In this series, I am sharing the following 5 Winning Strategies for building a successful contact lens business. 

5 Winning Strategies for Contact Lens Business Success

  1. Engineer The Contact Lens Exam Experience
  2. Determine Service Fee Schedules
  3. Create Your Practice Contact Lens Portfolio
  4. Promote Your Contact Lens Clinic
  5. Become Data-Driven

Last week, we talked about Winning Strategy #1 –Engineer the Contact Lens Experience. This week, we will be discussing winning strategy #2 for building a successful contact lens practice. 

Determine a Profitable Service Fee Schedule

The basics of business teach that every practice should focus on offering competitive value propositions for two of the following:

  • People
  • Products
  • Price

It’s important to select two and stick with them.

What’s the appropriate fee for your service? According to CLS, you can answer this question in two ways. The first pertains to the market in which your practice is located. The second is to base fees on the perceived value of the service.


Fee-Based Services 

Price-based value propositions that are highly competitive in the marketplace will attract more cost-conscious consumers. These consumers may select a practice based solely on price and may not be loyal if they find a better deal.

Be cautious if you set your professional fees to compete with significantly less expensive practices or retail operations.  This can decrease your contact lens profit potential.


Value-Based Services 

Set value-based fees depending on the value of the service. Value-based practices excel in creating a demand for their quality products and exceptional service. Through marketing, patient education, and staff interaction (opticians, technicians, front desk staff), the patient will present in the examination room asking for the service.

When this type of demand has been created, you won’t have to sell to patients — they’ll make a decision based on value. [1]

I recommend using a combination approach. You want to stay within a competitive range for your market, but you also need to assure that you make a profit. As such the service fee for your initial contact lens exam must have a built-in profit. 


Use the following table to determine service fees:

Exam Type

Chair time in minutes per visit

Number of visits included

Operation cost per minute

Profit Markup

Service Fee

Standard CL Exam







Service Fees = (Chair Time * Number of Visits * Operation Cost) * Profit Markup

Market Range = $69 – $199

Final Service Fee = $129

Setting professional fees for contact lens services can be challenging. However, if you educate your patients on the value of their contact lens evaluation and ensure your fees are charged appropriately; you can generate a healthy profit margin. 

Stay tuned for strategy #3 next week. Until then, continue to Empower, Connect, and Promote each other’s success.

[1] (David L. Kading, 2008)