We are Amada 02 – Kevin Manuel & Greg Hines

Listen to Kevin and Greg’s story and discover if their story about finding Amada resonates with you too.

Marcos Moura:00:28
Good morning or good afternoon to you. This is Marcos here at Amada Senior Care. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us to hear from one of our franchise partners. And by the way, this call is for you. The reason we do these calls so you can ask questions. So if it’s your first time you’ve ever listened to one of our phone calls or if you’ve been following Amada Senior Care for a long time, welcome. And again this is a call for you. So before we start, just want to do a few things. For those of you who are joining us live, in order for you to ask questions, there’s two ways for you to do this. One is you just go to the question box in the go to webinar panel and in fact would it be really cool is if you are here with us and you can see the question box, click on it and just say hello.

Marcos Moura:01:07
Hi. Anything you want to do? Tell me what the weather is like or what your favorite team is. I don’t know. Put something in there just to know that I can see that you found the question box. Okay, cool. So some of you are coming in letting us know that you can hear us loud and clear. Thank you for that. So that’s one way to ask questions. Muggy in LA and Will from Maryland. Okay cool. So we got some good folks there. So thank you for doing that. It really helps us know that we’re going out to you loud and clear and by the way, if there’s an issue with audio, please go in there and if you can’t hear us or something’s going on, let us know so we can fix the audio. Now the other way to ask questions, which is the way that we prefer that we love for you to do is raise your hand.

Marcos Moura:01:41
What we’ll do is unmute you and you can ask a question live from Kevin and Greg and asking the live question allows you to have a followup, right? You could have like a four part question and again, this is really for you guys, so let me go ahead and share my screen here. All right, there we go. So I’m sharing my screen now. Real quick. Before I introduce you to Kevin and Greg, I wanted to tell you real quick, for those of you who are brand new to Amada Senior Care who don’t know what we do, just real briefly, we are a senior care company, which means we send caregivers to seniors’ homes to take care of activities of daily living. That is things like dressing, bathing, walking, grooming, toileting, and then also other things like meal preparation, companionship, even driving the senior to a doctor’s appointment or to the grocery store.

Marcos Moura:02:23
It’s really whatever it takes to help that senior thrive in their home. Now when home is not ideal, we can also help them find services like going to an assisted living, helping them with affording the care through veteran’s administration, longterm care insurance, or whatever it takes. We really talk about the fact that we’re like the navy seals of home care because although it is important to have amazing caregivers, it’s also really important to help them navigate all of the crazy options that are out there. As Kevin and Greg will tell you here in a little bit, when you are in the situation of finding care for a loved one, it is absolute chaos. It is really difficult to find out and figure out what is you need to do to make sure you can provide the best care for your loved one. And that’s what we’re really here to do.

Marcos Moura:03:03
So that’s Amada Senior Care and as you’re going through this process, you’re going to find out a lot more about Amada, what the process is, what does it mean to become a Franchisee, but that is going to come in the process as you go through and it takes a little bit of time. We’ll walk you through that, but today I want to introduce you to Greg Hines and Kevin Manuel. I’ve got their profiles here on Linkedin because I know that they are cool with you guys reaching out to them, connecting with them on linkedin. So here’s Gregory Hines and Kevin Manuel. Right there were actually really, really lucky to have these two as our franchise partners. I’ll let them tell you a little bit about their background, but I know that when we met them, these are a buddies since college. Really good man. They have amazing families. There’s a lot of times when we’re talking to franchisees where we’re just pinching ourselves going, man, it’s so cool that we’re attracting folks like this and they have worked extremely hard. Took a huge risk starting their Amada Senior Care business in Michigan and in fact Kevin and Greg, you guys, you are our first franchisees in Michigan. We always thought we’d be in Michigan a lot sooner than we did. Remind me again, when did you actually start the business?

Kevin Manuel:04:03
We started in August of 2014. We left our jobs in 2014 and started Amada.

Marcos Moura:04:09
It’s so crazy, I it feels like it was just yesterday, so August 2014 and we had nobody else in Michigan. So let’s back up a little bit and Kevin, will you start out and tell us a little bit about your background and then we’ll have Greg also introduce himself.

Kevin Manuel:04:22
Sure. Before Amada I was doing pharmaceutical sales and I was doing that for about 17 years prior to opening Amada franchise and before that I was in banking for a few years, so those experience definitely helped me with starting the business here at Amada and banking. It was understanding I was used to calling small businesses. I was managing all small businesses will come in and I always admired those guys as entrepreneurs and it helped me understand reading financial statements and it really comes in handy in running your own business and then with the pharmaceutical sales, obviously that was marketing that helped in doing what we’re doing now and as we go out and market to various referral sources.

Marcos Moura:05:01
Perfect. Hey, thank you for that intro and tell me real quick about your family.

Kevin Manuel:05:05
Yes. I am married with three kids, two out of college. My baby girl, she is a sophomore at University of Michigan and and that’s the part that we stepped out on faith, you know, I had 2014, my boys were coming out of college so I really stepped out on faith and doing this and my wife. Luckily I’m married to a very understanding lady and she allowed me to do this.

Marcos Moura:05:28
That’s awesome. I appreciate that. All right, Greg, let’s switch over to you.

