Independent small businesses are what make America thrive. Anyone with an idea and motivation can succeed beyond their wildest dreams. However, it does take more than that. A person can have the best idea or invention in the world, but if they do not have a plan behind it, it could amount to nothing.
To succeed in any business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. People start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and put their feet up and start making money immediately. The cold truth is that this is never the case. Making money in a business is much more difficult than people think. And to make enough money to become profitable is something that even seasoned entrepreneurs have difficulty doing.
Dr. Avi Weisfogel, a dentist based out of New Jersey, learned this along the way of creating his own successful businesses. Weisfogel opened up his own dentistry practice early in his career and found success immediately. Everyone needs a dentist, so if you do great work, people will be lined up around the block to become a new patient. People love giving referrals if they have experienced great service.
Weisfogel noticed quite a few of his patients had sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is where the person sleeping will continually hold their breath throughout the night for sometimes up to a few minutes at a time. It is easy to see why this would not lead to a good night of rest, and could be extremely detrimental to their overall health. Stroke or heart disease could eventually manifest itself from sleep apnea.
Weisfogel made the decision to leave his thriving practice and focus on solving these sleeping disorders. It was not an easy choice to make. Most people do not even realize they have a sleeping disorder for the mere simple fact that they are sleeping when they are exhibiting these characteristics. All of that snoring you hear from certain people once they fall asleep could actually mean that they are suffering from sleep apnea. This is especially true if they start making a choking or coughing sound when they sleep.
So you can understand how Weisfogel had trouble starting a new business dealing with sleeping disorders when most people are not even aware that they have one. Most medical problems have certain symptoms to be on the lookout for. But sleeping disorders can be camoflauged by the late hours of the night.
Years later, Weisfogel has treated thousands of obstructive sleep apnea patients. But it did not start out that way. He spent a couple years and millions of dollars trying to create a successful sleep disorder business. In the beginning, he spent too much time searching for miracle secrets that would make his business boom. However, there were several simple strategies that he learned along the way that could have shortened his time struggling. He was working harder than he needed to. Wise people always say to work smart, not hard. Weisfogel was learning this lesson as he followed his path.
He spent fifteen years perfecting his craft, looking for anyone that could teach him something different or new. Someone that could provide an insight to something that he could not see. Weisfogel took as many courses as possible and even became a Diplomate with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. These accomplishments and experience are extremely important, but he was still struggling in finding enough patients to make his business profitable. He knew there were millions out there suffering from sleep apnea, but how could he make them come in his doors.
Weisfogel learned the easy part was treating the sleep apnea patients, and the difficult part was ensuring your business was going to be a success. The average sleep dentist only treats two to four patients a month. This is not nearly enough patients to make a business profitable.
Weisfogel was grateful to be treating these few patients in the beginning, but he was frustrated there was not a line outside the door waiting to see him. He originally believed that if he received even more certifications and distinctions that it would turn it all around. Instead he realized he was becoming a highly qualified struggling business owner. He knew he had to change it up quickly.
He had a proven system that worked. He had been taught all of these courses, but he was being taught by others that did not have successful practices of their own. He needed to find a teacher that was achieving the kind of success that he wanted. A mentor that could guide him along the way.
His program was complete, but he needed to attract customers and have enough financial knowledge to ensure he could make a good living doing this. He started to assemble a great team around him that had the same goal as he did. He began to compare his system to his competitors, and made sure to eclipse what they had to offer. Weisfogel had always been advertising his services, but he realized that certain ways of advertising were not directly paying off for him. They were not attracting enough patients for what he was paying. So he streamlined and focused on the advertising that was working.
Weisfogel began taking advantage of the opportunity in front of him. Between four to ten percent of the population has undiagnosed sleep apnea. Knowing where to look for them was paying off. He was soon seeing 20-50 patients a month, with a reimbursement rate from insurance right around $3,000 each. He did not stop there, though. He started teaching others his program, as well, and begin working with other medical professional in establishing their own sleep clinics within their own business.
Weisfogel learned the hard way for a couple years while his business was struggling and his bank account was dwindling. Like many business owners, he knew he had a great product, but he just needed to find the correct customers that needed him. He is hoping that his own story will inspire others that are thinking about opening up their own business, or come up with the right equation for a business that is already open and struggling.