. Opportunities involve possible future prospects regarding the expansion of your eye care practice that you can start working towards. In 2021, this could include expanding your online services, such as offering online consultation.
Threats usually emanate from competitors such as other eye care practices in the vicinity, and online retailers. Location-specific threats also exist, such as practicing in an area prone to natural disasters.
Make a detailed strategy for 2021, but avoid forecasting future events too precisely. At times, unforeseen events can occur and completely waste your efforts. Keep your future strategy practical, financially viable, and flexible.