"Be so good that they can't ignore you" - Steve Martin.

Like you, i appreciate the finer things in life... a fine wine, a juicy steak, a freshly picked fruit, a moving novel, an exciting movie, a great fitting pair of new shoes, a wonderful new colorful shirt, the kiss of a beautiful woman. We all have those things that excite us, move us, make us want more, whether it a great restaurant, a wonderful vacation spot, or our favorite store. For those things we value - we will spend even more to receive more, whether that is a movie channel on television, the smooth rich taste of a favorite beverage, or the look and feel of a fine suit.

At the same time, like you - i love saving money. Some of us will recycle old reports and print on both sides of a sheet of paper to save money. Some of us will order our books online bypassing the local bookstore to save an extra 10%. Some of us will even delay scheduled car maintenance like regular oil changes to save a few dollars. Each week of grocery shopping, i make a giant circle of four or five stores to complete our food purchases, knowing that Store A has better prices on some things and Store B on other things and so on.

When it comes to our businesses, however, saving money might in fact be losing us money. A recent report from a survey gave the results of over 1300 US consumers, finding that 58% of those surveyed decided not to do business with a company based on their site. Everything ranging from slow performance to broken links to outdated technology to load times, were all blamed for consumer abandonment. Two thirds of the respondents said that they were more frustrated and more critical of websites today then they were five years ago.

Just having a website isn't good enough anymore. In a time when over 80% of consumers will research a business online before even walking through your doors - do you really want to risk the failure of your practice on a website that was built by your next door neighbor's nephew in exchange for a pair or two of Ray Ban sunglasses? Look online at your website. Now compare it with your competitors down the street or across town. Be honest with yourself. How do they compare? How would someone who knows nothing of you and your integrity - evaluate your practice based upon your website against that of any competitor, local or national?

Nobody likes throwing money around as if it didn't matter, not even Donald Trump or Bill Gates. A good website redesign could and quite honestly should cost you several thousand dollars. Understandably, that is money you could put towards adding a new line of eyewear, or paying a bonus to your best performers.

However, what is a good website could bring in just one more patient every week? At the average national price of $115 per exam, that works out to be $5,980 in increased exam fees in one year. Let's say that two-thirds of those people purchase a single pair of eyeglasses (you should be selling them all more than one pair, of course) at an average cost of $250 per pair and you now add $8,500 in sales annually. That is almost $15,000 in increased volume, based on a VERY conservative estimate of sales, that your new website could generate for your practice, far more than your cost to redo.

Investing in the right people, the right product, the right location - and the right marketing is key to succeeding in any business. If your website looks and acts like it's stuck in 2007, my guess is that your sales are just as staid and static too.


Jamie Hansel

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