Domiciliary Partnership: Deborah Sayers’ Story
September 25, 2018
Author: Sam Reed
What made you want to become a Domiciliary Joint Venture Partner with Specsavers?
Specsavers’ joint venture model was a great way of me building a business with an established brand behind me in a low-risk way. The initial purchase price wasn’t a barrier to joining and as the business flourished I started to see the rewards via dividends on top of my annual salary.
How have you found the transition into being a business owner?
It’s certainly a big jump as you become responsible for everything from broken bags to NHS audits. However, this is also the best bit of what I do as being a Domiciliary Joint Venture Partner means you have a stake in all decisions and feel true ownership, something I hadn’t found in my previous optometry roles.
How long did it take you to get to grips with technical side of owning a business and how did Specsavers support you?
Specsavers have been great at supporting us as we have grown and developed as a business. The joint venture nature of the business means they provide additional platform services to our business, enabling us to focus on the patient. The Regional Relationship Managers help embed the core skills of understanding the financial balance sheets, as well as advising about the best levers to drive the business forward.
What has been the most rewarding part of your partner journey so far?
Sitting at our team meal and looking at the team of 14 we have employed and trained to deliver excellent patient care across North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire, and knowing the difference it has made to thousands of patients lives.
How do you get the most out of your team without spending everyday with them?
You’d be surprised how often we talk every day. The office is the hub of the business and we are in regular communication with us regarding any diary flexes, additional patient information or customer queries. We often triple test the field teams too, so we will also see how each other are doing through informal WhatsApp chats. We have a more formal weekly telecom and regular training sessions, team meetings, team meals - and even a team trip to Alton Towers this month to help maintain the strong team culture we have developed.
Why do you think the Specsavers model of Optometrist and Customer Service Partner works so well?
Personally, my partner is a Dispensing Optician which I find invaluable. Each director brings a different skill set and view on the world, enabling us to divide work and play to each other’s strengths. When you have challenges you have someone to talk to who understands and helps you find a solution - or just an understanding voice at the end of the phone.
My key piece of advice to anyone looking to become a Domiciliary Director would be to get yourself great partner, like I did.