I am writing this article because it has been one of the common questions patients, colleagues and friends ask me frequently. How did I start a fertility business from scratch? Especially in a country where the political and financial situation is getting worse every day.
The idea came to me one day sitting with my mum on a bench just opposite my apartment in London. Everyday my mum used to wait for me to come home, with a piece of cake to share and her knitting kit to keep her entertained while waiting for me. I was working on a prestigious fertility clinic in London and needed to work long hours because of the high workload. When I arrived home it was pleasant to find mum waiting for me, looking at her was the best part of my day, she is also of the biggest loves of my life. I was usually tired and with very low energies from the amount of work and things to do every day. The lake was great, located just besides the river Thames and with lovely birds and ducks that enjoyed the casual visitor with cakes to share with them. It was relaxing just to sit there for a while, looking at the blue sky (which is not very usual in a city like London) and overlooking at the river. However, I was not very happy with my life.
I started having this crazy idea of me having my own fertility clinic, which by the time seemed almost impossible. I did not have that much money to start and I did not wanted to continue living in the UK. I wanted a change. As much as I love UK a part of me still in Venezuela, which was my home country. I lived in the UK for many years and was used to stare on the Internet looking at videos and photos to keep me updated about Venezuela.
It is a beautiful, with lots of potential. I then had the opportunity to collaborate with a group of doctors who needed my advice regarding them starting a new fertility clinic. It was exciting helping them. A nice project with lots of potential. After a few years, they decided that could not continue with the project because they were in need of someone with the knowledge in human reproduction to manage the clinic. They were busy and working in another areas.
I thought that was the opportunity for me. I asked them to give me a price and they negotiated it. I sold almost everything I owned. Got loans and even friends helped me to complete the money needed. It was crazy. Then moved to Venezuela.
One of the key elements in starting a company it is to find the right partner. I was very lucky to find it.
We started the company from scratch, with nothing more than our knowledge in the fertility field. In a country with a huge inflation rate, with lots of poverty, with a constant instability with the political situation, with increasing crime rates, and crazy prices. To fill an oil tank cost 0.5 dollars, and water cost 2 dollars. Oil is cheaper than water!
The directive of the clinic is composed of serious and capable people who really know what they are doing. The company is running on a day-to-day basis in a very smooth way. We work hard everyday to guarantee a higher chance of success to patients and we really love what we do. It is a great, familiar, friendly environment. I am very happy there.
We decided to create different areas in the clinic for research, gamete vitrification, consultations, endoscopy, and we keep growing every year. Our patients have been the biggest testimony of our success. The success of hard working people with lots of potential for improving the human reproduction’s system.
I do still work in another places around the world and do lots of travelling, but when I go to Caracas it is a pleasant experience to treat with lovely and great patients.
My dream came true, and I am thankful for that. I am also very thankful for the knowledge and experience I gained during these last years with all the fertility patients I have encountered. I am not sure if will continue doing the same work for a long time, but I am sure I am enjoying it very much. It is great to bring life and to make things possible in a country that gave me so much when I was born.
The key elements of running a fertility business are:
1. Be truthful to your customers (in this case your patients)
2. Love what you do. That way you will enjoy solving the day-to-day situations encountered in a business.
3. You need to know all the details of the company from scratch. I mean, you need to know everything, from changing the water of the incubators to fixing the most difficult parts of a microscope. That way you will know exactly what is happening in the organization.
4. Find successful, intelligent people with lots of potential to give to the company. Driven people will always impulse the business.
5. Create warmth, familiar, comfortable environment for your patients. They like to feel relaxed.
6. Don’t be greedy. You don’t need to lie to patients to get more income into your business.
7. Keep everything in order. Coordinate and manage the administration, human resources, and accounts, in a way that allows you to know how well the company is doing.
8. Pay your taxes! Avoiding them will cause you trouble in the future.
9. Be up to date with new techniques and equipment.
10. If you are lucky, find the right partners to work with. A good relationship with your partners will allow you to accomplish more things, teamwork is essential.
11. Have a good support system from family and friends. Surround yourself by positive and great people it is a good and healthy way to run a business.
12. One of the key points for a great business is to get professional people who really love what they do, instead of going to work just because they need the money.
I thank everybody who was and still being part of my many accomplishments.
To visit our baby gallery you can go to www.fertiaguerrevere.com/videos