How have you been able to pivot or change your business model?
Thankfully our business model did not have to change drastically as we were already running a lean business with little overhead. As a new dental office, we were scraping by and had just hired our first employee to help with a possible new expansion when COVID-19 became a significant problem. Where it really affected us was with our other fulltime job. COVID-19 made us pivot away from our corporate dental jobs, where we were full-time employees as the corporation struggled with seeing any patients as a possible liability at this time. We took this as an opportunity to start putting full-time effort into our new business, Radiant Dental Health. Fortunately, our providers had a unique skill set that was able to treat most dental emergencies to include complicated root canals and difficult extractions. Our corporate employer continued to provide our office patients during the first 6 weeks of COVID-19 to treat all their emergencies. Between our patient population and their emergencies, we were able to maintain the office open. With PPE provided from Miramont Family Medicine whom we share a building with, we were able to provide a safe place for patients to be treated and employees to be kept safe while treating patients.
What has resonated with you most through your community (or employee) giving?
To date, the experience with COVID-19 has really opened our eyes to how world events helped bring Northern Colorado small businesses/communities together even when we are social distancing. With patients provided from the Toothzone Network a small local dental corporation and PPE (personal protective equipment) provided from Miramont Family Medicine, our clinic was able to stay in the fight and provide much-needed care for dental emergencies. We were able to keep healthy patients away from COVID-19 dense areas like emergency rooms and hospitals while treating their emergencies. It was beautiful to see businesses give up their own self-interests to help support each other. It was quite amazing how a horrible event like the pandemic was overcome by the community caring for each other and small business taking care of small businesses.
What do you or your business need most to succeed?
The two most important things for small business success during the current challenging times, is firstly the local economy needs to be more active again. The community needs to understand that if they would like to see small businesses continue, they need to start reintegrating themselves into society and get back to work in one form or another. All businesses understand the rules have changed and that we are limited by wearing masks and social distancing, but at the same time, our economy relies on the people getting back to work to continue to be prosperous again. All of our businesses are challenged by following safety guidelines recommended by the CDC. We need our patients and people to be brave, be safe, and return so that businesses can come back to life. The second thing we need is coming from the health care community. It is difficult enough to maintain the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to do our jobs with the upscaled precautions. Acquiring the needed masks to perform our clinical procedures has become even more difficult since the whole world decided everyone needs to wear an N95 mask to walk down the street by themselves. Dental distributors are limiting offices to about 50 masks per month. If we can remind the community that these are needed for the medical providers in high-risk areas. In lieu of using health care masks. make your own PPE with bandanas or cloth or so that people in high occupational health exposure areas can get their needed supplies to continue helping people.
What else would you like to share with the community?
Be strong, be resilient. The best ideas come when you think you have limited options. The destruction will spawn creativity, so though many doors may be closing, this allows news doors to open and opportunity to fill the absent voids. As small business owners, we have clung to the American dream of overcoming an overwhelming market of corporate competition. It is our time to cling to our values, roll up our sleeves, and realize there is still work to be done and this may be our opportunity for our business to fill the voids that corporations can’t do at the smaller level. Remember your community, adapt to its needs, and grow with it. The strength and support to keep our small businesses afloat will come from their needs of the local community and our agile small business models will allow us to compete where corporations can’t. American ingenuity will succeed and the community will rebound to become a stronger force for Fort Collins and Northern Colorado if we can see the new opportunities that are presented to us.
Check out their recent interview (in Spanish) on Telemundo Colorado here.