Local company turns sleep into big business - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Local company turns sleep into big business

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 4:00 pm

A local small business has grown by 800 percent in the last seven years, perhaps leaving the term small business behind.

Valley Sleep Center, owned by Lauri Leadley, began in 1990 as an at-home provider of a test that measures oxygen levels in blood. Now focusing on sleep problems, the center had more than 8,800 referrals this year alone, a major increase from fewer than 1,000 in 2004. The business that started in Mesa now has five locations throughout the Valley that diagnose and treat thousands of people of all ages, pediatrics through geriatrics.

While there are some commonalities between successful small businesses, there isn't a holy grail to that achievement, said Gary Naumann, a professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

"There is no substitute for hard work," Naumann said. "Some people think that everything will just flow because, ‘I'm in business for myself.' That is not the case."

A lot of hard work is how Leadley started her business.

"I literally started this business out of my kitchen," Leadley said.

Leadley's business started very small, but with additional training and education, she added more services.

"Successful business owners know how to do things," Naumann said, explaining that business owners don't just sit in an office. "They roll up their sleeves and know how it works. Unsuccessful ones don't know the details."

Before starting her business, Leadley was working for a physician whose patient needed an oxygen test, but couldn't make it into the office. Leadley went to the patient's house to conduct the test on her lunch break and quickly realized there was a need for at-home oximetry tests. From there her business was born.

During the initial growth of her business, she found that many doctors would also ask if she performed sleep tests. In 2000, she trained to become a registered polysomnographic (sleep testing) technologist.

After briefly working for two sleep centers, Leadley added sleep testing to her business and it became Valley Oximetry Sleep Disorders Center. In 2010, the word "oximetry" was dropped and it became Valley Sleep Center.

Part of what Leadley credits to her success is her personal challenges. She was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma, a fast growing cancer, in 1992 while she was pregnant with her third child.

She made the decision to take chemotherapy during her pregnancy and calls her now 19-year-old son an "absolute miracle."

"Those challenges made me not so afraid of failure," Leadley said. "When you have death staring you in the face, money is nothing. It makes everything else seem easier."

That's a skill that Naumann said is essential for business owners.

Another reason why Leadley's business experienced growth the past few years: social changes for Americans.

Obesity and stress are stressors that can lead to sleep problems, Leadley said.

"There has always been a growing need," Leadley said. "People appreciate their health and health insurance."

The economy has changed perspectives on health, Leadley said. It makes people realize the value of family.

"Sleep apnea can take 15 years off of someone's life," Leadley said. People want to be able to be there for their family. Often times, people will want to use their health insurance benefits while they still have them, she said.

Helping people get better is something that Leadley takes personally.

"It's our job to take a grumpy, tired person and turn them into a happy one," she said.

Sleeping disorders can make people exhausted, unmotivated and feel hopeless, Leadley said.

"Whatever life gives you, you can overcome it," Leadley said.

Leadley, who also was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, knows what it's like to be a patient. She tries to make her office and testing rooms more hospitable than a traditional clinic based out of a hospital.

Patients are provided with their own room and bathroom, even a shower. Amenities like cable TV and Wi-Fi Internet access gives patients a feeling more like home, Leadley said.

Leadley credits most of her success to the people around her: her employees.

"Our success has been the people who are a part of our team," Leadley said. "Success begins and ends with people."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-5645 or sspring@evtrib.com

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Federal judge dismisses defamation lawsuit against CIR, ProPublica

A federal district judge in Phoenix threw out a lawsuit Monday that accused The Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica of defaming …

Published: July 26, 2016 - 8:07 am @ https://www.revealnews.org/article/federal-judge-d…

How to turn a stadium into a year-round cultural hub

For about seven Saturdays every fall, Sun Devil Stadium is a paradise of Arizona State University spirit as thousands of screaming fans cheer …

Published: July 26, 2016 - 8:04 am @ https://asunow.asu.edu/20160725-arizona-impact-how…

Supply Chains to Admire: 2016 Results

Five months of analysis. Lots of heated debates. It is now over. This morning we announced the Supply Chains to Admire Winners and Finalists f…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 7:10 am @ http://www.supplychainshaman.com/supply-chains-to-…

Arizona: Devout Muslim charged with plotting jihad terror attack also eyed Jewish center, FBI says

Islamic Jew-hatred: it’s in the Quran. “Arizona man charged with plotting terror attack also eyed Jewish center, FBI says,” Associated Press, …

Published: July 26, 2016 - 5:39 am @ http://pamelageller.com/2016/07/arizona-devout-mus…

PD: Man shot overnight at west Phoenix park

PHOENIX - Police are investigating after a man was shot at a west Phoenix park overnight. The incident happened shortly after 1 a.m. on Tuesda…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 5:01 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/wes…

ROUND UP: Akuo green bond, Canberra wind-solar hybrid, Phoenix EPC contract in Texas

26 July: French renewables firm Akuo Energy has raised €44 million (US$48.5 million) through the issuance of green bonds in order to finance r…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 4:39 am @ http://www.pv-tech.org/news/roundup-akuo-green-bon…

AET adapts ECO line rooftop racking solution for east/west orientation

US-based Applied Energy Technologies (AET) has expanded and modified its ECO line of products to accommodate east/west orientation of PV modul…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 4:31 am @ http://www.pv-tech.org/products/aet-adapts-eco-lin…

Australia’s indigenous women artists set to make a splash in major U.S. exhibition

At 68, Aboriginal painter and matriarch Regina Pilawuk Wilson has a dream: to make the long journey from Australia’s outback to the U.S., wher…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:34 am @ http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/07…

Bears Ears Sacred Site Unites 24 Tribes With Rock Climbers, Conservationists

Anne MinardA coalition of 24 Native American tribes working to create a conservation area would be strong. Add the support of rock climbers, l…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 11:59 pm @ http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/07/…

Erdogan’s Purges Threaten Future of Turkey’s Secular Society

Print Turkish President Meets Opposition After Failed Coup Turkey Aims New Crackdown at Journalists, Academics, Airline Workers Turkish Ruling…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 11:37 pm @ http://www.voanews.com/content/erdogans-purges-thr…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…