Starting a business from the ground up is never easy, but being hit by a global pandemic mere months after getting going would test the most savvy company owner.
For Dr. Sabrina Bhatti, who opened Kanaka Creek Dental in November 2019, having to deal with the COVID crisis was quite a challenge, but one she is grateful for.
“It was completely unexpected,” she said, “But we took it in stride, and a lot of changes came out of it which I think benefited me as a leader, and a business owner.”
Her office was shut down for three months from mid-March, until mid-June in 2020 while the industry figured out how to re-open businesses which require customers to be mask-less.
Bhatti still ran the company, taking calls to advise patients over the phone and going into the office when emergencies required her to.
Owning a business where personal protective equipment (PPE) is already paramount, Bhatti had to use all her wits when it came time to getting the right gear to protect herself, her staff and her customers.
“One of the biggest challenges to being a small business that isn’t part of a bigger corporation is we really had to fight to get PPE,” she said.
“We were up day-and-night scouring the internet for it. We had to invest in getting the best masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields available to keep our staff, and patients safe.
“It’s still a hunt,” Bhatti added.
Her patients appreciate the effort, she noted.
As a female business owner in an industry that was male dominated until relatively recently, Bhatti said there have been quite a few hurdles to leap.
“Just dealing with vendors, and being in a leadership role can be difficult,” she said. “We live in a modern world, but sometimes women are still perceived as pushovers.”
She has had to use some of her schooling to remain calm and effective in her business dealings.
“A lot of people don’t know how grueling the training is to become a dentist, so I have learned to keep my cool, which helped tremendously,” Bhatti said.
“I can keep my cool during surgery, and I learned how to do that in the business space too.”
Kanaka Creek Dental is located on 240th Street in Maple Ridge.
To find out more about Dr. Sabrina’s practice visit www.kanakacreekdental.ca/
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