Australasian Dental Practice

Tuesday, 23 July, 2024

01 Nov 2009 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 50

Word of Mouth Dentistry Kogarah wins national small business award

For the first time ever, a dental practice has won the prestigious Australian Small Business Champion Award. This is the fourth business award Word of Mouth Dentistry® have won since opening and the third award they have won this year, but this is by far the most significant.


Word of Mouth Dentistry was established in 2003 by Dr Stella Karakasi and her husband and Business Manager, Eric Willma, with the vision to change the way dentistry is perceived in the community. This prestigious award is clear testimony to their success.

The category was open to businesses all around Australia including Doctors, Specialists, Health Care Facilities, Law Firms, Physiotherapists, Engineers, Marketing Companies, Optometrists, Architects, Accountants, Financial Services, Professional Training and more. Any business with 40 full time equivalent staff or less in any industry that would typically be considered of a professional nature could enter. It is one of the most difficult categories to win because of the broadness and the professional standards of entries. This year was reportedly the most competitive to date. Word of Mouth Dentistry won the 2009 NSW and ACT State Award in October against 18 other finalists in the Professional Services category. The National Award was won in competition with the equivalent winners of every other State and Territory in Australia.

"This is an overwhelming experience to be with so many elite business leaders in their fields and a great honour to simply be here, but to actually win this award is absolutely amazing!" Dr Karakasi said at the "Oscar" style award ceremony in front of around 800 guests, finalists and award winners at the Westin Grand Ballroom in Sydney. Every business represented there on the night had already won their state or territory award.

"We've created an environment that makes people look forward to visiting the dentist and a team that loves coming to work," said Mr Willma, General Manager of Word of Mouth Dentistry. "Winning an award as prestigious and competitive as this does not happen by chance or luck, it is something that takes a lot of teamwork and positive thinking.

"Our secret is to simply care, really care about your clients, about your team, about your vision and about your community. Do this with talent, integrity, honesty, high energy and passion and the rest will fall into place. Our team cares about one another and helps one another be their best. They take responsibility and lead others to fill their shoes. One of the greatest benefits of having such a happy team is that it attracts and creates happy and positive clients, which makes our job even easier!"

Word of Mouth Dentistry started with one dentist (Dr Karakasi), one assistant, one receptionist and the business branding and guidance of Mr Willma. Since then the business has grown at a phenomenal rate to a team of 20 including 5 dentists, 2 dental hygienists and a six-fold increase in clinical hours with an average growth rate of around 130 new patients every month over the past 6 years.

Award judging at State and National levels is conducted by a panel of experts from various industries assessing evidence that the contending business provides exceptional products and services, is promoted effectively, supports the local community, has many notable achievements, motivates and develops staff and has a good business plan.

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