Bart Knellinger, founder of Progressive Dental, which was recently named a GrowFL Company To Watch for 2016 knew from an early age that he wanted to be an entrepreneur.
"I was born an entrepreneur," he said. "I always loved making money in creative ways. After High School I decided to move to Chicago to sell door to door. I sold different products for four years before I began selling yellow page ads to local businesses. From there I saw a niche in the dental field and immersed myself in the industry. For me entrepreneurship was a foregone conclusion, it was just a matter of what and when."
Fast forward to 2016 when Knellinger is operating a 48 employee marketing consultancy focused exclusively on helping dentists who practice laser surgery. "When I decided on specializing in the dental industry I learned very fast that marketing high end niche surgical protocols was a much better strategy than the generic "Cleanings, or whitening" campaigns that you see most dentists advertising, he said. "My strategy was to look at the latest technology and attend as many courses that I could to learn everything about new technology and minimally invasive surgical techniques. I landed on surgical lasers and specialized in marketing laser surgery and laser dentistry for doctors that purchased the Periolase and the Waterlase. This gave me a niche with zero competition and the opportunity to advertise a service that had never been advertised to the public."
Knellinger's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to never forget the two most important things in a business: your team and your clients. "Make sure that you are clear in the short and long term results that you are pursuing, and from there understanding that the two most critical factors that will contribute to your ability to hit those results are your team and your clients," he said. "You must always put what is best for your team and your clients before yourself. Give the wins to your teammates and your clients and absorb the losses. Make sure both know how much you care about them."