Guardia Medical – A San Diego based Startup filling the gap between manufacturers and hospitals with their FDA and NIOSH premium quality products in this COVID-19 pandemic.
As coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the US pass through the 1 million marks, there is a severe shortage of masks, gloves, sanitizer and gowns, and other necessary protective equipment. Guardia Medical understands that many hospitals have limited to no access to PPE (personal protective equipment).
We have asked several questions from the Co-founder David Lowe about this HealthCare Startup.
1. Tell us everything about your startup, what does it do? What were the challenges of setting up and scale?
Guardia Medical is solving the PPE (personal protective equipment) shortage crisis in America. We provide medical and non-medical grade masks to frontline healthcare workers, small business owners returning to work, and large organizations like airports.
Challenges as you can imagine are that we are getting reliable suppliers so that we would always have enough stock on the ground in the US. Launching the brand and website were also crucial steps so that people could learn about us and then buy directly through GuardiaMedical.com.
2-How did you come up with the idea?
My co-Founder Morgan Smith runs a successful lighting company. His wife works in a hospital and their PPE ran out after just 4 days. The opportunity was there to help frontline healthcare workers and the 330 million Americans who had no access to PPE. With his connections, we have reliable suppliers to help us grow. I then came up with the name, brand identity, and worked with a team to build the first version of the website.
3- What has been revenue, traction, and growth from the date of inception untill now?
Our revenue has been excellent and initial traction strong. We are growing exponentially. With a solid supply chain and website, we have a great foundation for success. Our next goal is to build our affiliate network, launch new products (keep your eyes on our blog for news of these releases) and create our own fulfillment facility so we can be even better for our clients and customers.
4- What is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors?
A lot of competitors have poor websites, products are stuck in China and their customer service is non-existent. Guardia Medical masks are FDA approved, we have inventory in the US and the quality of our products is higher than our competitors. That is what is making clients come back for more PPE.
5- How has the response been so far?
Excellent! We are taking on the traditional medical supply companies in the US with a startup that is lean and agile. We respond to our clients faster, ship our products faster, have the most competitive prices, and actually want to help protect people in the US versus just making money.
6- What has been your biggest success factors?
Having a strong social media presence has enabled us to appeal to a larger audience. This has created strong website traffic which has led to sales. We are reaching our followers on these social networks in a different way with content that resonates with that network. In addition, by using our creativity, we will be releasing new product offerings that further helps Americans.
7- What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?
Setting up the website was a little tricky because we were combining a theme template with custom code so that we could offer website visitors the experience we wanted. A few technological glitches slowed us down but perseverance and a few late nights fixed that! If you hustle and focus on your goal, anything is possible.
8- Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?
All of the above! We are obviously addressing a very hot market right now. If we were launching vinyls, we might not have as much demand. If we launched PPE but only focused on Hazmat suits, we might be too niche and not have enough clients to survive. Finally, without the right team, you are dead in the water because no-one is fighting for success.
9- Final words for those chasing the startup dream?
Use analytical online tools to research the market you are looking to go into. Once you find an opportunity, work out what that market value is. If it is big enough and the demand is high enough, go for it! I wrote about this in my new book BLOW IT UP: 21 Ways Your Startup Can Shake Up An Industry And Change The World which is aimed at inspiring entrepreneurs to start their own business
About the Founder: David Lowe