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It was a novel thought that we found ourselves in 2020 as part of the eye care fraternity. Little did we know that it will come with the novel COVID-19. We are all consumed by the Coronavirus, and it is difficult to indulge in any topic other than the pandemic. Naturally, it has sparked relevant famous quotations and jokes on social media. “This too shall pass,” they say. It must pass, but when? Therein lies the problem – the uncertainty. When I am asked what I think will happen, the answer is simply I don’t know – never been in this territory before!

What I do know is that from a business perspective we are finding ourselves in an extremely dangerous situation. What I do know, is survival will depend on cash flow. What I do know, is that once the economy becomes free again, it will be vital to maximise the potential of your practice and not just show up. What I do know is that you will have to be as much a business executive as a clinician. What I do know is that disposable income is going to be in short supply, and this will seriously impact on retail spent. What I do know, is that your patient record base is going to be your most valuable asset.

Now is the time to set up a tele-team to call every patient in your database, the purpose being, to check whether their records are up to date. However, this also creates the opportunity to inform them what measures you are taking to ensure their safety when visiting. This is the time to communicate.

Digital marketing is the most cost-effective way to promote any business today. It is cost-effective, accurately targeted, and measurable. This is a big step forward from the conventional above the line marketing which was beyond the financial reach of most optometric businesses. The naked truth is that most of us don’t know what we don’t know about digital marketing. It is a field that requires a high level of specialised skills, which Vision Online can assist you with.

We will bring you as much information as possible during this challenging time.

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Email: chris@realvision.co.za

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