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Owning an Optometry Practice: What’s it Like?

Many optometrists like you hope and plan on one day opening their own practice. It’s an ambitious but attainable goal, with the right amount of passion, know-how, and drive. Opening an optometry practice is a viable way to pursue a career. Optical market research group The Vision Council reports that as of January 2024, the optometry market is valued at $65.6 billion, and 93% of adults in the U.S. wear some form of eyewear, making it a good time to look into opening a business in this field.

But it’s always wise to know what you’re getting into; let’s look at what it takes to start your own practice, what you’ll have to handle each day, and how you can ease the burden of responsibilities on yourself.

Starting a Practice

Establishing an optometry practice requires medical training and certification as well as business knowledge. Your practice should have a solid foundation; here’s a rough outline of the steps to take:

  1. Hire a team of skilled professionals, as the size and services provided by your practice requires.
  2. Set up an administrative system to handle the business side of your practice, such as managing patient records, handling financial transactions, and coordinating patient coverage with insurance providers.
  3. Create a marketing strategy to attract new patients; this strategy should include elements like creating an online presence and engaging in community outreach.
  4. Create a patient scheduling system to make sure you’re seeing patients efficiently, with enough time to provide each patient with the care they need, while seeing enough patients to make your practice profitable.
  5. Set up a supply chain for your inventory so you can provide eyewear options for your patients.
  6. Work out a financial plan for your practice that includes set prices for both care and eyewear products.
  7. Develop comprehensive customer service policies and a staff training program to help direct your staff on how to handle patients during scheduling, clinical visits, and eyewear sales.
  8. Invest in quality security software that protects patients’ medical records and meets HIPPA requirements.

Day-to-Day Duties

Your optometry practice will require you to perform a wide range of regular tasks if you try to fulfill the roles of both the resident optometrist and the owner. Not only do you need to provide your patients with quality medical care, you’ll also need to perform (or have staff who perform) a variety of business-related duties, including:

  • Setting fees that are competitive and cover your needs.
  • Ensuring you see enough patients per hour to maintain profitability.
  • Maintaining professional standards, both as a doctor and as a business owner.
  • Managing patient scheduling and resolving schedule conflicts.
  • Billing and collecting payments from your patients.
  • Keeping accurate, up-to-date medical records for your patients.
  • Managing your inventory to keep your practice stocked and provide patients with options for their eyewear preferences.

Lighten Your Responsibility Load

The Benefits of Joining a Franchise

Running an optometry practice as an independent owner is possible, but it can be very stressful and require a lot of work and time. Opening a franchise can help ease your burden and alleviate a good deal of the stress of running a business. Franchisors like Pearle Vision provide valuable support services, handling much of the administrative work for you so you can focus on patient care.

Pearle Vision provides brand recognition and reputation, which helps attract both patients (the lifeblood of any practice) and qualified employees to help you provide the best quality care possible. Franchisors also give you purchasing power, which provides valuable savings on expensive optometry equipment and eyewear inventory. Pearle Vision helps you set up a reliable supply chain with dependable suppliers of quality inventory so you can maintain your stock and, with it, customer satisfaction.

Franchisors also help franchisees like you by providing administrative services, including market research to keep up with trends and new developments, site selection assistance to help you find the best-available spot with visibility and convenience for patients, training programs to help you bring on new staff and keep your own skills sharp, and operational advice when you need some guidance.
Finally, franchisors provide proven business models, making it easier for you to operate when you’ve got all the guidelines in place; that’s why many franchises are considered turnkey businesses.

Find an Eye-Opening Opportunity with Pearle Vision

We’re eager to offer a chance to join the Pearle Vision network of Eye Care Centers to skilled, ambitious optometrists like you who want to provide quality care and an important service to your patients. We’ll help you open and operate a practice that gives you the work-life balance you want. Contact us today to learn more about your franchising opportunity with Pearle Vision.


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