Optometrists’ income dropped significantly in 2008, reports senior editor John Murphy in “ O.D. Income Takes a Turn for the Worse.” Review of Optometry’s annual income survey, to which more than 530 O.D.s responded, found a drop in income of anywhere from 10.5% to 16%, depending how you analyze the results.

Is the worst of the economic recession behind us? Many respondents are as optimistic as ever and believe that 2009 income has nowhere to go but up.

So, Review has put together some tips on how to stretch bucks, pinch pennies and pull together as a team to ride out the rest of the recession. Anthony Diecidue, O.D., M.S., instructs readers to maximize return on a minimal advertising investment in “ How to Market in a Down Economy.” Rather than cut your marketing budget, watch it carefully and make sure that you put your dollars where your patients are—is your message falling on deaf ears? Or, are you conveying a well-thought and closely targeted message to an audience where you’re more likely to see results? Also, remember the value of community involvement—a free presentation on eye care issues pertinent to various groups can result in new connections with your patient base.

Worried that the economy may force you to make tough decisions regarding your staff? You shouldn’t be, if you train staffers properly. Your staff should be able to pull together to increase office efficiency, productivity and morale—especially during tough times. In “ Make the Most Out of Your Optical Staff,” Timothy Coronis, A.B.O.C.-N.C.L.E., provides a rubric for staff training that allows each member of your practice to perform at his or her highest level. The learning experience never ends, and pulling together as a group during a recession can allow your practice to emerge stronger and ready to grow.