Gregory Hines:05:32
Yeah, no, no, thanks Marcos. First of all, thanks for having us as part of the conversation, but my background is very similar to Kevin’s and then I do both pharmaceuticals and prior to making the decision to buy an Amada franchise, I was in medical devices for about eight years, so half the length of time that Kevin talked about in the industry and was really, really honestly happy to be a part of that industry because of the life that afforded us, but at some point and recognize the fact that going into business for yourself trumps any, any company that you can work for. So that was my motivation now in terms of family, I’m married as well and I’ve got a 17 year old who’s about to go into college and so for me it wasn’t an issue of worrying about having to pay for college at that point.

Gregory Hines:06:20
My thought was that I needed to generate more income maybe through an entrepreneurial venture where I could more easily pay for college for my son and again and same kind of wife that Kevin has, very understanding and very supportive of the whole notion of being an entrepreneur and that she’s one. So it just worked out. Timing was great and you know, having known Kevin since we were 19 years old, It made the decision to go into business and have a partnership with Kevin just that much easier.

Marcos Moura:06:47
That’s cool. So you guys met in college? Correct?

Gregory Hines:06:50
We met as, I think we were Sophmores at Indiana University and we met because it was sort of a forced meeting. We met in that we made a decision to join the same fraternity and go through the pledge program at the same time. So he and I are line brothers and I have been going strong since 1984.

Marcos Moura:07:09
Wow, that’s really cool. So tell me about this idea that both of you guys came to the point where you love what you did and I like making that distinction because we do target a lot of folks that are medical device, pharmaceutical sales and we talk about, you know, life after medical device life after pharmaceutical sales and yeah, do. What I want to everybody to understand is I don’t think any of us come from backgrounds where like, oh, I hated my job, I hated pharma, I hated medical device. That’s really not the case. Right? I mean you guys were in a place where you love what you did, but talk a little bit about what was happening, where you felt like you needed to have a change.

Kevin Manuel:07:43
Yeah. It’s not that I hated what I was doing, it afforded me a good life its just sort of wanted to do something a little different. Like I said, when I was in banking and they used to call on the small business owners used to come into me and I would go out to see them. I’ve always had that desire to do my own thing and at the beginning of 2014 I just had that itch and Greg and I was talking and we decided to do it, but pharmaceutical sales, yeah. Like I said, I was happy doing what I was doing to a certain extent, but I knew I could do more and better and do some little larger than what I was doing.

Marcos Moura:08:12
Yeah, Greg, anything else to add to that?

Gregory Hines:08:15
I think Kevin said it all. It was a processed approach we enjoy the lifestyle that we have. We enjoyed the industries that we had. We sat down and we talked about and thought through where we wanted to be 10 years down the road, 15 years down the road, 20 years down the road. Through the process we really investigated a couple other options outside of Pharma and medical devices. Uh, and we really did a ton of research. We did a ton of investigation. We did due diligence and we really, really thought through the process of what we wanted next and for us it became at some point a no brainer that we knew that anywhere in the senior market potentially made sense because we saw what was happening, we saw the growth with many of the senior businesses and so for us that process led us to making the decision to go out on our own and then of course to start having a conversation with Amada Senior Care.

Marcos Moura:09:10
Right. And now we go back to 2014. So it’s been a few years now and one of the things that we wanted to talk about in this call is how we help veterans. And so I know that a lot of listeners are joining us for that. Can you talk a little bit about when you started the business? We do differentiate ourselves where we are advocates for veterans, but can you talk a little bit about how we accomplish that and I guess what does has that meant to you in your business?

Kevin Manuel:09:33
You know, when we started, our business Amada is known for a couple of things. One is veterans, the other was longterm care insurance, so we were focusing on that. That was one of the areas we’re focusing on, is longterm care insurance, but also we were focusing on veterans as a way to jumpstart our business and it was a hard fought, I should say. It was hard fought getting ourselves into. We have two veterans hospitals close to as we have the Detroit VA, John Dingle VA, and then we have the Ann Arbor VA and we’re affiliated with both of them and we’ve been successful with them. Well, what one of the benefits of doing what we’re doing and we’re taking care of the veterans will get to meet a lot of heroes. These guys are very special. We have taken care of people who were in Patton’s army. We’ve taken care of a couple of Tuskegee airman, so we really have the opportunity as as we take care of veterans to sit down and talk about history and get a lot out of it. Not only us, but also our caregivers are going to provide the care. It has been nothing but beneficial to us financially as far as our business and also, uh, individuals getting to know these guys these heroes.

Gregory Hines:10:38
Yeah. I guess what I would add, Tim, is just from an approach standpoint and from even an opportunity standpoint, what we saw with Amada is that we were trained and we were really good in several different sources. Payer sources, obviously longterm care insurance then the VA benefits and private pay. And we saw that as a tremendous benefit. And so for us, as Kevin said, our approach was to go after a couple of different areas and the thought was that what would stick best initially is what we focus on most initially. And so for us, we went after both longterm care and VA and at that point the VA programs and the benefits for the VA programs worked out better and that’s the road we decided to focus on. And that’s the road we took. And again, as Kevin said, it made a difference in our business. The reality is that although we do a lot of VA and we’re really good at VA, the beauty with the system is that you get several different options. You get a lot of different angles that you can go after. For us it was just that we’ve focused on the VA because it initially worked best for us.

