As an experienced marketer of 18 years, Dallas resident Yousuf Ali hit a standstill in his career when the digital age took over back in the early 2000s. As someone who worked in B2B primarily doing direct mail marketing, he noticed a shift in the industry and was eager to try something new.
“I wanted to try something new, and retail was very appealing to me, so I started researching different aspects of retail where I felt I could be successful,” he said.
The Road to Becoming a Business Owner
Born and raised in Pakistan, Yousuf first came to the U.S. to attend college in New York. After graduating, Yousuf moved back home to work before returning stateside in 2000.
While he always envisioned being an entrepreneur one day, he opted to work in the marketing field, where he remained for nearly two decades. When he noticed the decline of direct mail, his newfound interest in retail prompted him to pursue his entrepreneurial goals and explore franchise opportunities.
“I wanted to be in a franchise business, as I thought that starting a new business from scratch is a much higher risk as compared to a franchise, which has a proven track record and a shortcut to growth,” Yousuf explained.
A Franchise that’s One Step Ahead
Upon doing his research online and attending trade shows, Yousuf grew interested in healthcare. He began researching healthcare-related businesses when he discovered My Eyelab.
“My Eyelab really caught my attention because there’s no aspect of this business that I cannot do myself. The more I looked into it, and the more time I spent, I felt very comfortable jumping into a franchise like this with no previous knowledge and experience in healthcare,” he added.
Additionally, our use of telehealth and other hi-tech systems interested Yousuf because it gave him a chance to open a business with a forward-thinking brand that embraced new technologies.
“I like to define My Eyelab as a technology company that serves the vision needs of the people,” he added.
After speaking with our corporate team and learning of our simplified franchise model, Yousuf decided to open a retail eye care franchise. He opened his first store in Irving, Texas in August 2019.
Operating an Essential Business
Thankfully, Yousuf’s My Eyelab was deemed an “essential” business, and he remained open throughout the pandemic.
“I was fortunate to choose a business that is deemed ‘essential.’ This is one of the reasons I chose
My Eyelab in the first place. It’s a recession-resistant business, and in times of recession, people still need to take care of vision needs,” he explained.
Thanks to our telehealth technology, Yousuf and each of our franchisees could cater to their patients
while adhering to COVID-safety guidelines and maintaining a six-foot distance.
In fact, Yousuf’s eye care franchise saw an uptick in business during the pandemic.
“We have increased our associates by 30% since late May , and we have seen a 25% increase over the normal business, pre-COVID,” Yousuf explained. “Patients still need to come into the store.”
With the increase in business over the last year, Yousuf signed on and opened two additional locations in Lewisville, TX and Denton, TX, opening the stores in February 2021 and May 2021 respectively. His belief in the My Eyelab brand and success with his current stores has prompted Yousuf to sign on and open 3 additional stores, planned to open in Roanoke, TX – Grapevine, TX – Austin, TX.
Creating a Fun Work Environment
Yousuf and his management staff continue to recruit new, strong employees to keep up with the increased demand.
“The success of our business relies on our well-trained associates. Our goal is to have a friendly, family-oriented work environment and work with each associate on a path of self-growth,” Yousuf explained.
Yousuf and his team continue to recruit employees and maintain a welcoming work environment by incorporating weekly “spiffs,” (sales performance incentive funds) to help remind his associates of all the products and options they have with an opportunity to earn extra money.
“To get the staff motivated to recommend the correct add-ons to what patients, we use spiffs as something quick and spontaneous to reward employees. They can win a gift card, a reward, or time off, and it’s the internal, friendly competition that makes it rewarding for me to see,” said Yousuf.
A Newfound Freedom
Since becoming an entrepreneur, Yousuf gets the freedom and flexibility he didn’t get in his earlier career thanks to his employees and unmatched franchisee support.
“I can take a vacation without interruption since processes are in place for my employees to receive direct support from My Eyelab. Franchise support can answer their questions and resolve their issues. I don’t have to be on the phone, and I can continue my time off,” he explained.
Even as a new entrepreneur operating during a pandemic, Yousuf feels reassured that he is not alone thanks to the support from My Eyelab.
“I enjoy running my business and being a leader who can provide an essential service to my community.”
Looking to Bring My Eyelab to Your Community?
My Eyelab is a fast-growing telehealth franchise brand that’s recession-resistant, thanks to our telehealth technology. We’ve streamlined the back-end process of the business to remove the complexity of operating a retail franchise and enable business owners to benefit from this growing and rewarding business, regardless of their experience or background.