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Cost-Effective Marketing for Optometry Startups

Marketing is definitely an integral part of any optometry startup. It is often considered the lifeblood of the practice since it helps patients learn more about the startup and visit it. It can turn an almost empty waiting room into a bustling area with countless patients.

However, it can be hard for new startups to come up with the capital for expensive marketing models like advertisements, pay per click, and others. Startups are most inundated with costs for rent, salaries, and others, all of which make it harder to find funds for marketing. Optometrists also don’t have much experience with marketing to launch proper campaigns, gauge audience interest, and modern methods.

There are definitely many marketing companies you can go to, but again, they can be quite expensive. As such, you should focus on cost-effective marketing for optometry startups that can be better for you. Here are some techniques that may help you out.

Community Engagement

Community engagement can provide high-efficacy, low-cost benefits that can be a game-changer for your startup. Many optometrists are naturally good at building relationships since it is such an integral part of our profession. By channeling this skill into marketing, you will be able to build communities that can help spread the word about the optometry clinic. It can be quite rewarding, as well as incredibly effective.

Direct Mail

Direct mail has a reputation for being discarded, not working, or being expensive. As an optometry startup, you should concentrate on maintaining a strategy when it comes to the location that has the potential for a significant growth rate. For example, if you target people who have just moved into the area, you will find that they are more responsive. They will gladly accept the mail since they already need new resources, such as a new optometry clinic to go to. When direct mail is done correctly, it has the highest response rates among some media.

Community Philanthropy

You have to realize that not many people in the community will be able to afford optometry care. You can help by recognizing the needs of your community, solving problems, and giving back. This can help build the team and establish your marketing efforts. It can be quite rewarding, which is why it often doesn’t feel like marketing at all. Some marketing ideas include:

· Calling the local fire department and giving the entire staff discounts on checkups

· Partner up with local business and have a lottery-like game where people have to sign up to win the gift cards

· Build a mutually beneficial campaign with other local businesses such as discounts on tooth whitening with two purchases of eyeglasses from your store in return for discounts on eyeglasses after two purchases of tooth cleanings.

· Attending local events in the community and offering screenings can be a way to get attention for the business

Social Media

Social media is the most cost-effective marketing for optometry startups. It can be a great platform to send messages, create a flourishing community, engage with audiences, and build a brand name. You should make sure to target any online advertisements to certain categories in the community. This can be based on location, interests, gender, and age.

Staying Consistent

Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook work based on visibility. They check whether the audience is engaged consistently. Post regularly.

• 1 post every day for Facebook

· 3 tweets every day for Twitter

· 1 posts every day for Instagram

· 1 post every day for LinkedIn

It may seem like a lot, but it is definitely possible to achieve such numbers consistently. You should firstly focus on choosing the platforms that are most appropriate for your target audience. For example, Facebook is a better platform for older audiences than Instagram. LinkedIn is a great way to build co-referral partnerships with other local businesses. Secondly, you can definitely repurpose the same content for different platforms. If you have a post ready for Instagram, don’t be shy about reusing it for Facebook a week later.

There are also plenty of content calendars and scheduling tools that can help you in this venture. Social media can definitely be self-managed by you without any worries. You can also keep a monthly theme going to build an aesthetic and motivate yourself.

Track and Keep Up with the Data

The most important task in marketing is keeping track of your data and your ROI. However, this can be quite challenging since it requires good systems, intention, and constant follow-ups. Sometimes it can be easy to check how patients were prompted to enter the optometry clinic; they may just enter with a direct-mail coupon. However, if the patient saw you at the farmer’s market providing screenings, then saw a post on Facebook and then were referred to you by a relative, who will get the credit?

It will help to outline a goal for each campaign. Design the campaign with specific intentions. For example, a Facebook campaign to just increase the followers on your account. Since the campaign doesn’t intend to bring in people, you don’t have to worry about tracking that.

