Phil and Kim Melugin are investing in employee benefits at Phoenix Home Care.
2017 Dynamic Dozen No. 5: Phoenix Home Care Inc.
SBJ: How has your company grown? Phil Melugin: The growth has been in volume. We added several programs. Most of our company’s growth, in fact, came from the addition of three new hospice programs this last year, and others, too. Most of our growth occurred in Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. We also provide for many special needs children, predominately in the Missouri and Kansas areas. Southwest Missouri saw the most growth.
SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable? Melugin: We did just acquire a company in Loveland, Colorado. We finished that deal Jan. 1 of this year and that particular acquisition gives us access to the entire Denver market. I think we will continue to see growth there this year. We should see a lot of growth, actually. We also recently opened an office in Dallas, Texas. We are finalizing our licensing there and so we fully expect to see growth there, as well.
SBJ: What has your fast growth enabled you to do? Melugin: I think we’ve created an incredible employment opportunity. It’s allowed us to provide exceptional benefits and a lot of upward mobility for individuals that join team Phoenix. Most importantly, I think it has allowed us to provide a lot of care to groups that oftentimes don’t have a lot of funding or a lot of resources. We have been able to provide care other providers without our volume might not have been able to. We’ve also been involved with several charities this year, and we take great pride in that.
SBJ: Is there such thing as growing too fast? Melugin: Yes, there is, and it happens to companies every day. You can grow too fast and you can grow yourself out of necessary resources to continue to fund your growth – you run out of cash. I think we are finding ourselves with the explosive growth we’ve had being very careful to manage those resources. When you are growing, you have to think of everything, including the simple things like having enough furniture for your employees. In addition, we made two major employee moves this year – strategic structural moves on our leadership team. Both positions are intended to help us manage resources that we have and to streamline costs.
SBJ: Where is the tipping point? Melugin: I think whenever you have a high labor business like ours, and you have thin margins, the tipping point is you have a burgeoning payroll and burgeoning infrastructure needs, such as information technology. If you ever hit a speed bump, all of those costs will be exploding and compounding, and if you have not been paid, I think that you can find you and your company at that tipping point.
SBJ: What is the worst business advice you’ve received? Melugin: Trying a software program that’s commonly used in the industry, and that comes with many bells and whistles, and is marketed to and reported by your peers to be the next big thing for our industry. On those sort of things, it’s good to go with your instincts. On one occasion, I did not take that advice and it turned out good for us. On another occasion, I did take the advice for one program, and I ended up having to reverse that decision.