Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Steven Mandel, President at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles:
What does your company do?
Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles is a private, outpatient clinic that treats patients with suicidal thinking, depression, PTSD, and other mood disorders, as well as neuropathic pain with intravenous infusions of the medicine ketamine. Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic which has been found to be remarkably effective for relieving suffering associated with the aforementioned conditions. It helps over 80 percent of our patients, even those who have not benefited from traditional treatments. Almost all of our patients are deemed treatment resistant, having tried a variety of conventional treatments with little to no benefit. Ketamine works rapidly and safely. It has no long-term side effects when given therapeutically. Patients' suicidal thinking goes away. The oppressive heaviness of their depression lifts. They are again able to experience pleasure. Their ability to contribute to their families and communities is restored. We are one of the first clinics in the US to start offering this and are one of the only ones exclusively offering this. We don't provide any other treatments.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am the founder and owner. As CEO, I am responsible for everything that happens in the clinic. I personally administer infusions, oversee my medical team, and work with my operations staff to ensure all aspects of the clinic are run impeccably, placing results and patient satisfaction above all else. My greatest source of satisfaction is helping our patients to transform from suicidal depressed people with low self-esteem and no capacity for pleasure to happy, energetic, enthusiastic partners, parents, and employees. Facilitating this transformation among patients who arrive feeling helpless, hopeless and worthless is tremendously satisfying. I also get great enjoyment from forming and leading a team of dedicated compassionate (and passionate) nurses, assistants and administrative staff. It is enormously gratifying for all of our team members to experience the fulfillment of contributing to the transformation of these patients.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
The treatment has gotten a lot of attention lately and is becoming more mainstream. When we started, it was considered "experimental" by many. Now, it is more accepted. This is good, but has caused people to enter the space with ill intent. Many clinics opened up who want to make a quick buck and ride the momentum. Even those who are well-meaning are expanding into the space faster than they know how to effectively offer this treatment to a very vulnerable population. Clinics we've never heard of have a website up overnight that claims they're the "biggest" "best" "busiest". That can be concerning. On the surface, the treatment is very simple to provide, but there is a tremendous amount of nuance to do it safely and effectively. We always strive for perfection in our approach. Also, education of the public is a challenge. The majority of the world still doesn't know this is a viable option, many haven't heard of it. We work hard to spread the word and make it available to as many sufferers as we can.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
I would tell younger Steve to keep his eye on the big picture. To aim high. Not be afraid of failing. To surround himself with other men and women who are in pursuit of excellence. Life is not a zero sum game. To find a passion and pursue it with focus and with love. To be unreasonable and tenacious in setting and pursuing goals. To never settle for ordinary or "good enough."