Nathan Hayes

Nathan Hayes is the Manager of Business Development for Red Tray and Editor of

Reps are welcome to contact him at 404.934.3535 or to send him an e-mail if you have questions about how Red Tray can benefit your accounts or with general comments about selling to ECPs.

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Can an independent, single OD practice gross over $1 Million?

Posted on August 21, 2009
Filed Under Articles, Opinion | Leave A Comment

Last week I discussed several ‘threats’ to independent optometrists.  This week, let’s take a look at just how successful.

Over at the Dr. Hayes Blog, there has been an ongoing discussion about how much a solo dispensing optometric practice can gross.  The original posts are here and here, but I’m going share the most recent post on the subject, where various ODs share their thoughts:

Dear Readers,

I ended my Aug 3 blog post by asking: “Assuming the demand is there, is it realistic for a solo OD to perform 16 ‘complete exams’ per day at an average of $307 per patient and in the process, gross $1.2M?”

Here is a sampling of the feedback I received from ODs across the country who both think it can be done, and are doing it themselves!

Jerry Read More

Further thoughts on

Posted on August 14, 2009
Filed Under Coaching your Customers | 4 Comments

I got some great feedback on the post from last week.  I think I was overly dismissive of the risk that poses to independent ECP.

ODs need to take notice

In the long run, is definitely a threat to independent dispensing optometrists and opticians.

ODs need to be positioning their services such that patients and consumers clearly recognize and value of the personalized medical care and fashion advice they receive in an optometric practce.

However, this doesn’t mean that private optometry is facing an existential threat.

Online retail won’t be the end of private optometry

Consider  Amazon has been enormously successful discounting and selling the ultimate commodity item, books.  Even so, only about 12% of all books are currently sold on line.

In my opinion, the unique fit and size requirements of frames and lenses is going to be difficult for online dispensers to conquer at a meaningful level in the foreseeable future.  Furthermore, optometrists have a great point of sale advantage right after they finish an exam.

I expect that the benefits of one-stop shopping, fashion consulting, and the ability to physically hold and try glasses on will keep most patients from going online just to get a discount.

In summary, the internet has proven fickle as a sales channel.  The best analog to the framesdirect model that I can think of is clothing (eyewear is, in one sense, a fashion accessory).

While lots of people do buy clothes online (including me), I don’t see retailers closing their doors just yet because people can buy clothes on the web.  I suspect it will be similar with eyewear.

Help your accounts protect themselves against online retailers

One of my goals with this blog is to help you become a true business consultant to your accounts and prospects.

You should be alerting  your customers to new industry developments like the rise of internet sales channels and helping them to protect their business against this threat.

As preparation, ask yourself: if you owned a dispensing optometric practice, how would you protect your busieness from losing customers to online retailers?

Please share your answers in the comments section or click here to send me an e-mail.

How are online retailers affecting independent optometrists?

Posted on August 6, 2009
Filed Under Opinion | Leave A Comment

What does the recent partnership between Essilor and mean for private optometrists?

It’s easy to see how optometrists’ livelihoods might be affected if consumers start ordering their glasses online.

However, we don’t see this as an immediate threat to dispensing optometrists.  Why not? Read More