Father’s Example Leads Son to Open Dream Practice in Odessa

Beatific Vision of Pasco County

Following in his father’s footsteps, Dr. Nicholas Bottaro started his career in the medical field knowing that he wanted to serve his family, patients, and the community, in the same way his father did. Watching his father build his dentistry business over the course of more than 40 years was just what he needed to know what he wanted his career to look like.

“My dad just retired from a long career 42 years as a family dentist,” Bottaro said. “He started his dental practice from scratch; nothing. He had a chair and a phone and he would pick up the phone and write in his little book who was coming in and that’s how he began it all.”

While Bottaro remembers his father as an extremely good dentist with an exceptional skill level, he acknowledges there were other important lessons instilled in him along the way. Things that he wanted to carry on, such as treating patients like family and giving them the time and dedication they deserve, especially when dealing with something as important as a person’s eyesight.

“I saw a pride and a passion for his work and his expertise that was unmatched,” he said of his father. “He has a heart of gold that would give, give, give, give, but he was always giving his talents first and foremost. Growing up as a young kid, I saw this. It was simple things like always having my shirt tucked in when I went to visit the office, to always being respectful to staff and patients alike.”

As he got older and entered medical school and eventually started working for other companies, Bottaro noticed that the medical industry had drastically shifted since watching his father.

“I saw that things are very, very different now in healthcare,” he laments. “I saw that most of the places are profits over patients. I saw that most of the time we’re treating problems and not people. I saw this complete change and difference.”

He eventually realized if he wanted to carry on his father’s work ethic in his own medical career, he was going to have to take a chance on himself. “It was only after pursing that ideal at multiple other larger practices that I realized if I was going to set that bar and I was going to meet that ideal, the only way to do it was to do it myself,” Bottaro said. “And so my dad’s growth in his practice and what he built over 40 years of practice and the tens of thousands of patients that he helped, directly translated into my desire in how to help my patients and how to continue to build those types of relationships.”

Bottaro launched his own ophthalmology practice, Beatific Vision, in Odessa in October 2023. And while business is booming, he acknowledges that he could not have done it without the assistance of business consultant Brad Mix, and the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at University of South Florida. Armed with an idea, an MBA and previous business management experience, Bottaro knew enough to know that he didn’t actually know enough to launch a medical practice on his own.

“I wanted to do this the right way and I had no idea where to start,” he said. “That’s really where I reached out to Florida SBDC at USF. They were instrumental in my ability to take everything in my brain of what I wanted to do and really formalize it into a strategic, concise plan and projections that allowed me to take that first big step in going to a bank and look for a loan to really start all of this.”

Bottaro worked side by side with his consultant to build accurate financial projections and a business plan that he would eventually take to Bank of Tampa. “I was able to use actually one of Brad’s connections at the Bank of Tampa,” he said. “They looked at my projections and they could not believe how well organized it was and the plan and landscape that we had laid out in front of them for what we expect to happen in the upcoming year – actually two years – of projections. When the Bank of Tampa saw all the work that [was done] for this practice, they were truly amazed by it.”

The plan worked, and Bank of Tampa funded Bottaro’s dreams for Beatific Vision. “I was able to take out a HELOC,” he said. “I was able to get a private loan for my practice and for running expenses, so I was given enough money to actually run the practice for a full year. And on top of all of that I was also able to get a mortgage to purchase a building because what we discovered was that in today’s landscape, leasing a building was gonna be just as expensive as purchasing a building.”

Recently celebrating six months of being open, business is booming. Bottaro says the practice has reached the break-even mark six months ahead of schedule and is looking forward to the future and bringing even more technology into the practice.

“Some of the technology that we use here is the top one percent of surgeons in the country,” he said. “I absolutely love ophthalmology. I had all these grandiose ideas but I had no idea how to even take the first step. I cannot express enough how the USF SBDC and Brad specifically, how he has helped me to be able to make this dream a reality. We would not be here today without their help.”

“I’m very excited about continuing my relationship with the Florida SBDC.”

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I cannot express enough how the USF SBDC and Brad specifically, how he has helped me to be able to make this dream a reality. We would not be here today without their help.”

Dr. Nicholas Bottaro, Founder — Beatific Vision