The list of surgical and non-surgical services offered by the professionals at Oculoplastic Eye Surgeons of Phoenix is long. They offer surgical repair of the eyelids and face. They offer services that help with nerve palsy, tearing and duct obstruction. But the owners of this family-run practice would agree they offer a lot more than that.
Married couple Zachary Steinke and Dr. Lisa Mihora offer a fresh start.
“For me, it’s about that client who comes back in after surgery to tell me how their life has changed for the better,” Steinke said. “It’s the little things, like one of our clients telling me that she can see a stoplight better at night now, or just that life is easier in ways she never thought possible…those are the moments that make everything worthwhile.”
The couple started their Arizona business in May 2016, and have encountered a number of twists and turns along the way. None of it is beyond the realm of what they can handle, as Steinke said anything is possible with his wife by his side.
In addition to bringing experience in real estate, Steinke served as an airborne computer technician for the United States Air Force. The Wisconsin-born cheesehead by birthright met Mihora during his time of service. Mihora was serving as an Opthamologist with the Air Force as well. However, their relationship begin the old fashioned way, online. When the couple isn’t working on their business, Mihora continues to serve as an ophthalmologist in the Air Force Reserves.
“Starting a business is hard, but military separation is harder,” Steinke said. “Over the years, (my wife and I) have spent significant time apart…that is always the hardest for me.”
Starting a business is hard, but military separation is harder. Over the years, my wife and I have spent significant time apart…that is always the hardest for me.
Despite that, the couple is thriving in its first year of business and Cloud Friday recently had the opportunity to sit down with Steinke to discuss what he and Mihora have learned about being in business and their advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
Cloud Friday: What do you most enjoy about your career(s)?
Zachary Steinke: At this point there is a lot to enjoy in our careers. There is a great joy that comes from the happiness of the patients. In addition, we get to work with each other every day. As a married couple that loves to spend our time together, this is a real benefit.
CF: Who inspires who and why?
ZS: My dad has always been an inspiration for me. He started his own business in 1973, and that business is still going strong today. He taught me a lot about running a successful business in a rural area and competing with large companies that they didn’t teach me in business school.
CF: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about running a business since you started Oculoplastic Eye Surgeons?
ZS: This is my first time working in a medical business. I was surprised how much power large insurance companies wield and how much they abuse it. The first two employees we hired do not help the doctor see patients. They only coordinate with insurance companies to ensure we can collect.
On the flip side, it was great the way the local physician community embraced us. They were very supportive by sending us patient referrals right away.
CF: Can you describe a moment or moments when you stopped and realized this is why you are doing what you’re doing with your life?
ZS: I always ask patients if they notice a difference when they come in for their post-op appointments. It is always wonderful to hear them tell me how their lives have changed since the surgery. Those are the moments that keep us going.
CF: What advice would you offer to other small business owners?
ZS: Don’t be complacent. Take time out of your day to either learn or think about ways to grow, improve the customer experience, improve cash flow, or improve employee experience.