As a new business, you should always try and focus on getting organic growth instead of going for expensive strategies. Cost-effective marketing for optometry startups can get you enough business so that you can start planning bigger things.

Pros and Cons of a Split Lease

Are you considering accepting a split lease with another OD?  With this decision comes both advantages and disadvantages to your practice, and whether the pros outweigh the cons will depend on your individual preferences and vision for your career.  Here we outline the positives and the negatives of splitting your lease to help you decide whether this route is right for you.

Pros

  1. You won’t have to hire another employee.
    Instead of having to hire a new employee yourself, a split lease will allow you to simply come in and do your own sublease, while the other OD has their own set of patients.
  2. You can keep your current hours.
    If you are happy with your hours and income, and your practice is growing, splitting the lease can be beneficial to you. With a split lease, you will not have to increase your hours to accommodate more clients.
  3. You will can access to more new patients.
    Having another OD working hours opposite yours can benefit you in the long run, as patients can be referred back and forth between ODs if you agree to do so. Consider referring patients for specialty care and for certain insurances only one of you is willing to take.
  4. You can reduce costs.
    As patient volume and retention goes up over the years, your rent will also increase. With a split lease, however, you will be able to see more patients per day while paying the same rent. In addition, you can consider partnering with the other OD to get new technology that can be shared.

Cons

  1. You can lose leverage in your sublease.
    Splitting a lease can cause you to lose leverage in your sublease that is difficult to get back. Negotiation therefore becomes difficult and your options become more limited once the deal has been made.
  2. You will have a forced partnership.
    When splitting a lease, you will be sharing your space with whichever OD the corporate optical decides to bring in. Unlike hiring an employee, you will not be able to choose who you will be partnering with.
  3. You will have a reputation by association.
    With a split lease comes an association with the other OD who is brought in. The reputation of the other OD, therefore, can impact you and your practice. If you are concerned with having as much control over your practice’s reputation as possible, you may not want to split your location with another OD.
  4. Your lease may be terminated more easily.
    With another OD in the same location as you, it is possible that this OD could ultimately become your replacement. This is something to be weary of when considering splitting your lease.
  5. It may be difficult to get patients to follow you.
    After splitting your lease with another OD, if at any point you decide to change locations, it will be harder to get patients to follow you. Patients who are happy with that location can simply choose to become clients of the other OD, resulting in the loss of some of your business.
  6. You may have difficulty branding.
    It may be hard to build a consistent brand with a split lease, especially if patients are seeing both ODs over the years with different fees and methods. It is easier to create a more constant brand when you are in complete control over your location.

Weighing out both the benefits and costs of a split lease is critical before making your decision. Which points do you resonate with the most? How will your decision affect your business in the long run? There are many trade-offs involved in keeping your sublease versus splitting it with another OD, so it is important to think about what factors are most important for you and your career path.

Myths About Starting a Sublease In Corporate Optometry

Myths About Starting a Sublease In Corporate Optometry

Get your eyesight checked asap. Can you even see where you are headed?

Is that the advice you were given when you voiced your thoughts to a friend about planning to start your own sublease in corporate optometry?

Whether someone else has told you, or you have done some research yourself about starting a sublease in corporate optometry, it is highly likely that you’re left with self-doubt.

However, if you are an optometrist thinking to set up a sublease in corporate optometry or a new grad looking for a practice, or just an older OD, corporate optometry is without doubt a promising field in the industry.

Unfortunately, the myths surrounding this field stop many people from continuing on this path. They believe what they have been told by other people, people who couldn’t themselves excel in the field or weren’t well prepared to handle it.

Here are some common myths you must have heard, and how to debunk them.

You don’t have the enough experience to start a sublease

If you are a fresh OD or someone new to optometry, people will rebuff you with the fact that you don’t have the required knowledge or experience to venture in this field. Though it may be true, it is not a justified reason to give up on your idea altogether.

