Matthew Ward, OD, was working as an associate in a Des Moines, Iowa, private practice. After working there for a few years, he asked whether there was a path to partnership, but he was told there would not be such an opportunity in the near future.
Soon after, Dr. Ward met Larry Swanger, OD, who was ready to retire after 44 years in solo practice. The two had similar patient care philosophies, and Dr. Swanger gave him great advice: stay in the Vision Source network. Coming from a buying group, Dr. Ward didn’t grasp all that Vision Source offered. “I learned that Vision Source doctors are at the forefront of the industry. They are attentive and ambitious. I am beyond confident that I made the right choice in joining this elite group that cares so much about our industry.”
Not only was Dr. Swanger happy to sell his practice to Dr. Ward, he even offered financing. “Dr. Swanger agreed on a reasonable interest rate,” says Dr. Ward. The previous owner also remained with the practice for three months after the sale. “Initially, there were many day-to-day things that popped up, and it was great to ask him questions. He told the patients that I would be the doctor seeing them in the future. This showed that he trusted me.”
Because it was a well-established practice, it also meant that Dr. Ward began working with a full appointment book. He also kept on many of the staff members who had been serving the community long and well. He did make some changes to the practice.
For example, he implemented an electronic health records system in the first eight weeks of ownership. That’s never easy, but “with good communication, we all survived” the multiple transitions that occur with new ownership. It’s an open and caring practice; Dr. Ward shares the sales goals every day. “When the staff understands the business aspects of our practice, they share more pride in their work,” he says. He also changed the schedule; the practice is open four days a week and one Saturday per month. Four full-time and two part-time staff members cover the hours, and as the practice grows, Dr. Ward anticipates adding more hours.
“With the help of many Vision Source programs and great Vision Source doctors, we are growing extremely fast."
- Dr. Matthew Ward
Vision Source Next offers an exclusive practice marketplace that lists private practice locations that are for sale nationwide. Instead of guessing whether a new private practice will be successful, use historical data to forecast a financial future. An established private practice affords the opportunity to learn more about the community, patient traffic and potential practice revenue.