How to Start an Optometry Practice

How to Start an Optometry Practice. You've gone through optometry school and you've got your license to practice in your state. You're ready to open your own practice and you're excited about your new business. To get the ball rolling, you'll need to take care of a few vital things.

Find a location for your optometry practice. If you're willing to move to another city, do some research to find out the demographics of the prospective area. Scout out office buildings and professional plazas in the area of your choice.

Talk to the local permit office to see if you need any kind of inspection before you open for business. Your state's Department of Health may also require a license and/or inspection before they allow you to open your doors.

Associate yourself with other ODs. Doctors already in the field may be able to refer overflow business to you, while newer ODs may want to partner up and establish a practice with you (read: share expenses).

Buy equipment needed for your practice. This will all depend on your specialty and how many exam rooms you have.

Stock your eyeglass inventory. You'll need to designate some space for selling retail items and set up these displays. Also, you can sell eyeglass cases and sunglasses. Don't forget about contact lenses--stock popular brands and common prescriptions. Get any samples to give out to customers; usually when you perform a contact lens exam, you give your client a new lens case and cleaning solution.

Hire a receptionist and assistants. Teach them how to run your office and schedule clients. Apply to get a provider number from any insurance companies that offer vision benefits, and learn how to bill for your services.

Start advertising. Put a sign out by the road and put ads in local magazines. Hand out business cards to everyone you know.


  • You may need to take out a loan to get your practice started. Eyeglasses and contacts are very expensive, not to mention the equipment you need.

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