After another overwhelming number of applications in the third round, we are pleased to announce Private Detox of Utah as the grand prize winner. We were fortunate to be able to sit down with Anne Boulter, ACNP, founder and owner of Private Detox of Utah, for more insight on her journey as a business owner and the amazing mission for her business.
Why did you start your business?
I started my business in reaction to the opiate epidemic. Right now, everyone’s been made aware that there is an epidemic, but that awareness hasn’t really translated into solutions. So I wanted to come up with a solution to help more people get into recovery.
One of the reasons I decided to start this business is because I am actually an addict in recovery, and my experience with that has been very life-changing. I’m able to see what it’s like beforehand, and know what it’s like to detox, I know what it’s like to get through recovery and then to be in long-term recovery. I wouldn’t wish addiction on anyone, but for me, it’s really made me who I am.
I’ve learned so much and the world has opened up to me. I really want other people to have those experiences, because the more people who can change this devastating disease into a joyful way of living, the better. So every little success means something for me.
What makes your company unique?
So Private Detox of Utah is unique for the fact that we can actually do an in-home medical detox and help people get through that detox process. So we can do the same thing a hospital or a detox center can do, but it allows the patient to be in their home, with their family, in familiar surroundings.
What I find is that many people won’t even think about doing detox if they have to go to a hospital or a detox center. It’s a little cold and impersonal and they want to have a little bit more comfort when they’re detoxing because it’s a bad experience.
Where did you get funding for your business?
Part of it was my savings and my work, and part of it was through Microfund of Utah. My experience with Microfund of Utah was a really, really good experience. They had us sit down and do an entire business plan, we then presented the business plan and they would have everything from cash flow projections to reasons why you’re doing it. I felt they were very thorough in finding out why you wanted to do it and if it will work.
Not only did they do that but they have help afterwards. For example, if you need research done, they’ll help with that. They’re very user friendly, you could say.
Running the Business
How do you manage cash flow?
As far as managing cash flow, I was able to get online with the company I was using for my business account to check things out. One things that’s nice about my protocol is that we get paid up front, so we don’t have to wait for income to come in like other companies would if they’re dealing with insurance, we know what we have right at the beginning.
What is the most challenging thing about running a business?
Learning how to run a business! I’ve worked in medicine for almost 20 years now, and that comes very naturally to me. But, when it comes to running a business, there are a lot of things to learn, and you don’t know what you need to learn until you’ve actually been taught it.
That’s been the most challenging part of it, but it’s also been a good challenge, I’ve actually enjoyed it, and it’s been fun.
What’s been the biggest challenge recently?
Making sure we can market information out to the public. Because this is a very new way of doing medical detox and nobody really knows about, so we want to get the word out.
What’s been the most rewarding part of running your own business?
There have been a lot of rewards for running your own business. One is watching the business grow, of course, hearing good feedback from people in your industry, I’ve really enjoyed having the time to be flexible. I can attend to family things, I can attend to business things, and it gives me a nice flow during the day that I get to set.
Also, in medicine a lot of times you’ll work in places where you have protocols, you have to do just this, and just that, and a lot of times I find that money gets in the way, so patients may not get the best treatment because there’s a financial issue, or there’s a staffing issue. By being in control of this, I’m able to do what’s right for the patient, and not be controlled by another entity that’s worried about the financial aspect.
What I’ve Learned
What impact has your business had so far?
One of the things we do during the detox process is help people find the recovery plan that works for them. The nice thing is that these days you have a lot of different options. So, we go through all the community options with our clients and help them find a recovery plan that works for them.
What was the biggest mistake you made?
Signing up for an electronic medical record company before we’d actually gotten moving, so that company was having a hard time providing what we needed, and then I was stuck in a contract.
What was the smartest thing you did when you started your business?
I actually started going to some business classes, and I found that really helpful.
What advice would you give?
First of all, I would say to start with your heart. If you’re into something, if this is what you have a lot of purpose for, if it gives you meaning, then you should do it. Even when I was staring out there were some people who wanted to play devil’s advocate and say “What about this, what about that?”
But, I find that you can get through those, and there’s going to be a lot of steps, and you’re going to have challenges around every single corner. But, in the end, if it means something to you, then you’re gonna get around those corners.
You used to be an employee, how has your perspective changed now that you’re a business owner and have employees of your own?
In my medical career, I’d been an employee for years. It turns out that you’re actually self-employed even when you’re employed, you never know what’s going to happen what’s going to be the next issue. I found every place that I’d gone that you end up with the same issues. They’re usually things that have nothing to do with the actual work.
One of the challenges of owning your own company is making sure your employees have income, have a job, and, for me, I want to make sure that they’re treated well, because once you get that community going you have to be able to maintain it. If you treat them well, they’ll work well.
How did you find out about the Nav Business Grant?
During my business classes, I found out about the grant from one of the other students so I got online, looked through it and I thought it was an amazing opportunity so I went for it.
What was your experience like applying for the Nav Grant?
As far as applying, it wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t hard. In fact, I think people should do it, because it doesn’t take a lot. You just explain what you’re doing with your business, and the positives about it. The most challenging part was just narrowing down what I would need the money for and how I would use it, and to have those exact figures, but those are things you should know anyway.
What will you do with the $10,000?
A lot of it will go to the marketing, and some will go to an electronic medical record system that works well for us. But the marketing and getting the message out there is really important for us.