Chad Price

Founder of MAKO Laboratories

Chad Price is an experienced and adventurous entrepreneur that has rocked a number of top industries with innovative ideas. In 2014, he started from a place of no experience, founding MAKO Laboratories LLC simply to fill a gap he saw in the industry. Now named Mako Medical Laboratories, his company also includes MakoRx and has expanded to cover 10 states. The major challenges of the industry were no match to stop his driving passion to help people in need.

Mako Medical has won awards for hiring veterans to make up more than half its workplace. It has won awards as a top employer, named on Forbes’ list of Best Startup Employers for 2020. Chad Price wants to ensure his companies are a resource to the community and has set aside a percentage of profits to put directly toward missionaries and local charities.

He has also started other companies, including Element Service Group Mechanical LLC (2012), Cary Reconstruction (2005) where he also served as CMO, and Bride Genie (2019). In 2015, he became an investor and board member for Trill A.I.

As a seasoned business professional, he has consulted for companies crossing every industry. He offers expert insight into growth and transition strategies for companies that need to adapt from simple startup strategies. He is an expert in merger changeovers and optimizing company efficiencies.

Where did the idea for MAKO Laboratories come from?

Mako Medical is led with the most important people in mind – our clients. With the advanced aging of the baby boomer generation and the importance of providing an aging population with quality healthcare, we found that we could build a strong, dependable product for those who need it most.

We started Mako Medical knowing that laboratory testing in the healthcare industry needed to be shaken up. Our focus is on building a better client experience by providing timely and accurate results. In addition, we found that before Mako Medical, there were only two major laboratories in the U.S. and since 70% of all clinical decisions rely on laboratory results, we knew we could provide an experience beyond what was currently offered to our healthcare professionals and their patients

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I am an early riser. My alarm buzzes at 5 AM and I never hit snooze! Since our company is available 24/7, I immediately get caught up on emails and messages from the night before. Then I am in meetings and conference calls until about noon.

I focus the second part of my day on connecting with our clients. I schedule several hours to meet with clients and gather feedback on the ways they believe we can improve our process. I firmly believe that if you are not constantly learning, you cannot grow, and what better way to learn than from those who directly receive our services!

Finally, my day usually ends with spending time in the lab, working on those processes that can improve our client experience.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am all about taking decisive action! When presented with an idea, I usually only need about 70% of the information before I know whether it has enough merit to move forward. I enjoy taking risks and am not afraid to pivot when something is not working out as planned.

I have an amazing team that is flexible and dynamic. We work hard and are comfortable with being uncomfortable. We challenge the status quo and push each other beyond our limits to build new ideas and products.

What’s one trend that excites you?

With the rise in technology and innovation, the direct-to-consumer healthcare trend is so exciting. Things like pharmacy and lab testing have come a long way and we are able to cut out the middle-man, offering better service at a lower cost for our clients. This direct-to-consumer niche is the biggest opportunity to disrupt healthcare in America.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am all about networking. Meeting other people inspires me to build better habits and create positive change. I try to meet ten people a day. Having an arsenal of contacts is essential in providing the best service to our communities because I know there is always someone I can call when I need help, advice, or simply want feedback on a new product or service for a particular market.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Find your niche. I think that when you’re young or just starting out in business, you want to be the best, and that simply doesn’t happen. Finding your niche is especially important in any business venture and you will move ahead faster.

Be laser-focused and build a team of people who are better at the things you aren’t.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I take a different approach than my peers in identifying and hiring talent. Instead of looking to those individuals who have the experience or education, I look at their character. Identifying those people who show that they have something to prove, who have the drive and determination to work hard for the company are those that I have the utmost faith in developing.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Follow up and follow through. Again, I am a networker at heart so everyone that I meet, I make sure that I follow up with them within at least 24 hours. I am a firm believer in a handwritten note. This simple gesture goes a long way in showing someone that they are important to you.

Whether you are a business leader or you have just gotten your first job, follow-through is important for growth and success. If you say you will do something, do it with your best foot forward. Being committed to your work shines through to your customer-base and that effort will come back to you tenfold.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Pivoting is a crucial element in this business. At Mako Medical, we are not afraid to take chances. Innovation is all about taking a chance, trying something new, and walking away if it does not work.

Often, companies will lead with emotion. They will hold on to ideas, plans, and people for far too long because they have an emotional attachment to the past or are simply afraid of change. For a business to grow, it must be adaptable, and its leaders must be willing to evolve.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

A major part of being a successful entrepreneur is failure! No one gets to the top without stumbling over some major hurdles at first.

For me, I needed to develop an art for defining my team. I started out choosing people who I thought were great leaders with a strong work ethic. What I found was that our goals were not in alignment and our skillsets had gaps. Choose people who have the same vision for your company as you do, and be sure that the skills you lack can be picked up by those on your side.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Write five handwritten notes every night before you go to bed right for your customers, employees, and people in your network. Not text messages, not phone calls, and not emails but write handwritten notes every night seven days a week. This will prove to be one of the most valuable things you’ve ever done.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I enjoy giving back to my local community. I often make donations to nonprofits that make a strong impact on my community. When you focus on making an impact on the lives of others and not on chasing money or individual success, you will find that you end up becoming more successful and maintain an important quality of humility.

Investing in my community allows me to feel more connected with those around me and gives me the passion and purpose to work harder and to be more successful.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Voice memo is an incredible piece of technology that I can’t imagine living without. I get about 1,500 phone calls a day and several thousand emails and voice memos allow me to clear through them quickly regardless of where I am at

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Half Time: Moving from Success to Significance, by Bob Buford. It is an amazing read about shifting your focus from simply wanting to be successful in leading your life with purpose and intent. It helps you to acknowledge the things that are really important in life. Buford inspires his readers to embrace discomfort, challenges them to take a deep look at who they are, and gives heed to those “successful” business owners and entrepreneurs who are wondering “what’s next?”.

What is your favorite quote?

It is simple – don’t ever give up. I often picture that cartoon drawing of two men digging through a tunnel. One gives up when he is just inches away from discovering the gold on the other side, and the other keeps going and earns his reward. No matter how difficult a situation may be, you can ask for help, you can take a break, but you simply mustn’t give up.

Key Learnings:

  • Build your network and make a habit of sending handwritten notes.
  • Be willing to pivot or walk away if your process is not working.
  • Never give up. You never know how close success may be.