Opening an eyewear business is much the same as opening a coffee shop or a fashion outlet, insofar as there are several critical steps that entrepreneurs must take in order to boost their chances of success. While the specifics must of course be tailored to the eyewear market, the basic rules remain the same: construct a business plan, research the competition and the market, and explore buying and franchising options.
1. Your business plan
Though entrepreneurs are often intimidated by the thought of creating a business plan, it is a fundamental step in the creation of a successful business. First, you should carefully consider what sort of business you wish to start, whether that is a general eyewear retailer, corrective glasses store or eyewear design brand. Once you have established the nature of the business, start building your plan by identifying realistic destinations for growth and the routes your business must take in order to reach them. Remember that your business plan will incorporate all future strategic decisions when developing your business, so ensure you spend an appropriate amount of time constructing it.
2. Your competition
This is a crucial step all entrepreneurs must take and applies to both bricks-and-mortar businesses and online retailers. Use online resources or simply canvass your local area in order to identify the eyewear businesses you will be competing with. Follow eyewear industry news and developments, and check how share value of big companies like Luxottica is affected by economic changes. Remember that entering into an already overcrowded market may not be a wise idea, as you will have to compete with well-established businesses and customer loyalty on a large scale.
3. Your market
The better informed you are about the eyewear industry, the better you will be able to adapt your business to the needs and desires of consumers. Though you would be wise to take any advice offered by future competitors with a pinch of salt, there is no reason why you shouldn’t seek advice from non-competitors. In fact, speaking to those ‘in the know’ is one of the best ways to gain insight and knowledge into an otherwise complex business.
4. Buying a business
During the course of your research, look out for any opportunities to purchase pre-existing and well-established eyewear businesses. Though starting a business from scratch can be lucrative, investing in a recognized business with a proven track record may be more profitable and more straightforward. Remember to hire an experienced business broker with a good reputation to broker the deal for you if and when you decide to go down this route.
5. Explore franchising opportunities
Franchising can be a much simpler way of breaking into the eyewear business and has a higher likelihood of success than starting a business from scratch. There are many advantages to franchising, so it is worth exploring any opportunities within your local area before committing to starting your own business.
Starting your own eyewear business is both an exciting and daunting task and while there is no rulebook for success, following the simple steps above should boost your business’s chance of success.