In 1999, my father, Dr. Mark Gladnick, asked me whether he needed to put his practice on “The Internet.” We launched his first dental website a month or two later, and it worked well for a long time.
But by late 2007, my dad’s dental website was looking outdated. Since I had moved on with my career (working as a Sr. Software Engineer for various Internet companies in the San Francisco Bay area), my dad began reaching out to some of the established dental marketing companies for bids on what it would cost to update his website.
When my dad called me to see if these bids were reasonable, I was rather shocked at the pricing he was being quoted. It seemed outrageous to receive quotes approaching $35k for just a website – and this wasn’t even taking SEO or PPC marketing into account!
I decided to rebuild his website for free out of a sense of familial obligation, although what I thought would be a nice favor for my Dad was about to become a bigger project.
Almost immediately after starting development on my father’s new dental website, two of my uncles (also dentists) got wind of this and asked if I could make them dental websites, too.
Applying some of the techniques I had learned in Silicon Valley working on enterprise web applications, I came up with an idea: write one piece of software that would work for all three dental websites.
After all, this would save me the time of creating three different websites from scratch, and they all had similar needs. We could customize each dental website with unique text, pictures, and so forth, but under the surface, everything would run on the same code.
At this point, a few of my uncles’ friends, who were also dentists, began approaching me, asking me if I could help them, too. It seemed like I had a budding business on my hands.
A handful of dentists wasn’t enough to make me quit my day job, but it certainly made me think about it. Over the next couple of years, our customers referred friends who referred their friends, and we grew organically and steadily from online traffic or referrals from other websites and online dental communities who discovered us.
Eventually, we hit critical mass: one day my phone rang 4 times at work (all going to voicemail…if I was lucky), and it prompted me to seriously consider if it was time to do this full time. I few days later, I surprised my boss by telling him I was quitting my Software Engineering job, at a great company in SF, to “make dental websites” as he put it. A few months later I moved the company to Denver.
Since then, we’ve steadily added staff – and we continue to experience rapid growth, moving offices twice to accommodate the staff increases. I’m proud to say that we’ve worked with over 600 dentists in 5 countries to help them market their practices online, and we consistently add double digits each month to our client base. We’re looking forward to the future and helping all of our customers continue to grow and expand their practices.
If you’ve made it this far, I want to impart one last thing – something I consistently remind my entire staff of.
Even as we continue to grow, we must absolutely remember our obligation to our clients who have made us so successful. Please feel free to give us a call any time – I think you’ll find that just like our very first customer, you’ll be treated like family.
–Jeff Gladnick, Founder
Phone: (720) 399-7071