Marcos Moura:11:42
Yeah, and that’s what I think is interesting and and guys that one of the reasons we have our franchisees come on and tell you their stories is if you talk to Kevin and Greg, they’ll tell you a story. If you talk to Ryan Hart in Nevada, he’ll tell you a different story about his business because we have several different lines of business that you can go after and when you first start out, our advice to you is you need to go after multiple lines, but what you’ll end up building your business might be different from somebody else, but at least once you find that vein of business that responds in that you start attacking and it works out. You build that. What would you guys call it? Like the kind of the base right of your business and the VA was kind of that base to get you to launch into other things, right?

Gregory Hines:12:26
Yeah, that’s absolutely right on point Tim and that’s what we see the VA is. I’m sorry, Marcos, what we’re. That’s what we see the VA is. It’s a base and it gives us an opportunity to go after other areas of revenue. I mean things that really, really helped to scale us and that’s important. I think initially, and I’m just saying when you’re saying that you’ve got to create enough revenue and in some kind of base so that you become strong and then it gives you tons of other options to go after other areas where you’re not so concerned with how you’re going to pay your bills.

Marcos Moura:12:57
Yeah, that’s right. And so for Kevin you said something very important. It was hard fought. I don’t think anyone will ever tell you that they opened an Amada Senior Care and three weeks later there was all this business and they didn’t know what to do with it. Right? It is. It is hard fought. Can you share a little bit about what do you mean by hard fought? Go back to 2014, early 15. How hard fought was it?

Kevin Manuel:13:23
Yeah. You know, when we opened our doors, we had zero clients, right? We were building what we have today. We have about 120 – 125 clients. When we started out in 2014 we had zero and we were out there and knocking on doors trying to gain. Because this business is. You don’t talk to your client directly initially. Generally you’re trying to get a referral from a referral base. You refer business to you. So those are our call points. Those are the folks that we’re trying to market to. So Greg and I were out every day knocking on doors to get referrals coming in to us. So from August, and I think our first client came in in November. It was November first and November, the first week of November, so that it took us all of August and September and October, before we got that first client right now and other other agencies though to start, don’t get their first client in a month or two months and then maybe like us, but you got to be prepared for that

Marcos Moura:14:21
And when you talk about knocking on doors for a lot of you are medical device and pharmaceutical sales, you guys kind of know what that means, but literally what did that mean when you set out? We were out there knocking doors. Some people may think that’s a euphemism or maybe you are just making phone calls. What did that actually mean? On a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. What were you really doing?

Gregory Hines:14:40
Let’s go back a little further than just knocking on doors or let’s add. Let’s add a little more than just that, but in terms of knocking on doors, that meant that we were literally out trying to create a referral base. We were recreating something that we’d already had when we were in pharmaceutical and medical devices industry when we were selling products. We already had physicians that we could call on and when you typically. Most of us have a list of those. Well, when we came to Amada and when we opened up our doors and created Amada Farmington hills, we had to recreate what we were used to and that simply meant that we were meeting new physicians. We were meeting new case managers. We were meeting new social workers and the beginning of a process, so we were literally, as Kevin said, we were starting to develop and build relationships, but in addition to that, here’s what’s really interesting. In addition to that, while we were knocking on doors, we were janitors. We were administrators, builders. We were schedulers. We were everything that we had in the past that folks who were administrative staff and the former companies did for us. We were now doing. We were literally taking out garbage and cleaning offices and we were doing everything in addition to knocking on doors. So something Kevin Talks about the term he just used that that’s what’s made you literally, you’re doing everything including the marketing side.

Marcos Moura:16:07
Yeah. That’s a big shift for anybody who becomes an entrepreneur, right? If you’ve never run a business before this concept that when your sales or your operations, you have your sight, your focus on what you do and you almost have blinders to the other, you know, 180 degrees around you that somebody else used to do in your company. Somebody else was creating the PNL. Somebody else was billing the client, somebody else’s shipping the product. Now all of a sudden you two are the guys, right? I mean, you are it and it’s, it’s not easy to get your hands around that, right and get your mind around it.

Kevin Manuel:16:44
You’re absolutely right. So yeah, you become, you do everything. So, uh, you’d put in the time, but it pays off, you know, you work hard enough. It pays off. Our office now where it was just Greg and I now we have, we have four full time people in our office and helping out a lot of those things that we were doing it ourselves. So the grind.

Marcos Moura:17:05
Yeah. So yeah, it is. It is a grind and we, you know, it’s, it’s kind of funny. I don’t know if you guys would expect that we would never tell you that this is going to be the easiest thing you’ll ever do. We really want to overtly tell you that this is going to be hard and I don’t know if there’s any business out there that’s not going to be hard. And I think what you’ll hear from Kevin and Greg as I think through the hardship, you ought to be in something that will bring you joy, that will bring you happiness. And I think, you know, taking care of veterans, meeting some of these heroes, doing the work or helping families navigate through this. The madness that it is. Finding the right kind of care is a lot of the payback. So when you guys have a tough day, what would you say that there is a payback to the hardship?

Kevin Manuel:17:44
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. This is the professionally the best move I’ve ever made. I enjoy folks. I enjoy running my own business. I enjoy contributing to my community. Our payroll. We pay about, we pay twice a month. We pay about 115, 120 people each pay period, you know. So that’s a feeling that we’re giving back to our community. You know, Greg can speak for himself as far as that.

Gregory Hines:18:07
Yeah. And I echo those same sentiment, the payback for us. Here’s what I knew that there was a payback that was outside of the financial rewards Marcos. It was when we met our very first client. This is a client that we ask that you give us a shot. That’s all we sold the business. We were just transparent. Uh, were very, very confident that we do exact form, but we asked them to give us a shot and he gave us an opportunity

Marcos Moura:18:32
And Greg let me back up, didn’t you told me the story that they asked you? Point blank, something like, how long have you been doing this? How many clients do you have? Right?

