Hugh Potter’s two new audiology stores in Mt Manganui and Whakatane, completes our rollout of audiology across the Bay of Plenty, with all stores in the region now offering audiology services.
Hugh, our 9th New Zealand partner, says he is thrilled to open his own businesses as part of the Specsavers network.
“I became an audiologist after shadowing one at his workplace and seeing the appreciation his clients had for his expertise and customer service. I recognised it as being a career that is not only technically interesting but provides an opportunity to significantly improve your customer’s quality of life. You also meet a number of lovely people,” says Hugh.
After graduating from the University of Canterbury with a Master’s in Audiology, Hugh moved straight into hearing aid dispensing for a private company.
He says chose partnership as the next step in his career because he was looking for an opportunity to be challenged and develop new skills while continuing to deliver high-quality care to his customers.
“As a global business, I really liked their transparency in terms of services that they offer, along with their very competitive pricing. I feel like the industry is in need for a model such as this, so am very excited to be part of it,” he says.
While he wasn’t very familiar with the brand at first, Hugh says the Specsavers team was great in educating him on the model and how the business would support him.
“After going through the whole process, I truly believe the team genuinely values and listens to their partner’s opinions or concerns. I would be lying if I said the amount of new material to learn hasn’t been a little intimidating, but Specsavers has been very supportive throughout the entire induction process, and there are multiple people who I know I can turn to if I need any help,” he says.
Launching audiology in two existing Specsavers stores, Mt Manganui and Whakatane, Hugh has already developed a great relationship with his team and optical partners.
“I was fortunate enough to go to the Mt Manganui store Christmas party and meet the team, which was great fun and helpful in getting to see their superb store culture. I haven’t spent as much time at the Whakatane store yet but am looking forward to it as we begin trading. Davy, the optical partner there has already offered to teach me to surf!” he says.
Hugh says he describes the Specsavers model as “a win for everyone involved”.
“Partners have the support of a very proficient organisation with a proven track record of success to guide them as they begin their business ownership journey. I think the model works because it is really in each party’s interest to do right by each other. If we both perform our roles within the partnership well, then the customer wins, the partners can run a successful business, and Specsavers can continue to grow and innovate within the industry,” he says.
“My personal goals are to continue to increase my clinical knowledge whilst learning a whole new set of business management skills, and gain confidence in this area. In terms of the stores, I hope we can build a fun and mutually beneficial working relationship between the optical and audiology businesses that offers real value to customers, is commercially successful, and does its part in increasing awareness of the importance of hearing healthcare within New Zealand.”
And would he recommend Specsavers to his fellow audiologists? Hugh says absolutely.
“I feel there is a real opportunity in the model to be challenged and grow on a personal level, whilst having the support of a business that is very good at what they do. This personal growth is in conjunction with being able to offer a service and products to customers that are markedly more affordable than what most of the industry is currently offering. It is a real opportunity to be part of the change our industry needs.”