This is a sponsored post by Luxottica, a supporter of NewGradOptometry & new graduate optometrists 😎 !
Why choose a Target Optical sublease?
As a new optometrist, you have to decide which way of practicing will be the best fit for you. Practicing at Target Optical should be one path to consider.
If you have ever wanted to have your own practice with little to no money down, low overhead costs, and fantastic support on business operations, Target Optical is a great option. For new grads, there is no better way to learn about the business of eyecare! Additionally, timing is everything. More Target Opticals will be opening, which means the demand for ODs will only increase.
I first learned about Target Optical from two of my colleagues, both of whom have been subleasing optometrists in Target Optical for about 5 years. If I had known about this hidden gem earlier in my career, I would have begun my journey toward opening a Target Optical – or at least started looking for one – much sooner than I did.
I am here now to help provide you with a little insight to help you through YOUR journey!
How I found my Target Optical sublease.
Knowing Luxottica owns Target Optical, I initially looked on the Luxottica website, under the careers section, to see what was available in my area. I did not find any openings during that time, but I had my colleague, who also runs a Target Optical, to give me the name of the regional manager. I plugged that in into LinkedIn and privately messaged him about my interest in having a sublease.
The easiest way to browse employment and sublease opportunities at Target Optical is to visit the CovalentCareers Target Optical page. You can use the chat bubble on the page to talk with the CovalentCareers Success team who will answer your questions, give you an unbiased opinion if Target Optical is right for you. Then they will personally hand you off to the right person at Luxottica.
I scheduled an interview and made sure to have a business plan ready to discuss with the regional manager. I would highly recommend forming a business plan because it shows your initiative and motivation to succeed.
In my business plan, I included the following:
- my research on the demographics of the area
- the services that I wanted to provide
- ideas on marketing in the area
The first meeting with the regional supervisor is really intended to see if you’re the right fit for the opportunity, and also to begin building a relationship. Afterward, the regional supervisor may need time to speak to other candidates. Most likely, you can expect to hear back within a few weeks.
If you are chosen to take on the sublease, Luxottica personnel will send you the lease terms within the week for you to review and sign.
There are two scenarios for start date:
- If you are taking over an existing sublease, it can be almost immediate, but you and the regional can set the date together.
- If your office has not been built yet, you will have to wait to start your practice until after construction is complete.
Lease terms are usually for one or three years, and a high percentage of doctors have an impressive tenure with Target Optical, as the majority of leases get renewed. In fact, I have learned that in August, five-year leases will become available, as the brand wants to deepen its commitment to its doctors. Therefore, as you can imagine, there is a finite number of Target Opticals, and they will be snatched up quickly, as most doctors choose to stay with Target Optical for the rest of their careers.
If you’re lucky enough to find a sublease in your area, try to secure that lease. Once it is filled, it will be a long time for that location to open up again.
What is a Target Optical sublease?
Let me paint the picture first. Target (aka The Host) rents a space out to Luxottica and calls it Target Optical.
Target Optical then rents a smaller space out to me, and I can name my specific practice anything I choose.
I pay rent directly to Luxottica. The rent includes the office space, equipment, electricity, and more (see below). This amount varies, but will usually fall between $400-$600 per month, and I find that this expense is usually covered by a single day of work.
As a sublease optometrist, I practice independently from the optical side.
What that means is that I have no financial gain from the sale of glasses and contacts. Thus, I am able to practice the way I want to practice, without the pressure of monthly sales quotas.
One thing to consider regarding the aforementioned point. As a doctor, I want to take complete care of my patients. I want to provide the patient education necessary to ensure they get the results that they want, without feeling like I have a dual role of practitioner and salesperson. This is important to maintain the patient care I am committed to, and this will help grow my practice organically, as patient education facilitates patient retention.
The only income I receive is from my professional fees, which will be discussed below. The number of days and hours that Target Optical requires you to be open for business varies. My sublease was a brand new lease, so the days and hours were very flexible. It’s important to note that Saturdays are usually a must, though. Lastly, you can set your exam time with patients to your comfort level, whether you choose 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes.
If you choose to have a technician to help you do pretesting and/or answer calls, you are responsible for hiring and paying the technician. I would suggest creating a free job listing on CovalentCareers.com if you are hiring. Currently, I am able to do all the pre-testing myself, and this really helps me build a positive and lasting relationship with my patients.
How do generate revenue at my Target Optical sublease?
Your main source of income comes from professional fees that you set.
As an independent optometrist, you will not be told how much to charge. Instead, Target Optical allows you to determine what your competitors in the area charge.
These professional fees include:
- Eye exams fees (copays, reimbursements, out-of-pocket exam fees)Contact lens fitting and evaluation fees
- Contact lens fitting and evaluation fees
- Medical exam fees (glaucoma work-ups, foreign body removals, diabetic eye exams)
- Diagnostic testing fees (retinal photos, visual field, OCT, etc.)
You can click here for the Medicare Reimbursement tool. This guide will help you to set your optometry CPT fees.
As a Target Optical sublease holder, you get incredible support becoming credentialed with several major vision insurances, specifically Eyemed, Humana, AETNA, UHC, and Davis. So that’s a huge plus since you can start seeing patients from day one!
Furthermore, if you want to be on medical panels (Medicare and BlueCross/BlueShield), you have to do that yourself or pay a credentialing company to do it for you. It’s very easy, but the process takes some time. The team at NewGradOptometry suggests using Optometric Billing Consultants (OBC) for credentialing support. They can help you get it right the first time with no mistakes.
I would recommend checking out these articles on NewGradOptometry on how to get credentialed.
