I am pleased to announce that Kristy Straka has joined the Women On Business team as a contributing writer. Kristy brings with her a unique and diverse business background, which is sure to generate great conversations here on WomenOnBusiness.com! Rather than my trying to recreate Kristy’s story, she was kind enough to put together the following bio to help us all get to know her better. Please join me in welcoming Kristy to Women On Business.
Post by Kristy Straka, contributing Women On Business writer
My name is Kristy Straka. I am 52 years old and have been in business for over 25 years.
When I was 13 years old, I started fulltime volunteer work in a hospital in Omaha, NE. I was adopted by nursing students who took me into surgery, taught me how to operate xray equipment, worked side by side in the ER and grew to love the medical field. In 1975, I married and started nursing school in 1979. However, our family started sooner than expected and since I was going to be a stay at home mom, I did not finish.
In 1983, I became interested in the landscaping business and learned how to run crews, work with builders and homeowners, and layout designs. In 1985, I opened a unique and successful landscaping company. I was performance driven and being quite the perfectionist, our landscapes were beautiful.
In 1989, we sold our landscaping business and a second husband and three children later, we moved to Colorado Springs, CO from Omaha, NE to enjoy the area we most liked to vacation. My husband started in the insurance business, I went to USC to study physics and communications. I took a break from school and worked with my husband to develop a successful insurance business. However, we became advocates for our 3,000 clients, analyzed all of their insurance claims, and held the insurance companies responsible for paying claims they did not want to pay. I worked with the State of CO to uncover insurance fraud within a well-known insurance company. During this time, I assisted virgin companies develop effective Human Resource Departments, write training manuals, put on training seminars, and assisted medical doctors and dentists in getting their claims paid by insurance companies.
In 2001, my husband took over the insurance company, and I traveled six days a week consulting dental practice employees and dentists on how to operate their business efficiently. I trained office software, put on group seminars, trained clinical software and taught dental employees how to operate new digital equipment that was entering the dental industry. I taught them how to get their insurance companies to pay their claims, I audited dental practice books, uncovered inner office fraud, hired and fired employees for dentists and became well known in the industry.
In 2003, our family decided to build a business that had never been done before. We decided to put CEREC machines into mobile vehicles and service dentists on one hour permanent crowns, inlays, onlays, and veneers with the plan to franchise the company. Since no one had ever done this before, we committed five years to development and implementation of the business. During this time, I worked closely with business attorneys, accountants, multi-billion dollar dental companies, and business consultants to draft a strong business plan, five year profit projections and build the infrastructure of the business from the inside out. I found investors to invest in a high risk one-of-a-kind business, did investor presentations and collected almost $1M to start the business.
Over the five years, I have modified the business plans, projections, expanded the business to include digital training at the doctorate level, opened a mobile dental lab fabrication company, purchased a full service dental lab, operated the mobile dental labs, and helped build a technical support system via the internet for the CEREC.
A couple of years ago, we started selling business licenses to people who wanted to become certified digital CEREC technicians and operate their own mobile lab. To date, we have licensees operating in New York, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, and in the UK.
Although the mobile digital labs operate under their own name, it is www.vorofco.com that built their business and trained them on this turn-key business. Vorofco’s US intent is to now franchise the business.
Since the economy started suffering and people were unable to get funding, we felt the need to streamline the business and cut expenses. We sell the licenses over the internet, the training is now online, our fabricators are independent contractors, and our technical support is interactive web-based real time. This modification to our business has helped to eliminate the need for office space, materials, equipment, supplies, rent, and expensive overhead.
Until the economy recovers and banks start lending to new business owners again, we are currently modifying our plan once again to work with international investors and move to Germany for five years and develop the European market. Once the European market is developed, we will return to the US and take the company public which will be an entirely new experience for me.
Long bio short, I am well versed in business set-up, strategic planning, developing a virgin company, implementing marketing strategies, looking at businesses that are stagnant and creating alternative revenue streams. I develop business plans, profit projections, incorporate new businesses, provide partnership documents, am a technical writing, and research and business development is my key to helping people. I now help people develop their infrastructure, start their business, build their web-site, and get their business off the ground. I am a well accomplished business woman and plan to soon write a book about business development.