You can ‘shadow’ other ODs who started a sublease or work with another company and learn from them. Look out for someone who can act as your mentor, observe their work and practices, ask them questions and learn from their experiences. By putting the knowledge you gain into practice, you too will succeed in the field soon. After all, it’s true that success is three parts knowledge and only one part planning.

You won’t be able to distinguish day and night

Corporate optometry indeed requires a lot of work and effort. But which enterprise doesn’t?

Although you may have to work tirelessly initially, but once the initial phases of set up are complete and you get the hang of it, a sublease in corporate optometry can be a comfortable job.

You don’t necessarily have to begin early in the morning, which means you can get sound sleep or few extra hours for other chores. Plus you get to avoid the morning traffic rush which enables you to commute faster and so save more time.

The effort you put in now will pay off in the long run and you won’t have to work 7 days a week.

No one will ‘see’ you

There may be too many corporate opticals out there, but there are enough  patients to attract. Learn how to differentiate yourself from others.

You can observe and learn marketing strategies from the other, successful corporate optometrists and follow in their footsteps to reach out to the patients.

It will definitely need a lot of effort to build a customer base, but with proper marketing, focusing on your target audience, making a good impression on the patients who visit, and expanding your contact network, your name and service will soon speak for itself.

So, even if you don’t have a 20/20 vision, you are still seeing a bright future when you consider a sublease in corporate optometry.

Happy venturing!

Why Being The Lowest Priced Eye Exam Won’t Bring In More Revenue for your Sublease

It is common for individuals to get attracted to things that are priced at lower rates. However, when it comes to spending on more important things like dental checkups, purchasing medicines, or getting eye exams done, individuals do not always get drawn to the cheapest priced options.

Cutting the prices down drastically can make your practice look less appealing. It could draw in more patients that are not as loyal to your practice. In the long run you need to understand how much your chair time costs. How much effort and time will that patient take on your practice and will that patient refer other patients to your practice.

Patients usually go to the higher priced eye exams because they are independent practices and they expect close personal attention and good customer service. Patients want a good value and the latest technology. Many patients have insurance and are not looking for the most affordable eye exam.

There are certain factors that can help make a practice more attractive for the patient even if there’s a high price tag attached to the services. The physical environment should be comfortable, the staff should be educated and friendly, the working hours should be convenient, and the brands you offer should be of top-notch class. With so many better things to look forward to, price always becomes a lesser important consideration.

Set low prices for the excess/old items

If you over-ordered certain products that did not get sold, place them on sale. If these items are about to go out of style, place discounts on them so they can get sold for lesser money instead of no money at all. Materials should be discounted but not services. Many corporate opticals have “burst events” that can attract a patient that wants value eyewear.

Make seasonal sales

Just by placing seasonal discounts on products, you will notice how there is a significant increase in the sales. It is important to sell out seasonal products during the season. Usually in corporate optometry, we will see an increase in patient value based on marketing trends. Styles change and new trends are always being introduced which is why it is important to make room for products that are aligned with the latest requirements.

If you sublease in corporate optometry, make sure that you are practicing at the highest standard of care that your license requires. When it comes to health, individuals do not look for the cheapest alternatives; rather, they look for the option that will provide them with the best results. Utilize the resources that you have in corporate optometry with technology to be able to present a quality eye exam to your patients and not have to be the cheapest eye exam to bring in patients, because many times it doesn’t bring in more volume.

Corporate OD Myths: Take 2

Starting a sublease in corporate optometry may seem like a daunting venture.  Based on what you’ve heard from friends, colleagues, and the internet, you may have heard a variety of conflicting opinions, leading you to doubt whether you are ready to start a career in corporate optometry and whether it is the right fit for you.  Here, we address some corporate optometry myths to eliminate some of the doubts you may have.

1. Patients will not follow you if you leave your current practice.

You may be afraid to leave the company you are currently working for due to fear that you will lose all of the patient relationships you have built.  That being said, the majority of patients are loyal to the doctor, not the brand. Having built a foundation of trust through continued visits and recommendations, you may be surprised how many patients are willing to move with you.

