Journey to Pearle Vision Franchise Owner

This is a sponsored post by Luxottica, a supporter of NewGradOptometry & new graduate optometrists! 😎 

Journey To Pearle Vision Franchise Owner

I’ve had a lot of experience working in corporate optometry, from employee to franchise owner. I’ll share why I chose to open a franchise, and why I chose to do so with Pearle Vision.

What Propelled Me to Pearle Vision Franchise Owner

The main reason for pursuing a Pearle Vision franchise was the desire to be in charge of an ENTIRE business. This desire included:

  • Increased income potential
  • Ability to influence patient experience (I had a clear idea on what I wanted a patient to experience from checking in to making a frame selection and picking up optical goods at the dispensary)
  • Control appointment scheduling and exam times
  • Practice to the extent and scope I desired
  • Ability to control staffing and hiring
  • Unleash my entrepreneurial spirit

Why I Chose Pearle Vision

I thought about all of the different pathways and options for owning a practice and business, and came to realize that a Pearle Vision franchise was the best choice for me. There are countless benefits of being a Luxottica affiliated optometrist. With a Pearle Vision franchise, I knew that even though I would have an independent business, I would have access to all the support and guidance offered by Luxottica to be successful.

First and foremost, Luxottica utilizes resources and tools to ensure the practice location you choose can support a thriving business. If you have ever started a practice or are thinking about starting a practice, you probably know that location and office design are the most important and challenging things about getting started. Not only does Luxottica ensure you have selected an ideal location, they help you design your office and equip it so you can care for your patients in the best way possible from day one.

In addition, some of the other major benefits of being affiliated with Pearle Vision and choosing this practice model include support and access to:

  • Reduced pricing on frames, lenses, lab services and supplies
  • Luxottica’s frame replenishment program
  • Online scheduling and patient engagement software
  • Insurance and billing services

Another major reason why I chose Pearle Vision was that I knew I would automatically benefit from some of the most amazing marketing support my practice needed to thrive.

Pearle Vision enjoys the backing of a large company that invests a lot of money into a nationwide marketing program. This includes tv commercials, advertising, and a dedicated field marketing team to help build and manage relationships. This marketing support includes local event planning and specific social media strategy.

luxottica resources page

Read about all the different types of corporate practice modalities in this article and ebook.

For example, we have our own Facebook page in which Pearle Vision franchise owners can place their own marketing ads. The Pearle Vision website also links to our store website to drive us additional traffic and increase our exposure. As Pearle Vision continues to improve its marketing strategy and strengthen its brand, that benefits franchisees as well.

One of the hardest things about starting a practice is developing a brand and creating brand awareness.

One of the most powerful marketing assets that came with being a Pearle Vision franchise owner was Pearle Vision’s already established and powerful brand recognition.

There are approximately 530 Pearle Vision locations in the U.S. and Canada. That meant I had inherited a brand that people already knew and trusted, and I knew I would have patients coming through my doors on day one!

As a practice and business owner, getting patients in the door and filling up your schedule is the only way to prosper and survive.

Having all of this marketing support and a practice that could easily build a patient base just on name and established brand recognition alone, was truly one of the most important things that facilitated my success early on.

Last, and maybe most importantly, I loved the idea that I was not alone in starting my own business. Sure, I had learned a lot of valuable business lessons during my time as an employee, but it can be scary when you are in charge of operating and managing a business by yourself without any formal business schooling or training. Luxottica wants its affiliated doctors to succeed, and therefore provides the support and network you need to be successful. As a Pearle Vision franchise owner, I knew from day one that I was not truly alone. SNAPP made me feel like I was part of the community.

SNAPP is a professional society for Pearle Vision licensees and optometrists affiliated with Pearle Vision. It was started by a Pearle LO (licensed operator) and they meet twice a year at Vision Expo. In our local market, we meet quarterly (or more often if needed) to discuss best practices, market results, and to support and encourage each other. I know I can call on any of my fellow licensed operators for advice on anything.

How Did I Obtain and Finance My Pearle Vision Franchise?

Luxottica was looking for someone to start a new Pearle Vision location, and one of my colleagues suggested they reach out to me. After I mentioned the possibility of opening a franchise to my boss, he reached out to Pearle Vision and someone contacted me within the week. I met with this person and started the application process.

When I purchased my franchise, I obtained a small business loan. There are a lot of programs now that can make this process much easier, especially for newly licensed ODs.

Banker’s One Capital Loan Program offers great rates for the development of New Pearle Vision Retail Locations:

  • newly licensed and experienced ODs are eligible
  • up to 100% financing for per location
  • 10 year fully Amortized Term loan
  • No Balloon Payments or Pre-payment Penalties
  • Low interest rates

For more information: contact Michael Weaver atmweaver1@luxotticaretail.com.

My Experience as a Pearle Vision Franchise Owner

I have had my Pearle Vision Franchise for seven years, and it has easily been the best career decision I have made. Owning and operating a Pearle Vision, just like any practice, is still challenging because you need to be the doctor, business owner, and sometimes the optical manager. I could not imagine being able to do all of those things successfully without the help and support that comes with being a Luxottica affiliated optometrist.

Luxottica is always offering educational opportunities in which its network of doctors can share information and help each other. Luxottica offers training and staffing assistance, which as many will tell you, is one of the hardest aspects of being a practice owner. Education is also available in classrooms, online, or in-store, including coaching from dedicated business consultants to help grow your practice.

Who is the ideal candidate for a Pearl Vision franchise?

The ideal franchise owner is someone who wants to run and operate a practice, but with the support and help of a community. It is a great option for someone who is somewhat hesitant to start completely from scratch, or who needs some direction and guidance. A franchise with Pearle Vision can give a new graduate the confidence in starting a new business venture.

As a franchise owner, you have the added security and benefit of reduced startup costs than a typical private practice which can help mitigate risk. With loan financing available to new graduates, now is as good of a time as ever to pursue this career pathway!

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About Sarah Krietlow

Sarah Krietlow
Dr. Sarah Krietlow grew up in Bloomington,MN. She graduated from Smith College (Northampton, MA) with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Music. She received her Doctorate of Optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry (Chicago, IL) in 2001. She is the optometrist and licensed operator of Pearle Vision in Chaska, MN, since 2011. She and her husband live in Edina, MN, with daughter, Katelyn (14), and son, Nathan (11). Her hobbies include piano, tennis, and golf.

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