The Management of Optical Businesses

During the recent General Election all parties gave priority to health within their individual manifestos – good news for opticians one would assume. The Optical Confederation is a coalition of many of the key optical professional bodies went on to say.

“The need to modernise and deliver more care outside hospital and closer to home to meet the growing health care needs is urgent and now long overdue. Nowhere is this more urgent than in eye care where 20 people a month are needlessly losing their sight because of hospital pressures, and shifting services out-of-hospital and improving quality of life have not been prioritised by any of the political leaders yet.”

If the increased funds are made available to the NHS in order to deliver on the above agenda then there is a real opportunity for those opticians who “have their house in order” to make the most of the additional business that could come their way as a result of these changes.

However another school of thought is that things are already tough for an optical professional who is trying to run a business in today’s ever-changing environment. Not least when you are already working within the parameters set by government and professional body standards alike who each play a part in dictating the way in which the business operates and indeed therefore in its overall success.

Accountability in the Optical Profession

The fact is that optical businesses often find themselves accountable to others in some form on key areas such as funding, quality audits and the monitoring of standards within the sector overall. Such as the following to name a few:

  • The NHS, (National Health Service)
  • PCT(Primary Care Trust)
  • Department of Health
  • GOC (General Optical Council).

Indeed the GOC alone have 5 sets of standards that optical businesses need to adhere to in order to maintain the all-important registration that enables the optical specialist and its business to operate.

Thankfully the Optical Confederation provides the opportunity for many of the key professional organisations to work together. The most recognisable of these being:

  • The Association of British Dispensing Opticians, (ABDO)
  • Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM)
  • The Federation of Manufacturing Optician (FMO)
  • The Federation of Othalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO)

Even with this type of backing it is so easy for the smaller optical business to feel overwhelmed by all the work and time that it takes to stay on top of the business day to day. Especially when handling all the necessary paperwork, and employee issues that come with running an optical business to such exacting standards.

However we say, by taking a step back and challenging the way that both the business and its staff currently operate can be a sure way of bringing in the changes that are often needed to set you ahead of the competition.

How can PeoplePointHR Help?

That’s where PeoplePointHR come in. We want to help professional optical business owners to make some positive changes to the way in which the business is managed and the people in it to bring about some tangible benefits for the future.

As HR and Employment Professionals with a good understanding of your sector we are well equipped to help you with many of the day to day challenges that you currently face. Examples of advice recently provided to our optical clients include guidance on lone working, risk assessment including home eye tests, the working time directive and in safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

With HRPro we also offer support with some of the more difficult areas of managing a modern optical workforce within the latest compliance standards. At PeoplePointHR, our experience within the optical sector comes from working closely with a significant number of individual franchises within one of the largest optical businesses in the UK.

Work within these individual franchises has included the development and implementation of a Performance Appraisal Process in a North West branch, support in attaining Investors In People status in Cheshire.

In a different branch we provided support and training for Line Managers that brought monthly absence days down from an average of 23 to 8 days per month, saving the business a potential £37k of revenue per month.

A further branch advised us of an increase of an average of 16% in monthly income, following the work that we did with them on the successful development and implementation of a clear performance management framework for all their staff including locums.

Contact PeoplePointHR

Intrigued? Then why not arrange your no obligation HR Health check to see how we may be able to help you?

We believe that a modern opticians need to focus as much on its approach to business as it does to the welfare of its clients and the community in which it serves.

Equally we see the staff that the business employs and the way in which they are managed, as important as any digital retinal camera, both if “set up” and managed correctly will provide you with the results that you need.