Opticians are some of the most trusted professionals operating in the country. Hardly a high street in the country is without an optician franchise meaning that for the right franchisee, this could be a very attractive career change to make.
With the total market size of over £4 billion [Ibis World], working in the optical sector can be a hugely profitable opportunity for the right franchisee. What’s more, the eyecare industry is set up perfectly for franchise businesses and opportunities, with much of the sector already being dominated by large optical franchises.
But if you think this is a sector already sewn up, you’d be mistaken. According to Statista, the UK population is underserved by the amount of opticians operating; in 2017, there was only one optician per 10,000 people, whereas in neighbouring countries such as France, there were five [Statista]. For an ambitious franchisee, this is still a market with a lot of scope for growth.
Why make a career change with an optician franchise?
As an eyecare franchisee, your role will be twofold. On the one hand, your job will concern generating sales for both your individual store and for your franchise as a whole. But, this is a role that will require you to step beyond simply a job title.
As you’ll be providing an essential service, your customers will need you to be a source of expertise as well. Before deciding if this is the right industry for you to work in, you will want to make sure that you have either some pre-existing knowledge, or are willing to become an expert (or employ experts) in eyewear and eyecare. You will be providing good levels of customer care alongside achieving sales, so you will want to have good customer service skills as well.
When it comes to running your own business, you will also likely need to be:
- Good at communicating
- A good leader
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How to make a career change with an optician franchise
If you’ve decided to make a career change with an optician franchise, you’ve already made the biggest step in your franchising journey. So, now that you’ve taken the first step, what do you need to do to make a career change?
1. Research the market
It goes without saying that when you come to open a business within the optical industry, you will need to know as much as possible about the sector you’ll be working in. Your research should be broad and take into account a few different factors, such as:
- Which are some of the biggest franchises working in the industry?
- What are the financial requirements of starting a franchise?
- What kinds of training and marketing support are open to you?
- How many units do franchises in this industry typically expect you to run?
These are just some suggestions of things to consider, but as you look to progress your own franchising career, you will need to ask yourself personal questions that concern your own priorities.
2. Consider any new trends
Like many other sectors, the eyecare industry has been forced to adapt to new ways of working throughout the pandemic. While making these changes may have been difficult at first, over time they have helped businesses engage their existing customers and gain new ones. As you consider what kinds of working practices you want to use, you might want to consider some of these new ways of working.
3. Devise a strong marketing campaign
With high streets hit so hard over the last few months, customers in your area will be delighted to see such an essential business returning. You just need to figure out how to get these customers through the door.
One of the many benefits to running a franchise is the amount of training, support and expertise that is offered to franchisees to help make their franchising journey easier. One such example is the level of both marketing training and expertise available to you as you open your own business.
You aren’t the first new franchisee and you won’t be the last, so be sure to take advantage of as much of your franchisor's expertise as you can.
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4. Go the extra mile
Even though franchises come with a lot more job security than many other types of businesses, this doesn’t mean you won’t be pushed. Starting any kind of new business brings with it plenty of potential pitfalls, but with the right skills and attitude, you will be in a great position to power through these challenges and come out the other end.
From an individual perspective, be prepared to go the extra mile to get your business off the ground. The more effort you put in now, the greater the reward will be further down the line.
Make a career change with an optical franchise today
There are many advantages to running an optical franchise business. You’ll be providing an essential service, be a trusted professional and will be able to enjoy plenty of profits in the process.
There are many other resources on Point Franchise dedicated to helping you find, start and run the perfect franchise, so if you want to know more about the kinds of things you’ll need to know to start an optical franchise, or how to become a healthcare provider, you’ll find plenty of expertise elsewhere. Or, for a sector-by-sector list of franchising opportunities, you can consult the UK franchise directory.
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©