As part of The Startup Magazine Female Founder Series, we interviewed Ms. Perla Tamez. Perla is the founder and CEO of Dynamic Rehab Group in McAllen, Texas, which is considered the largest pediatric therapy provider in the South Texas area.
Perla’s serial entrepreneur endeavors, educational experiences, and international exposure have positioned her to communicate with broad audiences in a manner that is heartfelt, effective, and captivating. What is close to her heart is speaking to young people about finding their path to succeed in life, and developing personal responsibility to guide their goals.
Perla has some great advice for startups and businesses of all size. Here she tells us more of her entrepreneurship journey and success story:
Describe your product/service in 10 words or less: What does Dynamic Rehab Group do?
A: We offer pediatric therapy services such as speech, occupational and physical therapy to children under 21 years old.
What inspired you to start the company? (Share with us what problem you’re solving)
A: I love helping others feel better and seeing their progress through the therapy we provide. When I was 18 years old, I would see therapists help the elderly. Since then I knew I wanted to study to become a speech therapist.
How is Dynamic Rehab impacting the world/your clients?
A: We have helped thousands of children in the last decade to rehabilitate and progress in their needs to become the most functional they can be!
What are the disruptive factors in your industry that make it so promising?
A: We promise change from a developmental standpoint. It’s the will of giving assistance to those with disabilities in need.
Describe Dynamic Rehab Group’s pivot point, and its impact on the company?
A: A big pivotal point that put my true passion to the test was experiencing the tough healthcare law changes in Texas that prohibited the access to care of many patients and, in turn, caused an 80% decrease in revenue. At that time I felt the world turned upside down. These new law changes caused a large operation like mine to be financially broken.
We have to hold on tight to our passion, thrive through the difficulties and restructure to continue to stay in business and help those in need.
As your company grew, or re-grew from your pivot, what were the primary challenges? Hiring? Quality control? Capital?
A: One of the issues was experiencing a very successful stage early in the company. We had to scale the company using the right indicators to allow us to follow the right processes, operations and strategies. For example, we developed processes that would give us the daily reporting on progress on departments focusing on patient quality control, therapists and compliance. Those reports were reviewed on a daily basis. Whenever we saw red flags on those reports, we could go back and pinpoint which was the faulty process or department. That would allow us to control and drive up business therefore having a healthy scale of management for the operations of the company.
Companies are always scaling and growing. If you can’t follow strategic operation measures, then you lose control. If that happens, then your growth will not be at the level you want it to be.
Going back to your early career decisions, tell us what factors influenced your decision to be an entrepreneur?
A: I saw my parents become successful entrepreneurs in search of their dreams, so I always knew that being a business owner was not easy. The commitment has to be toward the passion you have and not the money you are generating so that when things get tough financially, you stay and work around it rather then let it go.
Is that partly why you are a risk taker?
A: I’m a risk taker because I embrace challenges and you never know if that golden treasure is on the other side of the hurdle. You have to be headstrong and push through the trials and tribulations in business and financial challenges that may arise.
And what characteristics do you have that particularly contributed to your ability to jump from a startup success to a scale up success?
A: My ability to be humble and learn from others who are smarter than me has allowed me to always be receptive to questions, comments and concerns. This ability allows me to better my processes in operations of any department with a sustainable growth.
As you have a history of building early stage companies, what is the most important thing you tell startup founders?
A: Entrepreneurs who are in startups need to align their teams with their goals and visions. These owners should have a coach, a mentor and an expert in their industry to help supervise the plans that they’re executing for the growth of their businesses. The owners should develop measurable factors that show to them when a department or a strategy is faulty. They should always be playing “devil’s advocate” in operations because the key of successful operations will be the success of the company as a whole.
As they are in that operation process, startup entrepreneurs will be facing trials, tribulations and many headaches. These moments are where the best lessons lie. These are the moments where they have to embrace and learn the difficulties they’re experiencing to receive feedback of the operations processes they eventually have to tweak.
What I want entrepreneurs to know is they shouldn’t be afraid of the unknown but rather jump in and see what is there.
That’s what it’s all about. Perla, we appreciate your insights and look forward to your future endeavors.