Spectacles refer to the eyeglasses adorned by people to correct their flawed vision. The word “spectacles” is actually old-fashioned and the modern name for it is “eyeglasses”. Spectacles refer to the entire assembly of the frame and the powered glasses. Since, for most people, doctors prescribe constant use of spectacles, therefore, selection of the right frame and lenses becomes very important. Putting on a frame can essentially be equated to having a completely new look. It changes the appearance of your face, and therefore, spectacles must be carefully selected so as to ensure perfect compatibility of the wear and the frames.

With access to better healthcare facilities at affordable costs, people are becoming aware of the need to get their eyes regularly tested. In the earlier days, not a lot of people could afford spectacles, as the lenses were made from expensive crystals or even silica. Manufacturing them used to be an expensive affair, and thus, eye glasses were reserved for the upper and middle classes only. However, technology has advanced to the extent that lenses are made using synthetic materials and have become very affordable. In addition to affordability, even the frames are available in different shapes, sizes, materials, gender, and colour. With such a broad range of choices, every person who has been prescribed to use spectacles always spends a great deal of time, trying to find the right fit for themselves.

With a population of over 1.3 billion, India offers a huge market for spectacles, and spectacles manufacturers are increasingly aware of that. Since, a lot of our studying and work life is based, on being pretty close to the computer screen, therefore, the major brunt of such a lifestyle is faced by our eyes alone. It is not surprising to see children in first grade, wearing thick spectacles. A recent report predicts one in every three people in India suffers from flawed vision and needs to use corrective glasses to see better. With this estimate alone, we can understand how big a market there is for spectacles, just waiting for smart entrepreneurs to tap into.

Let us first understand the basics of business. A few things are extremely important and must be borne in mind while starting any business. First and foremost, do your own research. For starting a spectacle shop business, you first need to understand what spectacles are! You should have a thorough understanding of its materials, popular frames, margins, trending designs, various lenses, their markets, as well as lens cutting machine and fitting machine for eye glasses. The next fundamental aspect is to understand that for any business, its location is very important. You might be the best tea maker in the world, but if you set up your tea shop outside a primary school, then your business is doomed to fail right at the onset. This means, that your shop must be located in a place or area that sees frequent spectacle buyers. Let’s discuss this later. The third fundamental thing to know is that patience is very important. You can not expect to begin raking in the big bucks almost immediately after starting your business. It takes time, courage, and careful planning to run a sustainable successful business.

Having explained the basics, now let us focus on how to set up a successful spectacles shop business in India. If you are looking for a business that requires low capital and high returns, then spectacle business might be the right choice for you. First, you need to choose where you want to set up your eye glass business. As mentioned before, the location of your new business must be carefully selected, so that you have a regular stream of possible customers. So where can one find regular customers, in need of buying spectacles? The obvious answer is near hospitals, or private eye doctors, or in a vicinity, having a lot of doctors practicing nearby. If you can get in touch with a hospital and seek permission to rent out space for setting up a spectacles shop, then that would be the best thing for you! Else, reach out to an ophthalmologist having a good practice, and see if you could collaborate with him or her to benefit each other.

Also, Read - How to Start a Sunglasses Business in 30 Days?

Once you have selected your location, you must rent out the bare minimum space. The good news is that spectacles shops do not need a lot of space. An area of about 120 sq feet should be the minimum space you should look for. Once the shop is selected, then you must build racks and display boxes to showcase the myriad options of eyewear available at your shop. Carefully plan out the space inside the shop for counters, seating area, display cases, machine room, etc.

Since your establishment must run legally, therefore it is pertinent to get a license for your shop. Ensure that you get the GST number and every transaction must be billed with that GST number. Gone are the days when customers could be given handwritten bills. Everything must be computerized. Use technology to your advantage. It has a positive impact on your customer. Spend some time researching which billing software to buy, and gain the necessary training in it before starting your shop. Many software such as Tally etc are specifically designed for businesses like these.

Next, you need to connect with the manufacturers of spectacles frames. Ask them for their catalog so that you can research the spectacle's design. Do some research on your own. Find out the trending frame models and the classical models. Frames such as Aviators never go out of style. Therefore, do due diligence and consult multiple experienced people in the method to order your frames. Not only do you need frames, you also need to source your lenses. You must find out the lenses available in your city and connect with their suppliers. Always look for the best possible deal. Do not immediately agree to whatever the supplier offers. Discuss, raise your doubts, sort them out, and only when you are confident about the trade relationship, should you proceed. Therefore, you must stock up on different frames and offer a wide range of lenses for your customers to choose from.

Spectacles brands are also one important area to look out for. Remember not everyone can afford a pair of Ray Bans!! There are many spectacle manufacturers offering excellent frames at different prices. You must stock up on a variety of frames catering to a range of possible clients having different buying capacities.

When designing your shop, give it a chic feel. It should look inviting and friendly business house. For the same, you must hire one trained and one non-trained employee. It would be the responsibility of the trained employee to educate the novice. This way, you save a little on your salary to be paid.

Delivery turnaround time is very important. If you promise a delivery date, then be sure that you deliver by then. Customers like honesty, and every business dealing must be as honest as possible. This means that if you are getting your lenses fitted elsewhere, then your fitter should give priority to your work. Therefore, having a good relationship with your fitter is important. In case the fitting and cutting of lenses is done at your shop, then you need to ensure that the lens supplier delivers your lens on time.

One thing, you must bear in mind. When a customer buys a pair of spectacles, he is buying them for the long run. This means that, unlike medical stores, you will not expect your client to return the next week to buy more medicines. Once they buy the spectacles, they will only return (hopefully to you) when they want to change the frame or have an increase in eye power. Therefore it is wise to be polite and courteous with your clients. This would be your free marketing tool and the client has the potential of delivering multiple possible clients.

In terms of investment, a spectacle shop business can be started with capital as little as five lakhs. The upper limit could be as high as you can afford or want to explore. The good thing in the spectacle business is that you can derive a profit margin of roughly 60% on the frames and 40% on the eye lenses. So, you have a lot of room to negotiate with your customers, to ensure they do order from your shop.

Conclusion: The spectacle shop business is a lucrative business in India. It requires little training, good people-handling capacity, and discipline. For starting this business, one must exercise due diligence and research a lot. The business offers a good profit margin if you are enterprising enough. It is important to build a brand for yourself to become synonymous with the best eyewear in town.

FAQs: Spectacles

Q. Are glasses called spectacles?

Ans: Yes, glasses and spectacles are the same things. The spectacle is an old-fashioned term used for eyeglasses.

Q. What are the 3 types of spectacles?

Ans: Spectacles can be categorized into three types depending on their frames. They can be either rimless, half rim or full-rim.

Q. What is the difference between eyeglasses and spectacles?

Ans: There is no difference between the two.

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