Ryan Willbanks is owner of Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service locations in Springfield, Joplin, as well as one in Wisconsin and two in Virginia, but he views himself more as a coach for his employees.
Willbanks always looks for the good in people and helps them develop professionally and personally to achieve success – mentoring and encouraging underperforming and undereducated employees and training them to be productive contributors. Since moving to the Springfield market in 2015, Willbanks has grown his locations’ revenue to $2.5 million from $500,000.
What was your first job? Picking up cans at the age of 7 or 8 for extra cash.
What about your job would shock people? I’m not really in the plumbing business. I’m in the people business.
What is your best productivity hack? The 80/20 rule. We focus 80 percent on our customers. We want our clients to know we are here to help and make a stressful situation better. The 20 percent is on the sales.
What was your professional aha moment? When I realized that if I was willing to pay whatever price in life was required, I could do about anything.
What did you learn the hard way? You can’t want more from people than they want for themselves.
How many times do you hit the snooze button? One time. Then it’s boots to the ground.
Cuban cuisine arrived on C-Street with the opening of La Habana Vieja; independent brokerage Gateway Real Estate opened its first office; and a veteran of the restaurant industry invested in her first food truck.
Barak Hill gives advice based on what he learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected his business. He says we should all have a backup plan ready to use.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, recommends the book "The E-Myth Mastery" by Michael E Gerber. She says it changed the course of how she runs her business.
Aaron York describes the work culture he tries to foster at Donco3 and why he attributes to it a part of Donco3's success. Rachel York is a co-owner of Donco3 and Aaron is the General Superintendent.
Hollie Elliott, executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, explains how local schools factor into business decisions and affect a local community.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, says an important lesson she learned was not to over-expand and to do her research before hand. She gives examples from her experience as a startup business owner.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen own TCI Graphics, and are now celebrating 50 years of business. Jim Meinsen takes some time to explain his philosophy on debt, and how to stay out of it.
Caleb Scott, owner and coach of Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football, says the early grind was hard, but it was worth it. The team is in their second season carrying a national ranking of number 2 in the NFA IDFL.
Barak Hill, local musician and entrepreneur, tells about his switch to livestreaming in 2020. He says it was a necessary move, but also not an easy one.
Jessica Burkland, a SCORE mentor and an instructor at the MSU Department of Management, gives us a rundown of the non-profit organization SCORE. SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives and offers free consultation and advice to business owners.
Hollie Elliott, the executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, discusses some of the ways helping small town businesses is different than in larger cities. The Dallas County Economic Development Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit aimed at helping local existing and new businesses in the county.