Business Growth Through Networking, with Ryan McEniff

Sept 02, 2021

The Mass Business Podcast

Season 1, Episode 4 – Business Growth Through Networking, with Ryan McEniff

In this episode, I get to chat with a very good friend of mine, Ryan McEniff. Ryan is the owner of Minute Women Homecare in Lexington, MA. Minute Women provides in-home care with caregivers, for seniors who need help with activities of daily living. He tells us about the changes experienced due to Covid and how he had to change up the way he finds new clients. Ryan tells us all about how networking groups benefit his business and how they can help you. We talk about educating ourselves, why you need to hire a full-time employee, and about taking action but also, what drives that action. It’s always a fun time when Ryan is here. Are you ready? Let’s go!!

Resources mentioned in this episode –


Contact Ryan –

LinkedIn    MinuteWomenHomeCare  

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MORE Word Of Mouth Referrals: Lifelong Customers & Raving Fans

Matt Ward – 0:00
Hey, there, and welcome to Episode Four of the Mass Business Podcast. My name is Matt Ward and I’m your host and today we have guest Ryan McEniff on the show, he’s going to talk about his home care business and Lexington Mass, how he’s grown it, and all the fun stuff he likes to talk about. We’re gonna have a good time because Ryan and I are great friends. And we joke a lot. So are you ready? Well, let me tell you, you don’t have a choice. Let’s go.

Intro 0:45
Welcome to the mass business podcast where small business owners, also known as risk-takers, share their stories about the growth of their business and themselves are interviews and our content is focused on growing a small business, and understanding networking and referrals. I say it all the time. And I’ll say it again today. You never know for your next referral will come from.

M – 1:17
Hey, welcome to the Mass Business Podcast. My name is Matt Ward. And thank you for showing up. We greatly appreciate it. I just want to give a great shout-out to my good friend Cailte Kelly, who wrote that custom song “High Five the world” for our podcast, I really love it. And I think I’m gonna use it, Ryan, as my walk-on music. It’s pretty. It’s pretty fun. I can High Five everybody when I’m walking.

Ryan McEniff 1:41
I’m impressed. You got somebody to write you a song for you. That’s, that’s great that you were able to have that done.

M – Dude, it’s not hard when you build great relationships, right? I mean, you know that?

R -Well, speaking of great relationships, let’s talk about the elephant in the room right now. I’m the fourth on the podcast. Why the hell wasn’t I number one? And on top of that, when am I getting this large Hershey bar you promised me for being on this podcast? Especially, now that I’m fourth in line instead of the number one guy? I don’t know. Seems like questions that need to be answered. The people want to know, Matt.

M – Okay, you’re fourth in line because when the calendar link was sent to you, you did not choose the first spot. I mean, let’s be honest.

R -That seems like an excuse to me. I think the owner of the Mass Business Podcast could pull some strings.

M – 2:29
Now there’s owners now. The podcast has owners. This is great. Youre a podcast guy. You own the “Caregiver’s Toolbox Podcast.”

R – Damn right. I do.

M – Alright, so if you haven’t figured it out, Ryan and I have a history, we work together. Ryan’s a client, thank you for that. But I really just love his energy. And and what I want to, we’re going to talk to Ryan today about business growth, which is, which is a real challenge in his industry, for lots of different reasons. And we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it, hopefully you’ll get some value out of it. It’s not just about the homecare industry cuz you probably don’t want to know about that. But I think what you’re gonna get is some of the great stuff that Ryan really truly does in his business that’s effective that you can take into your business that would be just as effective. So first off, Ryan, um, real quick, 30 seconds or less tell the audience, both on YouTube and on podcast listening side of things. What it is you do and how you got to where you are today?

R – 3:30
Sure. So Minute Women is a private homecare company, we are paid by families directly to provide in-home care with caregivers, for seniors who need help with what’s called activities of daily living, going to the bathroom, making meals, showering, keeping the home in good shape, doing laundry, those things that you and I take for granted every day become more difficult, as there’s either physical or mental decline. I got involved in this business after my mom had cancer and needed 24 hour homecare. My parents had moved down to Florida and I, and I wanted to be there by their side. And that’s where I got my first experience with homecare. My aunt was down there because it was a bad situation. And that’s where we started speaking about me taking over Minute Women and purchasing it from her once my mom had passed because it was terminal cancer. And that’s how I got involved with owning Minute Women. I didn’t come up with a name. That was my aunt’s idea. And it’s been around for 50 plus years, so I’m not changing it being a big burly guy that I am. Minute Women is here to stay.

