“More than anything I just wanted to be my own boss.” – Ryan Hart | Amada Senior Care Owner
Marcos: 00:27 Hey everyone. Marcos here with Amada senior care. Thank you so much for joining us for another podcast episode of We are Amada. Today we Have Ryan Hart, our franchise partner in Reno, Nevada. You could say that Ryan is Reno, Nevada. Amada. He owns the entire market there. Not only just that he owns a franchise, but he really owns that market. He’s local to the Reno market and he’s going to talk to you a little bit more about when he found this opportunity, would it meant to him to be in his hometown and I think there’ll be some things that will really surprise you about Ryan and what he’s doing there in Reno. I can tell you right now, if you look at our franchise disclosure document, one thing we just closed there is that Ryan billed a $114,000 in gross billings in March of this year and Ryan started as franchise in, I believe it was June of 2016, so that is pretty fast. I’m excited to introduce you guys to Ryan Hart. Ryan, welcome to the show.
Ryan Hart: 01:21 Thanks Marcos. How’s it going out there?
Marcos: 01:23 Going great. Thank you for taking the time. I know you’ve had a busy day today as every day, right?
Ryan Hart: 01:28 Indeed, yeah. It’s been quite the whirlwind lately.
Marcos: 01:31 Yeah, so I really thank you for taking the time and for those of you guys who are listening, there’s a lot of you who may be in a pharmaceutical job or medical device job, so this will be good for you. Ryan. You spent a large amount of your career at Stryker and other companies like that. Would you give us just a quick introduction on who you are and what were you doing before Amada senior care?
Ryan Hart: 01:51 Yes, absolutely. So most of my life I’ve been in sales since I got out of high school and college and most recently I had about a 10 year stint in medical device sales were I sold prosthetic knees and hips. I was in the reconstructive business, worked for Zimmer and Stryker, multiple time president’s award club, and just had a wonderful career with them.
Marcos: 02:10 How many years were you there for?
Ryan Hart: 02:12 Yeah, it was Stryker for about five and Zimmer for about five. So a total of about 10 years.
Marcos: 02:16 Okay. So you’re 10 years in. Can you share just what got you interested in entrepreneurialship? Why did you decide it was time
Ryan Hart: 02:25 More than anything I just wanted to be my own boss. I was very sick of going to the operating room, waiting on a case that was supposed to start at 7:00 at night and being there till midnight, you know, this whole time being away from my family and just having to be at other people’s mercy, you know, going to coach my kids’ soccer team, getting pulled away to go do a hip fracture. It was just, it was getting really tough on the family life and you know, all the money’s really good in that, in that industry. It’s getting really commoditized and I thought the writing was on the wall, so I chose to get into this and you know, it wasn’t an easy decision. My wife and I made it together and I looked back since it’s just been the best choice I’ve ever made.
Marcos: 03:01 That’s really cool and I think most people that hear this podcast, I don’t think anyone has gotten into becoming an entrepreneur or whether they just woke up one morning and they’re like, you know what? I really want to run a business. I find most of the times people have had that feeling maybe even since college. I really like, I really wanted to be an entrepreneur. Is that true of you or was it later in your career or was it always their kind of nagging at you?
Ryan Hart: 03:23 No, actually not at all. It was something that I started thinking about as the medical device field started getting harder and harder and contractually we were getting pushed out of the hospitals and stuff. And I just really wanted to get into something where I could control my own schedule, I have my own staff and really build it up to a point where I could just sit back and not have to work so hard every day on a, on, on a day to day basis. And this really was an opportunity for me to do that. You know, the writing was on the wall, I think for me as a medical device rep as I was getting older and as older reps were getting kind of pushed out, it was harder to make a good living. So.
Marcos: 03:58 So then fast forward to where you found Amada senior care, by the way, how did you find Amada senior care?
Ryan Hart: 04:03 Well Marcos, your guys’ Linkedin ads work wonders. Yup. So it was poking around on Linkedin, looking for opportunities, kind of trying to think outside the box a little bit. And when I first saw it I saw an ad that said life after Stryker question mark. And then I read Chad and Tafa’s bios is a little bit and dug a little deeper and then talked to my wife a little bit about it and she kind of looked at me with a funny face and said, you know, this seems like a get rich quick scheme, which nothing could be further from the truth because it’s not a get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but in a good way. So, you know, building it up to the point where we are now in the short time that we have. I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made.
