Home Design Inspirations Five-year Anniversary Brings Balance and Reflection

Five-year Anniversary Brings Balance and Reflection

Dr. BasraIn November 2023, Arinder Basra, OD, celebrated her five-year anniversary since opening Brampton Family Eye Care in Brampton, Ontario. It’s been a busy few years as a solo practice owner. As she reaches this milestone, Dr. Basra is excited for the chance to bring more balance back to her life.

“It’s easy to get your life wrapped around and absorbed in the practice,” she says, adding that the isolation from COVID left her even more focused on the business. “I was working 6-7 days a week at first. Things are different now, and my priorities have changed. I’m looking forward to balancing it out now.”

Dr. Basra is looking to offset some duties with the hire of an office manager, an important lesson in delegation as a business owner and as she welcomed her second child in 2023.

“What drove me to get into optometry was the flexibility you can have,” she says. “I was always told that and now I’m in it. I can take advantage of it and not feel pressured like I’m working for someone and have to go back and give the hours.”

She shared the journey of getting here with Women In Optometry, as well as her encouragement to others to pursue their optometry dreams.

FROM A CASUAL SEARCH TO FULL SPEED AHEAD

Dr. Basra worked in two private practices after her 2009 graduation from New England College of Optometry. “I didn’t mind the option of buying in and joining, but as time went on, our goals changed of what they were looking for and what I wanted to do, as well.”

She casually searched for a place to open a practice in a nearby proximity to where she grew up. Finding her perfect space for a practice was challenging but came together in the end with a twist of fate, she says. “The greater Toronto area is very saturated. There’s an optometry practice or an optical in every plaza,” she says. Each time she saw a sign go up, she would immediately call the landlords or management companies. “Everything was already filled up.” It seemed like the only places where space was available were in very rural areas, but she hoped to stay in a more suburban setting.

Dr. Basra didn’t give up. “I’m a firm believer of fate and that things happen for a reason. When the time is right, it will happen.” Coincidentally, she came across a vacancy in a unit in the area she was interested in. It was great news with a catch: Dr. Basra inquired about the space late in June 2018, and the lease started in July. “Therefore, I had to start construction right there and then.” Things moved along quickly. “I had to make decisions right away and managed to open Nov. 10, 2018. It was meant to be.” She left both practices to focus 100 percent of her efforts on herself and her new business.

MODERN HOME STYLE INFLUENCES OFFICE

The 1,700 square foot office was designed with a new, modern feel to it. Dr. Basra was also house hunting while she planned the design for her practice. “I liked white kitchens and cabinets, and I continued that into the practice. It’s a mix of white and some gray for a neutral modern tone.”

Yet the space is also inviting, and Dr. Basra wanted potential patients to feel welcome to bring their whole family to the office and chose the name Brampton Family Eye Care to represent that. There’s a dedicated children’s area inside where they can feel comfortable and get a chance to see their new eyewear up close. The optical selections offer a wide range of styles and price points to allow everyone to find what they are looking for.

FOCUSED ON GROWTH

When Dr. Basra opened her doors, the area was in very early stages of development and not much else was around, so she visited new medical clinics and general practitioners as they opened nearby. She focused on pediatricians when she could to inform them that she could work with even their youngest patients. She says that she’s appreciative of the loyal patients who followed her from the offices where she previously worked.

The community has continued to grow, and the office has many homes, plazas and other businesses nearby. The many new developments have brought in new, young families and their children, and the practice is thriving in providing myopia control services. Dr. Basra considered that demographic as she built her team of doctors, who share her passion for managing myopia and working with a pediatric population. She also personally specializes in scleral lens fittings.

In 2020, she hired her first associate to help manage the patient load as she took her first maternity leave. Today, the practice has three associate ODs. “Associates and staff bring a herd of people, and it just grows from there.” The practice has earned multiple local awards over the years; most recently, the office was a Diamond Winner in the Readers’ Choice 2023 awards from The Brampton Guardian and was also named a Platinum Winner in the CommunityVotes Brampton awards in the categories of optometrists, eyeglasses and contact lenses. Dr. Basra has also been awarded the top three optometrists in Brampton by The Three Best Rated, Brampton.

Right around the time she celebrated her five-year anniversary, Dr. Basra also added a second exam lane last year to allow greater flexibility as she transitions back from her second maternity leave. “I can start back working a few days and take it from there. It really helps to have a great team of doctors and staff who all work together to make sure patients are being highly cared for.” That’s Dr. Basra’s biggest priority, to make sure every patient is taken care of while being happy and satisfied. “That’s how you gain that loyalty and trust. If they are happy they will recommend us to others.”

Dr. Basra is now focused on her next five years, and she plans to grow the business by utilizing her second exam lane through adding more doctors and specialty services. “Dry eye in-office treatments are becoming popular, and I have another room I could build into if I needed to.”

GO FOR YOUR DREAM

She also gets questions about pursuing optometry as a career from the parents or teenagers who come to the practice. She tells them that while the journey may be hard, it’s fulfilling and worth it. “You think eight years of school will take so long, but time goes by so fast,” she says. “It’s going to be tough, but you will get through.” She often reminds them to keep their options open, especially if they’re truly passionate about optometry. Both the U.S. and Canada have equivalent education, so the license is transferable. “I always inform them because they may not realize. I’ve personally gone through it and to this day I do not regret the decision.”

 

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