M – 4:44
you actually get asked about that? Ryan, you’re a big dude, if you guys aren’t watching on YouTube, I mean, it’s hard to even see on YouTube use Word. The cameras are close, but I think he’s taller than me. And I’d like to think he’s wider than me. But he’s not bad. He’s like built muscular. Like I’m fat. He’s not Like, there’s a big difference. He’s a big guy. So when you meet him in person, like when he swings a driver on a golf course, like it’s going far, right?

R – 5:08
I’m six foot five. So yeah, I’m on zoom, everybody’s the same height, right? Yeah. And so, so when people meet me after a year and a half of zooming, they’re all like, Whoa, whoa, whoa.

M -I didn’t even know you were six, five.

R- Yeah. So yeah, so it’s been, it’s, it’s, you know, nice towering over……

M – What’s that like, size. 15. shoe.

R -Yeah, right, I’m not that big.

M – Like a Shaquille O’Neal shoe or something.

R -I’m not that big, now. That’s, that’s, that’s, that’s one in a billion for Shaquille O’Neal with a size 30s or whatever they are.

M – 5:39
So, Ryan, I’ve been working together for a little over a year. And one of the things that has been a challenge in the home healthcare businesses is that they grew their business by walking into facilities, which just totally got nixed when COVID happened, obviously. So Ryan had to rethink relationships. And this was the massive, massive challenge in a massive work that he had to do to rethink it. But one of the things I wanted to share with the audience, and have you dig a little bit deep into Ryan was this idea of, you know, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about marketing their business, right, because everybody comes to me, and they’re like, Oh, well, you know, sales, sales, you know, they talk about referrals, they talk about sales. The bottom line is they need more leads, they want more sales, they need more revenue coming into the small business. But you’ve done something that very few other people have done, you created your own networking group. So I want you to talk a little bit about that, where the idea came from, and how that is so unique to you in what you’re doing in the contacts and contacts that you actually have.

R – 6:49
So that came to me actually years ago, I ran my own in-person networking group for senior care, and we traveled to different assisted livings or nursing homes. But it just became kind of a bit of a kind of a drag, to be honest with you. Because it was a lot of work finding these places, finding a guest speaker, and then hoping everybody showed up and then feeling the pressure. If nobody showed up to the event and the assisted living or the nursing homes frustrated. And when COVID hit I was like this is a perfect opportunity to just run my own networking event on zoom. And then that way, if people show up great if they don’t, I’ve got nothing to lose, because I’m zooming with people left and right anyway, and people started showing up. And the one thing that we did that was different is we stole a little bit or I stole a little bit from the BNI side of things, or the amspirit side of things to give you a shout out is that we’ve limited it two or three people from each industry. So no more than two or three insurance people no more than two or three in assisted living people. And then that way, it kept a bit of an equilibrium. Because one of the issues that happens in our industry is that a lot of private agencies, myself included, insurance brokers kind of dominate these networking events and ends up being 50%, homecare and insurance companies. And then people aren’t interested in coming because they’re talking to the same group of people over and over again.

M -Gotcha. And so how do you consistently get people to show up?

R – So, so what I did was anybody that emails, so eventually, in the senior care world, you get thrown on to lists and those lists have hundreds of emails on them. And people don’t seem to want to BCC, they just all put it and everybody gets the email. So you end up getting everybody’s email address, and then you’re going to, you know, like anything, you I think it’s a what, maybe a 10% 15% hit rate. So if you want 25 people to show up to your networking event, you’re going to probably have to email close to 200 people to do so. And there are going to be some people that come every single time your regular frequent fliers, and then they’re going to be people that come and go, and that’s all good. You need your base of people. And then those ones that come every once in a while, spice it up when they show up, show up, you know, once a month or whatever it might be.

M – Do you ever get frustrated with the same people showing up over and over and over again?

