Optical Retail Success 90

Formerly Optician Success but still the same tasty, weekly nuggets of random goodness; tips, stories, and science hand-picked to help you find the most success in your optical retail business/career.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—. I took the one less traveled by.

And that has made all the difference.

—Robert Frost

The Good Ol’ Days

In the good ol’ days, the doc produced an Rx and all the optician filled it. Now, your customers have choices. Lots of them. Before long, there will be even more choices and they will be even cheaper and more convenient than they are today.

In the good ol’ days customers didn’t mind paying for eyewear. Now they view eyewear as a medical device, a commodity, a necessary evil; the price of which is dictated by vision care plans. It’s almost as if we’ve trained them that way.

In the good ol’ days you could spend money on a Yellow Pages ad, maybe a local newspaper ad, a radio spot or two and you were good for the year. Now... what are Yellow Pages?

In the good ol’ days, there were easy opportunities on social media. All you had to do was be there. Now the novelty has worn off. Now it’s almost entirely noise.  


A Different Road

What if you stopped looking for a way back and started looking for a way to build a viable future in the face of the change you see around you?

What if you stopped being average, stopped making and selling average eyewear for average people?

What if you worked to develop empathy for the people you serve instead of harboring resentment?

What if you looked to build something that people cared about, that people talked about, that people would miss if it were gone?

What if you stopped looking at what everyone else is doing and decided to chart your own path?

It might be risky, but there are hundreds of retailers going out business right now that tell me the status quo might be riskier.

One Question

Patient or customer; which would you rather be?

If you find yourself trying to justify “patient” as your answer, think of the times you’ve been a patient. Now, think of the times you’ve been a customer, particularly when someone valued your business. If you were to go back to being in one of these right now, which would it be?

No one ever wants to be a patient. So, while calling (and treating) customers like patients may make opticians feel more important, it’s probably not ideal if you’re interested in selling more eyewear.

Mobile Web Sight

THE EYES ARE unwell. Their childhood suppleness is lost. The lenses, as we log hours on this earth, thicken, stiffen, even calcify. The eyes are no longer windows on souls. They’re closer to teeth.

Every vocation has it: consequences for eyesight. Ice fishermen can go snowblind. Welders suffer arc eye. Ships’ lookouts hallucinate. Academics develop myopia. And texters—call it an avocation—have blurred vision. What are screens are doing to our eyes?


Cutting in on The Cult of Immediacy

No millennial knows what it is like to be stumped. With the rise of the Internet, they’ve never encountered a question they couldn’t answer. They have always known where to buy pizza at 1 a.m. They can order anything anytime anywhere with a few taps on the phone. Information, entertainment, and products are available whenever and wherever. Anything less is unacceptable.

So, why do less than half of ECPs have an In-office finishing lab? Even if you think it may not make a huge difference for you in terms of a profit center, it not only helps satisfy this need for immediacy, but it helps deliver a better customer experience, gives you an opportunity to be a hero when someone needs glasses in a hurry and gives your customers something they just can’t get online.



A Sneaking Obsession

A rising tide of consumer interest pushed sneakers to the top of the hot product list, and limited edition collections kept them there as brands jockey for position.

Could there be a lesson here?

The sneaker boom is "really about a look, a lifestyle, today more than anything."

Training Day

There might be a time when you fall in love with a job candidate that seems to have all the things that you’re looking for… except experience working in an optical store. So, how should you train staff with no experience?

Of course, opticianworks.com is a no-brainer addition to the list.

Video of The Week:  SECS Education

(Slipping, Examples, Causes, and Solutions)

Have you ever had an issue with lenses slipping in your edger because of super-slick AR coatings? This week we unearth some rare and ancient footage that teaches us how to reduce lens slip during finishing.


Through the OpticianWorks free video lessons, Laramy-K Optical is making every effort to provide better and more accessible education for opticians everywhere, but we’re only able to do it with your support.

You can help keep it going in two ways:

Become a paid member of OpticianWorks.com for access to the best in online optician training (The videos are only a small portion).

Or, even better, open a Laramy-K Optical lab account for the very best in independent uncut work and we'll throw in the OpticianWorks memberships for free! Your customers and your staff will thank you!


I hope you enjoyed this edition of Optical Retail Success.  

Here’s to your success in this year and beyond.

Thanks for reading and sharing!