In an analysis of privately-held businesses based on tax returns, the Sageworks consulting firm reported that optometry ranked fourth among most profitable industries in terms of net profit margins at 14.3%*.
Optometry Among Top 4 Most Profitable Professions
Tied with chiropractors, the #4 spot puts ODs just behind dentists at #3 and ahead of office based physicians at #7 in the health care arena.
High Profit Margins Draws Competition
It’s become very fashionable among ODs over the last few years to complain about how difficult it is to make a living practicing optometry.
There is certainly no doubt that private practice owners continue to feel growing pressure from managed care, sophisticated corporate competition and the internet sale of eyewear.
Good or bad, that's the way the economy works.
When you have a business model with good profit margins — which optometry most certainly does - it draws competition.
I Think The Glass Is Half Full
Fact is, I've never had a single OD tell me that he or she got into optometry because they thought it was the #1 money making profession in the world.
So, personally, I am elated with our #4 ranking. And not surprised at all. I know and work with many ODs in highly profitable practices.
If you believe Sageworks research is accurate, all you have to do is compare the private practice of optometry to all the other ways you could be making a living. ODs still have it pretty darn good in terms of profit making potential.
'Potential' being the key word.
It's OK To Get Help
The good news is, you don't have to have all the answers yourself. Help and support is available in a variety of forms for any OD who wants to increase their income.
Feel free to email me if you want information on a new practice building program Neil Gailmard and I are introducing this month.
*Sageworks figure of 14.3% for net profit margins is "after tax". The widely reported average of 30% for optometry practices is "pre tax".
Thanks for reading,
Jerry Hayes, OD
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Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are for discussion purposes only and are NOT intended to serve as legal, accounting or investment advice. ©2011 Jerry Hayes, OD. Not to be reproduced without written permission of the author.
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