Gregory Hines:18:40
Yeah. Yeah. That was really, really funny. So the guy asked us, uh, how long we’ve been doing and how many clients we had and we’re very honest with them when we go, well you will be our first client and the look in his face probably suggested that, uh, if we didn’t leave immediately he was going to kick us out, but we stayed strong and we asked them to give us a shot. And I think that for me, I knew at that point after we’ve been taking care of him for a while and after we had learned so much from that very first caregiver who was a part of this case and from having just developed an incredible relationship with him and the person that he lived with. I knew at that point that any financial reward that I got from this could not even compare to the good feeling and the sense of accomplishment that I’d received from being a part of this business. So I echo Kevin’s sentiments completely. And at the same time, I don’t know how much everybody knows about the Detroit Metro area, but for a long time and still to some degree now it’s been very difficult for many folks that we hire to gain employment. And so we employ probably closer to about 150. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we use them every pay period. I use a lot of them, but the satisfaction that we have in knowing that we’re helping out families who oftentimes could not get employment or have a difficult time getting employment is enough satisfaction for me where it just makes this whole thing worth it.

Marcos Moura:20:10
That’s really cool. A lot of people talk about about, you know, hiring caregivers and how hard it is to hire caregivers or they’re wondering about that. And I think that is another part of our business that again, it is hard. Right? I remember our first Franchisee, whenever we would bring on new franchisees, he would call them and he would say, congratulations, you’ve joined the family. I’m not alone anymore. And the new friendships, Yay, thanks. And then Robert, his name Robert Go, hey, how many caregivers you have and you go, what? Because you’re never not hiring caregivers, right? I mean you, you’re hiring caregivers now forever.

Gregory Hines:20:42
We’re actually having an orientation as we speak. So we hire, we hire probably we don’t try to hire every day at some point. We’re almost having to. But we try to just from the efficiency standpoint, we’re probably doing it the two times a week, maybe some weeks, three times a week. And that just speaks to the, the important part of the business.

Marcos Moura:21:02
It’s a huge demand on your time and then on your staff as you hire that staff. But again, it’s another thing that comes with the business, right? The satisfaction of seeing what you said about a hundred and 50 people that you’re employing out there. And you know, as you guys probably know, caregivers get paid anywhere between nine to let’s say $15 an hour. And it’s the type of employee that a lot of times can be treated badly by other companies. And it’s something that we really believe in is that. And, and there’s research that shows that the caregivers care, number one, they’re number one thing that they want you to be surprised that there’s been tons of research done on caregivers, that they say the number one thing they want is respect, and then it’s the money. And have you guys seen that in your business with this army of folks that you have? Do you see that? That is a number one thing that they really care about is the respect that they get from you guys.

Kevin Manuel:21:48
Yes, you will hear that quite often is that you don’t have a caregiver. And we try to recognize our caregivers. We can’t organize, there’ll be one, but we make a point to recognize some every month, and I’ve heard time and time again, I am so glad you guys show us the recognition because I’ve worked at other places where I didn’t get this. So yeah, it’s very important that they’d be respected and valued. And in our business, obviously we’re as good as those caregivers and the people in our office. So you want to make them happy as best you can, so your business will benefit from that.

Gregory Hines:22:18
Here’s a process in which we try to think through the notion of caregivers Marcos we’ve recognized a long time ago, the caregivers probably need us less than we need them and because we understand that we try to do things, Kevin and I to make sure that number one, we’re visible, so orientation is we’ll go in and we’ll speak to them. We recognize caregivers for doing things and doesn’t even have to be extraordinary. It could just be “that-a-boy” recognition and we also make sure that they understand very clearly that we are advocates and we will support them and again, part of that process of us making sure that that we’re really strong on the side of caregivers does that. We make sure that our caregivers know that they are as important to us as our clients are and it’ll tell you, that builds loyalty. The biggest problem now that we face in this industry is either getting caregivers or keeping the ones that we get. So in us doing those things, I think that that’s helped some. Is it still a problem? Yes. Still a problem. Finding them and retaining them, but we work really, really hard in terms of the things that we need to do to make sure that we give ourselves the best shot at it.

Marcos Moura:23:24
I love it. That’s so important. You know, I remember when we first started and I knew nothing about caregiving and Tafa said 100 percent of your clients will leave you someday because they’ve either passed away or they’ll go to a nursing home or some change will happen where there are no longer your client and yet the caregivers, if you do it right, it could be with you for a very long time and they are really your net worth. You know, don’t you guys agree that your worth is measured by your caregivers more than your clients?

Gregory Hines:23:48
Oh, would echo those sentiments. Exactly. Yeah.

Marcos Moura:23:51
Okay guys, so we’ve been on here for about 20 minutes, so this is your opportunity to ask questions. I just wanted to invite you to learn more about Kevin and Greg. Have them share their experiences with you. Assume if you’re on the call, this is your time to ask any questions that you want to ask. You can type them into the question box. We’re live, we can see it right here. Or you can raise your hand to ask a question from Kevin and Greg, this is your chance. Don’t be shy about it. Um, I wanted to ask you guys also about the competition in your market. So as questions comes in, I’ll ask you the questions that they’re asking, but tell me about competition. A lot of folks, they come to us and they say, well, I’m in Wichita and in Wichita, you guys may not know this, but there’s a hundred home care companies. And then I hear that from, I’m in Idaho now in Idaho, right? And they. And they talk about the competition in their market. Can you talk a little bit about the competition you have found in that greater Detroit market that you guys have a large business now? How has it been dealing with other home care companies out there?

