Chartered Accountants & Business Growth Specialists

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BBR Optometry Case Study

About BBR Optometry

Initially, a part time practice launched in 1968, BBR Optometry is now an award winning independent optometry practice based in Hereford. Their qualified, experienced team of optometrists provides tailored treatment plans based on the clients’ specific conditions. BBR uses the latest technology to enable early identification of potential problems to ensure these are treated in the best way. Unlike its competition, the practice provides thorough eye checks which allows it to identify issues which may have otherwise been missed. This has earned the practice an excellent reputation as experts in their field.

How we helped?

Ducketts started working with BBR Optometry in 2002 when Nick Rumney bought out his partners and took over complete control of the business.  The initial issue was to ensure that the practice was applying the right VAT calculation for its industry. Sorting this meant that the practice added £25K to its bottom line every year. Following on from this we ensured that the business had the right tools to develop and grow as well as measuring performance in real time. Here are a few examples of processes and business best practice which we introduced and supported:

  •  When we first started working with BBR there were no KPIs in place at all. We have developed them with the senior management team. They are now critical to both business development and performance review.
  •  We established ourselves as Trusted Advisors by identifying possible problems and issues (usually) before they arose, and then helping to find workable solutions.
  •  We supported Nick in the buy-out of his partners as well as providing retirement and exit advice and ensuring that the business was attractive and continues to be, to potential buyers.

Through our work with the management team at BBR, the Practice has grown it’s turnover to £1.6M and is in total control of the levers that generate profit. Our basic approach of bringing structure and discipline in order to allow growth and development has worked well for BBR in our 16 years of working together.

What does the client say?

We caught up with Nick Rumney, the business owner and Chairman, to get his take on working with Ducketts:

What involvement did you get from your previous accountant?

Our previous accountants offered us minimal involvement providing us out of date, year-end financial information 9 months after the end of our financial year. Whether we did well or not they offered no input as to why and no advice on improving the situation.  My previous business partners thought it was acceptable, but I was increasingly unhappy with it.

What made you approach Ducketts?

I met Chris at a social event and we got talking accountancy. It quickly became clear that his approach was completely different.  I decided to move my business to Ducketts who supported me with the buy-out of my partners. Needless to say, I have never looked back.

What were your main concerns?

I had a few concerns regarding our compliance particularly around VAT, but I am a great believer in letting experts do their job.  Chris Duckett always explained that whilst compliance work was a relatively small but fundamental component of their service, they really added value with business development advice and support. I bought into this idea as I felt that Chris and the team wanted to help grow our business, develop and better it.

How did you find the process of working with Ducketts?

They provided us with essential processes and systems. For example, they introduced regular board meetings (six times a year) where we review the business-critical data and our performance against the set KPIs.  We now involve other managers in the process, so they can get a better understanding of what is needed to grow and develop the practice. The best evidence of the successful work Ducketts are doing with us is the fact that we now make profit regularly. In fact, last year was our most profitable year ever. But this is not the only focus. To paraphrase Chris, the first element is building the revenue and then you focus on building the future of the business. I am 60 soon and looking to retire in the next five years, safe in the knowledge that I have a very saleable business. In many ways, I am not looking forward to retiring as the business is so well managed that it’s a pleasure to be here and this can be directly attributed to our work with Ducketts.

Would you recommend Ducketts to others in your industry?

I would absolutely recommend the team at Ducketts. I would advise other people in my industry not to make assumptions and approach their businesses with a fresh pair of eyes.  Don’t do things just because everyone else does it in the industry. Instead, you should assert good business practice regardless. This is what I learnt through my work with Ducketts.

Our industry is under considerable threat from corporates and the internet. At BBR, we make profit because we compete on a value basis, not on price. These days, rather than offering cheap eye checks and making profit on selling glasses, we provide the eye check as our key service. Patients spend a longer time with us and pay more, but we can build trust and provide real expertise.

It was this understanding that transformed our business and we owe it to Ducketts and their approach.

I am not looking forward to retiring as the business is so well managed that it’s a pleasure to be here and this can be directly attributed to our work with Ducketts.