Over the past decade, remodeling has become entertainment. Shows on HGTV and other networks show dramatic transformations, and may make you think it might be time for your optical to get a face-lift. However, the improved space always comes at a price. For example, if I was remodeling my home, HGTV would probably set my budget at $150,000 to $200,000, which seems absurd.
The experts will charge thousands of dollars to design and contract a team of local or company run experts to put a new face on your optical. You will be told that the more you invest, the more return on your dollars. This is necessarily true and needs to be considered. The most likely reason to remodel is to keep up with competitors.*
But before you commit, you need to make sure an extensive optical remodel fits in your strategic plan for growing your business. A remodel may not be necessary to keep patients purchasing frames from your practice. As managed vision plans decrease, patients aren’t as free to shop around. Then investing core dollars in patient service becomes most important.
So should you, or not?
It’s time to remodel if:
- Your optical has been unchanged for over 10 years.
- A competitive optometry office set up within a three-mile radius and is pulling patients away from your office.
- At least 10 percent of your patients are new each week.
Forego remodeling if:
- You net over 40 percent and you are continuing to grow.
- Your average demographic patients do not remodel their homes. If you serve socioeconomic patients in middle-to-lower class, they may perceive it as a waste of resources.
- Frame turnover rate is greater than 3x.
When was the last time you left a retail establishment because they had not remodeled in the past 10 years? I doubt you can think of an example. However, I suspect you can think of a time when you vowed to never return to a business due to poor service or lack of cleanliness. As doctors we tend to have higher expectations, but what if most of your patients are not doctors or professionals? Spend money to keep the practice looking nice, but consider carefully before you spend a significant amount.