Kevin Manuel:24:47
There’s a lot of competition in our market, but one in the state of Michigan don’t have to have a license. There’s no licensure process. So you just put up your shingle, get a business license and go out and um, get into business just right. It was in a two mile area where we are in probably about five or six of us right here in the same area, but you know, there’s a lot of business out there for all of us and everyone, they may have a niche where they’re going out to a certain patient type and another one’s going out to different patient type. So there’s enough business for all of us. But there is competition in, you just got to be better than the next guy and sometimes you work hand in hand. Just recently in the last week we referred a client that we couldn’t service to another, a home care company that we had a relationship with. They do the same thing that we do, but we refer that client to them and we’ve gotten clients from other companies, you know, Home Care Company couldn’t take care of a client and they referred them to us. So yes, competition. But also, yeah, we’re all in this for the same reason. At least most of us are. And that’s provide great care.

Marcos Moura:25:46
Yeah, and I think it’s interesting. I mean you guys probably now have strong friendly relationships. I hear from most of our franchisees that they go and get coffee, they go get lunch with some of their competitors. They exchange notes on caregivers. Like it’s a pretty great community. Even with the competition, right?

Gregory Hines:26:02
It is. For us, we don’t necessarily see our competition. That’s true competition and here’s what I’ll say that arrogantly, but here’s why. A lot of times Marcos, we’ll see is companies don’t necessarily hire the level of franchisees that Amada does or their mom and pop company, so they don’t always have the same training or they may not have developed the skill set from a prior job that they had. I think that with Amada, what we see when we go to meetings or when we’re talking with any of our other franchisees, is that just from a skillset standpoint, most of us are on the same level of skills. Most of us are really, really hungry. Most of us know how to sell. Most of us know operations and so that’s really fun to have as part of your team when we go out and with other companies that do what we do. A lot of times I would say even half the time you just don’t have that quality of person. That was not a bad thing, but it makes less competition for us, at least in our eyes. So we think that what we bring in, what other Amada franchisees bring in, what we all share, that the competition probably is not as strong as it would be if you know, if the Amada system didn’t bring in the Franchisee it did. So there’s competition out there, but we take anybody’s lunch in this area.

Marcos Moura:27:21
That’s right and I’m glad you said that because even though I’m telling you guys that we are friendly and all that, the truth is as we are there to steal market share and we do. Right. So and we’re not shy about saying that, but there’s so much business out there. Then you can steal market share like crazy and you’ll still have competitors that will steal some market share as well. But we are probably one of the most competitive group of guys and girls that you’ll ever meet and you know what I’ll tell you if you are not competitive to the point where if you do lose business to somebody else at that doesn’t kind of, you know, fire you up and probably in the wrong team, we are extremely competitive.

Marcos Moura:27:55
Okay. Will, uh, thank you for asking you a question. Let me, let me. This is a really good one guys. So the biggest mistake that you had to learn from maybe in the beginning, but just you’re the biggest mistake that you have learned from running the business now for all these years. It’s a good one, Huh?

Gregory Hines:28:12
We’re kind of pausing because the reality is that we’ve made so many mistakes. When you’re in your business, you make mistakes. Here’s the beauty though. That Will probably, if he makes a decision to move forward with Amada or whatever he decides to do in this industry, he’ll make the mistakes. I think the difference with us is that part of the reason in moving forward with Amada is that we knew we would have support or we thought we’d have support and we were just really banking on that and so that when we made mistakes or when we got into a bind and didn’t have answers to questions, we had somebody to call and it wasn’t always afi wasn’t always California. This going back to the whole thing that I talked about, what the franchise partners, we very easily could call a Ken in Colorado Springs or John Merrill in Mississippi or or or DR over in Milwaukee and we could get help getting out of a bind or a help to correct the mistake. Right. And I think that that’s the beauty of the system, so it’s not just one mistake Will, but we’ve made several different mistakes. I guess the short answer though for you and just to really answer your question is I think it probably would have had to do with maybe making administrative changes in the office sooner than what we did. We had a rough spot where there just wasn’t a good mix for us and it created a lot of problems internally and we wanted to be loyal, but the loyalty created problems with our efficiency and in fact we lost clients because we did not make fast enough decisions with some administrative staff. That’s probably one of the biggest mistakes that we made. What do you think Kev?

Kevin Manuel:29:49
I would agree with that and yeah, you are going to make mistakes. You’re going to hire the wrong marketer or the wrong media person and you’re going to fare it out and chalk it up to learning. You know, next time you know what to look for in a hire. The right people. I love agree with Greg. It was some of the hiring decisions that we made, but you learn from it.

Marcos Moura:30:05
That’s a great answer and I think that’s a good one about, you know, Will talking about the staff, right? I think every entrepreneur goes through that. You’re in a startup and you have these wonderful folks in a foxhole with you and it creates a huge amount of loyalty and I think every entrepreneur goes through that growth stage. I appreciate you guys sharing that because I hear that from a lot of franchise partners, right? You get to a point where you do need to sometimes change that staff and make upgrades to the staff to be able to go from billing x amount per month to now the next year and then the next year. Right. And and those things are tough to do. Right? They’re tough to. Those changes are really hard in a human way to make

Gregory Hines:30:41
It took too long and it was based on the emotions and feelings we didn’t use our business senses.

