Buying an Established Practice and Making it My Own

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My parents own a mini mart in central California that sells traditional Mexican groceries to local migrant workers and their families. From the age of eight I spent summer vacations and weekends in the store, stocking shelves, cleaning, working the register—whatever needed to be done. The customers were regulars, and we treated them like family, helping them in any way we could. Through that experience, I developed not only a strong work ethic and penchant for customer service, but also the drive to one day own a business where I could help people the way my parents helped their customers.

Early on, I decided the best way to achieve my goal was to become a doctor with my own practice. Having worn glasses from a young age, I visited my optometrist often and loved how he took care of his patients, not only helping them see, but helping them live better, healthier lives. And, as a future business owner, I was impressed by how he ran his practice, making decisions and choices that he knew were the best for his patients. After a time, he agreed to mentor me and, thus, launched my journey into optometry.  

One of my externships was in Hawaii, where I fell in love with the people and the beauty of the island (and the man who later became my husband!). As an avid hiker and lover of the outdoors, I reveled in the landscape and knew Hawaii was where I wanted to settle down and one day have a practice. After a       few years practicing in different modalities, I learned through the Hawaii Optometric Association of a practice for sale in Waipahu, a vibrant community on the island of Oahu. Buying a practice as a young OD was daunting, but with the encouragement of my parents, who had always taught me I could achieve whatever I wanted, and the support of my husband, I took the leap.

The practice I acquired was a VSP Premier Edge Platinum practice that had been in business for more than 50 years. With a solid reputation and an established patient base, it was a relatively seamless transition. Yet, it was the ability to make my own decisions that had drawn me to private practice, and I gradually started making adjustments to the business to make it even better, and more importantly, to make it my own.

That process included building a relationship with VSP, who has supported me from the beginning. My VSP reps are always there to answer any question I have, to provide insights and advice about the business, and to guide me through decisions that benefit my patients and make the office more profitable. As I make enhancements to the practice, we work together closely to identify areas for improvement and implement next steps to support our growth. Being part of VSP Premier Edge has played a big role in our success as well, increasing our visibility and flow of new patients and providing cost savings and business-building resources for the practice.   

Today, as I reflect on my first two years of private practice ownership and the growth of the practice, I’m so proud of what I’ve—what we’ve accomplished. I couldn’t have done this without my parents’ undying belief in my ability, my husband’s constant support and partnership, and my amazing staff who work tirelessly every day to provide exceptional patient care and make it a joyful place to work. As Eye See It, this is our success, and I’m so grateful that, together, we’re achieving the goal I set as a child: work hard to help people. 

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