Ryan McEniff is the owner of Minute Women Home Care, a private home care agency located in Lexington, MA. Since 1969, Minute Women has helped thousands of families keep their parents at home rather than moving into a nursing home.
Where did the idea for Minute Women Home Care come from?
My aunt started this company. The idea came from seeing the growing need for help at home as more women were entering the workforce, but at the same time, their parents were aging. They wanted to keep their parents at home rather than be forced to move them into a nursing home. I bought the company from my aunt after my mother need 24/7 private home care services and I wanted to help families in the same way my family benefited from home care.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
No day is the same, but most of the time it is meeting with clients and referral sources while also managing the growth of the company. My trick to being productive is to plan the goals for the week ahead and then time block each day so that every minute has a job. It works most of the time!
How do you bring ideas to life?
Trial and error. You have to try new ideas small, in case they don’t work. I have learned that the hard way.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Technology in senior care. Seniors are technology adverse, but it will make its way into our industry. It’s a matter of when not if. The big question though is how? I am excited to see that happen and then implement it into my business.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Time blocking and planning. I am a big proponent of that. At the start of each week, I plan out what are the 2-3 big tasks to accomplish each day. Then each morning I timeblock out my schedule in a simple spiral notebook. Time is the most precious commodity, try not to waste it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Read more and take more chances. People can get stuck trying to find the perfect idea, I know I was that way. Perfect is the enemy of good. Have a good idea? Try it out. Few hit a home run on their first at-bat.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
do-follow links should be rewarded for HARO submissions 😉
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Networking. It can be tough, getting up early or getting home late. But no one found gold without trudging through a lot of sand. If you want to find great business connections you do it by being out there, shaking hands, and grabbing a coffee. One nice thing about COVID is it’s moved to ZOOM, which involves zero travel time and you can quickly pivot back to work if the meeting is a dud.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Pick up the dang phone. I can’t tell you how much business I have received just because we always pick up the phone. People hate voicemails, answering services, and automate directories so why aggravate them? People are calling you to give them your money. Have a live person there to take it.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I first got into home care I spent a lot of money on advertising, which was a total waste. I wrote it off as a ‘real life MBA’ and learned that my business was based on networking and referral marketing.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I spent a couple hundred bucks on oversized healthcare themed thank you cards for referral sources. Everyone get’s thank you cards, but a 2′ x 3′ thank you card is going to be talked about and remembered.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
My Life Organized is a GTD inspired task/project management tool. The brain is amazing at solving complex problems and thinking up solutions. Don’t eat up all the RAM with mundane tasks that you try and remember. Write all that down and focus your brain power on your business, creating or problem solving.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Recently, I have been impressed with Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. Great book on negotiating, but specifically it’s about listening and asking purposeful questions. Business people like to hear themselves talk, we all need a reminder to listen.
What is your favorite quote?
Get busy living or get busy dying. Shawshank!
- Make a plan, the execute. Don’t be afraid of mistakes.
- Time block, you time is precious, treat it as such
- Read and learn. Invest in yourself.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.