We know that your practice can get busy and even hectic on some days. But with your overwhelming schedule, have you neglected your practice’s maintenance? Does it look clean and new, just like when you first opened your practice? If not, you could be losing your customers very soon!
Today’s post comes from John Seegers a licensed optician with over nineteen years of experience. He is a great though leader in our industry and has taught classes in optical dispensing, optical laboratory finishing theory and laboratory clinical. And today, he’ll help get your practice in shape. Look out for a checklist at the end of the post. You’ll need it to see if your practice needs maintaining and fixing.
Kurt Vonnegut, my favorite author, wrote, “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”
Such a true statement - Maintenance is just so important.
The daily wear on your office or practice is the same as it was for that car, except you don’t have to take your office in for a yearly inspection. But maybe you should. You go out and buy yourself a nice new car. The years pass by, and you drop it off at the mechanic for state inspection. She calls to tell you that the shocks are gone, the brakes all need to be replaced, the CV joints are shot, and the clutch is about to give out. You stop and think, how could I have not noticed all that? The answer to that question is simple: it is because those things wear out over time, they do not just “give up.” When things wear at a slow rate, we tend not to notice it.
Owning and operating a business is no different than owning a home; something is always in need of repair. Every office should have a toolbox with some basic tools to do general repairs. Every office should also have a vacuum, broom, dustpan, sponge, cloths, and glass cleaner. Even if your office has a cleaning service, things do happen between visits.
In case of an emergency, like a burst hot water heater, be sure to have the phone numbers clearly posted for your rental property maintenance people (if applicable), a plumber, and a handyperson. You may want to mark and review with staff where things like the water cut off valve and main electrical panel switches are.
Your business is a direct reflection of you and the old saying still holds true: “You never get a second try at a first impression!” Be sure that all staff understands that it is their job to fix what they can and notify you if something needs attention. If it is your job to assure that the office looks good and avoid a negative response when something is brought to your attention. Although you may be tempted to look disappointed when being told that yet another thing needs to be repaired or replaced say, “Thank you, I’ll get that done”. Do not sigh, roll your eyes, or complain.
Also make it clear that no one in the office is below putting away a magazine, picking up a piece of trash, wiping down a counter, or cleaning the front window. This includes you whether you are the doctor, office manager, optician, or desk clerk - lead by example.
Think you are ready to put your practice to the test? Follow the instructions in the checklist provided below and either on your own or with a co-worker or staff member, take a walk around your entire office. You might be surprised!
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Editors note: This blog was originally published January 2015 and updated in October 2022.