The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t slowing VillageMD from spending energy on its current investors and talking to prospective new ones, CEO Tim Barry says, because it’s important for a growing company — especially at a time like this.

"It would be really easy to, frankly, just pour all of my energy into trying to solve whatever the problems are that we are trying to address as an organization," Barry says. "But the end of the day, the investors that we have, we brought these investors in because they have a long-term orientation. Their track record, they were able to quantifiably prove to us that their long-term holders in companies. So I wanted them to sort of see and know all the things that we're facing."

While it's not about oversharing the minutia, investors do want to know about the things that the company's operators think they're going to be challenged on, where they think the upside is, and what they're doing to try to mitigate the challenges and seize on the opportunities. 

Barry spoke with the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about communicating with investors and keep the door open to opportunity during the disruption.

Building trust

One of those opportunities is around how the company will continue to grow — a challenge given how the pandemic will negatively affect smaller entities in the industry.

"Sadly during this crisis, there's going to be a number of small physician practices who have been working independent, on their own, for a long time and I think that they're going to struggle to be able to make it," Barry says. "I think in some cases I don't think they're going to be able to survive another year because they don't have the capital, the technology. They're all great clinicians and smart business people, but they lack some of the things that organizations like us have, and so we're going to see an opportunity as an organization to grow."

Ongoing dialogue

Barry says there's going to be a number of practices who VillageMD has been in discussions with for a while who will eventually want to come partner with them because VillageMD has worked to build their trust. Without an ongoing dialogue with the company's investors, he says they might wonder why they're doing these types of things. 

"So, especially during a time of crisis, I think it's incredibly important to keep your investors close as well as to be out there on the horizon talking to other investors because you never know the different companies that they're looking at, the different assets that they have in their portfolios that could be interesting opportunities to either acquire something or merge with something or to enter into a strategic partnership that could significantly help the overall growth of your business," Barry says. "I've continued to be pretty active on that front and I think it's going to play out for us really well."