The decision to start-up an optometry practice can be fraught with many concerns. Drafting a “master plan” to account for the various aspects of the project can be helpful when taking an organized approach to the endeavor. Optometry school instruction does not typically cover enough of the business aspects of running a practice to assist in this matter. Beyond the clinical aspects of vision care there are many realities of running a small business that can only be learned through experience and additional assistance.
Not all optometrists have the desire to manage a practice or take on the risks involved in opening a private optometric practice, but for those who are prepared for the challenge it can be a rewarding and lucrative route. Writing a business plan which reflects reality is very important. It is crucial to spend as much time on an analysis of the surrounding market and competition as it is on the internal flow and design of the practice itself. Paying close attention to the economics and financial considerations of the practice in terms of its external dynamics will yield the highest chances of success and ultimate staying power.
Assessing and catering to the needs of the patient demographic is often more important than addressing every personal like and dislike of the practice owner/operator. The most effective business plans I have seen for optometry practices are those that take the worst care, best care, and most likely scenario into account when calculating projections. This gives a more clear range of possible outcomes. It is also advisable to fine tune the business plan and projections at different stages in the process. This is especially relevant when preparing calculations for underwriting review and credit approval for practice start-up loans. It is essential to retain practice financing assistance, and the services offered by vision care practice loan specialists are well geared for the variables that start-up financing candidates will experience when initiating the practice financing process.