Harsh Realities of Being an Entrepreneur in Corporate Optometry

Starting your own business in corporate optometry and getting your own sublease is something many strive for. We all want to work hard and get to the point where that pays off, but are we aware of what it takes to being an entrepreneur and over come the obstacles?

1. Your first strategy will be wrong. It will be tough to get started. You may find that you have issues with credentialing and insurance when you first start, and these may complex issues to navigate. You’ll want to work with customers to get their feedback and adjust your idea. Its tough to get started. It can take up to six months just to get started because you’ll need to set up business information and finding a lawyer and an accountant are extremely important. Aside from this you’ll need to do personal research. You won’t start off knowing what the norms are in the area for days, hours, and rent to set up your initial business information. While the sublease agreement mentions these, you don’t want to be stuck with something that doesn’t make you any money. You will need work hard and it might take three to five years to grow a business. This is because it might take time to get patients that value and trust you. Likewise, there are a lot of managed care plans for which the pay is low. At first there will be a lot of that, but you must learn to overcome these obstacles. There’s rainbow at the end of the rainy day.

2. If you can’t self motivate your business will struggle. The long road to finish eight years of schooling over. Not everyone will understand what it is that you set out to do, but you must keep working and make your own success. You must be open to new experiences and learning. Make a commitment to personal excellence.  When you make a mistake, you should be ready to learn from it so that you can use that knowledge to grow your business and entrepreneur spirit. Keep your head up and move forward with your short-term goals and this will help you to reach your long-term goals. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do or how to do it. It’s your responsibility to do the research, acknowledge good advice and move forward with your business. You must reach out and take your success, you can’t let it come to you. Having confidence in your ideas and goals is the first step.

3. You will be underpaid for a while. The beginning will always be rough, and it will take a long time before you’re able to see any earnings from your business. Managed Care plans don’t pay as much as other insurances or even if a patient were to pay out of pocket. You may also not start out with as many patients as you need to make as much as you would like. Use this information to frame the next step in your business whether this mean adding more business hours, advertising to more of your area, taking customer feedback, and many other strategies. This is the time when you have to stay strong and make smart decisions so that moving forward you can begin to see a monetary growth.

4. Things take time, a lot of it. It’s going to take forever for deals to go through. Don’t be discouraged. There’s a saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your business. You really must dedicate a lot of time and effort into building a successful business just as you dedicated so much time and money into your career. There will be times when you try to make a deal and it takes a while to hear back from them. Make sure to keep active and always check back in with people. Keep your options open. Always have a Plan A, B, and C so that you aren’t discouraged or halted of a deal takes a while or it doesn’t go through at all. Most of all you need to learn to be patient but never idle.

5. Titles mean nothing. I’ve written another more extensive article on this before, but the gist of it is that your title doesn’t mean as much as you might think in business. When you’re first starting a business, you have a small task force where everyone does everything. It’s a new office and everyone in the optical must put in the work. You may be the leader but it takes everyone as a collaborative effort to make a business really stand out and move forward. You must put your name out there and get respect in the community and from your co workers. Just because you have a degree and a title doesn’t mean that people are going to hand you their money, trust or respect based on that credential. It’s hard work! You need to put yourself out there and get viewing power in the area. Optical managers are there to help you as well, and they will try to help you to grow and get the word out. But you need to be able to put in that effort as well. There is no way that you can just sit in the office and see any success. You need to forget about your title, get up, and get the patients in there and step outside your comfort zone help the optical staff.

6. Challenge your Comfort Zone. There should never be a deal that is the end all for your business. You should always keep trying to climb the ladders and make your business the best that it can possibly be. This doesn’t mean that you have to expand or become world renown, but there is always something you can do to improve your business and yourself. Office efficiencies are important. You want to have at least 3 or 4 eye exams an hour. There is always a need to perfect your clinical skills, minimize your Rx checks or fine tune your communication skills. Are you capable of communicating with patients of many different backgrounds in some way? It’s so important to let your patients know what you need them to know in a way that they understand. Within 30 seconds of meeting someone, understanding their personality, and how to speak with them in the most effective way is not something that you can do without experience or practice. Yet it’s these skills that will help build your practice. You always want to keep learning more and keep your business up to date. Insurance, policies and technology often change, and it’s up to you to make sure you’re on the cutting edge so that the patient base you have built continues to support and trust you.


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