FirstSight Vision Services

We are here to support and guide our Optometrists in growing a successful practice while delivering quality eye care.

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Theresa Ayers July 27, 2023 Personal Development no responses

You have planted your optometric garden of services and now need everything to bloom into the spectacular beauty of a successful practice.  These tips are useful for any location no matter how new or how established.

You can’t improve your practice if you aren’t at your practice.  It really is important for the doctor to be present in the office during contracted/operating hours.  Arriving late, leaving early, extended lunches may happen once in a great while, but it should not be a normal thing since patients do pay attention to the schedule.

Just as with a garden, you have to weed out the practice on a regular basis.  This means keeping a tidy exam lane and front desk area.  It really makes sense to keep the entire office clean and organized.  Take a moment to clean that pretest table every time between patients, keep lined trash bins in every room so trash is easy to collect and remove every day and keep the surfaces of all other counter/desk tops clean and clutter free so it makes it easier to wipe down each day.  These little extra steps will help keep those little dust bunnies at bay.

An idea could also be take a before and after picture of your office.  Always strive to maintain and even improve on making that after picture your goal at the end of each day.  Set a specific day of the week to compare pictures and don’t make excuses for not keeping to that date.

Pay attention to yourself and how you interact with patients and even with the associates in our host environment.  Make sure that you are presenting the best you that you can be.  You may not be having a great day for whatever reason, but it is important that those you interact with are not impacted by this.  It can be a challenge because sometimes the other person is just not cooperating but taking the high road will have its benefits in the long run.

Patients really are given so many options in the world today of where they can choose to get healthcare needs met.  Your goal is to be the best one.  Keep your office clean, be in the office as scheduled and being the most friendly and professional provider are just some of the things that patients are looking for.

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Theresa Ayers June 26, 2023 Practice Management no responses

It seems like summer break just started and here we are talking about Back to School.  We double checked the calendar and sure enough, it is that time again.

Often times, parents don’t realize that their child may not be seeing as clearly as they should.  It is when the child goes to school and is unable to view the board that prompts them to visit you.  It is equally as important to start a child off on the right path to making sure they have a lifetime of healthy vision by educating them (and their parents) that an annual exam is recommended.  The vision of children is likely to change more often so annual exams can help determine if the change is normal or if there is an underlying medical concern that could be lurking.

Be part of the solution to educating our children beyond the classroom.  Make sure to post on your office door that you are available for walk in or scheduled appointments to get those annual exams done now and maybe include some fun facts about eyes that you can share with your patients.

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Theresa Ayers May 26, 2023 FSVS Partner no responses

We don’t always think about it, but it is true that the words you choose matter.  As a business owner, this is something that you might want to consider exploring and laying out a plan for you and your staff when giving general information such as pricing and for scheduling appointments. Listed below are a few pointers on some of the most frequently used phrases.

INSTEAD OF SAYING:  Exams are $xx.xx

TRY SAYING:  Our exam prices are only $xx.xx and include xxxx.

People will hear that word “only” and feel that they are getting a good deal and if you let them know what an examination includes they will realize there is more to an examination than just a Rx at the end.  Avoid using words like “cheaper”.  If you say lower in cost or less expensive it may present a more positive spin on the value of the service at an affordable price.


INSTEAD OF SAYING:  When would you like to schedule that appointment?

TRY SAYING:  If the patient is in your office, then hopefully you are telling them that they can be seen now.  If they are calling in, then let them know you have time today to see them and give them  one or two time slots when they can come in.  If they really want to schedule in advance, then try to give them a time slot for maybe around the time you are speaking with them.  Most people make calls when they have a free moment in the day, so that might be the best time to try to schedule them.

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Theresa Ayers April 28, 2023 Uncategorized no responses

Ask For Referrals.  This is something you can do at the end of each exam as your patients are checking out.  Thank them for choosing to come to you and give them one (or even two or three) of your business cards and ask them to share with friends or family.  Try to make this something that you do personally rather than having your staff do.  It is much more meaningful to the patient when a request like this comes from the doctor.

Recalling Previous Patients.  Typically offices recall patients that were seen last year, but what about the patients that were maybe seen 2-3 (or more) years ago.

Update Your Social Media.  Keep your website up to date and if you don’t have a website, start to create one.  Make sure that your office signage and even your business cards have your website address listed.  It’s even better if there is a QR code for people to use their phones to scan and go directly to your site.  Have a link available for online scheduling so patients can see times that are available.

Not one of these ideas are new to any of us, but how many of them are in place at your practice?

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Theresa Ayers March 30, 2023 Practice Management no responses

An exam at your office can and should be elevated to a memorable experience for the patient and this can be done with some relatively simple and thoughtful practices.

In just about every business, people have a choice of where to go.  Often times it is the experience that will drive them to, or from, a certain business.  Optometry definitely falls into this scenario.  How can you help distinguish yourself from the optometrist down the road.  Yes, pricing is a factor too, but when that is at a competitive rate then you are looking at other factors.  Make your patients feel special by doing some very simple things.