Kevin Manuel:30:48
Yeah. I can say one thing and I don’t know who’s out there going to come or what if you do decide to do this and you’re doing this alone, make sure that first hire is a very good hire for a person that you’re going to bring in operational. Greg and I, we. There’s the two of us, but it just one of us. It’d be very tough doing this job, so if you do decide to do this and you will come in on your own, you’re going to need to hire someone pretty quickly. Make sure, try to hire the best you can.

Marcos Moura:31:11
Yeah, Kevin, absolutely. We. We have seen that so many times. The single operator, you have to have the right hand woman, righthand man that’s helping you because it gets overwhelming if you don’t. I mean even with the two of you, I’m assuming that you got to a point of overwhelm, right? Imagine not having somebody that’s there to help you out,

Kevin Manuel:31:30
Especially when you start to grow and you start to grow quickly.

Marcos Moura:31:33
Yeah, absolutely. That’s really good feedback and as you guys go through this process, what we’ll do is we’ll sit down with you and we’ll talk about are you a partnership, are you just by yourself or are you as a one and a half or you have somebody who will be able to do half of the work, maybe some billing or some scheduling and somebody like that and we’ll give you some counsel on that. And also, you know, I think Kevin and Greg are hitting the nail on the head. It used to be just about us when we had four or five, six franchise partners, but it is no longer like that, you know, Kevin and Greg actually are mentors, so they mentor a today, a group of Franchisees and several franchisees have raised their hand and they’re mentoring and so you will learn so much from our franchisees even up to par or more than you would learn here from the Home Office here in California. And that’s been a huge unintended consequence of we were really serious about finding a only the right franchisees and I’d say 99 percent. We’ve made only the best choices as Kevin and Greg have told you. And these guys and girls will be there to support you.

Marcos Moura:32:33
Okay. Cheryl. You have three questions. This is great. I’m going to go to our [inaudible]. This is a good. Sheryl was asking our services, our services covered by Medicare or Medicaid. I’ll let you guys, uh, touch on that one.

Kevin Manuel:32:46
Currently Medicare. No, but there are some changes coming up on. I want to get deep in that, but there are some changes possibly coming up with Medicare advantage that will start paying for our services. Medicaid, each state is different. Each day runs their medicaid, but I think that majority of the state’s Medicaid does cover some home care. We have a small amount of. Ours is the Michigan Choice plan waiver program. We don’t work directly with the state. We work with a nonprofit that helped run the state’s Medicaid program. So yes, in that regard

Marcos Moura:33:19
And every state is different. You have to take a look at your state. So this idea of Medicare advantage is it was approved this year, it starts next year where Medicare advantage, so companies that are managing Medicare for, for their folks and what does that a third of the population or something like that is on Medicare advantage,

Kevin Manuel:33:36
Yeah, like a third. Yes.

Marcos Moura:33:37So Medicare advantage companies that are managing those dollars, they will be able to use those dollars to pay for home care. It starts in 2019, but it’s a little messy. We’re watching it to figure out what is that really going to mean? It probably will take a while to get going. Do you guys see that as a positive or negative change to the industry

Gregory Hines:33:57
Are you speaking in terms of Medicare advantage,

Marcos Moura:34:00
Right? They can now pay for home care services out of those dollars.

Gregory Hines:34:04
At this point, we still don’t know how it’s going to work. We think it potentially could be a tremendous opportunity for our sector. It just becomes another payer source, so now that we’ve got long term care insurance, we’ve got VA benefits, we’ve got private pay, we’ve got some Medicaid as Kevin spoke about, but now to have an opportunity to take advantage of Medicare advantage just gives us more licensed to hunt. It opens up more opportunities for revenue growth and it opens up more opportunities of course to employ more people and it opens up more opportunities to make more money. To be quite frank,

Marcos Moura:34:42
It’s just another source. So we’re watching that very closely. Sheryl, it is an interesting change. I think it’s a positive change, you know, because we do understand that if a caregiver is involved, outcomes are better and as all you guys know, the industry is moving toward outcomes, not fee for service, so medicare sick of just saying, oh, you kept that patient in your hospital for 20 days. Okay, great. Here’s all this money, and the hospitals have realized, skilled nurses have realized they have to get people home and so if Medicare advantage can prove that, hey, if we put money towards caregiving, we’re getting better outcomes. It just validates even more what we are doing and guys, we already know the answer. Caregiving works. It works. It gets people healthier, it gets people back on their feet. It helps people live a better life in their homes. I mean everything, all the research is already there. That shows that what we do is essential. So we’re excited about that, but we’ll monitor it. We’ll see what it means.

Marcos Moura:35:35
Cheryl, you also asked, I like this question. She was asking, I’d love to learn, share what your background is because it’s so telling what you do and what your background is. How do you ensure the safety of your care providers? I think that’s really cool that you’re, that you’re concerned about that. How do you guys ensure the safety of your caregivers?

