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Almost Half of You (47%) Have Experienced Moving Your Business and You Have Words of Wisdom to Share

The remaining 53% can benefit from these words of wisdom, especially those who feel the need to move but are paralyzed by fear.

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question:

Have you ever moved your store/relocated your business? If yes, what was the reason, what was customer/patient reception, and what lessons did you learned? If no, is this something you’d consider if necessary? What are your biggest concerns about doing so?

Yes: 47%

  • Rent. Buddy Vidrine, Acadian Optical, Baton Rouge, LA
  • 13 years ago. We moved for more space, more convenient for customers, increased customer/patient base. During the move I learned that I had two LARGE dumpsters of junk that I was keeping! Billy Isgett, Eyecare of Florence, Florence, SC
  • We just moved after almost 17 years. From 1,400 sq. ft. to 6,400. We had run out of room and found that we couldn’t continue to innovate patient care without more space, more outlets, more ethernet ports. We’ve had an amazing reception from our patients. I would say I wish we had even more signage — because it takes Google maps a bit to catch up — and more talking about flow and expectations with staff. Many who had worked in the old space could not handle the change into the new space. Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • We relocated for a larger space and better location. And I’d do it again! It generates a lot of attention and publicity. It also forces you to throw out a lot of crap you have accumulated and don’t need! Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • We built a new building with more space. We learned that regardless of how much space you think you have, you will always need more to prepare for growth. Even if you don’t think you will need the space in the beginning, you will later on. Caitlin Neal, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • We moved 15 minutes north from smaller rural town to slightly larger population and better business base. I picked a good location for traffic flow through town. That was super important (free advertising when you have nice sign and sit right in the road). Some customers — especially older ones — complained, but overall people followed me to the new location. The lesson I learned was the importance of traffic patterns. If people are used to driving one direction for restaurants, retail and groceries, they will gladly drive the same direction to see you, but if they are not used to driving that direction it’s harder to get them to come. Our old office was located north and that was the direction people always drive. They are not used to driving south. So it is somehow harder to get them to come down to the office 25 minutes south but they will drive 60 minutes north because they are used to driving north. Choose your location wisely. Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends by Dr. Scott Keating, Dover, OH
  • Owners were renting and they wanted to own their office space. Honestly, standing desks with gravity mats in the optical are a MUST! With Stools to sit of course. My knees have really been hurting over the past couple years from sitting all of the time. Heather Harrington, Optical Nomad, Denver, CO
  • This past January we moved to a new space four times the size of our last office. The move was needed after 13 years in our previous location and outgrowing our space. Clients have transitioned to the new place well and the added parking is a definite plus. The added space allowed us to incorporate frame-making into the on-site services we offer and opened new business opportunities. Kevin Count, Corner Optical, Glenview, IL
  • Our doctor split from old practice and opened up on their own. Our patients love the office. The doctor included staff in the design and we brought staff with us that knew the patients and products already. The one thing we could have used more time on would have been setting up the new EHR and learning how to use it prior to seeing patients. Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Lease was up and we needed more space. Moved about 1.5 miles down the road. Best thing we did. Almost doubled our space and didn’t lose any patients. Kathryn Collins, OD, Kissel Eye Care, Lititz, PA
  • We moved one location across the street and the other half a mile to a better location with a higher traffic count. Both moves were made for three reasons: to gain ownership of the property, be in a more visible location and to increase our office size. The moves were received well and increased revenue significantly within one year. Planning and teamwork were crucial for success. Scott Mann, OD, INVISION, Christiansburg and Salem, VA
  • I started my business in my home. I remodeled three rooms into an office so I could be home while my kids were young. Once the youngest was 14, I had grown and wanted to expand so I purchased a building in the “downtown” business district of our small town (pop. 5,000). We gutted the building and moved after 20 years of building my business in my home. We had an amazing reception and an influx of business! Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • We recently expanded and remodeled one of our three locations. Lessons learned: Patience, persistence and stay focused on what is most important, our patients. Oh yes, patience and then more patience! 1000% worth it! Karen Michaelson, KARE Consulting/ i wear by K, Wyoming, MN
  • We had a terrible landlord. The biggest concern was patients finding us but it went better than expected. Jordan Flitter, Paris West Optical, Baltimore, MD
  • New space inside the same building: 854 sq. ft. to 2,987. Best move ever! Mark Clement, OD, Gateway Eye Associates, Pittsburgh, PA
  • We moved out of a shopping mall into a busier strip mall. They had a bigger store moving in that wanted our location and we got the option of moving spaces or getting out of our contract. Our clientele was very receptive to the move as our local mall is viewed as a dying space. Our new store is more accessible, fits our needs and has a much better vibe. Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision & LFVR Eyewear, Logan, UT
  • Was tired of paying rent for 16 years and decided to buy a piece of land and develop my own building the way I wanted it. The move was successful and someday, when I retire, I will have a nice rent coming in. Robert M. Easton Jr. OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • Moved to my own commercial building about 100 yards from my prior office. Easy peazy for patients with poor vision to locate new office. Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Our original building was sold and we were there for 30 years. We moved into a temp space for five months until our suite was ready, essentially moving twice. It was hard. Even though we were only one mile down the road, I feel like we lost some patients along the way. Biggest regret for us was not sending postcards letting the patients know about the move. We deal with a lot of seniors and they don’t typically like change. Lesson learned…Susan Kantor, Central Phoenix Eyecare, Phoenix, AZ
  • My dispensary is next door to an ophthalmology practice. A little over three years ago they brought in three more doctors, doubling the size of the practice. My space was needed to make room for them. I let my staff do most of the design and colors and it turned out great! I’d been in my old space for 25+ years and an update was badly needed. The expression on my old customers’ faces when they enter has been priceless. Old and drab isn’t good for business. Robert Lootens, Physicians Optical Service, Jefferson City, MO
  • We went from 1,300 to 4,800 sq. ft. We outgrew the old space a LONG time ago and the move was completely necessary due to lack of parking and patient flow. Everyone has loved it; sales took a leap (as they say it will). Our biggest concern was money of course, but we did most of the rehab work ourselves. Jim Williams, Eye to Eye Optometry, Mexico, MO
  • Bought a building across the street! Patients love the new office and I love the investment! We were hesitant about the large investment — but the saying is true: “Build it and they will come.” Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Customers loved the new location. There is never a good time to move your business, just do it… Jeff Rabbitt, Rabbitt Family Vision Center, North Sioux City, SD
  • We needed more room. We had outgrown our space and were adding ODs. We moved down the street to a building we built. Patients were excited for us and love our new office. Melanie Jenkins, Spring Hill Eyecare, Spring Hill, TN
  • We moved into the two suites next door and did a complete remodel. The patients all love it! We have twice the room and it is bright and very inviting. One lesson is to get input from the entire staff when remodeling, especially regarding their specific area. They may have some ideas that would really work. Becky Garoutte, Thomas Eye Care, Owasso, OK

No: 53%

  • My biggest concern is credentialing with insurance companies. Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • Would LOVE to have a bigger space. Cost is the biggest reason I have not done it yet. Kristina Jordan, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • Our clients are of the “senior” nature and would forget where we moved… We have been in the same place for over 30 years. Chris Clark, Advanced Eye Care Optical Shoppe, Panama City, FL
  • We’re no longer considering it now that we own all our buildings and it would have been a pain if we did because street front is one of our most helpful forms of advertising at all our locations. Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • We would have to be dragged out of here unless the whole staff wants to move elsewhere. Kelsey Bredice, A Proper View, Winston Salem, NC

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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