Marcos: 04:42 So you talked to your wife about it and take us back to 2016. Give us your family structure. What do you have?
Ryan Hart: 04:49 So we have twin daughters that are now eight. So back then there were six. They were just starting first grade. I was working quite a few hours a week doing medical device sales. My wife had a full-time job as a financial planner and it was difficult to look at going from making a really good salary to perhaps making nothing for a couple of years. And so we had a pretty good lifestyle going and we had the fun stuff. We did a lot of camping, boating and stuff like that, so it was a little difficult to look at not having any income for possibly a year or two, but we looked at each other and we said, you know what, if anybody can do it, I can do it. I’ve had a long, very successful career in sales and at the end of the day, that’s what this is.
Marcos: 05:27 It is right. We found some entrepreneurs as they talked to the spouse, wives, and husbands that have been sort of on the collaborating side of the majority of them. If they became successful like you are becoming successful, there was a hundred percent buy-in from the spouse way back then. And we’ve learned, we’ve learned that if we’re not careful, if we have somebody who’s sort of that maverick spouse, this is, I’m going to do this. And the spouses like, dude, I don’t think you should. It creates a lot of problems. I think of the one person that you need to have your support when you’re doing something as difficult starting any business. It’s gotta be it’s gotta be your spouse. Right?
Ryan Hart: 06:00 Absolutely. And, and you know, I was pretty lucky in that regard. My wife still makes pretty good money and she had a long 20-year career in financial advising and financial planning. So we had that to kind of fall back on. But starting this business, I did not go into it with a partner at all. So I’ve, I’ve been on my own since day one, so I’ve had to Kinda figure out how to succeed on my own in a market where there’s a lot of competition. So yeah, that’s kind of my background.
Marcos: 06:26 So one thing that I wanted to share with you guys about, Ryan, I talked to you guys about his, his billings and how he’s doing. It’s amazing to see somebody like Ryan do what he’s doing in a place like Reno, Nevada and, and here’s what I mean about that. Love Reno and it’s an amazing market and an amazing community. But I think what a lot of people think sometimes is that in order to be successful in home care, they have to be somewhere like a Beverly Hills or there’s a lot of money or you know, I don’t know, Central Park or Florida where there’s a lot of seniors and I don’t remember exactly Ryan, what the demographics are of Reno, but greater, Greater Reno is how many people total.
Ryan Hart: 07:04 We’re approaching 350,000 for our entire area and keep in mind, much of that is very rural, so we have a big geography of 80 to 100 miles of a big circle that there’s just not a lot of condensation of demographic for this type of market. I would say we’re probably middle of the road for having a big senior community here. We don’t have an absolute ton of them, but we’re not really small on the demographic either.
Marcos: 07:28 There is somewhat of a of a snowbird folks there from maybe Utah and other northern states that come and retire and Reno. Right?
Ryan Hart: 07:37 Yeah. I would say that’s accurate. And then a lot of them go snowboard elsewhere too. Because we have pretty significant winters here, so you know, they, they leave when it’s cold and come back when it’s hot. But the core group of people that we take care of are typically, you know, the longterm care insurance type people or you know, the fairly more affluent people and then we’ve gotten into some other arenas as well. But uh, but yeah, we don’t have a big market to go after here. So we’ve had to learn how to build this organically and learn how to win with what we have in front of us.
Marcos: 08:02 And, and that’s what I think what I wanted to focus on this podcast guys, is we found with entrepreneurs like Ryan that very rarely is it the territory and I, maybe some of you guys know this is coming and I can’t help it, but you know, leading with heart, here’s Ryan Hart, but it does take a lot of heart to do this business. And we’re going to talk a little bit about the heart that it takes because there’s heart in a lot of different meanings to having a heart and leading with it. But I want to set the stage for you guys that, you know, most of our markets are 400,000 population or bigger. So even population-wise, this wasn’t a market that was an even enough population for a lot of the markets that we build, but it had a good amount of senior population. So talk about your first year and what did it take in that first year where no one had ever heard of Amada in Reno, correct?
