What is your full name, title, and business name?
Jared Schiff, President, Turbo Debt Recovery
Follow Turbo Debt Recovery on Social: Facebook
Give us a summary of your business in 200 words or less.
Turbo Debt Recovery is a debt collection agency that focuses on collecting outstanding commercial, healthcare, and government debt. In addition to collecting your outstanding debt, we take a firm stance on compliance. Safeguarding your debtor information is a significant factor in what separates our agency from others. With our regular internal training, we’re confident that our policies and procedures are up to date with industry standards. Companywide, Turbo Debt Recovery has over 25 years of experience in the debt collection industry. TDR knows what it takes to get you your money as fast as possible.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I started in the collections business in 2007, collecting for my father, Scott Schiff, who is Special Counsel to the Ohio Attorney General. With that proven track record and very responsive customer service and client-centric focus, evolved another idea (Turbo) where we can collect on healthcare, commercial and government debt, in addition to recovering for the AG. There was a lot of demand before I opened Turbo and after receiving countless calls for assistance needed in collecting debt, I decided to formally open Turbo Debt Recovery, LLC in 2015.
What was the turning point for your business? Was there a moment you knew you had something special?
Yes! When we had numerous client compliment our client-centric focus and results. We want to make everything very easy for our client and their debtors. Ease of use and our collections approach is something we’re very passionate around. Clients can place their claims, get updates within seconds, talk to a live account rep within minutes and do or request just about anything and we’ll get it done. In our collections approach, we realize that these patients (in healthcare) will more than likely return to the dentist’s chair, and we don’t ever want it to feel uncomfortable – so we implemented compassionate collecting following our “PFP” approach – Professional, Firm & Polite!
What does it mean to you to be an entrepreneur and business owner?
To me, this is a two-fold answer: you get to have a lasting effect on your employees, and you can also implement your style of winning. I get to broadcast my vision to the entire company, and they buy in, and we all see results together. It also means you have the power to create a winning and positive culture which will resonate throughout your entire team and help drive the results you envision. I have an open door policy for my team (both direct reports and non-direct reports); If an employee has an issue whether personal or business-related, they can come in and discuss it with me. It’s special when an employee is going through a problematic situation, and you can help them through it.
What does the city of Columbus mean to your business?
The City of Columbus is a great place to be located and has substantial benefits. With all of the emerging real estate development going on, it’s formed an attraction to this city which brings people, which in turn, brings entrepreneurs to our city. It also plays a significant role in business development for us, because as various businesses open up in our town, it creates an advantage for us as their local collections partner–to be their first call when they’re dealing with customers that aren’t paying.
Are you from Columbus? If not, please explain what brought you to here and ultimately what made you stay.
I was born and raised in Bexley to Scott and Lynda Schiff. I went to Bexley High School and then went on to The Ohio State University.
What’s the number one piece of advice you’d give to anyone wanting to start a business?
From a collections standpoint, depending on the industry, make sure you’re aware of the “red flags” when extending credit to customers. Make sure you’re staying on top of your receivables and if your accounts aren’t getting paid in full within 90 to 120 days max, call us. Timing is everything in life, and that’s never been more accurate in the debt collection business.
From a general business standpoint, as my father would say, “always be yourself” and “be a man of your word!” I think it’s important to be a reputable, honest businessman. For millennials, be persistent. Too many times I’ve seen ‘us’ try once or twice, not get the success we’re looking for and give up. If you want something, you need to put in the work, be good at what you do and the results will come.
What do you wish you knew about entrepreneurship before starting your business?
I must say that I’ve grown up with an advantage. I’ve been very fortunate to have been raised around business and thorough decision making that’s given me a huge head start. I’ve been educated by my father on what to do and not to do in many situations. I didn’t finish college but often say; I got a Harvard-like education in business and life from my father.
What’s the most challenging part of your business (i.e, what keeps you up at night)?
Being a service–based business, we don’t have a shiny, new product to sell. The service we offer has to be better than our competition. I often stay awake thinking about how to be the best in customer service and delivering results. What more can I do to get the client answers quicker and collect the money faster in a more friendly manner. I continuously look for more efficient, faster processes.
Every business owner has a flaw. What’s yours?
I’m a perfectionist.
Why do you think most business owners fail? What has made you different?
Either they’re not persistent enough in their efforts, or they’re not changing with the times. Processes are becoming automated; you must keep up with what your client or target client is interested in and get in front of them showing them the efficiency your company offers. Example: placing the accounts for collections has been an industry issue for a while. I’ve automated this process, so it now takes our clients minutes to assign us any number of accounts. To compare, at other agencies, it takes them about 5 minutes per account to upload which means 5 minutes longer per account which in turn yields lower results.
What was you biggest mistake and what did it cost you?
Our team was applying for an RFP in Texas, and the proposal was delivered 20 minutes late. This mistake cost us about $300,000 in annual revenue. We now track and call each company to ensure timely delivery.
What tool has helped you the most for your business (invoicing, accounting, shipping, plugin for website, etc.)?
Focusing on our website design and content review, search engine optimization, creating and broadcasting our educational blogs and industry trend posts, etc. These elements have given us the reach we need to gain exposure and transmit our message.
When did you know it was time to expand your business, make your first hire, etc.?
I knew it was time to expand when I started getting a lot of interest from local companies to help them collect their debt. I started collecting it on my own, and then once we started getting more accounts than I could handle, I hired another collector. Then a salesperson to bring in more paper for that collector to collect and so on.
What is something that you did that was a game changer for your business?
Automating account placement, and being very responsive to our clients and debtors is something that works and has had a tremendous effect on our operation. It has put us ahead of our competition and brings on many clients from our competitors on a weekly basis.
What was an idea that you spent a lot of time on or thought would make a big difference in your business that didn’t pan out.
Putting the wrong person in the right seat. Being a service based business, it’s imperative to have the right person in the right seat. Having the wrong person can delay results and affect culture so that you work so hard to build. We now implement a people analyzer which scores each employee on the alignment of company core values. If they’re not a fit, we let them go.
What is something that your business spends a lot of money on that’s worth it?
Compliance! It’s costly but worth it. It gives our clients a sense of comfort that we’re abiding by all regulations and requirements and also is crucial for me, as the leader, to know that we’re following all laws and have continuous training on these hot-button issues.
What form of marketing is the most valuable for you?
SEO is a valuable marketing tool.
Who do you vent to when you have a business problem?
My leadership team. We have weekly meetings to discuss issues within the business and work together for 90 minutes to solve the problems.
Where do you see your business in the next 10 years?
A nationally ranked debt collection agency for commercial, government, and healthcare related industries.
What other entrepreneur do you look up to most?
My father, Scott Schiff. He has instilled a work ethic in me that is second to none and also has taught me many lessons on how to be a good businessman and a genuine person.
If you had to tell a visitor one thing to do/see/eat in Columbus, what would it be?
Go to an Ohio State Football game. The atmosphere and excitement you’ll experience are unforgettable.