You are a dedicated optical pro but you want to make more money and you want to do it with an additional location. I’m dedicated to that position. It’s a natural step. You are doing well with one location. You work hard to remember the needs of everyone who walks through your store’s door. The level of service you and your staff provide is second to none especially compared to that mega-chain down the road.

Call your vendors. Give them an order for a second location. Set up the phones. Order new utilities. Buy a new edger. Of course much of it is fun, but there is so much more to it than just the fun stuff. Let’s continue. Display Cases. Mirrors. Tables. Tools. Doctor’s equipment. Carpet. Tile. Special lighting. The list goes on. And it’s never REALLY done. Contact lens samples. Sample solutions. Solutions. Solutions! Signage. New advertising.

What are we forgetting? Let’s get to the meat. We haven’t even mentioned the most important piece to this puzzle. If you guess this correctly then you should open another store. Go ahead. Guess.

Did you guess staff and service? RIGHT. How much are you willing to allow the service to drop because you can not be in each location at the same time? And if you think your newly hired seasoned optician is as good as you are, you are wrong. Your customers want to see you and they want to speak to you and have you help them as they patronize your business. When they purchase a digitally surfaced Trivex Transition AR lens they want to tell YOU how good they feel.

My brother Norm and I live to open locations. We breathe service and enjoy the pressures of success. Every time we open a store we put our best people in places where they can be successful and we hope they internalize our business philosophies, transferring that experience to clients. Yet it is always different when one of us is on location. The energy is powerful. The staff is motivated. And the client feels great.

This is what cannot get lost in translation. You are the single most important driving force in any effort to expand. Go for it. Grow for it.

Brad Childs, VP and COO, Eyetique, Pittsburgh