Ryan Hart: 08:52 That’s correct. Yeah, built from the ground up, Marcos: 08:54 from the ground up. So what was that first year like?
Ryan Hart: 08:57 Well, I consider myself pretty lucky because I did get a pretty quick start. My first month I had already acquired five or six clients and I was billing a pretty good rates the very first month out, which is pretty unheard of in this business. But you know, we do have a lot of deep community roots here. So the first year I would say went up and down. It was difficult, you know, trying to figure out how to find the balance of life because being a business owner is a lot different than most people think. I mean there’s all kinds of different things that people don’t think about that you have to worry about and first and foremost, you have to be an employer and that’s I think where a lot of people fall down because, you know, I, I never thought of myself as an employer. I thought of myself as a sales guy that could work for a company for the rest of my life. But then when I changed my tune a little bit and started thinking I can be an employer, a really good salesperson and run a really successful business while having a really good employee base and a really good client base and just take care of all these people. The best way I know how that’s when we really turned the corner and really started taking off was when I kind of wrapped my arms around that. It can all be done. Maybe it can’t be done on your own, but you can hire people that are really good at this stuff. So that’s what I did. I got a really good crew under me and that’s when we started taking off and started getting into the big numbers.
Marcos: 10:07 You feel that the path to success there was making sure that you had, not just your efforts but making sure that you have the right team to help you build the business?
Ryan Hart: 10:16 Absolutely, and you know, my thing was if I take really good care of my employees, they’re going to take really good care of my clients, so I’ve always had kind of an employee first type thought process where if we take good care of the caregivers, they’re going to take great care of our, of our people and even now it’s still that way and I’m very involved with them and I know all their names and all that. But then the other piece of it is if you’re not out there being desperate and you just are out, not treating it like a business. As much as you’re treating every single one of your clients, like they’re your own parents, then you’re going to succeed and that’s what it really takes is just not worrying about picking up your next case, but worrying about the clients that you have and taking really good care of them and then you start really picking up steam.
Marcos: 10:53 So the two things that you just covered, you know, leading with heart as far as your staff, your team, and treating them as best as you can. I remember Tafa used to talk about caregivers will stay with you indefinitely if you treat them well, your clients will all leave someday, right? Your clients, they may pass away, they may go into another type of care, whatever may happen there, right? But your caregivers and your staff are the ones that are really going to be with you for a very long time. So that being said, was that intuitive to you that you know, that would be the case. You had not been an employer before. How did you dig in and know that that was important? How’d you get to that?
Ryan Hart: 11:29 Well, you know, once you start and you get 10 or 20 caregivers on staff and then you start building your scheduling staff and all that stuff. Really what I did is I asked them what do you guys like, what do you want to see? I didn’t just make the decision for them and I thought that that was kind of a really unique approach to it and I also didn’t try to do everything myself. I know what my strengths are and my weaknesses. I hire someone to do that now and I delegate to them and that’s one thing you can do when you’re an employer, you know, you can work as hard as you want. I mean the first year I was working probably 60, 80 hours a week. Every single week, all weekend. Yeah. And now I don’t have to work that hard because I have people that want to work for me and really want to drive toward the number. I compensate all of my internal staff on goals that we hit on a monthly basis and so we’re all striving towards the same goal.
Marcos: 12:16 Did you start implementing traction there as well?
Ryan Hart: 12:19 No, we did not. We have not done that. Chad is actually coming out in a couple of weeks to get that going.
Marcos: 12:23 Oh no way, that’s awesome. But it sounds like you are already goal-based with your staff.
Ryan Hart: 12:29 Absolutely. Yeah. And my caregivers too, you know, we’ve implemented some things attendance wise that we compensate them and reward them on having really good attendance and just make it so that they really want to do the right thing because if you never put it out there then you know, they’re not going to ask. It’s always better to reward people on, on good behavior rather than punish them for bad behavior.
Marcos: 12:49 Love it. Yeah, absolutely. So that’s one of the parts that I wanted to touch on is, is your staff now you also talked about something I think is really important that maybe people don’t intuitively think about going out there and trying to do the best for the client as opposed to thinking about where’s my next case, where’s my next case? Can you go into that a little bit more?