2. ODs rely on optical to keep their own business alive.

Another common myth is the idea that corporate optical supplies ODs with their patients in order to keep the business running.  Now, it may be true at first that corporate will supply some of the initial client-base, but it is the OD who keeps the patients coming.  The quality of care, comfort you provide, and relationships you build with your patients are what truly affect whether they continue to provide you business.   In other words, the doctor makes or breaks the business, and you don’t necessarily need corporate optical to survive.

3. It is too difficult to start your own practice.

While it is certainly a challenge to start your own practice, there are a variety of initiatives you can take and personal skills you can use in order to kickstart your business.  Once again, the possibility of success is truly in your hands. You need to be an entrepreneur in corporate optometry and use your resources to grow. Starting your own practice will not be easy, but it is certainly not impossible, especially with a good work ethic and business mindset.

4. The lowest-priced eye exams and vision plans will bring in more patients.

It may seem that, in order to gain patients, you need offer the lowest-priced eye exams and vision plans amongst your local competitors.  This method, however, is neither the only strategy nor the best strategy to bring in patients. Word of mouth and the power of recommendations from your current patient-base is crucial, and whether you are receiving this praise will depend on the quality of your care.  In addition, the convenience in scheduling, such as being able to make appointments online, will attract new patients searching for an optometrist.

5. Adding more hours and days creates more patients and income.

While you may assume that increasing the amount of hours in the office will, in turn, increase the amount of patients coming in, this is a huge myth.  Working 7 days a week won’t necessarily bring in more patients. Rather, you should consider what an optimal schedule for both you as the optometrist and your patients may be, as well as how many hours you need to be in the office to accommodate your client-base and to profit.  

6. The income potential in corporate optometry is tremendous.

Income potential is corporate optometry is highly variable depending on a variety of factors, each of which you can look into when considering starting a sublease in corporate optometry.  For example, the location in which you will be working highly influences your income potential. In addition, whether you are working with a new vs. established brand will affect the amount of revenue you are able to bring in.  

7. Contracts are absolutely set in stone.

Simply stated, everything is negotiable.  If there is a part of a contract that you are uncomfortable with or that you feel should be changed, express this and work to make a agreement that benefits both sides.  Don’t settle for less than what you believe you deserve!

The Growth Potential of a Sublease in Corporate Optometry.

Corporate Opticals and Optometrists can have a mutually successful business, with each party focusing on their strengths. Optometrists tend to give priority to the needs of our patients forgetting that we are a business that needs to be profitable as well. To make sure that our practice remains successful some ODs have partnered with corporate opticals.

Optometrist enjoy is diagnosing, treating and serving their patients, but running a business is in some ways is something completely different. Opportunities need to be recognized and captured while managing risks along the way. Corporate optometry can be a great way to practice the way you want and have your own business with minimal risk practicing next to a corporate optical.

Optometry is still divided and many ODs underestimate the potential of a successful business and career in corporate optometry. Usually, some private practices have a heavy flow of cash but they lack effective management. Corporate opticals understand that there is a possible opportunity there but with a small manageable risk factor. Optometrists can capture the same opportunities that opticals recognize and benefit from. All we need to do is, think outside the box, and apply business strategies, like a CEO. Everyone has the potential to unleash the CEO from within.

We need to change our perspective in the following ways:

Prepare a Business Plan

Just as a you would set up a business plan for a private practice, write up a business plan for the corporate location. Have the regional manager and store manager provide you with information on the business metrics to help you set up your plan. Construct a plan for a few years to build and grow the business.

Value Growth

Optometrists sometimes overestimate their corporate practices. The wiliness of the number of ODs to take over your sublease defines its value. We need to build value in our practice by spotting growth opportunities. Corporate opticals see that they can expand with strong management, overall services, budget control, objectives, and vision. Having that partner will help grow your value in your sublease as well has expanding to the medical model.

