Interview with Daniel Stanton
Daniel Stanton is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Now Optics, which consists of optical retail brands My Eyelab and Stanton Optical. Under Stanton’s leadership, Now Optics is among the nation’s fastest growing, full-service optical retail companies. Due to its rapid growth over the past few years, the company’s store footprint has expanded to over 200 corporate and franchise locations in 27 states under the Stanton Optical and My Eyelab brands. In 2016, his visionary approach and desire to innovate led to Now Optics’ retail debut of ocular telehealth exams. Since then, Now Optics’ affiliated network of doctors have administered over 1.2 million telehealth eye exams nationwide.
1. Tell us about the My Eyelab concept.
My Eyelab is a modern take on retail eye care with a focus on making the customer’s experience as simple and pleasant as possible. We use innovative telehealth technology, to complete eye exams in a safe, reliable, and affordable manner. My Eyelab manufactures our own line of frames, making options unique, fashionable and affordable to our clients. Our top priority was and remains to be our customers.
2. How and when did you become involved with My Eyelab?
My previous experience working in eye care made me realize there were a lot of missing pieces in the eye care retail industry. It shouldn’t be that hard to buy glasses. In an attempt to solve those reoccurring problems, I founded Now Optics in 2006, an easier approach to prescription eyewear. Today we have two retail brands, Stanton Optical which launched in 2006 and My Eyelab in 2013.
3. What was your background prior to joining My Eyelab?
I started my career in the eye care industry relatively early on. Throughout college, I worked in a variety of positions for a large optical retailer, and that’s where my passion began. I noticed that purchasing eyewear was often very costly in time and money to customers and wanted to find a way to cut those costs for them.
4. What are some of the advantages in being a My Eyelab franchisee?
There’s high consumer demand and need. My Eyelab is constantly moving forward technologically. What makes us different from the rest is our focus points.
“Easy Eye Care” – we have a vast selection of specially designed eyeglasses that are meant to be affordable and accessible to our customers. This means we get to provide for a larger percent of the population overall.
Technology Enabled – we leverage our proprietary telehealth solution to connect our national doctor network with patients in need of an eye exam across all our locations. Our hi-tech experience makes for a more convenient, faster, and affordable eye exam, without ever compromising quality. That’s the future of optical retail and that’s what we’re already offering.
5. Who is your ideal franchisee?
We’re looking for a specific like-minded business folks that share our vision, can execute our mission and have our values.
6. Tell us a little about the retail optical Market?
My Eyelab is a leader in the eye care retail industry by staying ahead on industry trends and providing convenient, yet affordable eye care to customers. Roughly 75% of Americans need corrective eyewear, so we know there is certainly a consumer demand in this market. Continued growth in this market will mostly come from very well thought out customer care, especially due to COVID, as well as technological innovation.
7. What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
Time management is key for me. It plays an important role in my day-to-day activities, as well as the way we operate in each one of our stores. The same way we need to find balance in our life to perform our best, we have to do so in office. When it comes to providing our customers with an incredible shopping experience, finding the balance between time spent on our customers, associates, and running the business is what helps us continue to succeed.
Additionally, recognizing and responding to the needs of our customers has helped our franchise continue to grow. We’re constantly learning about some of our customers pain points; we always want to respond to those by truly understanding the problem and finding a solution because it just makes us that much better at achieving our overall goal.
8. What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
I would recommend getting some business experience if you haven’t already. Try becoming a manager, regional manager and so on. Communicate with your network and expand it. The best way to enter the position you’d like to next is to learn about it from the people who already have it. Interview other franchisees and business owners so you can learn almost exactly what to expect.
9. In your opinion, why do you think that My Eyelab would be a great opportunity for someone?
My Eyelab has become one of the fastest growing eye care retail franchises in the industry. With our innovative technology and long-time experience using telehealth, there is so much opportunity for our franchise to continue growing and be successful. Our focus on providing the absolute best prices and optical experience for customers means we are constantly pushing to create the next best thing in the industry. We’re dedicated to making changes and achieving necessary advancements to continue being the best in the industry. My Eyelab is focused on “easy eye care” and technology.
In terms of demand, 75% of Americans require corrective eyewear. We here to provide to the need while making it the best experience we can for our customers.
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