Question: What is the name of your business?
Your Answer: Stark Healthcare Limited trading as DrFelix
Question: Where is your business located (city & state)? Who are the customers you serve? What products or services does you company provide?
Your Answer: Dr Felix is an online doctor and pharmacy service based in New York, NY. We offer expert advice from real doctors online all registered with the regulatory bodies, issue private prescriptions and provide a wide range of prescription medication for various medical conditions. These professional services and pharmaceutical products are available to any customer over the age of 18.
Question: When did you start your business? Why did you decide to start your own business?
Your Answer: : I started DrFelix in January 2014 after my research revealed a gap in the market which I could fill. Although there are various other online pharmacies available in the US and UK, Dr Felix is unique in that it has teamed up with the doctor’s laboratory to offer a range of remote sexual health testing in addition to various other medical products and services. I saw this as an opportunity to challenge myself and use my skills for something more fulfilling and satisfying than a normal day job.
Question: Did you quit your "day job" to start your business? How did you initially fund your business?
Your Answer: Yes, I had to give my full commitment to the company to give it the best chance of success, which was a significant risk financially and professionally. Initially, Dr Felix was funded through personal savings with the biggest proportion of this investment being allocated to marketing.
Question: What has been the biggest challenge in running your company?
Your Answer: The biggest challenge in running Dr Felix so far has been the workload which can become intense at times. You can never quite prepare for all of the effort involved in running your own business and playing a central role in its smooth and efficient functioning.
Question: What’s been the biggest opportunity that came from owning your business?
Your Answer: Owning my own business has allowed me to increase employment in the community through creating a range of job roles which has led to a great deal of personal satisfaction. Being able to give back and create business opportunities for others is very rewarding. Meeting new people has opened the doors for business connections that can change the path of our company forever. So always pay attention, you never know when opportunity will approach you, you need to always be ready for it.
Question: What has surprised you most about being your own boss?
Your Answer: : I have been most surprised to learn that being your own boss comes with its difficulties in addition to the numerous advantages I have experienced. Although it is extremely rewarding to be responsible for running your own business, there is also increased personal pressure to succeed and a greater sense of responsibility to the job role which does not cease at the end of a normal working day. The freedom is great and having the ability to guide your business is rewarding. Be prepared to work long hours for the sake of your business.
Question: Is there a success tactic you’d like to share that could help other business owners (i.e. implementing new software, tactic to grow sales, etc.)?
Your Answer: In my experience, one of the most useful success business tactics is to have a thorough knowledge of your competition. There is an abundance of information readily available on the internet to support market research with little or no cost involved. It is important to learn from your competitors and avoid making the same mistakes they have made which may have led to failures. A/B testing is so important, especially for those who rely on an online business. It's ok to try everything once. Get the results and know what your efforts are giving you in return. Reviews are important, so make sure you're giving 110 percent and offering superior services. Eventually, word-by-mouth referrals will be knocking on the door of your business.
Question: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to other small business owners?
Your Answer: I would advise other small business owners not to expect overnight success. You will generally work long hours with a low return on your efforts; however the long term satisfaction and gradual success outweighs these initial difficulties. If you're not funded, it will take a beginning investment and investments afterward. But if you focus on building revenue now, you'll be able to learn from your experiences and that experience is priceless.