An entrepreneurial couple turned $1,500 into $1.8million in just six months despite the coronavirus pandemic after coming up with an innovative business idea.
Luke Withers and Alexis Campbell, both 23, founded Bitesoft Co. last year on Queensland‘s Sunshine Coast.
The pair – who have shared tips with other Australians eager to launch their own business – started selling at-home tooth straightening kits and treatment plans at a fraction of the cost of braces.
Luke Withers and Alexis Campbell both 23, (pictured together) founded Bitesoft Co. last year on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast
The entrepreneurial couple turned $1,500 into $1.8million in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic
Mr Withers was inspired to follow in the footsteps of his father who owned a series of orthodontic labs during his childhood.
So when his friend made a passing comment about how his teeth were already getting crooked again after wearing braces the young businessman had an idea.
Mr Withers decided to launch a business selling bite moulds and aligners – which would be sent out to customers’ homes as a do-it-yourself product.
The company offered to treat mild to moderate crooked teeth between four and six months.
Their business venture grew, leading Ms Campbell to quit her job in real estate to put more time into the startup.
Mr Withers told Daily Mail Australia their success was due in part to the fact so many people were cooped up at home.
‘Convenience and affordability is massive,’ he said.
Mr Withers launched the business ‘Bitesoft Co.’ producing bite moulds and aligners – which are sent out to customers homes as a do-it-yourself tooth straightening treatment
‘Technology in Orthodontics has evolved dramatically in the past 20 years.
‘We aren’t just an e-commerce store delivering products, with our Tele-dentistry platform, we are able to deliver a fully custom and personalised service directly to your door.’
Mr Withers and Ms Campbell had started thinking from early on about going bigger scale, including plans to introduce smile studios across Australia.
But they decided to wait before signing the paperwork to rent a storefront in Brisbane.
After some initial fear the pair recruited Big Brother star Skye Wheatley as a brand ambassador (pictured)
That same week Australia was plunged into lockdown as COVID-19 panic set in.
After some initial fears about the impact of the pandemic, the pair recruited Big Brother star Skye Wheatley as a brand ambassador.
Their focus on marketing paid off.
In March – their first big month – they made $3,000, and that figure turned into $1.8million over the next six months.
Ms Campbell said the main premise of the business is that customers from anywhere can access orthodontic services.
‘Everything is done remotely,’ she said.
‘We still are able to discuss treatment plans with our customers via regular check-ins and photographs, video calls etc so everything is still very personalised.’
As the pair continue to grow their success they had some tips for budding Australian entrepreneurs
The tooth-straightening process takes place over three steps.
First the customer orders a $50 kit and takes an impression of their teeth from home.
The customer then sends it back and if their teeth are treatable the dental specialists create a fully custom and personalised 3D treatment plan.
Aligners are then shipped out to the customer and regular check-ins conducted online or via video chat.
Mr Withers and Ms Campbell began thinking much bigger scale, including plans to introduce smile studios around Australia
As the pair continue to grow their success they had some tips for budding Australian entrepreneurs.
‘Be patient, know the vision and execute,’ Mr Withers said.
‘If you have an idea of where you see the brand in the future and you’re so passionate about it then you’ll be patient & use the passion as fuel to execute.’
Ms Campbell said patience and persistence is key.
‘Bit of a cliche but Rome wasn’t built in a day! It takes time,’ she said.
‘We have setbacks all the time but it’s how you come back that matters ultimately. Take a risk and give it a go, you never know what’s around the corner.’