Entrepreneur finds success very liberating

Sunday, September 30, 2007

STUART, Fla. - Seven years ago, Mark Libratore left his job in an effort to satisfy his entrepreneurial spirit, launching Liberator Medical Supply. In June, he took his company public.
"There's a certain excitement you have when everything is on the line and you're trying to run your business," said Libratore.
Before starting Liberator, Libratore worked for diabetes mail order giant, Liberty Medical. A five-year non-compete clause in the diabetes arena forced him to develop other lines including ostomy, incontinence, mastectomy and mobility items. Today, Liberator has 38 employees, an 8,000-square-foot retail location, and a national mail order business, serving mostly Medicare and private insurance patients.
"The secret of our success goes back to my clinical roots as a respiratory therapist," said Libratore. "In a hospital setting, everything revolves around the outcome and care for that person. It's not a by-the-numbers business. I took that into the business world and have still been able to achieve success."
Liberator submitted bids in all 10 competitive bidding areas for mail order diabetes, and sees national competitive bidding (NCB) as a growth market for those who win bids.
"Larger entities like ours probably have an advantage in the marketplace right now," he said.
In July, Liberator hired a national media planning firm to ramp up the company's direct response television advertising. While the increased TV emphasis correlates with the company's bid for a cut of the mail order diabetes market, Libratore said everyone needs to advertise.
"Winning a bid is a just a license to hunt," he said. "You still have to get out there and bag your game, so to speak."