What you need to know about being an Optometrist Store Manager

Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Posting date: 10/05/2022

Becoming an Optometrist Store Manager is always a great step forward and a major milestone. It’s your chance to put your stamp on the store and create an environment where your team can thrive and win together. We care about our colleagues and customers, so we want our Optometrist Store Managers to have all the tools they need to be successful. But wherever your talents lie, we pave the way for exceptional opportunities.

You’ll be able to pursue your vision, bring our brand to life and help make your Vision Express store the best that it can be. The role also means allowing your colleagues to have their say on how to make customers feel as welcome as possible.

If you’re keen to learn about what it’s like to work as an Optometrist Store Manager, then you’re in luck because we’ve spoken to one of our colleagues, Hasnain. He shared his story and experiences of life as an Optometrist Store Manager at Vision Express.

Training comes first

We always value training and getting as much experience as you can. It’s the best way to help you learn the trade and build your confidence before taking the leap into one of our stores. Firstly, Hasnain explained how he came to work for Vision Express:

“I started in my store in February, so very recently. Before that, I was training for two months in another store in Chisholm. I have managed teams before, as an optical manager, so I know what it takes to be a good leader.

But that was mainly Optom teams which is a bit different in an OSM role because you’re dealing with the retail side of things in this role as well. It’s not a completely different ball game – however, it’s very different to what I was used to but the skills are transferable.”

Life as an Optometrist Store Manager

As an Optometrist Store Manager, you’ll need lots of energy, great ideas and the ability to solve problems. It’s a varied role and there are different challenges depending on the store, but it can be a great experience for the right person.

“First off, it's a small store, so I've got three members of staff and we're still recruiting. My first patient starts at 9:00, so I’m testing straightaway. But, in between patients there are always things to do. For example, making sure that the appointments for the next day are being called, and catching up on your emails from the regional manager and your team.”

“Doing all of that in-between get very busy, so I've set aside some admin time of two half-days a week. That gives me enough time to just take a step back and look at what needs to be done in-store and focus on that.”

“I'm new to Vision Express, so I’ve had to learn all the processes and the operational stuff as I go along. So, if you have staff that already know how to do that and just need your guidance in what to do, it makes it really helpful.”

How do Optometrist Store Managers differ from traditional Optometrist roles?

Optometrist Store Manager jobs do differ from the traditional Optometrist role. You’ll be far more concerned with the bigger picture and what’s happening around the store. So, rather than just being in control of the test room, you will be running the whole store and making sure our colleagues are striving to deliver the best customer experience.

“It’s basically like running your own practice. You have that freedom. You can change things around how you want to, but the support is always there.”

“You look at the store as a whole. You manage its finances, you look at your KPIs every day see where you can improve as a store. As an Optometrist, you’re just testing and you’re in control of just the test room, but as an Optometrist Store Manager you’re in control of the whole place. Anything that goes on out there, even though I’m in here [the test room], I’m still responsible, so I just make sure that I’m on top of it every single day.”

“One thing I've really liked about Vision Express as an Optometrist Store Manager is the support you get from the Central Operations team. You send an email to anyone and it gets actioned straight away.

“The support you get to run the store itself is really good. You shadow another manager for two months and that gives you a real insight into what it's like and you learn a lot of the processes as well. I've never seen a company pay someone their full wage whilst shadowing someone for two months. I can see people doing that for a couple of weeks, but I was really surprised by that, actually. That was really good.”

What skills do you need?

“The main thing is interpersonal skills with your staff. As a new manager, you need to understand them. You need to know how to relate to people and communicate with people who have different personalities.

“You need to respect your existing team, and not make too many changes straight away. Just assess things and observe things, see how they work. Then slowly, slowly make changes like we've done here, keeping the staff involved with it.”

Overall, you’ll gain a breadth of knowledge as an Optometrist Store Manager and be able to build yourself up as a leader. You’ll get the chance to build relationships with various people, mentor your colleagues and continue to move your store in a positive direction.

Are you looking for a new role as an Optometrist Store Manager?

We’re committed to helping you thrive in your role as an Optometrist Store Manager. Our team cares about your career and we want to help you move forward and create joy through your work. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming an Optometrist Store Manager, apply to one of our jobs and get in touch with our friendly team for further information.