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Thread: Losing Your Independence - The Race to Nowhere!?

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    Losing Your Independence - The Race to Nowhere!?

    Long time lurker - first time poster.

    We all know that change is inevitable, and one must adapt to survive long term. However, each and every week we read the press releases and articles on the latest developments within the Canadian ophthalmic landscape and it's rather concerning.

    It is becoming more evident that independent practices feel the only way to survive is be acquired or drink the buying group's cohered Kool-aid.

    Yes, we all know that there is strength in numbers and a unified force is stronger than a divided one, bla bla bla...but when you slice it up, and look past the slick marketing jargon, one must really ask the question what am I really gaining?

    There's one group that basically buys you out and acquires you if you meet their market criteria. Then there's a few others that promise better purchasing power, practice support and a group hug once at a year at the annual convention. Either way, each method requires full compliance and obedience to their brands or else all hell breaks loose.

    I have many long time colleagues that have made the switch and sold their souls and independence. Let me tell you, the information I get back is a mixed bag and very interesting. The majority of feedback I've received back indicates a lot of promises falling short. Not to mention, I'm receiving better pricing and support from my lens/frame vendors than my colleagues that signed on the dotted line!

    Every practice in every market is different, there is no cookie cutter solution to success. So my question is, why would one trade their years of sweat equity and democracy for 'rules, regulations and quotas? Isn't that the definition of a dictatorship?

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    If you can hang in there, the pendulum will always swing back. Do what you do in an exemplary fashion, and you will find the cream always rises to the top. And always keep in mind.......success is measured in your own mind. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lab Insight View Post
    Long time lurker - first time poster.

    We all know that change is inevitable, and one must adapt to survive long term. However, each and every week we read the press releases and articles on the latest developments within the Canadian ophthalmic landscape and it's rather concerning.

    It is becoming more evident that independent practices feel the only way to survive is be acquired or drink the buying group's cohered Kool-aid.

    Yes, we all know that there is strength in numbers and a unified force is stronger than a divided one, bla bla bla...but when you slice it up, and look past the slick marketing jargon, one must really ask the question what am I really gaining?

    There's one group that basically buys you out and acquires you if you meet their market criteria. Then there's a few others that promise better purchasing power, practice support and a group hug once at a year at the annual convention. Either way, each method requires full compliance and obedience to their brands or else all hell breaks loose.

    I have many long time colleagues that have made the switch and sold their souls and independence. Let me tell you, the information I get back is a mixed bag and very interesting. The majority of feedback I've received back indicates a lot of promises falling short. Not to mention, I'm receiving better pricing and support from my lens/frame vendors than my colleagues that signed on the dotted line!

    Every practice in every market is different, there is no cookie cutter solution to success. So my question is, why would one trade their years of sweat equity and democracy for 'rules, regulations and quotas? Isn't that the definition of a dictatorship?
    Dear Lab Insight:

    What a beautiful, and intelligent first post...Lab Insight, and welcome to the Forum.

    My experience with acquaintances is that most of the "soul selling" is a calculated willingness. It is for shorter working hours, ease of patriarchal successions....and a built in retirement vehicle. In other words... less personal responsibility and worry.

    regards,
    uncut
    Eyes wide open

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    Quote Originally Posted by uncut View Post
    Dear Lab Insight:

    What a beautiful, and intelligent first post...Lab Insight, and welcome to the Forum.

    My experience with acquaintances is that most of the "soul selling" is a calculated willingness. It is for shorter working hours, ease of patriarchal successions....and a built in retirement vehicle. In other words... less personal responsibility and worry.

    regards,
    uncut
    Thanks for the kind reply. I agree the one method is a great exit strategy for a practice owner nearing retirement and puts money in one's coffers. Also agree about the less responsibility and financial risk etc....

    A web template or vistaprint brochure to post in one's office to showcase 'their' private label brands nobody has ever heard of is not the definition of consumer advertising and certainly doesn't draw patients to one's door.

    The main thing I see missing is the value-add component - there isn't one. As I mentioned, each independent practice is unique - I see nothing currently being offered that could be individually customized to my location and my requirements to achieve additional growth. Not meant to bash the concept - just saying.

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    Well, as I see it, one obvious advantage of independence is flexibility in product menu.

    I have seen chains/groups marry to a particular manufacturer based solely on dollars gained....but the product was deficient in many ways. This fact was recognized by the locals, but they could not change the product out for another.
    Eyes wide open

  6. #6
    bilateral peripheral scotoma LandLord's Avatar
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    I prefer the independence. Although every business is technically a dictatorship. One guy, not voted in, controls everything. If you want democracy, work for the government.

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    When you are independent anything can happen to you and you will be responsible for it, while
    working for others they will be.

    Selling you business when successful is hard and you never will get what you thinks it is worth and when you sell out in not so golden days you will even make less.

    Anybody that has tasted indepence will never be happy in a corporate job.
    Chris Ryser
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    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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