Gregory Hines:35:53
Well, you know, I think that for the most part, typically Kevin and I, when we get a new client, we always, always, always, we will go out. Either he and I he or I will go out and we will visit with the client and the client’s family because we do that. We get a really good sense of who it is that we’re taking care of. A lot of times will mean that we’ll have history, will have not just medical history, but we’ll have family history sometimes and we’ll kind of get a sense of what’s going on in that house. If we get any indication that it doesn’t make sense or is safe for our caregivers, then we won’t take the case. I mean, it’s just that simple. We won’t do it simply because our caregivers, for us, they’re very valuable. Right? So that’s how we’ve done it. I’m hoping that I answered Sheryl’s question. That’s typically how we do, uh, Kevin wants to add to that

Kevin Manuel:36:41
In a sense that their safety also as how well trained that caregiver is because they’re doing maneuver sometimes transferring a client if they’re not trained properly, that could cause an issue for the caregiver and also the client, so I’m not sure she’ll which way you were meant as far as the safety of our caregivers, but proper training as far as what they’re doing and also make sure that they’re in an environment that is safe for them when we go out and visit and also we let our caregivers to know something’s not quite right that they need to let us know right away and remove themselves from a situation that’s not safe for them.

Marcos Moura:37:15
Yeah, that’s so important and I want to remind you guys that this is different from home health and so this conversation going to liability, right? A lot of people say, well guys, you have a 150 people out there that are working under your name. What’s the liability? Now? You need to have a stomach that allows you to shoulder that, right? I mean you do have liability, but at the same time we’re doing things like dressing, bathing, walking, grooming. We are not doing shots, wound care, therapy, you know, all those things are handled by home health. We are home care and just by that fact you reduce a lot of that liability that inherently exists by, by using medical services. Also on this goes to. I think it was a really good question. A three part question. Chris. This is a really good question about your revenue sources and I want to do is to show this real quick to you guys because it was. It’ll tell you that we’re quite a bit different from home health organizations and I know sometimes this is a little confusing. I want you guys, Kevin and Greg to talk about this idea that we are a cash pay business. One of the questions was, well, what does reimbursement look like? Which reimbursement you think about Medicare, Medicaid. So I have on the screen here, the fact that our payers, the payers that we work with are usually veterans, cash, worker’s comp and long term care insurance. Can you guys sort of talk about the difference between those payers and going after the true medicaid medicare reimbursement, with all the crazy codes and all the madness that it is, or even a billing Edna’s, Kaisers and blue cross blue shield. Can you help us sort of differentiates our business from that other business?

Kevin Manuel:38:47
Yeah, for the most part you don’t. You don’t really have to worry about the reimbursement because it’s article says it’s going to be cash private pay, so you’re gonna set your rate a longterm care insurance which is cash. It’s you set a rate. The things that you’re doing for those clients has got to be within the parameters of the policy that they have so that you are reimbursed, but they have a pool of money that you work with. As far as veterans concerned, that’s a little different. The VA will set the reimbursement either through a contract or through just a vendor agreement. They will set the reimbursement and I can only speak for the Va’s we work with, our reimbursements are just fine and they’re pretty good, but if you talked to one VA, you’ve just talked one VA? No, it can be different in other parts of the country. They do have guidelines they have to go by, but you know there’s wiggle room in there and their reimbursements can be within those parameters. Medicaid, it’s different. Medicaid is, the reimbursements are far less than you would any of the other reimbursement that you’re getting. What we get from our Medicaid is a contract with the nonprofit that we work with which is far less than what we get in it as Medicaid. So Medicaid is your last resort is for individuals who qualify for Medicaid and Medicaid is only going to pay as a last resort so everything else has been exhausted and that’s when Medicaid’s going to come in and pay. You make that determination about your business, how much you want to accept and what you. How you want to build your company.

Marcos Moura:40:19
So as you guys are hearing this, it’s still much more of an open market that we deal with as opposed to market controlled by Medicare, Medicaid, where they set the rates. So because this is a customer driven operation, remember if you are sending a nurse to go do therapy, the nurse is going to be there for maybe an hour or generous three days a week. I mean that’s probably even more than we’d ever get, right? Uh, to do therapy or wound care or shots or something like that. And that’s all driven by Medicare. Medicaid. Well, we’re talking about here guys, is a customer service operation. You have clients that need a caregiver 24 hours a day and they want the caregiver to cook a certain type of meal and they want the caregiver to be African American or white or Hispanic or Asian. And there’s all this selection and dating process that Kevin and Greg are doing with their clients because of all that and more, it is a much more open market and the rates are set by the market as opposed by the, by the government. And we don’t see that changing anytime soon because again, it is a customer service driven market. I mean, how many of your clients will tell you, Hey Kevin, Greg, I want somebody who’s Asian, male, female. Do you go through that dating, that kind of matchmaking process with your clients?

Gregory Hines:41:38
Yeah, we’ll, we’ll get that from time to time. Um, and again, if that’s a preference, then we certainly try to abide by it. What we find no more often is that for the most part now people just want good care and good service. So what, whether it’s, whether it’s an African American or if it’s a Caucasian or if it’s whatever. They oftentimes cared less about that than they would about having services consistent and services good. Now that doesn’t mean that they don’t have the prerogative to ask for what it is that they want because they do, and if they do, we supply them with what they want. And you know, it’s just part of the process of, of us providing the care that we want to provide for them.

Kevin Manuel:42:18
And what we do is try to, it will get their preference and we’ll try and meet the print, but also we try to convince them to rely on our expertise as far as the caregiver that’s going to best fit them. And a lot of times we’ll give them what they want and does it, you know, and it’s not really what they thought it was going to be someone else in there that’s a little different than what they initially asked for and it’s the best case scenario and they, and they love that person. So, you know, we work with the client as you, as you said, we’ll work with them and we. But we also try to have them rely on our expertise is we’re in talking about the situation.

