Starting an optometry practice can prove to be a rather rewarding experience for optometrists. However, setting up a business and running it successfully requires substantial time and meticulous effort.
Having so much to plan may seem daunting at first, but it is possible to manage your venture efficiently with a step-by-step approach. Here is a breakdown of the main aspects you need to focus on:
1. Decide Your Budget
Determining a budget is of the foremost importance when deciding to start an optometry practice. In the United States, an optometry start-up can cost you anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000.
If you are tight on budget, you can choose to take a small start and gradually expand your business with the money you earn. Another option is to rent out a space instead of buying one. Consider purchasing used furniture to further cut down your expenses.
2. Choose a Suitable Location
Take your time to select a location for your optometry practice. It is preferable to operate in or near busy areas, such as malls, but it may not be a good idea to open up your clinic near an already established optometry practice. You can use Google Maps to figure out where your competitors are located.
If you feel positive about a certain location, conduct a survey in the area to find out whether people require an optometry practice there. You can also ask other business owners why they chose to locate there.
3. Secure Licensing
Make sure you complete thorough paperwork before starting an optometry practice. It is important to ensure your practice abides by local regulations and so that legalities are not delayed by the red tape at the last minute.
State laws may require you to obtain a state business license, register for sales tax, establish corporate bylaws, and acquire a federal or state tax ID number. Obtaining the right kinds of insurance policies is also vital. Essential plans include malpractice insurance, general liability and property insurance.
4. Gather Equipment
Purchase all the necessary eyecare equipment to ensure your new optometry business runs smoothly. Both manual and technological tools are needed to cater to patient needs.
Some vital gadgets include tonometer, phoropter, visual acuity system, binocular indirect opthalmoscope, autorefractor and visual field perimeter. Buy used equipment at bargain prices to save money. You can get in touch with doctors who are closing their practices or peers who are upgrading to the latest models.
5. Hire Quality Staff
Choose efficient candidates to hire for your practice. A receptionist, for instance, is the first point of contact that a patient has with your business and has a large impact on their satisfaction level.
Educated support staff capable of handling paperwork and patient queries is essential to a successful optometry practice. Begin your hunt for staff early on to allow yourself more time to hire wisely. Build a squad that prioritizes customer service and understands teamwork.
6. Market Your Practice
A well-drafted marketing plan is crucial to raise awareness about your optometry business and attract clients. Design a logo and invest in both traditional and digital marketing to tap maximum audience.
Conventional marketing methods that you can consider include newspaper and magazine ads. Digital marketing, on the other hand, involves having an efficient website and using social media to market your practice.
Starting an optometry practice requires a holistic plan that takes into account budget, equipment, as well as forward planning to attract clients and keep your business running. Think about how your business can assist the community and stand out among competitors.