Scaling Big City Optical: Insights from CEO Michael Kogelis [hosted by Imran Khan]

Posted by Imran Khan on Feb 28, 2023 8:00:00 AM

Attorney and CEO Imran Khan interviews Michael Kogelis, CEO of Big City Optical to discuss the success of his business and the strategies he used to grow it quickly. 

Real Estate Moguls | Host Episode | Imran Khan | Big City Optical

Expanding a business takes a lot of effort, dedication, and smart strategies. Big City Optical, a company that specializes in optometry, has managed to open 16 stores in just over five years in Chicago. Kogelis goes over how the company approached expanding their business from a real estate perspective.

The company started in the Pilsen neighborhood, which was an underserved community in terms of quality optometry.

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Kogelis said that they treated their investment in opening their first store like "dollar cost averaging," where they continued to invest even when they faced challenges and made mistakes. They turned their mistakes into investments and opened more stores, learning from their experiences along the way.

Kogelis also talked about their goal to open three to four stores each year and how they are looking for preexisting optical practices to expand their business.

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He shared that the only thing that mattered for their business was the number of patient care exams they did on a daily basis, which they focused on through marketing and converting shoppers into buyers. When it comes to real estate, Kogelis said that the location was a top priority, and he looked for places where they didn't have to advertise for people to find their location. 

He prioritized co-tenancy and being around other businesses that had clients that they wanted to target. Kogelis also talked about how he prioritized the profile of the location and the clients around it, which drove how much he was willing to spend on rent.

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One of the key takeaways from Kogelis's interview is that having a laser focus on one specific aspect of growing a business is critical. In their case, it was patient count and exams, which drove their growth. Kogelis also talked about how important it was to work with real estate brokers who took the time to understand their business and find them the right locations.

Big City Optical's success in expanding their business in a short period of time is a testament to their smart investment strategies, laser focus on growth, and the importance of finding the right real estate locations. Kogelis's insights on how they approached expanding their business from a real estate standpoint provide valuable lessons for other businesses looking to expand.