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Here’s What It Cost Me To Open My Optometry Practice Cold

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How much is opening your optometry practice REALLY going to cost? 

This article will detail not only the major, but minor costs that oftentimes go forgotten in opening cold.

The true cost of opening an optometry practice varies tremendously. Some things to consider are:

  • size of your venture
  • number of exam lanes
  • equipment needed
  • inventory
  • number of employees
  • and much more

Let’s begin!

Lawyer:

This is the first person you need to contact once you decide you are going into business. The cost of setting up the corporation (our business is registered as a PLLC), and costs of dealing with our landlord setting up the terms of our lease cost $1500.

I am located on the Eastern End of Long Island, so this price may be more or less depending on your location.

Lawyer Cost = $1,500

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About Miki Lyn DAngelo

Miki Lyn DAngelo
Miki Lyn D’Angelo, O.D. graduated with honors from the SUNY College of Optometry in New York, receiving the VSP Excellence in Primary Care and Excellence in Vision Therapy awards. She then continued her education by completing a residency in vision therapy and rehabilitation with Dr. Barry Tannen, OD. She has extensive experience in family eye care with a specialty and passion for pediatrics, vision training and neuro-rehabilitation with traumatic brain injury patients. She recently just opened a private practice cold with a partner on the Eastern End of Long Island. In her spare time she loves cooking and working on the farm with her fiancé.

6 comments

  1. AbsoluteVizon

    Thanks for posting up a very detailed itemized list of the cost for your office. However it looks like you underestimated the costs to open your practice cold…if you add up your numbers, it should definitely be MORE than $210,000 (Lawyer cost + Equipment cost + VT equipment cost + Technology cost + Marketing cost + Furnishing & Miscellaneous Cost = $1,500 + $105K + $12.5K + $30K + $15 K + $50K = $214K). So that’s about $214K without including the monthly rent of $2,700. You would definitely want to be able to pay at least 6 months of rent ($2700 x 6 = $16,200) or more. In addition, how about employee wages, student loan, and living expenses/costs? If you add up these additional costs, then it will cost you at least $230K (not including employee wages, student loan, and living expenses/costs).

    Like you mentioned in your article, you could’ve saved a lot of money on purchasing used exam room equipment from companies that refurbish them and sell them back at a much lower price. Also, these companies also allow you to test out their equipment before purchasing them. I also think you could’ve saved on the furnishings and miscellaneous stuff and the technology stuff. For example, which EMR system did you purchase? For instance, the in-office version of Crystal Practice Management software sells for $8000, which includes 1 year of support and software updates. This would still leave you with a lot of money left to purchase all of the rest of your technology stuff that would definitely cost you about half or $15,000. With that technology savings, you could’ve spent it on purchasing the vision therapy equipment. For office furnishings, you could’ve saved a lot from IKEA which sell very nice, but affordable office furniture and cabinets. Finally, for your technology costs, I strongly believe it’s way too costly…you could’ve definitely saved in that area too. Why would you initially need 7 computers for 3 rooms?

    Thanks again for sharing your experience for the costs of opening up your practice cold. I’m definitely looking forward to your next article on how you got funded.

  2. Miki Lyn DAngelo

    Hello!

    You are correct about it being 215,000; it has been updated. I left out the monthly rent because I had it negotiated to not start paying until I opened my doors (so I was not an expense for me; however I wanted to mention it in the article!). I kept all of my personal finances (student loans/living expenses) separate as I was working outside of setting up my business and paid for those things with personal income. As for employee interviews and wages I am going to tackle that in a separate article. We had only two weeks of training before we opened the cost of their wages was calculated in the miscellaneous since it only about $1,000 ( $13/hr x 2 employees at 40 total training hours).

    Our technology DID cost a lot, but for good reason. For one, we had to build out a whole server unit, install cameras (safety reasons), wire the building and install all of our computer, set up our EMR, phone systems and have a year-long contract with our IT guy to service us whenever we need (and I’ve called him a lot in these first 6 months!). We are actually using Crystal PM and we LOVE them!!. Seven computers were necessary: two at our front desk, one in our exam room, one in our pre-test room, one in mine and my partner’s office and two in our vision therapy room (one for vision therapy activities/one for inputting note taking during therapy sessions). It may seem excessive, but we wanted to install everything from the start. The way our loan was set up we had a ‘project phase’ that once we opened our doors our access to the loan money was cut off, so we purchased all that we could.

    I think furnishings are a case by case basis and personal preference; my partner and I wanted custom built cabinets so that we could design exactly how we wanted our exams rooms to be. Each person will vary on how they will design an office and where they would choose to spend their money.

    Believe me, this was a HUGE learning experience! We really didn’t have a guide and we definitely made mistakes along the way, but I am hoping that this articles can help people lay out some expenses, start the conversation and tweak things to what they need.

    Thank you again for reading and commenting! The article on funding should be out soon!

  3. Bruce Colton

    No buildout / tenant improvement cost? Was it already built out perfect? Or did the landlord agree not only to help pay, but to completely 100% cover your buildout? That could add another $100-$200K, right?

    • Miki Lyn DAngelo

      Our build out only cost $10,000! Our landlord is a cardiologist who built the building knowing exactly how to have the proper flow in the office, sink accessibility, etc… To answer your question, YES build out can cost upwards of $100,000- I just got lucky!

  4. Shahin Eghanian

    Thanks Mki; a very helpful article!

  5. Anthony Spina

    How do you like your Oculus Easyfield as compared to a Humphrey?

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