Bharat Rana, renowned entrepreneur, investor, and CEO and Owner of ProSmile, one of the largest multi-specialty dental groups in the Mid-Atlantic region, is a man of hard work, commitment to discipline, and harnessing an innate vision in today’s world.
Influencive magazine recently caught up with Mr. Rana to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I’m an entrepreneur at heart and I love what I do. I’m the co-founder and CEO of ProSmile, one of the largest multi-specialty dental groups in the region employing over 1,100 talented healthcare professionals. I started my foray in the dental industry in 2011 by acquiring a small dental practice in New Jersey. I worked extremely hard to learn the business and create a platform where we offer the best clinical care available to our patients at affordable prices. I partnered with the right people, built an excellent team and today we’ve grown to 79 locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
I’m constantly investing in my business by upgrading my clinics to offer the safest, cleanest, and technologically advanced facilities. Equally important, I regularly train my staff to offer quality services utilizing the most advanced techniques. For example, when Governor Murphy advised all dental practices to shut down due to concerns over Covid-19, I used that downtime to invest in upgrading some of our clinics to better serve our patients and enhance safety, cleanliness, and comfort.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
Honestly, we’ve relied heavily on word of mouth, we let our outstanding service speak for itself. I do have a great appreciation for social media and am aggressively pursuing a strong social media presence in the near future. We’re currently on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
Our primary focus is patient care, so we have done very little paid advertising. However, I plan to ramp up our marketing efforts in 2021! There is a need for more brand awareness.
What other methods of advertising do you use?
I’ve dabbled in some direct mail and radio advertising but most of our “marketing” is community outreach events and health fairs at schools and businesses. As an organization, we feel that this has worked really well for us.
What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?
Our business has been around since 1986 so we have a lot of history and a significant presence in the communities we serve. We focus on patient care; we depend on our patients to be our brand warriors. Excellent clinical care, affordable prices, and advanced technology really distinguish us in our industry.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
It was really tough for me to temporarily close my practices as a result of government lockdowns. It meant I had to furlough many of my staff, but I’m truly grateful to have loyal employees who stood by my side and quickly returned to work when it was deemed safe to do so.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
There are tons of people that will give you a lot of attention to gain your business but will not give you the same level of attention after they’ve gained your business. It is essential to find the right business partners & vendors that will continue to be attentive and supportive to help you grow and be successful.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
Inevitably, we’ll have days that we wish we didn’t have or experiences that demotivate us. But, the ups & downs throughout my career taught me essential lessons – all of which drove my professional growth.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Opinions are plentiful, but really good advice is rare. I try to remind myself of two quotes when I have to make important decisions. “Better to make friends than enemies” “Never take advice from someone who doesn’t have to live with the consequences”
Can you tell us more about your latest project?
My most recent project was born out of necessity. As you know, the dental industry, like many other industries was tremendously impacted by Covid closures. When a patient’s in severe pain, we have to physically see them to treat the issue. It was a major undertaking to screen patients, socially distance appointments, stock adequate PPE supplies all while making everyone feel safe and managing costs. As we were allowed to start opening, we carefully drafted a Re-Opening Strategy that would safely treat patients while ensuring our staff’s safety. With our staff’s help, we successfully ramped up our business to +90% of pre-covid levels.
What kind of research did you do for this latest project, and how long did you spend researching before beginning?
We did tons of research! The closures lasted approximately 10 weeks, we used that time to fine-tune every aspect of the patient experience and ensure we had all the necessary tools to have a successful re-opening. This involved countless hours working with healthcare experts in our industry, reviewing guidelines from the CDC, ADA and various governmental agencies.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Have clearly defined goals and timelines in place to achieve those goals. This will keep you motivated, working hard, and drive you towards success. Most importantly, don’t let anyone discourage you.
For more details about this Influencive entrepreneur, follow his journey: