What Does It Cost to Start an Optical Business?

Nov 5, 2019

In addition to hiring employees, developing a marketing strategy, and selecting a business model that best fits your needs as a My Eyelab franchisee, considering the up-front and long-term costs of opening an optical business is an imperative — yet intimidating — step towards opening your new business. From staffing and laboratory costs to the investment required for building a frame inventory, there are many financial considerations to starting an eyecare franchise, but My Eyelab’s business model is designed to alleviate financial stress for franchisees.


When opening an optical business, business owners will face the decision between paying monthly fees to an outside laboratory or investing in an in-house laboratory. Entrepreneurs who choose the in-house option will face a $300,000 price tag up front for the purchase of a surfacing laboratory. They will also need to plan for the future and consider the space and capital needs associated with purchasing multiple surfacing laboratories and a coater. In many cases, these high fees can deter prospective eyewear franchise owners.

My Eyelab protects franchisees from these prohibitive start-up costs, offering a business model that requires no on-site lab. With streamlined operating costs, running an optical store franchise with My Eyelab allows you to optimize revenues while lowering your costs. Additionally, while opticians and optometrists are welcomed as franchisees, you don’t need experience in the eye care industry to run your own My Eyelab business.


For entrepreneurs looking to open an optical business, building a frame inventory will often constitute a large up-front investment. Depending on the size of the business, vendors will typically carry between 500 and 800 frames, though small businesses may carry as few as 250. Experts recommend carrying a mix of high-end frames, which can often cost close to $150 per frame, name brands that often cost close to $125, affordable frames for $40, and mid-range frames and sunglasses for approximately $60. In total, the initial investment required for developing a strong frame inventory will likely fall between $30,000 and $40,000.


Considering staffing an on-site doctor in addition to opticians? This choice may not be feasible for your optical business. Optometrists typically make $106,140, constituting a significantly larger portion of a new business’s initial income. Instead, consider franchising with a business such as My Eyelab, whose business model doesn’t require franchisees to staff an on-site doctor, insulating owners from high staffing costs.


If you’re interested in opening an optical franchise that offers you the opportunity to run your business at a lower investment than other alternatives, contact My Eyelab today to learn more about the ways in which our business model can take the stress out of opening an optical business.

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