Starting an optometry business from scratch can be a real challenge to many people. This is because it involves a lot of things as well as careful planning. There are also a number of challenges such as professional, financial, and person that you are likely to face.
But irrespective of the challenges, it is possible to start an optometry business and learn as you go. You might have probably come across several guides on how to start an optometry business. However, most of them focus on the obvious.
Select the right location
Regardless of the business you are doing, finding the right location is always a must. There are several things you should consider when choosing a location for your business. For example, you need to find out what’s the demand for your services or products in that area. Are there people operating a similar business in the area?
Try to choose an area that has limited optometry services. But if there are other people offering the same services, you can choose to be different by creating your own niche services such as:
• Provide ocular disease management
• Offer primary care in a college town
• Provide vision therapy in a big school district
Above all, you should always try to find out if the market is already saturated or you have the potential to grow.
Come up with intelligent employee policies
Your optometry business will be as good as your employees. That’s why it is important to hire intelligent people and train them to the best of your knowledge and capacity. But sometimes staff management appears to be one of the most challenging parts when it comes to starting an optometry business.
One of the best ways to handle this is to use contracts that address the following issues:
• Class action waivers
• Confidentiality clauses
• Ownership of provisions and records
It is also important to develop an employee handbook that outlines your business policies such as vacation rules, office hours, payroll schedules, and overtime. You should also include written policies on sexual harassment.
Invest in electronic records
As you get started with your optometry business, it is always good to think long-term as well as use record-keeping methods that are cost-effective. In other words, paperwork is very expensive and can make storage a nightmare if your business grows quickly.
Patients’ records are very important and losing them can cause a lot of trouble. As such, it would be a good idea to invest in electronic health records (EHR).
Create optical displays
Create optical displays that will help attract customers and showcase all the type of frames you have. But you need creativity to be able to create something that will stand out.
If you are busy and not able to come up with a perfect optical display, then you can hire a professional interior designer or anyone with experience with optical displays.
Optical displays give you a chance to show customers what you have. You should also take that advantage to displays to frames that reflect your practice.
Aggressive local marketing
Marketing is key for every business. It doesn’t matter how well you have equipped your business; without proper marketing strategies, you might never realize the full potential of your optometry business.
You need to market your business through different channels. For example, you can use both digital and traditional print marketing to advertise your business locally. The use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can help you connect with local customers easily.
Connect with other optometrists
No man is an island. Collaborating with your fellow optometrists can help boost your business in many ways. Although they might be your competitors, there are different ways you can partner and promote each other.
For instance, they could be providing services that you don’t have and vice versa. You can therefore refer clients to each other and grow together.