Seek Potential

Corporate opticals expand rapidly in urban and rural areas. In over saturated areas patients get divided and there is a huge risk of your practice to fail. Partnering with the right corporate optical that has a unique value proposition, your sublease can be very successful even in the most competitive areas. Rural areas and places where there are underprivileged people need more medical attention can be a lucrative business for an OD with minimal rent and less competition.

Look at the Bigger Picture

Optometrists shouldn’t miss opportunities in corporate optometry because of what they hear. Think bigger. Many corporate opticals have a diverse portfolio and have different brands, unique products, services and insurance plans to attract and retain patients. A sublease owner can be comfortable that in competitive markets that these factors with help keep their sublease successful as well.

In conclusion, corporate optometry can provide great benefits to an optometrist that would like to go down the path of a practice owner but not have all the risks that a private practice does.

What to do when you see your Sublease posted on a Job Website.

You are surfing on the internet casually and suddenly you come across job position that sounds very similar to your sublease location. You read the job description and state and to your dismay, you find out that it’s not only similar to your job but exactly the one you have right now. The posting is from your own organization! You might start wondering if your lease will be terminated and what your exit plan might be. You might enter into panic mode. But don’t do that just yet.

Read the following tips to consider if you see your sublease posted online:

Panicking Is Not the Way to Go

If your sublease is one of a kind, then it’s a different scenario but if that’s not the case, you don’t need to panic just yet. Sometimes, companies do not intend to replace an existing sublease holder. They just have reached enough capacity where they would like to open another location in the area or add additional ODs to one location. It’s definitely important to deal with the issue but panicking is not the appropriate solution. Talk to other ODs and have a conversation with corporate optical. Sometimes there is no communication between different departments and it is an error.

Collect All the Facts and Figures

There are some scenarios to consider before you stress out:

Is your corporate optical expanding to new locations or a well-established organization? If it’s a large company, then they are probably always looking to capture as many leads as possible in case an OD decides to terminate their lease. Sometimes it takes a corporate optical over 60 days to find someone to take over a sublease.

If you’ve recently taken over the sublease, it is highly possible that the job advertisement hasn’t been removed yet. Make sure that that’s not the case. Seeking clarification from the management can help you. It is an investment of time and energy to start and run a successful sublease.

Give Your Best Self to that Location. Your patients deserve it!

Don’t give management an excuse to terminate your lease. Give your 100 percent to your patients. If you take care of your patients, patients will be loyal and follow you. Work harder than usual to build your sublease. Building your sublease is more than income, it is personal branding, trust in the community and a loyalty where they will follow you where ever you go.

Have an Exit Strategy

Lastly, always have an exit strategy from day one. Whether a location is ideal you want to prepare for the worst if there is a decision to sell a brand, close a store or if management changes. You need to be prepared in case things go south. Make sure that you update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Identify the potential companies you’re interested in and apply for as many jobs as you can. Contact other Corporate ODs to merge practices or private ODs that you can rent space from.

The situation can be daunting but try to be positive. With the tips above, ease the transition process into your next adventure!

How to Target the Most wanted Subleases In Corporate Optometry

How to target the most wanted Subleases in Corporate Optometry.

You know you want to work in a corporate optical which aligns with your goals and will allow you to excel in your career.  You want to have the best most profit sublease. How can you determine which are the best? Word of mouth? The Corporate Optometry FB group?

Here is the simple solution you need to find the right fit: target the most wanted subleases in corporate optometry.

This, however, is not as straightforward as it sounds. Targeting companies requires more than just searching for the top-performing companies. Many ODs look for a sublease with Warby Parker or  Costco . 

Follow the easy guide below to learn the proper way to target the most wanted corporate optometry subleases.

1. List your targets

You can use a variety of different ways to research corporate optometry subleases.

Use various channels of communication, such as asking your colleagues and using the Facebook group Corporate Optometry. Inquire which sublease they think is the most in demand and the reasons why they think so. This allows you to personalize your search and get your queries answered directly.

