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William Chancellor Opened His Own Business During A Pandemic and He Has No Regrets

His accounting offers a spot of hope, a nod to fate and gratitude for all the steps along the way.

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IT’S BEEN 10 years since I earned my optician certifications and licensure. Since, I’ve learned tricks of the trade and skills, and met a lot of good people.

Despite the good and the bad, I’ve learned from everyone I’ve had the fortune to work with. I’ve never claimed to be the best manager, the best optician, the best anything really, but I am confident in my ability to always take care of my patients. With that mindset, and the support of family and friends, opening my own practice became a reality… during a pandemic no less.

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Was it easy? No! Was it hard? Also No. Determined to do it right, I did my research, shopped around for the best deals using that back-office knowledge I gained over the years and with a little help from an attorney … I’m in business!

By pure fate, I found a 1,500-sq.-ft space in a beautiful historic downtown square. My family and I live here so I couldn’t have asked for a better place. The space is just enough to have a solid dispensary, an exam lane, a pretest room and even a separate space for a finishing lab.

Something I debated during the process was should I buy new or used equipment? I’m pleased to say used has already paid for itself. Opening an office with little to no debt means more money to invest back into the business. This allows me to keep costs low for my patients while still providing quality eyewear, thus keeping me competitive with local box stores.

Is my office unique? Some might say no. But it’s unique to me, to my community. Patients are content and that makes it worth it. Being your own boss makes the startup costs and the work needed to open on the first day more than worth it.

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I have nothing but respect for everyone I learned from before I got here and I am grateful for the knowledge and skills I gained at my previous practices. To all the knowledgeable ECPs that helped me get to this stage, I will always be grateful.

A final thought to those in doubt … as a combat veteran — something I struggle with daily — if I can find the strength and confidence to start a business, so can you! Don’t let a pandemic, or anything, hold you back from accomplishing your dream of ownership. Get out there, take the chance and make it yours!

William Chancellor, LDO, ABOC, NCLEC, is a U.S. Army veteran and former flight medic. He has been in the optical industry for the last 11 years and is currently the practice manager of Eye Can See Eyewear (eyecanseeeyewear.com) in Hampton, GA. He can be reached at w.chancellor@yahoo.com.

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