Michael Del Busto ’14 – This summer I teamed up and worked with the Lilly Business Internship Program and RevolutionEYES and had an amazing internship. RevolutionEYES is comfortably nestled in Clay Terrace Mall and provides a state-of-the-art optometry clinic that offers high fashion frames, uses the healthiest contact lenses, and optimizes the most advanced eye care technology in the country. My internship has educated me on a variety of subjects including business, selling techniques, marketing strategies, business meetings, and health care. In regards to business, Dr. Ciano has shared his love for small, local business with me, and how he enjoys talking to his patients and building relationships with them. I have learned that excellent customer service combined with strong patient relationships not only provides great health care for the patient, but it also increases business for the practice. Furthermore, happy and satisfied patients will be repeat customers, and they will likely refer their friends and family to the practice to further drive business.
But business is also driven by selling and marketing strategies. For example, when selling products to a customer, always offer them the premium and best product available and one of two things will happen. One, the customer will buy the best product. Or two, (assuming that there are three general levels of price/quality products: low, middle, and high) the customer will buy the middle product instead of the inexpensive, low product because the more expensive, high-end product makes the middle product appear to be less expensive and more affordable. In either result, this strategy helps to sell higher priced items and drive sales. Moreover, the customer will get a better product, and their satisfaction will increase. But, we want more customers in the door in conjunction with high sales; we can achieve this by using specific marketing campaigns. Dr. Ciano is a firm believer in targeting specific, small groups of customers as opposed to advertising to the mass market. The smaller, more targeted marketing has a higher success rate, and it increases customer count more than mass marketing.
Business is not all about selling though; it is also about smart buying practices and minimizing costs. I have been able to accompany Dr. Ciano to numerous business meetings with such companies as Alcon and Baush+Lomb to discuss new products, to share selling strategies, and to haggle over pricing. Additionally, I have learned the value of networking and teamwork by attending an EyeDoc meeting. EyeDoc is a local group of optometrists who collaborate ideas and strategies together on how to grow their local practices. Last but not least, Dr. Ciano has taught me many invaluable lessons about eye health and disease. I have witnessed Dr. Ciano diagnose and treat such diseases as Congenital Nystagmus, hyphema, hypopyon, heterochromia iridis, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and styes.
My internship at RevolutionEYES has taught me many different business fundamentals, but it has also provided me with many new and powerful perspectives on how to effectively and efficiently run a small business. Competitive business and good health care can coexist, and a top-notch optometry clinic providing premium health care can also be a strong, profitable business. I would like to thank the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, Wabash alumni, friends, and family who have donated towards the Business Leaders Program.