Dame Mary Perkins on recruiting opticians for Specsavers [Video]

One of the biggest challenges Specsavers faced was recruiting opticians into the joint venture, says Dame Mary Perkins

Dame Mary Perkins says the biggest hurdle she faced when starting Specsavers was “to get opticians to join… on a joint venture partnership” as the “majority were employed in a very large optical chain that was around at the time”.

Perkins decided to target “the young blood coming out of university who really wanted to have their own practice”. They were “excellent opticians, excellent optometrists” but hadn’t yet cultivated the “buying… accountancy… and the marketing” skills necessary for running a business that Specsavers could offer them.

Perkins had to sell the idea of a great future to them by demonstrating that opening a Specsavers opticians would “be a very valuable business to be able to sell on when it came to their retirement”. As long as they could “persuade their bank… to get some money to put into the business as well” they could “get a shop off the ground”.

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