Here is a look at some simple tips that when incorporated into your business can contribute majorly to increase the returns
The advent of technology and the evolution of consumer demands are two primary factors that have fuelled the growth of the trade of optometry, even in periods when businesses world over were struggling to survive.The consistency in growth is what indicates the immense potential of the optical trade and at the same time unveils a plethora of opportunities for those who are into the business.
From selling more to controlling expenditure and marketing wisely, many initiatives can go a long way in helping your business grow to greater heights.
So, here is a look at some simple tips that can help opticians maximise their returns or profits:
Boost your sales
You can grow your business by adhering to this one principle – sell more products and services to every customer you meet. Basically, it is important to play the perfect host and guarantee complete customer satisfaction. Everything from the store ambience to the array of products that you are displaying has to be considered in order to give your customer a memorable shopping experience.
It is also important to understand your customers better by asking them questions about their lifestyle. The more you know about them, the easier it is for you to offer them additional products and services. For example, a customer involved in a desktop job can be offered single vision computer glasses with an anti-glare coating while a sports junkie will be more interested in sports eyewear, along with the normal pair of spectacles that they buy.
Lastly, remember to keep yourself updated with the latest trends in eyewear and eyecare. Use this knowledge to educate your customer during the in-store interactions.
Stock high-end products
The traditional layout of an optical store that was popular a few years ago involved displaying the same shabby options and bringing out the glamorous stuff only when the customers demand for it. However, a good business decision would be to stock high-end products and display them as well. After all, a good and updated display is what adds glamour to your mundane store layout and encourages your customer to shop more.
A broad range of offerings won’t just increase the range of options for your customers but will also enhance their view of your optical business. Ultimately, this also improves the quality that you have to offer in terms of designs and styles in eyewear. Additionally, as opticians, your goal should be to move some of the low-end customers to the middle and some of the middle-end customers to the upper end.
Don’t impose your decisions
A good optician will never impose his or her decision on the end-consumer. Instead, he or she will actually take the time to put across the pros and cons in front of the customer and leave the choice to them. Always bear in mind that your job is to guide your customer and help them choose, not make the choice for them. Make sure you offer them all the price options, that too in descending order and let them stop at their suitable price point, rather than taking the bottom-up approach which may lead to the customer buying a cheaper product.
Market your business
Marketing your business in the right way helps maximise your returns considerably. Based on the understanding of your locality or the region that you are catering to, plan a marketing strategy that will help to increase the brand recall in your existing customers and at the same time target the new ones.
Here again, you need to understand that your existing clientele is your most effective marketing tool. The word of mouth that travels through them will help you earn more referrals. For instance, implementing schemes where you reward the customers who refer your store to families and friends, by offering them discounts on purchases or even by sending them gifts, is a good option.
Your gifts need not be too expensive. After all, it is the gesture that is more important. Other tools that can be incorporated into your marketing strategies are social media promotions, leaflet distributions, etc. that will let people know about your store.
Occasionally, community involvement is another practice that can take your business to the masses. For instance, sponsor local events such as promotional events, charity drives, etc. that are likely to interest your potential customers.
Cut costs where required
As a business owner, you need to take a look at all your expenditures. List out the details and try to eliminate all the unnecessary expenditure that could be eating into your budget. However, in your endeavour to save money don’t end up compromising on the quality of the products else you will make more losses.
Competition is an important aspect that can reduce your sales, so always keep your eyes open. There is no denying the presence of competition but you can always combat the threat by working on positioning your brand as a preferred choice amongst the crowd.
In order to be able to offer new and interesting things to your customers, it is important to keep yourself updated with the latest trends. Stocking old and outdated collections will only deter your customers from coming to you, each time they want to make a new purchase. From new shapes to better lens technology, your store and staff should be updated with what’s trending and what’s not. This helps in registering bigger sales.
Don’t be wary of technology
Though a relatively new profession, optometry has seen its fair share of changes in the last few years. Just like the other industries, here too, technology is gradually making big inroads. As the member of the optical trade community, don’t try to avoid this change. In fact, make the most of the available technology options to maximise the profitability of your business. For instance, incorporating options like EHR (Electronic Health Records) and PMS (Practice Management Software) can help in providing better customer experience and in turn guarantee more profits for your business.
Finally, the most successful practices are often the ones that keep track of the numbers and set realistic goals for the future. Have clear monthly, half yearly or annual goals and track every action that you take to achieve them. The data that you accumulate over a period of time can help you evaluate and take the right managerial decisions for the growth of your business.