R -No, I haven’t. I haven’t experienced that yet. I mean, I’m sure there’s some people that do so much networking events. It’s Yeah, I know there are people like that, that they’re they’ve they are so committed to being everywhere every single time it’s actually a detriment and not a positive

M -Because they’re not adding value when they show up. Right. But But when you have a core base, like you talked about having a core group of people showing up on a regular basis, that is valuable, right because they’re if they’re showing up an adding value each and every time that’s what brings that was that’s what makes the networking event valuable. It’s when people are just, you know, network hopping and they’re not contributing to the conversation, the relationships, the information sharing, that’s when it becomes a problem.

R – 10:10
So to give an example of how I try to combat against that, is that we had our we do a weekly group, and it just switched to Tuesdays because of all the Monday holidays that happened in the summer. And it was basically the regulars that were there. And so somebody was bringing up how they went for a bike ride over the long weekend. So I immediately was like, Listen, we all know each other in here, how about we do a story about a bike-riding story at some time in your life. And of course, it ended up being hilarious because it was always people wiping out on their bikes, right? That was the funny stories that happened. So it allows you to get to know people on a personal level rather than hearing the same 32nd commercial over and over again. And then organically people talking about bikes, well, then, oh, my God, I had a Schwinn growing up or I was a huffy fan or, and then it just kind of been more of…

M – 10:59
banana seat. Had a banana shake this morning. And when I was 10, I had a banana seat. So no, I mean, I think and so you’ve heard me say this, and I’ll drill it into people’s heads. And until I’m dead, that people don’t do business with who they know, like and trust, they do business with who they know, like trust and care about. And the care factor comes when you truly get to learn the personal details of people. Right, which is why I always encourage people to A, be themselves on Facebook and B, connect with people on Facebook, because that shows you the real side of the people we are, right. And so when you’re getting people tell those bike stories, that’s a ton of information that can be used in a positive way to connect at a deeper level. And it’s those connections, that produces the referrals. It’s what fills the pipeline with leads and sales, which is what everybody wants, you know. So I think that was fantastic. It’s a great little hack. Tell me a bit about how you continue to maintain your business education or your personal education throughout the the journey of your business lifecycle, what are you doing to stay up to date?

R – 12:16
So as you can see, I read, I read try to read books, I try to read at least a couple books a month, it’s kind of gone down because I’m not driving in the car as much. I love audiobooks. Obviously, I’m open to coaching, you know, that’s why we’re working together. And I’ve used and utilized other coaches in the past. And I also think being part of like a mastermind club, within your industry is good. That’s one thing that I’m in the process of joining now. And then you got to go to conferences, you got to take online courses. I mean, people are more than happy to go drop 100 or 200 bucks at a Boston fine dining establishment. But when it comes to a $50, you know, course, all of a sudden they’re cheap about something.

M – That’s the example I use, they’ll spend $1,000 on an iPhone and not $1 on an app.

R – 13:07
Yeah. Yeah. And so, yeah, of course, they’re just like, one to ones there gonna be some duds. I mean, right. And, and sometimes they’re the done and be honest, sometimes we’re the duds, you know, yeah, you can be having off day. But you got to take the you still do the one to ones because there can be that 10 to 20% of people that you connect with. And there’s going to be you know, those courses, yeah, there’s going to be fluff in those courses. But if you can take away two to five actionable, you know, examples that you can use in your own professional life, then I think it’s worth it, especially with how cheap courses are nowadays, because they’re so easy to make and available. And, and, you know, it’s a no brainer in my eyes, but some people disagree.

M – 13:51
Now, I happen to know a lot that you’re you’re one of those people that get a lot done, and an awful lot done. You’re a huge action taker. We’ve talked about this a lot. We also know a lot of business owners that struggle with taking action, they’d like to take action, but they don’t. What is your secret sauce? What is the thing that that ultimately drives you to take more action?

R – 14:18
So I mean, I think, you know, the drive to take more action is wanting to continue to grow and be successful. And then it’s implementing the, the things that I think I’m good at, and I enjoy doing I think inaction comes from a lot of times and procrastination comes from doing something that’s either beneath you or is not something you’re truly interested in. So at those points in time, I’m going to hire somebody that can do something better than I can that I have no interest in doing that allows me to take action on the things that I want to be part of. My goals with my companies is to be coming up with strategic ideas on how to grow the company and then being the face of to a much higher level by being involved in these networking groups, being involved in being a board of directors, being on a podcast, doing videos, and then I have hired people that can do the face to face stuff, that takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of energy, but I only have 24 hours in the day, and you just can’t do it all.

