New Licensed Owner Appreciates Training In Optical Industry & Operations
After months of checklists and training, Joel Jennings is settling into his new role of Pearle Vision licensed owner.
In July, Jennings opened his first store in Charlotte, N.C. With a background in corporate finance and accounting, he previously worked in the regulated utility sector while earning an MBA. He originally had planned to open an asset holding company after graduation, but began to consider other options after a franchise recruitment firm contacted him about an opportunity with Pearle Vision.
“I liked the franchise business model, knowing there already would be a blueprint designed for success and I would not need to start from scratch,” he says.
Through his research, Jennings learned that Pearle Vision was a premium optical franchise and had a strong and proven business model. He was happy to learn that Pearle offered a robust onboarding program that would train new owners who did not have a healthcare background.
“I am an investor who had no optical experience,” he says. “So learning the business was a challenge, but Pearle Vision’s business model and support team have been extremely helpful in getting me up to speed.”
Jennings was attracted by the fact that Pearle Vision was built on the premise to “take care of the people.” He says, “I wanted to build a business that provided a positive service to the community. I love that the company culture focuses on the patient, first and foremost.”
Because he knew that he intended to become a multi-unit owner, Jennings signed an area development agreement to build three to four stores in the Charlotte area. An area development agreement grants franchisees exclusive territory rights in exchange for signing a contract to open a certain number of units in a particular market within a defined timeframe. Pearle Vision licensed owners with an area development agreement pay a reduced franchise fee and lower royalty fees.
Jennings spent months going through detailed checklists to ensure he stayed on track to open. He remained focused on every aspect of the opening process, from construction to hiring the right team members for his first EyeCare Center.
He says Pearle Vision’s business model was ideal for an investor seeking to open multiple locations. In addition to the tools designed to make the business easier to scale, Jennings appreciated the support he received from the professional team that helped him through the process. He spent a lot of time on the online portal for licensed owners and Luxottica University, a digital training platform for licensed owners and associates.
“The program walks you through the process of operating your store, leading your team, understanding and working with patients and everything before, after and in between,” he says.
By the time the opening date arrived, Jennings says, he was ready and excited to start the next phase of this adventure. “Pearle Vision’s corporate team and onboarding program have been enormously helpful from the beginning. I’m very pleased with my decision to be a part of Pearle Vision.”