Also, try to meet people who work for a company that interests you. Find out what they think of the place and if it’s the right place for a fresh OD to start their practice or for a contractor to sublease it.

You should build your contacts through a social media platform, especially by being active on avenues where professionals from the field of optometry interact and discuss workplace matters.

2. Know your targets

Once you have listed the most wanted subleases in corporate optometry, the next step is to learn more about them.

Explore important information, such as: what does the target company value the most? What are the factors that make it better or worse than other companies? Are there any issues that your target company is facing at the moment, and if yes, how can you help them solve it?

Reach out to regional managers and recruiters on Linkedin and let them know you are interested in a potential sublease. Let them know you are more than qualified to handle a busy practice and have a business plan ready to illustrate what your plans are.

3. Meet your targets

After you are done looking into your targets, the next step is to find out if your target company is willing to offer you a sublease

Check out each target company’s website, their reviews and overall performance indicators. You can also directly correspond with them via email or schedule a face-to-face meeting.

By applying these three steps to your search for the best corporate optometry sublease, you can make yourself visible and appear brighter to these firms. So, whenever they are hiring or looking to sublease, they know whom to contact.

The sooner you start targeting, the more likely you are to hit the target just right.

Subleasing Corporate OD Survey

We are collecting information about sublease Corporate ODs.

This is long and detailed but please do your best to fill it out completely so we can compile and share the results. All responses are completely anonymous and will not be traced back to any individual. Thanks so much for your help and we look forward to sharing the results!

Click Here to Get Start!

The Advantages of Owning Your Own Optometric Practice

You have worked for dozens of well-established and dynamic optometry businesses for years now. Though it was good money and you learned a lot, you realize that working under someone and following someone else’s rules is not what you are made for or something you want to keep doing your entire life.

Being hired for a job can be a safer option due to job security but it can also be a pain since you have to work according to the rules set by the top management. You might find that this is stunting your creativity and innovativeness since whatever you propose goes through dozens of hierarchical levels and the answer is often “No”. You have to face  competition with your peers and can be held accountable if the target revenue has not been generated by you.

So what is the best option? Open your own optometry business, and here are a few reasons why:

You are your own boss

Even though you are the one in control here, it does not mean you will not be told what to do. Customers, government officials, and suppliers will often be offering their two cents on how to run your business, but in the end, the decision to consider those suggestions, will be up to you. When you are working for someone, they will be the one telling you what to do and keep a strict scrutiny on you to make sure you get the work done.

You work/life balance is much more even now

Owning a business lets you decide your timings and the amount of work you will take on at one time. You can delegate the pressure now which allows you to be able to give more time to your social life. When employed by someone, you are allowed to leave at a fixed timing, you cannot bring a family member in the office, and you might be bombarded with work at odd hours.

You choose the people you work with

In the company that you were employed, you did not get to pick whom you worked with. It would not matter whether you and your colleagues gelled or not. You just had to work together and build towards the company’s goals. However, when you are the owner of your company you can hire and fire anyone, and even when you get a partner on board you can disassociate with them whenever you feel it is not working out.

You can take risks

When you own a business you can take whatever risk you wish to take, whether they are financial or creative. There is no one to stop you, and if that risk returns a profit, you get to keep them all to yourself.

You get to keep all the profits of your hard work

While you were an employee, even if you brought in revenue that was more than your salary per day, you would still be given the amount that was stated in your contract. However, with your own business, you get to keep the surplus for yourself. This, in turn, motivates you to work harder.

Podcast

Corporate Optometry with Dr Ken Kopolow

Corporate Optometry Nation Podcast interviews Dr Ken Kopolow. Dr Kopolow has many locations within Luxottica. He has Pearle Vision franchises and subleases at Lenscrafters in Nevada. We talk about how to manage multiple locations and how to achieve financial success in corporate optometry. There are many differences between franchising in corporate optometry and subleasing. Listen in to learn more!