Location, location, location. We’ve all heard it before: the geographical placement of your business is paramount to its success, as is understanding the demographics surrounding your dispensary. You’re a hot young OD or optician starting out in the business, or you’ve just arrived in a new city—you need to figure out the right place to put down your roots and establish an optometric dynasty that will reign supreme. How many of us have ever considered re-location, though?
The idea first came to mind when I recently dropped in on an independent dispensary located in my local mall. I was trying to get a handle on their selection, prices, and other information, but kept getting distracted by something insurmountable—the continuous screaming of children from the indoor playground located right outside the dispensary. Now, I’ve always been especially sensitive to high-pitched noises, including screaming kids, but, I can’t imagine anyone would have an easy time making such an important (and costly) decision as selecting frames and lenses with a constant barrage of screams, shouts, cries, and the yells of angry and concerned parents echoing in their ears. How was this place staying in business, I thought? Or, rather, based on the fact that only one other person was in the store when the mall was at peak hours and relatively full, how long would they stay in business?
It’s a question I think is pertinent for all dispensaries to ask of themselves at least once in a while—am I being best served by my current location? I’ve met many ODs and opticians who’ve only ever worked in one location, or who—at the beginning of their careers—voice their intention to set down roots in one location and remain there for the rest of their careers. Yet times change, neighboring businesses close or move themselves, new demographics populate areas. What may have been prime real estate five, ten years ago may no longer be suiting your needs. You may very well be in the best geographic location for your practice to thrive, even if you’ve been in business there for a decade or two; or it may be time for a change of scenery. It’s a serious question to ask, though, and one which may not be getting the consideration it warrants.
For tips on how to curate the customer journey shaping their retail experience, check out our CE, Creating an Experience, at 2020mag.com/ce.