The biggest obstacle that deters most new graduates from opening a new optometry practice, are financial obligations and uncertainty.
Most of us come out of school with hundreds of thousands of dollars in school loans, and close to a zero balance in our bank accounts. Through innovative ideas and research, I found ways to drastically cut start-up costs for new graduates in optical design, lab pricing, and inventory management. In this article, I will highlight effective ways to reduce start-up costs for the new graduate intent on opening a private practice.
1. Inventory Costs: Savings of 15+K
I opened my optometry practice with 40K in frame inventory cost, but you can easily stock an inventory of 275 frames for only $24,000. This comprehensive list ensures you don’t have patients walk with their prescriptions simply because you do not have the product the patient wants!
1. High End #1 Classic: $145 x 30= $4,350
2. High End #2 Funky: $150 x 30= $4,500
3. Name Brand Sunglass: $125 x 30= $3,750
4. Value Line: $40 x 20= $800
5. VSP WFA #1: $75 x 20= $1,500
6. VSP WFA #2: $75 x 20= $1,500
7. Semi-High End: $95 x 20= $1,900
8. Mid-Range: $60 x 60= $3,600
9.Closeout: $15 x 20= $300
10. Additional Suns: $60 x 20= $1,200
TOTAL: 275 Frames at a cost of $23,400
Avg Start-up Cost: $40,000
Your Start-up Cost: $23,400
SAVINGS OF $16,600
2. Optical: Savings of 25K
As I’ve stated before, I designed my optical without the help of a designer, which may not be for every optometrist. However, if you have an optical design company assist you in this process, you are looking at costs in the $40,000 range for a typical 800-1,000 square foot optical. If you hire an interior designer, you are looking at an additional several thousand dollars. Through alternative design routes, you can fill an optical with frame boards and locked cases for less then $15,000. Whether you prefer a traditional optical or a boutique environment, both settings can be created more cost effectively and still reflect the image of your optometry practice!
3. Lab Costs: Savings of 9K
When you inquire about lab costs, you are given discounted list price sheets. As a new owner, one does not have knowledge of “market rates” for lenses. Obtaining the best lab pricing possible, can save you well over 50% a year without sacrificing quality.
These three tips alone can result in total savings of 49+K on optical costs alone!