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The 5 Megatrends Set To Shape The Future Of The Independent Optics  And How To Harness Them In Your Practice


What are megatrends and what is their relevance to YOUR practice? 

Megatrends are forces that are reshaping the optical business landscape and the future prospects of independent practice owners in significant ways. 

The implication of these forces are broad and varied. They present both amazing opportunities that need to be proactively seized with both hands – and extremely dangerous risks and short-term temptations that need to be actively rationalised and mitigated.  

It is important to highlight the fact that the UK independent optical sector is not a single market.  
It is a “market of markets”, a sector with substantial regional variations and huge variance in operating models.  

Some of the 5 megatrends will be more significant to certain types of practices than others.  
At least 1 or 2 of the 5 will be relevant to every practice.  

Ultimately, knowledge is power and this blog is written to help you understand and anticipate these 5 key industry trends - allowing you – where appropriate - to adapt your thinking, planning and business strategy.  

Megatrend One:     Significant inflation in practice values

Megatrend Two:     'Islandification’ and Trading Location Evolution 

Megatrend Three:   Increasingly differentiated operating models in the independent sector

Megatrend Four:     Improving ease of ownership and operational experience

Megatrend Five:     Suppliers are becoming increasingly conflicted in one key area


A Cautionary Note on Decision Making In Challenging Times

Most practice owners are busy and unfortunately, even during normal times, this often means that when it comes to major decisions, too many are guilty of making poor judgment calls based on one or more of the following: 

•    Anecdotal evidence or hearsay

•    Advice from well-meaning sources - but ultimately sources with insufficient knowledge or experience
     to be able to recommend the optimal or most appropriate course of action 

•    Advice from people who have an agenda or a vested interest in a particular course of action 

•    Emotion or ego 

Operating a Practice during a Pandemic: The Perfect Storm for Fuzzy Thinking?

The ongoing pandemic has necessitated practice owners working with greater uncertainty, in a high intensity, less comfortable and more stressful environment.

We all deal with stress in different ways. Some people bottle it up and wage a lonely battle. 
Others feel the need to reach out and talk to someone they trust.

My mobile phone has never rung as much as during the last 9 months and it is clear that many owners are finding this situation and the ongoing news flow about the virus extremely taxing.

My message to you as a reader is the same one I have shared with my callers. It is important to appreciate that it is easy to make rash, emotional decisions when we are tired or stressed and it can be tempting to take the easy path and to head for the ‘emergency exit’ but frequently this is the wrong call. 

I hope this blog will instigate a constructive dialogue on the topics covered and will catalyse a renewed focus on objectivity and optimism about what lies ahead in hopefully the not too distant future.
In doing this I hope it will help business owners to remain upbeat and to make joined-up decisions during challenging times.

As you will see as you read on, the 5 megatrends are in the main incredibly positive:
If you can come through the current Covid crisis2 in one piece, having adapted your model to capitalise on the information in this white paper - then the future for you and your business is very bright. 

Dominic Watson
Myers La Roche, Analyst and CEO
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Case Study: The benefits of exit planning to achieve an optimised sale within the optical sector

Following a structured exit plan designed via our Exit 360 PathfinderTM service we have just completed on the sale of an optical practice in West Yorkshire. The transaction involved a separation of assets comprising a domiciliary business, traditional practice and separate freehold buildings of mixed usage.

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