After an exam, do a follow up call, text or email within a day or two to find out if new contact lenses are working out.  Or to simply thank them for their visit.  Share with them some tips on anything that they may experience with a new prescription.  Try to make that tip as a personal experience that maybe you or a family member had because as a patient it is likely that they will hear and remember the story rather than hearing just information.

These small gestures of connecting with your patients will help create a lasting memory.  Those patients are sharing with their family, friends and colleagues the positive experience they had getting their examination from you.

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Theresa Ayers March 1, 2023 FSVS Partner no responses

So many things associated with the start of this coming season.  And all of it is so important.

Spring forward.  Just a reminder of the time change that will occur and time is moved forward one hour.  Note your calendars for March 12 for this event.

Spring into action.  It is something that we mention a lot here and it is just so important that you don’t get too complacent.  Don’t ever take the busy days for granted.  And try to help prepare yourself for any slower days.  Get information from your patients on possible family members that may need an exam in the near future.  Find out who their employer is and send a letter to that company letting them know that you are local and are taking new patients.

And the dreaded Spring cleaning.  Hopefully you keep up on cleaning your office daily and this task should not be too overwhelming.  Keep in mind, your practice is a clinical setting and cleanliness is expected to be at a higher standard.

Spring is a time of refresh and renew.  Embrace the season and bring some of the positive vibes into your business.  A happy business is a thriving business.

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Theresa Ayers January 30, 2023 Personal Development no responses

February is the month normally where we acknowledge our love of others.  But we should not forget about our love of our jobs.  And when you love what you do, it really doesn’t feel like work.

All of our doctors trained for the  job because of the passion you felt for caring for others and providing a service to help and improve the quality of life for people.  And in a sublease you not only get to provide this extraordinary service but you also have the added benefit of running your own practice.  With that responsibility you do have to factor in some actual work that needs to be done.  In order to grow a practice there are often tasks that you need to improve on, maintain or implement.

While we are still at the beginning of the year, why not take a moment to review and revise your annual business plan and set specific goals that you want to achieve and how you will work towards completing them.  The more specific the better and include a time frame for completing each item.  Not every goal has to be a major change, but it should be actionable and measurable.  And don’t be afraid to set a major goal but break it down to smaller tasks so it is achievable.

Make every month one to be passionate about what you do every day!


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Nicole Gonzales January 3, 2023 Practice Management no responses
Happy 2023 Everyone!

As Optometrists you all know what literally happens in the blink of an eye, but as business owners, we all use that phrase a little differently.

I hear and see almost every day the struggles that we are all facing with the changes in the world. I know that all forms of business are in a different position today than they were almost 3 years ago. One of the things that we become comfortable with is the consistency of business but don’t lose sight of the fact that it really takes work and effort to build that up.

I was sitting in a meeting recently and overheard one doctor telling another that they really appreciate our sublease design as they can practice at the scope of their comfort level and they control the flow and can actually take time to “connect” with their patient. This got me thinking. As a patient, I appreciate doctors who take the time to explain my situation and needs, but to connect with that person, it takes a little bit extra. One of the things that the speaker of the meeting had done was an “ice breaker” which kind of made us all look at each other as individuals. Maybe this can be a simple first step you might want to try in your practice. When you seat your patient in the chair, connect with them with an ice breaker question (what is their favorite movie, food, music…). Make it a question that really doesn’t pertain to the exam process at all. Maybe you have a common interest. Now that is the doctor who I will remember and feel like they valued me as a person and not just a refraction. All done in the blink of an eye.

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Theresa Ayers December 3, 2022 Practice Management no responses

Well, here we are again.  Quickly approaching the end of 2022 and getting ready to ring in 2023.  We can all agree that 2022 had it’s share of challenges and who knows what 2023 will bring.  The message though is we are still together and we are all trying to rebuild and we are confident that the hard work and dedication that everyone puts forth every day of the year will bring more growth and success as time goes on.  We touch on this every month, life is in constant change and being willing to see what is going on around you and around the world can sometimes make those changes so much easier to navigate.

The new year will be exactly what you want it to be and what you make of it.  So let’s start now with positive outlooks and know that of course things will be tossed in that will challenge you, but be at your best so that you can maneuver and take everything in stride.  You are a truly amazing group of people to work with and the inspiration that we get is so often from you.

Best Holiday/Season wishes to each and every one of you and to your friends and family.  And Cheers to the coming 2023!

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Theresa Ayers November 4, 2022 Personal Development no responses

Take a moment to reflect on what has happened in your life this year.  Yes, the end of the year is right around the corner.  We always find it so easy to remember the challenges or obstacles we had to get through, but I want you to identify the good things that happened this year.

Big events are easy to identify (congratulations to those of you who have new homes, got married and who added new babies into your lives!).  But for some of us, it may seem like nothing special happened which is just not true.  The simple things that brought joy to you even if for just a moment should be recognized.  Think about that new recipe you tried out and everyone loved it, or maybe you got a jump start on holiday shopping this year or did you finally tackle that closet and get it organized?  Don’t dismiss the little things that contribute to the overall big picture.

Try doing this exercise for your practice as well.  If you have staff, get their input on the successes you had this year.  Just take the month to be thankful for everything that you have and do and focus on the positives in your life!

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