Who are we and who do we want to be?

“The Difference Between Who You Are and Who You Want to Be is What You Do” – Unknown Author

Wow!! Think about that. Who are we? Are we Wal-Mart? Probably not.

In 2014 Wal-Mart had 11,000 stores in 27 countries. They had 2.2 million employees and had revenues of $473.1 billion.

Do we want to be Wal-Mart? I think not. Bigger is not always better. Wal- Mart has the reputation of low price and little to no customer service. Is this the direction we want to go? No. We pride ourselves on being individually owned and providing the best customer service in the industry. Our prices are good, but that certainly is not the focus of who we are. I personally do not shop at Wal-Mart. I am willing to pay a little bit more for convenience and customer service.

Who Do We Want To Be? How about HEB? Hmmm. HEB is a regional grocer who in 2014 had 311 stores in Texas. They employ 76,000 associates and had revenues of $20 billion dollars.

Not bad. Do I shop at H-E-B? You bet. I go there multiple times a week. They have great product, knowledgeable and friendly associates, competitive prices and convenience. Maybe HEB would be a great model for us to look up to. I think we are well on our way already. We are a regional optometric network with 124 offices in Texas and revenues of over $100 million dollars last year. We are conveniently located throughout the state, and offer high quality product at a competitive price. By and large our staffs are very knowledgeable and friendly. We have a lot in common.

So why do I mention these comparisons? The Board is meeting and talking regularly about where TSO needs to be headed. Are we satisfied with the number of locations we have? No. We need many more. Possibly twice as many. San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth markets can handle a large number of more offices. We need those markets to be developed, so the offices that are there are convenient and will be a significant player in the area.

Just like HEB, who has quality generic products, we plan to bring on our own line of frames. These “generic” frames will be of high quality, but at a much better wholesale price than we can purchase individually. We plan to offer training and more training and more training. The way for us to grow is to offer the best customer service. If someone wants to concentrate on price only, they can have that market. I think TSO is answering the question of who we are and who we want to be—and we are doing what it takes to get there.

So, who are you? Are you a $600,000 office and you want to be a million dollar office? Are you a $1.5 million office and you want to be a $2 million dollar office? Remember, the difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.