Ophthalmology Associates, PLLC

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Name of Business: Ophthalmology Associates, PLLC

Address: 1500 Armory Drive, located in Wal-Mart

Phone number: 516-6446

Operating Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 1 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Late hours by appointment only.

E-mail address: drbelgrave@aol.com

Nature of Business: ophthalmology/optometry

Principle owner/manager and title: Dr. Claude Belgrave Jr.

Year Founded: 2007

Prior Location: Norfolk

Number of employees: Four

How’s business? Business has dropped some in the last two months. I think it’s due to the economy and also to the fact that so many people got laid off at the paper mill. The whole town is in a recession. My friends in Suffolk, Chesapeake and Norfolk tell me the same thing.

One thing you wish everyone knew about your business: I’m an ophthalmologist and my exam prices are cheaper than the optometrists here. We’re conveniently located at Wal-Mart, where pretty much everybody goes to shop. Every day I meet people who don’t even know I am here.

Something you offer that a customer won’t find elsewhere: When we do a contact lens exam, we do an eyeglass prescription for free. Most places charge you for both.

Advice to young entrepreneurs: Don’t just jump into a situation. Research it thoroughly first, especially the location.

Your first job: My mother was the manager of a bank, and she got me a job there doing data entry.

Your role model (in business or in life generally): I like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. I think they’re both excellent, positive role models.

The key to a successful business is: Customer service and customer satisfaction. Even if something goes wrong, you let the patient know that they are important and that you will try and fix the problem.