Ryan Hart: 13:08 Yeah, for sure. So, so I do about 95 percent of our new client intake still. I go out and meet clients face to face up until a month or so ago. I was doing most of all of our marketing on a daily basis, so I’d go up in the field and make sales calls and go meet with my referral sources, go out to lunch, you know, we take them out for happy hour. Stuff like that.
Marcos: 13:28 You are the face of Amada as far as they’re concerned, right? They, you are it?
Ryan Hart: 13:33 I am, yeah. For the referral sources for sure. And it’s been up until recently where I just, I don’t have time to do it anymore because we’re, we’re taking on typically six to 10 new clients a week, so I’m busy out there just doing intakes and trying to have my hand involved in running the business and stuff, but I’m still really, really involved on a daily basis and I’m here every single day. People can call on me and they can come to me if they need stuff. So. So yeah, I would say just be really involved. My suggestion is always don’t be an absentee owner because that’s when people start kind of trying to run your business for you. Then that’s where. That’s where things start falling down a little bit. Yeah,
Marcos: 14:09 yeah, no kidding. You had a lot of strong community roots in the market already. You spent a little bit of time in San Diego, but you grew up in Reno and your parents and your in laws. Are they all there too?
Ryan Hart: 14:20 Yeah, they are. And actually my, my in laws we take care of mom who has late stage Parkinson’s disease, so you know, that was a big plus on my scoreboard too, was having gone through that experience of having to hire another caregiving agency to come in and take care of her before we have this up and running. I’m gonna just kind of learning from their mistakes a little bit and just seeing, wow, they can do this a lot better and that was something that my wife and I learned pretty quickly as you can always do better than your competition because there’s a lot of competition out there and a lot of them don’t do it very well. So
Marcos: 14:50 yeah. When you going out, do you feel like your community roots, were a big driver to your success? Let me ask you that. Do you feel that it was.
Ryan Hart: 14:59 It was definitely helpful. There’s no doubt about it. I grew up here in played sports here, you know, up until I was kinda going through college and then I’m broke away and went to San Diego for quite some time regardless, you know, for all intents and purposes I was, I was starting fairly fresh in this business while having hospital connections and stuff. They didn’t really necessarily parallel with this business, but what I really did was went out and made myself a really big pillar in the community and, and made sure that I was at every community event that involved the senior population and made sure that I was involved in the Alzheimer’s Association and, and just really put myself out there to be involved in all that stuff. And I think that was a big, big notch on my headboard was being able to do that.
Marcos: 15:39 Yeah, because you can’t rest on. I know everybody. I’m local. The business is going to come right. It may have helped you get started, but in no way is that going to make up for the amount of work you actually have to do.
Ryan Hart: 15:51 No, it definitely doesn’t hurt. It’s not going to make your business. I mean, I spent countless, countless time being out in the community and being involved with community events and whatnot.
Marcos: 16:01 So when you’re talking about your clients, the other part I think that you identified as so important to, to service them. When you start the business, you have this idea of, man, am I ever going to find any clients? Talk about what led you to be able to get these six referrals a week. What did you have to do with these referral sources to get them to trust you and start referring you that business?
Ryan Hart: 16:20 You know, I think for me it was, um, it was being on call basically 24 – seven. Always picking up the phone and always getting right back to people and saying, you know what? I’m not sure that I can staff that right now, but if I can’t, I’m going to refer you to someone who can. So it wasn’t, you know, being too hungry for the business and that’s one thing that I always try to tell new franchisees when they’re thinking about getting started or right after they get started, they’ll call me and say, you know, hey, what can I do differently? And I always tell them, don’t be too desperate, you know, you have to be hungry and you have to be out there putting yourself out there. But if you’re out there being desperate in front of referral sources, they’re going to see through that and they’re not going to like that. They’re not going to refer you business, but if they trust you and they know they can call you seven days a week and you’re going to be there within 25 minutes to do an intake on a new client, then guess who’s going to get the next call every single time. And so I did that for the first year and a half. I mean, now I don’t, I don’t have to do that anymore because I have someone that’s on call all weekend. But up until about six months ago, I was, I was the guy that was the one that everybody called. So when you be that guy, you have to be that person that everybody knows and trusts and knows that they’re going to take care of things when they call you
Marcos: 17:24 Because that one phone call, regardless of if you can staff it regardless of what’s going on in your life, when you become that trusted resource, they’re going to dial your number because anytime they dial any other number, it’s some other craziness. Yeah, exactly. Voicemail, but you’re actually picking up the phone day or night. It’s so interesting how so much of this business is related to your relationship you have with the referral sources first and then to the clients. We talk about this a lot and people going through this process of learning about Amada and how it works. How much of your business comes from referral sources and how much comes from online or. I Dunno, other efforts?