- 41 Step Guide to Become a Medicare Provider w/ Screenshots
- How Optometrists join Medicare as an Independent Contractor 1099
- How to Join Blue Shield of California as an Optometrist
You are responsible for authorizing and billing insurances for the patients that you see. Luxottica has made this process very easy with their online tool. I mean *very* easy! It is a one-stop website for all the major insurances listed above.
What’s the cost of opening a Target Optical sublease?
The costs are very minimal since Luxottica provides the majority of the expensive equipment. I will give you the low-down for a new Target Optical, but be aware that some established ones may be a little different.
Start-up costs include:
- Setting up ownership: LLC, S-Corp, Partnership, Sole Proprietor (about $800 fee/ year)
- Registering your business with your state
- Computer and Printer
- Credit card machine
Ongoing costs include:
- Diagnostic tools (mydriatics, NaFl strips, Schirmer’s etc.)
- Credit card merchant fees
There may be other optional costs, such as marketing (Facebook ads, Yelp ads), website hosting, technician(s), and additional equipment, such as a retinal camera and OCT. Remember, it is your personal small business so you decide what you want to invest. That’s it!
Your monthly expense for running your own sublease is typically less than $800!
What is included in a Target Optical sublease?
As a Target Optical sublease holder, you are provided with the majority of the equipment required to perform an eye exam. You can still bring your own equipment, especially if you want to fit sclerals or ortho-K, or if you want to do any dry eye treatment.
That’s what makes it ideal: the overhead is low, while the potential to make good money is high!
Equipment and services that are part of the rent:
- Slit lamp
- Phoropter (Some are even automated)
- Retinoscope, Direct Ophthalmoscope, transilluminator, BIO
- Autorefractor, NCT, lensometer, and some have FDT
- Phone with a phone line
- Lens trial kit
You are also provided with Luxottica’s fantastic online appointment system, TAB (The Appointment Book). Aside from patients being able to book online, it also automatically sends an appointment reminder to them for upcoming appointments and recalls.
Another great feature that is included in your sublease, should you want it, is RevolutionEHR, which is an online electronic medical records system.
If your internet connection is not strong enough for the program to run quickly and smoothly or if your location does not allow for internet, Luxottica will connect you to a third-party so that you purchase data to support the EMR and other connected devices. If you decide to stay with paper charts, you would be responsible for pulling the charts in the morning, or if you hire a technician, that would be one of their duties.
What’s the coverage like at a Target Optical sublease?
As a sublease holder, you are responsible for finding your own coverage if you want to take vacations.
Target Opticals are usually very accommodating, as long as you keep them informed of your days off ahead of time.
For example, if you have a 5-day lease and want to take 1 or 2 days off, you just have to open the practice to see patients on a few days when it’s usually closed to make up for it. Keep in mind that Saturdays off without coverage are discouraged because Saturdays are usually the busiest and most profitable day of the week. For some areas, it is more challenging to find coverage because there are fewer docs who practice in that area. In that case, starting your search for coverage as early as 6 months out would be ideal.
Your regional supervisor can also refer you to other ODs who are looking for fill-in work if you are having some difficulty. You can also post a listing on CovalentCareers.com, where you can specifically search for doctors looking for fill-in work in specific cities and specific settings.
What’s the support network like at a Target Optical sublease?
The Target Optical staff assists with booking your appointments, pulling authorization for insurances, and marketing your business, so you can get away with not having an assistant.
Luxottica understands the values that a qualified optometrist brings to the optical, so they make it extremely easy for an optometrist to practice independently within their company.
Your regional supervisor will always be there to support you if you need it, but they also do not hover over your practice or try to manage the way you do things. If business on the optical side is slow, they will step in to see what the problem is and try to improve the situation.
This will only help your business; if the optical side is busy, that means you are busy as well. If you have any questions that the regional supervisor cannot answer, they will either direct you to other Luxottica Eye Care Directors who can help, or they’ll connect you with Target doctors willing to lend their support. There is an online forum for Target ODs to post any questions they have and, when possible, the Eye Care Director will also chime in.
If you are seeking to practice to your full optometric potential and be compensated for what you are worth, all while being your own boss, consider becoming an independent doctor and partnering with Target Optical!
Now that you know a little bit more about being an independent optometrist in Target Optical, it is time to decide if this modality is for you. Here are some pros and cons to help you.
- You practice full-scope optometry without the pressure of optical sales. You are solely focused on taking care of your patients’ needs as you see fit.
- You keep all the exam fees and the only major expense is rent, which can typically be covered in a day’s work – sometimes even half!
- You will be credentialed automatically in a lot of vision insurances.
- Setting your own hours of operation. Of course, it has to be reasonable; you can not work 2 days for 2 hours.
- You are provided with all the equipment required to run a practice.
- Aside from Target Optical getting patients for you, you get a lot of foot traffic being tied to Target store itself. So they have already done all the marketing for you.
- Life of an entrepreneur!
- Finding your own coverage if you want days off. With the help of tools like CovalentCareers.com and social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, it has never been easier to find coverage.
- No optical sales, such as glasses and contacts, (but no headaches with them either).
- Responsible for hiring and paying your own technician, but employing a technician is not required.
- Your income is not constant because it is directly correlated with the amount of patients you see (until you get established and have a steady appointment book). But hey, that’s the life of a business owner.
Curious to learn more about Target Optical Subleases?
The easiest way to browse employment and sublease opportunities at Target Optical is to visit the CovalentCareers Target Optical page. You can use the chat bubble on the page to talk with the CovalentCareers OD Success team who will answer your questions, give you an unbiased opinion if Target Optical is right for you. Then they will personally hand you off to the right person at Luxottica.