A Chance for Change

15th July 2020

“Change is the only constant in life” – Heraclitus

Change is inevitable; it ebbs and flows and impacts all humanity on a daily basis. We typically travel through life adjusting to and overcoming change without much thought, however the challenge presented by Covid-19 has been altogether different. The impact on our healthcare system has been extreme, and ECPs are no exception. As we transition to the “new normal” and get on with our lives, we are forced to consider new strategies and plans to see patients, open clinics, stay safe and generate revenue. How can we strike the proper balance between social distancing, lockdowns, PPE, growing patient numbers, and running an ECP business while still reaching a larger patient base and driving practice growth?

The key is focusing on long-term and sustainable business practices, re-evaluating cash flow and reallocating funds to new digital marketing techniques that can drive brand awareness. A practice’s online presence is the new front door to the business and it is critical that the website and social media make an impact. A recent study by Hostingtribunal found that only 6.9% of Gen Z shoppers (roughly those born between mid-late 90s and 2010) say they purchase products in physical stores, 55% of readers spend less than 15 seconds on a web page and 75% of users never click past Google’s first page. So, in the Covid age, where customers cannot walk down the high street, how will your customers find you? And if they do find you, how will you interact and conduct business with them online?

Now more than ever it is imperative to drive customers to your business online, and when they find you, your business model must be able to support the digital interaction they will expect. ECPs will need to provide online tools for home delivery of spectacles and contact lenses, telehealth options, remote triage, as well as many other services. These new digital touch points and services can allow a pivot to a more robust and recession proof revenue stream like subscription services for OTC home delivery and out of pocket payments for remote dry eye consultations for example. The proper investment into recurring and digital revenue business models can provide progressive passive income for the practice and a persistent touch with the patient, driving customer retention and an increase in lifetime value of the customer.

The “new normal” is here to stay for the foreseeable future. The time to reevaluate, re-establish and recession-proof the ECP business model is now.

“The worst of all deception is self-deception” – Plato

By Nathan Little, Chief Strategy Officer for Sparca