Ryan Hart: 18:04 Well, up until about a month ago when we got some contracts with some hospitals for staffing, I would say 95 percent of our business was strictly referral source. It was just referrals from skilled nursing facilities, from independent living communities. I mean, we get stuff from attorneys, we get stuff from, gosh, I get stuff from dentists sometimes, you know, it can come from anywhere. Right. And so my theory is, you know, every single person that you touched in the community is a referral source. And I’ve, I’ve said that since day one and I’ve always made myself, you know, whenever I’m out and about with my kids, you know, out at an event, you know, if it’s for them all people come up and talk to me and you know, I treat them just like they were a referral source and that’s how I am naturally. But if you’re not like that naturally, then you have to make yourself that way, in my opinion.
Marcos: 18:51 Yeah. I think it’s very difficult if you don’t enjoy being the face of Amada. You don’t enjoy everywhere you are. Not not like, uh, being annoying about it, right. But everywhere you are, that person could become a referral source and if you don’t enjoy that feeling, I think this would be the wrong business.
Ryan Hart: 19:07 Yeah, I think so too. And then just really enjoying being with people and you know, meeting the seniors and talking about their history and you know, where they’ve been in life and especially veterans and you know, where they were at war and stuff like that. That’s just that, that all means so much to them because they, they want to talk about that stuff and you know, you me as the owner of the company, sitting in front of them and just telling them, you know, I can have someone here tonight. I have 120 caregivers on staff. It just eases their mind. That just makes them feel so much better that you’re going to take care of things as the owner of the company.
Marcos: 19:39 So I mentioned in the beginning of the call that in March of 2018, which was not even a year and a half, I think that you’d have been open a year. You build a $114,000 gross for that month. That was in March. What, what does the future hold for Ryan Hart and Amada in Reno? Ryan Hart: 19:57 we’re hoping to be in the $3,000,000 club by the end of the year, which is going to be pretty unheard of, uh, accomplishment from what I understand on the history of the franchise system and that’ll be at the end of year two for my business. And then my five year plan is to be in the top, you know, one or two in the whole system. And then in 10 years, you know, who knows, I might pass it off to my kids. Yeah, I might keep it, I might sell it. It kind of depends on. I’m a fairly young guy, just turned 40 years old. So I don’t need to retire next week and I have some time and some longevity. But bottom line is, is, you know, I’d like to build it up to a point where I don’t have to be here every day, I can be out doing the stuff that I love with my family, I can be on vacation and having the staff here that just can run the whole business for me in, in just, you know, let me know when there’s major things that I need to get involved with. But you can build it up to that point pretty quick. And I know a lot of guys that are there already throughout the franchise system.
Marcos: 20:50 I love it. Well, Ryan, listen, thank you so much for spending the time with us. Just give your best advice for those listening you were in their shoes only not even two years ago. So if you could give them advice that, that would be valuable to them and their situation, what would it be?
Ryan Hart: 21:06 If you’re gonna do it. Go all in. Don’t try to dilly dally around with having a couple of different other jobs. Um, you’d have to go all in. You have to put your heart and soul into it and you will reap the reward sooner than later if you just do the right thing and you’re not desperate out there in your first year. If you just go out and put your heart and soul into this.
Marcos: 21:29 I love it. Ryan, thank you so much for joining us on this podcast. I can’t thank you enough
Ryan Hart: 21:33 Yeah, my pleasure. Marcos: 21:34 To learn more about launching your Amada Senior Care business. Go to www.amadapodcast.com. Again, www.amadapodcast.com. Thank you for listening.