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Practice Development



Donít wait too long before planning the end of your VT OD Career

 By Amee and Thomas Lecoq 

One of the saddest parts of being around VT ODs for 38 years is hearing about doctors retiring without being able to pass their practice on to another doctor.  Thereís no joy in seeing Vision Therapy disappear from a community. 

There is plenty that can be done to make sure that doesnít happen, and that the practice isnít sold for the value of the equipment.  But it takes time to assure that the therapy practice will persist after the owner retires.  So the last of our four articles on starting up, ramping up, revving up, focuses on Wrapping Up. 

In many of the disappointing close downs, generating and enrolling patients depends on the personal charisma, and ďsalesĒ ability of the doctor.  When the doctor isnít there, there are no new patient starts.  Often conversion from exam patient to VT patient depends entirely on how well the doctor presents the case.  And in most such practices, that conversion rate is about 50 percent.  When the practiceís new owner arrives and the selling doctor departs, the VT side of the practice withers.  Experienced therapists canít earn their keep, and leave. 

Or the doctor brings in a string of associates that, hopefully, will buy the practice.  But when there is no system in place to assure a steady flow of new VT patients, the associates leave and the sale falls through.  

Does your VT practice depend on your personal ability to enroll new patients?  Or do you have a system in place that doesnít depend on you personal sales ability?  Do patients arrive expecting therapy, knowing the approximate cost, and excited about getting started? 

To really work over time, a practice has to do a number of things, none of which should depend on the doctorís personal qualities.

1)     Community outreach to reach parents and adults whose life problems and limitations are a function of visual limitations.  Talks, social media, email newsletters, publicity and PR are basic tools.  But you must also have staff trained and developed to make sure all these things happen consistently.

2)     A consistent intake process that prepares the parent or patient for whatís to come.  A step-by-step-by-step process that happens every time, for every patient, and does NOT depend on the doctor to enroll therapy patients into a program of care.

3)     Persistent patterns of communication so every prospective patient or parent, gets the important message at every step of the intake process, and at each step is prepared for whatís next.  No unpleasant surprises.

4)     Staff trained and inspired to see generating and enrolling patients through their efforts as a high calling.  Staff who become leaders in the practice, and who see their work as a contribution to their community.  Staff who keep the doctor up to date on their efforts and performance.

5)     A system that can be operated by the new associate or buyer, with full documentation, training and education so it can persist over decades, and new staff can be brought up to speed. 

In other words, the value of a practice lies in the system. 

If there is no system, or a hit and miss system, the practice isnít worth much.  If the system is complete and the standard operating procedure for everyone, then the value and sale price is much higher. 

At the beginning of Lecoq Practice Development, Michael Gerber released ďThe E-Myth.Ē  He differentiated working IN your business from working ON your business.  Systems, he said, are critical to having a business that serves you, vs a business that owns you.  The latter is marked by whether or not you must be on hand for results to be achieved, vs. that business rolls on whether or not you are there.   

Doctors with weak or no system wind up dealing with endless exception.  Problems that pop up and that always wind up in the doctorís lap.  Opportunities missed, not taken.  Jobs adjusted to employee skills rather than employees added to fill well defined roles and duties, eg., when someone leaves, itís almost impossible to find that exact same skill set, and some of the duties start falling away. 

Lecoq Practice Development is all about system.  Want freedom and high income, plus lots of happy patients and kids with new, unlimited lives?  Want to be able to keep VT going after you retire?  Then you must either start developing your own system (and documenting it) or get some help and use ours. 

If youíre less than 5 years from retiring, doing it on your own doesnít make economic sense.  The amount of work in documenting your system alone will take more time than you can imagine.  In that case, getting help and using a highly successful and proven system is certainly your best bet.  If youíre going to create your own system by pasting together a little from this system, a little from that, count on 10 years of development, not including problems with employee turnover. 

What will it cost to employ the Lecoqs and their system?  Perhaps a better question is what will it cost to reinvent the wheel via trial and effort?  Our client doctors who implement the system fully report conversion rates of 90-95 percent.  Patients arrive for their initial evaluation pretty sure vision is the problem and that you have the solution.  The Lecoq approach to the initial phone call and the doctors case presentation means doctors only see patients who are high probability for enrolling. 

The system comes with hundreds of pages of documentation, including training videos that can be used to develop replacement staff over time. 

Let's make sure that your practice continues to change the lives of people in your community who would otherwise be limited by vision problems. Contact us today for a free initial telephone consultation to start the process. Call or text (760) 686-4648, or email idealvt1@verizon.net. Visit our website, idealvt.com.

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Lecoq Practice Development
14420 Iroquois Rd. Apple Valley, CA 92307

CONTACT US BY PHONE:     760-686-4648
To Reach Thomas Lecoq:  visionisfuture@yahoo.com
To Reach Amee Lecoq: idealvt1@verizon.net 
For Therapist Training, Lyna Dyson:  visionhlp@juno.com
FAX  760-240-4794

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Last modified: 04/21/20
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