Marcos Moura:42:51
That’s right, And by the way, Will said Thank you so much for the answers. Great answers. Uh, Cheryl, you just asked, do you need a medicare provider number? And that’s what’s great is you guys currently have certified by Medicare and have a medicare provider number.

Kevin Manuel:43:06
Uh, no we don’t because that wasn’t our initial market. Our business was not medicare because they did, you know, they don’t pay for our service, but as this was starting to open up, those are the things we’re starting to figure out. Do you need to be CMS certified, which a lot of cases you probably are going to have to be CMS certified, but that’s something that you in the process of working through and you’re in, and if so, then you got to go through that process. If you’re going to be accepting Medicare, say Medicare advantage comes down the road, what we’re, you know, we’re still learning.

Gregory Hines:43:35
Yeah. That’s a lot of information that’s not been shared just so we don’t know how it’s gonna play out. But to Kevin’s point, there’s a possibility in the future where we may, we just don’t know yet, but right now, businesses is business as usual without any kind of certification through CMS or Medicaid,

Marcos Moura:43:53
Medicare advantage itself and CMS probably doesn’t even know what they’re going to require. So we’re keeping our ear to the ground and trying to figure out what that’s going to be. But today you do not need to have the certification. Um, you do need it usually a license in your state as you as Kevin said, in Michigan there is no licensing body. I would assume someday that will probably change in Michigan here in California. It changed a couple of years ago, which is crazy in California, but a couple of years ago, anybody can start a home care company in most states now. I think I could say most states you do need a license to provide home care, but you do not need to get certified for Medicare and Medicaid. Now we’re almost coming up to an hour here and I know that Kevin and Greg have orientation going on and uh, their commitment is to an hour. They’re super, super busy. So I added some more questions. In fact, there was a really good question about revenues and what we’d asked you to do is you can get those questions. I think it was Will or I can’t remember who it was that asked you guys about when did you break even, how much money are you making? And all that. Well, we would invite you to do is, I don’t want to share this here on this call with us on the call. You’re welcome to review this on our franchise disclosure document and we do talk about revenues, their gross revenues.

Marcos Moura:45:05
You can reference that if you don’t have our franchise disclosure document, reach out to Tim Valencia. I’m sure you have an email from Tim it has his phone number on there. Reach out to him and he can get you that, a copy of that and you are welcome to reach out to any of our franchise partners as they have time and there’ll be able to share any information they are happy to share with you, but when it comes to revenues, net profit, gross margin, how much money are you making? When did you break even? We invite you to have those one on one conversations with our franchise partners, so. Okay. Before we sign off here, we have three minutes. I wanted to go first to Kevin, if you could tell, what is your biggest piece of advice to anybody who is looking at starting in Amada Senior Care business?

Kevin Manuel:45:46
Prepared to work hard. It is something that make sure everyone’s on board if you, if you’re married family because it’s going to take a lot of your time initially. So make sure everyone’s on board. Um, but I can tell you this, there were some times where things were a little lean, we ate a lot of soup

Marcos Moura:46:10
A lot of top ramen!

Kevin Manuel:46:15
Amada Is the best professional move. I’ve made as I said before, so just be prepared to roll up your sleeves and make sure everybody that that’s going to be on board that needs to be on board. That’s great.

Marcos Moura:46:27
Thank you so much Kevin. Really appreciate that. It’s, it’s a thank you so much for taking the time to be here and give that council. Greg, your thoughts.

Gregory Hines:46:37
Well, I guess my thought would be just one and it’s very simple. If you decide to become a Franchisee, there is a system in place. All you have to do to be successful is to follow the system. There’s two things actually got to follow the system. You gotta work hard. If you can do that, and if you can lean on your friends eyes, partners, who are the most remarkable people I’ve ever met in my life, then I think you’d be incredibly successful in Amada senior care, so follow the system. Work hard, rely on your franchise partners. If you don’t have fire like we do, if you don’t want to work hard like we did, if we can’t rely on you, if we can’t trust you, we don’t want you as part of the system because we meet with people who are incredibly sharp. We share and we become successful together.

Marcos Moura:47:23
I love it. I love it guys. Thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it. I know you guys are so busy. It means a ton to us that you take the time. Thank you. I can’t thank you enough.

Kevin Manuel:47:33
Absolutely. Thanks for having us.

Gregory Hines:47:36
Yeah, thank you!

Marcos Moura:47:34
And for those of you guys who are on the call, please reach out to Tim Valencia regardless of where you are in the discovery process. Tim Is your concierge. In fact, Tim has helped every single one of our franchise partners go from where they are today to either acquiring a Franchise or realizing this is not for them, but reach out to Tim. Schedule your next steps of discovery and know that just like this call, our goal is never to sell you on starting a business or paint a picture that’s not realistic. Our goal is to tell you exactly what this is all about, get you all the information we can possibly get to you and for you to make a decision with you and your family. If this is the right opportunity for you or not, the only thing we’re here to do is support you through that decision, and if you make the decision to join Amada Senior Care and we award you a franchise is to do our best to help you become successful. Thank you very much for being with us today. We will talk to everybody soon. Bye Bye.

To learn more about launching your Amada Senior Care business, go to Amadapodcast.com. Again, amadapodcast.com. Thank you for listening.

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