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Springfield, MO

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John and Bethany Ray have watched Haven Healthcare’s revenue grow by 2013 percent over three years. SBJ photo by WES HAMILTON
John and Bethany Ray have watched Haven Healthcare’s revenue grow by 2013 percent over three years.

SBJ photo by WES HAMILTON

2017 Dynamic Dozen No. 8: Haven Healthcare LLC

Posted online
SBJ: What has been key to your recent growth?
John Ray: I think it’s that we’ve been around for almost six years now. We’ve gotten to introduce ourselves around the 417 area. People have gotten to know us and to know our work. So, I’d say it’s our reputation. We have a really good reputation as a provider, employer and business partner.   

SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Ray: Quality first. Scaling care and compassion can be challenging and, if not closely watched, can fall off the radar. We have to be very vigilant in making sure that all of our employees and managers are all on the same page; that that’s really our first focus above everything else – the quality, the caring and compassion.

SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Ray: It’s allowed us to be more selective in our hiring. As our reputation as a good employer continues to get out there, we have a lot more talent approaching us because we focus more on the caring aspect of the business rather than the financial side. That’s quite refreshing to a lot of clinicians because they’re so used to the other side.

SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable?
Ray: We have grown fast, but we could have grown much faster. We’ve actually turned down opportunities because we felt like it would have stretched us too thin.  

SBJ: Is there such thing as growing too fast?
Ray: Only when it affects the quality of your product. So, yes, there is too fast. If you don’t temper that with making sure, as you scale bigger, you still have customer service. Customer service in health care is really not the best right now and I get that message from a lot of people that come to us. So, we look at it like customer service really needs to come first – that caring and compassion really represents part of the healing process. Without it, you’re really missing a lot of care opportunity. People, when they feel like you care about them, just do so much better. And, since we only serve this area, reputation is everything to us. If we lose our reputation, we lose our business.

SBJ: Where is the tipping point?
Ray: So much of our business has driven us instead of us driving the business. The directions that we’ve grown have not been totally our decision. It’s really been the decision of what the need in the area was. The tipping point may come, but we just haven’t seen it yet. That may be in the form of possible growth through the state of Missouri or into other states or whatever.

SBJ: What is the worst business advice you’ve received?
Ray: Don’t do it; it’s too risky. That’s probably the worst advice I ever got. If I had taken that advice, I wouldn’t have taken the big risk of starting the business. I highly respect people that take that plunge.

I also had somebody who said, from a leadership perspective, “You need to make all the decisions and make sure you’re on top of everything that’s going on in your business.” But, at the same time, I kind of felt like what I need to do is find people I can trust and then get out of their way. So, I took the opposite stance and I have outstanding leadership talent in our company. But, you can do the rest; it’s your baby.

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