The 2 Step Process to Monitor Your Optometry Practice's Growth

Aug 30, 2016
4 min read

For any optometry practice owner, tracking growth is critical for the success of your business. Here is a two step process to help you understand key data!

In any Optometry practice or business, it is imperative to monitor and track expenses, patient [customer] flow, and where your profits are coming from.

These figures will allow you to know the inner workings of the practice and when to make the appropriate changes so that your business is consistently growing.

Step 1: Understanding your NET profit:

Accountants will say this: Gross Profit – Expenses = Net Profit

In layman’s terms: Money In – Money Out = Money Made

Money In: How are you bringing in money?

  • Exam Fees (private pay, vision plans, medical optometry, specialty services)
  • Goods: contact lenses, spectacles, low vision devices, other products

All of these things should be tracked separately so that you know exactly how much each different area is bringing in.

Try to be as detailed as possible while tracking this because it will allow you to know exactly what your biggest revenue sources are.

Money Out: Where is all of your money going?

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Payroll
  • Advertising
  • Monthly fees (IT services, security, merchant services, etc…)
  • Maintenance (exam room, bathroom, staff room)

Again, the more detailed you are in the breakdown of costs, the easier it will be to identify areas that you are spending too much money in.

I use QuickBooks Pro to help me track my income and expenses. The system is super easy to use and helps me be extremely detailed in the breakdown of my income/expenses.

What you are left with is how much money you made.

So, how often should you check in on your profits/losses?

Personally, I keep track of the business’ income (monies collected vs. what was billed to insurance) on a daily basis, but track the overall profit/loss on a monthly basis.

At any given time, I have a pretty good estimate on how we are doing because of this system. However, I know of some businesses that outsource their accounting services so they only receive a quarterly profit/loss statements.

Step 2: Keeping Keymetrics:

Keymetrics refers to tracking things like:

  • Your chair cost:
    • Fixed Costs / Complete Annual Exams = Chair Cost per Exam
    • Fixed Cost/ Hour = Chair Cost per Hour
  • Gross revenue/complete exam
    • Median: $306*
  • Exams/ODs hour
    • Median: 1.01/hour*
  • Gross Revenue/OD hour
    • Median: $330*
  • Gross revenue/ staff hour
  • Spectacle/contact lens capture rates
  • Recall rates
  • New patients/month
  • Average spectacle sale/patient
  • Second spectacle sales
  • Staff compensation (bonuses, increases)

A great resource that I used as a reference for opening my office has been, Essilor’s Management & Business Academy 2015 Keymetric publication.

With opening cold you have a clean slate and can track everything from the ground up.

I started by just calculating my hourly chair cost and then tracking the other areas as we grew. Established practices can retrospectively calculate these numbers and use this to improve areas that are lacking, and then set goals!

At the end of each month I set aside time in my schedule, just like an exam-slot, to calculate and review the keymetrics and our profits/losses.

I’ve learned that the habit of setting time aside to calculate these things is a crucial part in the long term success of my business.

For those of you that are associates, you can also track your progress and growth within the practice you are working for. This will allow you to discuss with the senior doctors future raises, bonus incentives, schedule changes, additional staff for you, etc…

As an owner, I would be impressed if my employee came to me with figures showing how many patients they see an hour, average profit/patients, and postulations for how to improve profits.

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About Miki Lyn D'Angelo, OD

Miki Lyn D’Angelo, O.D. graduated with honors from the SUNY College of Optometry in New York, receiving the VSP Excellence in Primary Care and Excellence in Vision Therapy awards. She then continued her education by completing a residency in vision therapy and rehabilitation with Dr. Barry Tannen, OD. She has extensive experience in family eye care with a specialty and passion for pediatrics, vision training and neuro-rehabilitation with traumatic brain injury patients. She recently just opened a private practice cold with a partner on the Eastern End of Long Island. In her spare time she loves cooking and working on the farm with her fiancé.