Startup Fortune, July 11, 2020: How do you combine beautiful, healthy teeth, sports, marketing, and great customer service? Ask Dr. John Badolato, a cosmetic dentist and founder of Studio B Smiles. The St.Louis native took his unpleasant childhood experiences at the dentist and vowed to turn it around to make sure that when his patients visited his practice, it wasn’t just to go to the dentist, it was also to be part of the warm, friendly, and fun atmosphere.
When did you know you found the right idea and how did you capitalize on it?
I’ve always been a sports fan and the idea of taking care of local sports athletes and their families just seemed appealing to me. We started off with a small marketing partnership with the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks. I was already taking care of the players, so it seemed like a natural progression. As our marketing partnership grew, so too did our practice, and Studio B Smiles eventually became the Arizona Diamondbacks’ team dentist.
What made you choose this business/industry?
I was intending to go to medical school to become a surgeon. Until a fellow surgeon told me that if he had to do it all again he’d rather be a dentist. I remembered my childhood experience and how dentist visits weren’t exactly fun. I knew I could change that while taking a path that was less stressful.
What would you say are the biggest challenges when starting a business as an entrepreneur
Figuring out what you don’t know and then being honest about those shortfalls can be quite challenging. You either have to fill in the gaps yourself or hire someone to do the job for you. Nobody teaches you this, it’s learned through trial and error.
What are you working on right now? What’s your plans for the future?
We have two locations – one in Scottsdale, Arizona and one in Downtown Phoenix. We’re planning to open more in the future, but we’re rebounding from the Covid-19 pandemic and working on our virtual consultations – a feature that we picked up during quarantine which allowed us to do consultations with people on the other side of the country.