Independent optometry hasn’t evolved much over the last several years, even though the industry landscape that surrounds it is almost unrecognizable.
Our industry has experienced a tremendous amount of consolidation. Multibillion-dollar corporations now own several of the leading frame brands and full-service labs across the United States. They double, triple, and quadruple dip throughout the supply chain. Your customer may select a frame and set of lenses that are both fulfilled by the same corporation, a corporation that can then “force your hand” when choosing which lab to use because they own the VCP, too!
These same companies are increasingly competing against independent optometrists with corporate locations of their own just down the street.
These challenges are compounded by the fact that independent suppliers entering this space are operating no differently than the multibillion-dollar corporations. They model their business closely after these conglomerates, giving independent ODs what often amounts to the illusion of choice, not an option that’s truly better for the doctor
These independents release brand-heavy products that require gigantic marketing budgets and distribute those products using high-cost sales reps until a multibillion-dollar “kingpin” finds them attractive enough to acquire.
Then the cycle continues.
Despite all of this, thousands upon thousands of independent optometrists across the United States continue to feed into this broken system that stopped serving them years ago.
If you believe that the only way to build a successful independent optometry practice or optical is to sell high-cost, low-margin, and branded products that a corporation has falsely convinced you “can’t be beat,” the remainder of this guide will not be able to positively impact your business.
Many optometrists feel that an asteroid is barrelling toward this “traditional” model of independent optometry: ODs roaming around like dinosaurs as if nothing’s wrong even though the asteroid is clear-as-day, looming in the sky above.
The question becomes: What can you do about it?
Every product’s price is determined by:
- The cost to create the product (COGS),
- The cost to make a sale (CPA),
- The cost to deliver the product to its final destination (supply chain),
- And the profit margin built in by the seller.
These numbers are stacked strongly in the favor of the manufacturer practically anywhere you look in the optical industry.
Step 2 Table of Contents
- 2.1 Bloated, Overpriced Brand Names
- 2.2 Inefficient Supply Chains
- 2.3 Dependence on VCPs
- 2.4 Traditional Buying Groups & Alliances
- Wrapping Up: Reconsidering the Traditional Approach to Optometry