A day in the life of a business owner

“Our eyes and our sight are the most important things we own”

Owner of Beaconsfield’s CBTR Opticians, Hayley Brunsden, talks OT  through a working day that starts with weights and dogs walks and ends with a cosy crime novel

A brunette woman in her 30s is wearing an orange suit and trainers and smiling at the camera with her feet on the desk
Hayley Brunsden
Hayley Brunsden, owner of Beaconsfield’s newest optical practice, talks OT through her day – from early morning dog walks to unwinding with crime fiction and the occasional spa evening. 


Hayley Brunsden

Hayley Brunsden

Occupation:Owner of CBTR Opticians


Business owner since:November 2023.

I usually wake up about 5.30am. The first thing I do is make a gratitude list, then I get up and go to the gym. I weight train, so I do that in the morning. If I don’t do that, my partner and I will walk the dog. I want to be up and out, either getting some form of exercise or fresh air. I’m basically like a dog: I need fresh air, exercise, and food.


I arrive at the practice around 9am. We’ve got a very posh coffee machine; that was one of the first things I bought. I was laughing with my partner. He was like, ‘Hayley, you haven’t even signed a lease yet, and you’re researching which coffee machine you want to buy.’

We’ve also got some electronic diffusers that we use in the practice, so we like to switch those on nice and early, to make sure the practice is smelling lovely when the first client comes at 9.45am.


There is just two of us: myself and my colleague, who is a friend and a dispensing optician. We usually go through the clinic and see who we’ve got coming in. Obviously, at the moment they are all new clients. It’s just having a look at what notes we’ve made from their last eye examination, and just getting prepared for the clinic that we’ve got ahead.


Currently we have a few clients day-to-day, but they are sporadic. I do spend a lot of my time connecting with local community, even if it’s just going around the local businesses and introducing myself, saying who we are and what we do. Because we’re a private practice, I’ve connected with some of the private dentists and private GPs.

I’m also managing our social media, so I make sure I get ideas for content and put content out a couple of times a week as well.


Lunch is usually whatever leftovers I have from the night before. Because I get up so early to go to the gym, it just needs to be packed and ready to go.

I block out an hour. I usually take half an hour off the shop floor, to give my brain that time to relax. Ideally, I’ll go out and get some fresh air again, even if it’s just for a wander around the block, because as the resident optometrist I’m sat in a windowless room most of the day. For the second half an hour, I will be manning the front of house while my colleague goes for lunch.


As in the morning, in the afternoon, we will hopefully have clients in. We’ve got an extensive drinks menu, including tea and coffee, but also bubbles and wine. If a client turns up a little bit early, I’ll always offer them a drink and we’ll sit and have a chat.


To unwind, I read...

JK Rowling aka Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels

The last client comes out at 4.45pm. My colleague and I are both contracted until 5.30pm, but the practice closes at 5pm, to give us enough time to make sure the client is getting the service that they need – whether that’s new glasses, or a cup of tea. It also gives us time to get the practice completely clean and closed, ready for the next day.


It’s just me and my partner at home. We will usually walk the dog again in the evening. We’re members at David Lloyd, so sometimes we’ll go and have a relaxing spa session for an hour. 


My partner and I are both vegan, so dinner is always something packed with lots of nutrients, but also trying to get in as much protein in it as possible. Often, it’s a veggie curry or a chilli con carne.


My phone goes off at least half an hour before I go to bed. I plug it in, set my alarm, and that’s gone. Reading is one of my biggest passions, so I always read before bed. I like to escape into fiction, and I’m not too fussy with what kind. Often, it’s a crime or detective novel – just something I can escape into.