Whether you’re fresh out of optometry school or an experienced optometrist looking for a change, starting your own optical business is an outstanding opportunity for the right person. Starting a business, no matter the sector, can be a daunting task and is not for everyone. Before any hasty decisions, it’s important to consider your potential day-to-day activities as a business owner and decide if you’re sure the increased responsibility will fit your personality and lifestyle. As an optometrist networking group, we want all our partners to be professionally fulfilled, so if you’re considering starting your own optical business, we hope this article will help get you started!
Growth in Optical Industry
Before starting a business, it’s important to learn about industry trends and projections. This will help determine if the sector will be profitable for you and how much competition there will be for market share. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, projects the occupation of optometry to increase by 18% between 2016 and 2026. This is well above the average 7% for US job growth so it’s a great indication that the demand for your services will be there and the industry will be steadily growing.
The growth in the industry can be attributed to many things; without over-generalizing we will explain some factors leading to this growth. To begin, vision issues usually occur later in life and as the overall population ages, more and more individuals will seek services in the field. An older population is more susceptible to conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration and others. In addition to an aging population, chronic diseases like diabetes have steadily grown in the United States. This unfortunate health trend will also affect optometry because diabetes has been linked to several eye conditions including diabetic retinopathy. Another important factor to note is accessibility. As more and more health plans begin to cover medical eye care and preventative care, more people will have access to optometry services, further contributing to the projected industry growth.
Increased Freedom and Responsibility
To some, the ability to set your own schedule, take time off when needed and spend the holidays with your family is priceless. Like any other sector, those who want more freedom and responsibility usually strive to become their own boss. This is no different in the field of optometry. If you’re unhappy with your current job structure, take matters into your own hands, because true change must be deliberate. Starting your own optical business will require significant thought, research, commitment and initial investment, but if you have the determination and work ethic to see this goal through, it can be well worth it. Once your business is established, you will have the freedom to make decisions for yourself, and the fulfillment of starting and calling something your own can be rewarding beyond belief.
Increased Opportunity to Make a Difference
Along with the increased freedom that comes along with starting your own optical business, opportunities to enact positive and long-lasting change will also present themselves. Many people report altruistic reasons for entering the medical field and optometry is no different. Supporting a patient in their journey to better eye health can truly change their life. With increased freedom in your practice, not only can you provide more personal care to your patients, but you can expand this care to others, even across the world. PECAA knows very well how generous and compassionate optometrists can be as we raised over $116,000 in 2018 for Optometry Giving Sight. These funds helped provide vision care to over 23,000 children in underserved countries. If your goal is to leave this world better than you found it, starting your own optical business can help you achieve this.
More on Starting your own Optical Business
Before committing to this exciting opportunity, it’s important to gauge your own personal attributes and how they will fare when starting your own business. Not everyone will enjoy the increase in responsibility and it’s much better to determine this before making such a big decision. Once you’ve determined you’re up for the challenge, the steady market growth, increased freedom and opportunities for positive change will all be outstanding rewards for your dedication and success. And lastly, if you want support along the way, make sure to join an optometry group like PECAA!