M – 15:20
And so you have full time employees, you have part time employees, and you also have contractors, right? And then you also like 1099 type people or people that you hire, whether it be on Fiverr, or Upwork, or wherever, right?

R – Yeah.

M -So you have the wide range of resources at your servers, but there are many people that don’t have full-time or part-time employees, right? What would you recommend that they do today, to start taking more action?

R – 15:54
Hire a full-time employee. I mean, I mean, the one thing that I’ve learned over the last two years is that you’re, you’re not going to get your company to grow first, and then you can invest in the company after. You have to invest in the company first. And then you’ve got to take the action and put money on the line. And hopefully it works out and it’s scary. And it’s concerning. And you sit there and you stay up at night wondering Oh my God, this could just collapse like a house of cards, but it’s not going to, it’s not going to be you know, some sudden collapse that everything ends. And generally, if you go in and make those investments into your, your company, it’s going to pay off and you’re going to be able to grow and do more. And whether that’s hiring a full time employee, or hiring a VA, or getting helped by you outsourcing. Here’s an example that I have, we were talking about what we were talking about a month ago, it wasn’t a EDMM ….

M – THE EDDM, Every Door Direct Mail with the USPS, post office.

R – This is a perfect example, I was gonna go on Fiverr I’ve already paid somebody there $25. And I haven’t done a damn thing because I had other things to do. But I could go out right now to my printing company, and I would be able to, I’m going to call him up now that I’m saying it and say hey, listen, you know, his name’s John, john, you’re doing this for me, because I know it’s gonna cost more money. But I know it’s gonna get done. And it’s going to get done correctly. And so I could do it myself. And I could save I don’t know, a couple 100 bucks or something, whatever the profit is, that John’s gonna make, or I can just go to a professional that’s going to get it done, and get it done quickly. And then it’s out of sight out of mind. And I know it’s going to be done. And so that’s kind of a personal, personal example of what I’m going through that it’s like, well, there’s the proof in the pudding, just outsource it. And then worrying about…..

M – 17:46
What I love about that is that you decided to outsource it, you you bought the gig on Fiverr. what I hate about it is that you didn’t follow through with it. But it doesn’t matter. Because now you just decided you realize you didn’t follow through with it. And so now you have an alternative and you’re, and your mindset is that that you didn’t waste that $25 that that $25 is a lesson in not procrastinating on getting this thing done. Right? And yeah, it’s it’s a cost of doing business, right? It’s not, who cares if they get the gig done or not at this point, because, you know, what you’re saying is that if you continue to work with them, you still have to give them all the input. At least when John you can call them up on the phone and just be like, John, I need this, this and this, use whatever you have from before, do this, do that, send me the proof. And you don’t have to guide them as much, it’s not as much hands on. You’re paying for that access, right? You’re paying for that history, that knowledge. And it just is like it just has hit to the point where it just has to get done in its urgency has been created at a much higher level now.

R – 18:57
Well, the other thing that listeners should consider is what is your salary a year? So if you’re making, if you’re making 40 grand a year, rough numbers, you’re making 20 bucks an hour or something around there. So for every hour that you’re spending on doing a task that has a cost of $20 an hour, if you’re making $40,000 if you’re making $80,000 a year? Well, it’s it’s it’s $40 an hour. And so that amount of time is if you only have eight to 10 hours of the day to work, then, you know, how much time are you going to waste on a small task that can be outsourced to somebody else, and it’s still going to be a cost-saving. It’s like the people, I wish I was in this position, but the people that looked when the Concord plane closed down that supersonic plane and they’d sit there and be like it saved me money because I make so much money per hour. Getting to London by three hours faster, saves my company money, even though this plane tickets outrageously cost and it’s the same thing on a smaller scale. With business owners and like you and me where it’s like, well, how much do we get paid per hour? Is it worthwhile doing that task ourselves, or just outsourcing it to a task that’s worth our time more.

