Doing Business in Optical’s Local Markets



What started as a single optical dispensary in a New Jersey ophthalmologist’s office 15 years ago, is now ranked 32 among Vision Monday’s Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers. This month’s edition of “dba: Doing Business in Optical’s Local Markets” profiles the growth of Partners in Vision and examines the philosophies and practices that make it successful. It is posted at

Also in this month’s dba, find out the average salaries for office managers responsible for one, one to five, or more than five locations, and see how consumers value the importance of vision care plans. Rounding out this month’s dba, contributors Jay Binkowitz and Evan Kestenbaum, MBA, of GPN, describe the WOW warranty that not only provides peace of mind to your patients but revenue to your bottom line as well.

Below, learn about the various ways leading optical retailing groups recognize their staff for going above and beyond the requirements of their job descriptions. ■

How Some Optical Retailers Honor and Encourage Their Staff


NEW YORK—Providing incentives to encourage staff performance is one way many mid-size regional and local optical retailing groups help achieve success. Some present trophies and plaques or recognize top performers with notices in company publications, while others distribute gift cards or monetary awards to staff members who excel. However they do it, these leading optical retailers realize the value of staff recognition, and they told dba how they honor top-performing employees and communicate that recognition to their employees across all locations:

Q:In what ways do you recognize and honor top-performing employees, and how do you communicate that recognition to all of your employees across all of your locations?


CEO and president
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The most effective recognition comes when you can award the performance of the team. We use a program called “You Made a Difference,” where employees formally recognize each other for great service and performance. When somebody does something “special,” a card is filled out that talks about this. It is posted for all to see, and each card is entered into a monthly drawing for various prizes as well as a big one for an annual trip. This has been an extremely effective way of improving team and individual performance.


Eye Care Associates
Raleigh, N.C.

We recognize two employees each business quarter and present them with plaques. This is typically done at a sales meeting or special event so they are being celebrated very publicly with their peers. We also started doing monthly recognition dinners for top performers where our management team takes 10 high performers by position out to dinner. There doesn’t need to be any effort to communicate the dinners as they tell everyone the next day at the office.


Rosin Eyecare

At Rosin Eyecare, we honor top performing employees for activities that grow our top line sales. Aside from sales incentives, we host an annual awards event (dinner and entertainment) where we identify top sales associates in product areas such as top percentage anti-reflective coat, top multiple pair sales, best percentage of high index sales, and so on. We also recognize the office that demonstrated the highest increase in sales growth. Rewards are monetary at this event. Contests are a fun way that we recognize outstanding associates. As an example, we currently have a month-long contest for top sunglasses sales. The winning associate will join the owners and directors, all expenses paid, at Vision Expo West.


CEO and president
Sunland Optical
El Paso, Texas

We mention any employee who has received positive customer comments and post those comments in our monthly staff newsletter so all may view. We also honor our locations that exceed specific goals each month by giving each of those employees gift cards to thank them for helping Sunland achieve its goals.


Director of optical services
Phoenix, Ariz.

We hold a yearly awards banquet in which we reward our opticians in a variety of categories. These awards are both individual and location based. Awards are trophy and monetary based. Some examples are Optician of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Office of the Year and Best Sales Growth, just to name a few.


For more from the current edition of "dba: Doing Business in Optical’s Local Markets," (as well as archived issues), click here.