It’s harder to hit a moving target. This is a lesson all optometrists—and Navy SEALs—know well. Becoming stagnant only leads to more mosquitos, at least here in Texas. Therefore, move or die, right?
Of course, this could mean all sorts of things in practice. In some offices, it means get off your rear and take a walk—the literal translation of the “die” part, I guess. Getting out for a daily stroll can make you healthier and, of course, give you a chance to vape in peace. (Disclaimer: unlike the typical serious advice in this column, I do not advise vaping. I would never advise unhealthy activities... as I type this column while driving to work.)
Moving can also mean to getting off your rear when it comes to new tech. I know it’s hard. I’m 66, and I still remember Prentice’s Rule. I never actually used Prentice’s Rule, but since I missed that question on the Boards in 1979, I’ll never forget.
Actually, new technology can keep you interested in your career. Not because it intrigues you, teaches you and allows you to better care for patients. It does that, but you also have to stay in the game just to pay for the darn stuff. It’s expensive.
Movin’ on Up
What about moving your office? Is that a good idea? And, also, have you lost your mind?
It’s hard to move from your cur- rent location. For one thing, even if you send a driver to every patient’s home to drive them to their appointment—after a stop at Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte—some patients will still insist the new office is not convenient. Also, a certain percentage of patients will automatically assume that you are raising your fees because of the upgrade. That’s assuming you are moving up, not down, in relocating.
Some patients will be unhappy because “it’s just not the same.” That’s true, the toilet actually works at the new office.
So, why move at all? There are some good reasons. You already know the old office’s toilet doesn’t work. Plumbers are expensive; save that $200 fee by spending a million dollars to move.
But sometimes the old office just peters out. The roof is falling in, and the area has deteriorated into a place where kids hang out and do dangerous and foolish things like text one another. Time to go.
Maybe you need more space. Growth in your practice is a great problem indeed and, here in Texas, many areas are just exploding with increased population. That’s why we (and by “we” I mean my brilliant young colleagues... I am just the junior associate) have just increased our office footprint by 6,000 square feet.
Sadly, moving doesn’t solve all the world’s problems. Mo’ footage, mo’ problems. Mo’ staff, mo’ problems. Mo’ technology, mo’ problems. Three bathrooms have solved one problem, at least.
You have to know yourself and your area before any move. When I moved my office in dear ol’ St. Albans, WV, I went from four exam rooms and eight employees to two exam rooms and two and a half employees. I downsized at just the right time to get lean and mean, increasing efficiency and the bottom line in a small but lovely little space filled with all the technology I could afford. My patients and I both benefitted, and that’s always the goal with any move.
Move to do better and be better. That’s when it works.