M – 20:12
And that’s always something I tell my clients is what are you focused on, you should be focused on the high-value tasks and the non-high-value tasks need to go to somebody else. That’s the bottom line. High-Value tasks go with high-value employees. And that’s just how that works. And if you’re the owner, you’re the highest valued employee. So we’re not trying to create a ranking system here, folks, what we’re trying to do is get you to figure out in your head, what things you can give to others. That’s the most important part because you do get more done when you give more to others. And I said this on episode three, I’ve said it on episode, probably every episode now, which is trust, but verify, trust but verify. You have to trust people to do things, they’re probably not going to do them as good as you think they’re you’d like them down or whatever. But that’s irrelevant, they’re actually going to get done. Because the problem with not outsourcing them and having somebody else do them is that they don’t get done at all. And that’s worse, right? Ryan, speaking of getting things done in your business? What one piece of software tool, what one item do you use in your business that has changed the game for you that you would recommend other business owners take a look at, what is your favorite helpful tool?

R – 21:30
Um, I like one that anybody can use is a task manager, I’m a big fan of those. You don’t have to necessarily pay. It was funny, I was thinking about this before we even ask the question, you can go and find any task manager, there’s a billion of them. And you can spend all day going down that rabbit hole. But if you’re simply putting it, you can open up an Excel sheet, and you can have kind of one cell that’s pending projects, one cell that’s, you know, to do. And then there’s another cell that’s done. And then you can see, and if you look up Cal Newport, and he’s a productivity guru, you can also get an equation that shows you how productive you are with getting your projects done. And it’s a simple excel sheet that says what are the big projects, not a little task, like, go take out the trash, but things that are going to take some time that are going to move the needle. And then that’s an easy way to just see what needs to get done and how much you’re getting done on a monthly basis. And again, those projects don’t necessarily have to be just done by you. They just need to get done by somebody and you’re overseeing those projects. So it’s not like you can’t have multiple projects going on at once. And then people reporting to you on how they’re going. For a simple task manager, I use my life organized, but there are a billion out there. And you know, good luck.

M – 22:46
Yeah, on previous episodes, they bring it up task managers to like Trello and Asana and it’s just it, I’m glad to hear that everybody is thinking about the same thing. And trying then may not be experts at the task management tool that they’re using. But they’re trying and that’s the most important part. And I’ve said it from day one, I’m horrible at it.

R – 23:06
And a lot of people fail because they try to use, they try to have their email be their task manager because whatever’s in their email box needs to get done. But that also isn’t exactly a great way because all an email box is, is just an inbox of things that either you can respond to, or you don’t need to respond. I don’t have to respond to anybody that emails me if I don’t want. Same with you. So using that as your task manager is a kind of unproductive way of going about it.

M – 23:34
Awesome. Ryan, thanks for being on episode four in the podcast. Maybe we’ll move you up to episode one. But you’re gonna have to fight that out when Nicole Porter from Monomoy social media, and she might win that one. David and Goliath there. So thanks for being on episode four. We greatly appreciate it. Tell the folks who are watching on YouTube or listening on the podcast channel of their favorite podcast, how they can get a hold of you at Minute Women homecare and and how they can look out for referrals for you.

R – 24:04
Yeah, you can reach out just type in minute women into Google and you’ll see our website and you’ll see our number. And if you want to get connected with me on LinkedIn, I’m very active on that. So my last name is McEniff, M-C-E-N-I-F-F and type that into LinkedIn and you’ll see a bald bearded guy and that’s me.

M – 24:30
Yeah, don’t pick me. Don’t pick me. Yeah, it’s great to talk to you. I always love we have such a great time even when we’re not recording. If you don’t know Ryan loves to golf, spearfish and snowboard, so if you’re into all that reach out to him. I’m sure he’d love another friend to go golfing with or spearfishing with and I tried to go spearfishing, but he said he was bringing cinder blocks and I backed out of the trip. I didn’t think it was a good idea for me. I might have to call the police before I go and let them know where I’m going for the tracker on me or something.


M – The GPS Yeah, there you go. Thanks for joining us on episode four of the mass business podcast. We greatly appreciate it folks. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode, which will be Episode Five, if you can count that’s from four to five. We’ll see you next time. Thanks again.

Outro – 25:33
Thank you for listening to the Mass Business Podcast when we focus on growing a small business and understanding networking and referrals. Don’t forget to like on your favorite platform and share out this podcast. This show has been produced by Heather grant. Music by Cailte Kelley, all rights reserved. I’m your host, professional speaker, author, and word of mouth referral consultant, Matt Ward. Don’t forget to live happy, smile a lot, and high-five everyone around you.

Episode Transcript

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