Interview With Dr. Sajani Barot
Describe your product or service:
“Telehealth marketplace and platform for skin care consultations.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Mission: [To] connect skin care providers and patients through a digital marketplace using AI to build evidence-based personalized skin care regimens and improve effectiveness and value.
Vision: [To] create a skin care ecosystem for patients, skin care professionals, and industry brands that promotes equitable, accessible, affordable, and evidence-based skin care.
Values: [We hold our company] accountable by measuring ourselves against the highest standards of integrity and fiscal responsibility.
[We] operate with transparency by communicating internally and externally with unwavering candor,
honesty, and respect.
We exist to help patients get access to expert advice and evidence-based skin care. We make every decision and measure every outcome based on how well it serves our customers.
[We] develop our skin care professionals by providing an environment that fosters personal development and professional growth.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“Bootstrapped right now.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“One full-time founder, One part-time co-founder, [and] five freelancers.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“Confidence is from within, it [fuels] my passion to continue helping men and women find help with their skin. With the growing industry and lots of marketing thrown at them, there is even more need for transparency and professional help to weed out the bad advice. Almost everyone on social media is turning into a skin care expert. When we hear from our users that what they see as the biggest value prop of TSC, which is helping them find vetted skin care providers and easily access them, it keeps me going.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“[We] wanted to keep it straightforward! Yes, a few options.”
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What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“As a non-technical founder, building a tech-enabled marketplace was my biggest challenge. In [the] last 18 months, I have learned the art of how to speak to technical people so I can convey my business needs effectively. It was a steep learning curve to get my vision translated into a technical product while still creating something that non-technical users can understand and use. I overcame it with time and [by] learning from a lot of mistakes!”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“It's a double-sided marketplace for skin care providers (derms, plastic surgeons, estheticians) on one side, and skin care seekers on [the] other side who need help with their skin (aesthetic or medical).”
What's your marketing strategy?
“This is still evolving to be honest. But Focusing on becoming the niche for professional skin care and being a science-backed digital platform. We target men and women of a certain age group and people of color who often can't find the right skin care professionals for their skin.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Word of mouth, some organic search on Google.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Number of users, return rate for follow-up consults, lifetime value of customer.”
What's your favorite entrepreneurial book and podcast?
“‘Monetizing Innovation’ [and] ‘How I Built This’ with Guy Raz.”
What is the biggest lesson you learned during your journey?
“Focus on creating a sticky product for your first 100 customers. Early-stage startups don't need to spend too much time creating fancy marketing strategies and materials as this will change.”
Who is your support system?
“Other founders I have met through the founder institute accelerator program, my advisors.”
How do you stay motivated?
“Keeping my eyes on the vision (my north star), talking to our customers whose feedback keeps me going.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Learning to stay focused and not get distracted when you hear 10 different feedbacks or ideas from other people who may only know 2% of your business. As an early-stage founder, you have to be open-minded but also be firm enough to know you have to stay the course.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“Building this platform and marketplace of providers and users all by myself and raising two young kids and one newborn. As a solo founder, we already have an extra burden on us to make all decisions and the journey can be very lonely. Having a strong mindset to get my company to this level now all on my own without outside funding is what I have been really proud of.”
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More on The Skin Consult
Dr. Sajani Barot set out to tackle common skin problems when she founded The Skin Consult, which bills itself as a telehealth marketplace for skincare consultations.
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Dr. Sajani Barot of The Skin Consult that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.
We asked Dr. Sajani Barot, founder of The Skin Consult, to share the most impactful ways to support their startup, and this is what they had to say.