Eric Gremminger is CEO of ERP Health, certified drug and alcohol counselor, motivational speaker, author, and proud person in long-term recovery. We had an opportunity to interview Eric and to learn more about his journey.
What motivated you to start ERP Health? How did the idea come about?
For close to a decade, I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. When I went to get help at an addiction treatment center, it didn't work, and my use continued. I eventually hit rock bottom and started to get my life together. After a few years in recovery, I wanted to know why the treatment process failed me. Upon reflection, I concluded that there were three main reasons:
- The clinical care was not personalized for me, and the programming was one-size-fits-all.
- I was dealing with severe depression and anxiety. It went undetected, and therefore untreated.
- Nobody followed up with me to see how I was doing post-discharge.
The idea for ERPHealth came from my desire to offer treatment providers a way to individualize care, quickly identify the co-existing disorder and track outcomes post-treatment without disrupting their existing workflow.
What was your mission at the beginning of starting your business?
The mission at ERPHealth is to save and transform lives by individualizing behavioral healthcare. The science is clear that when patients are involved in the treatment process, it leads to more effective clinical encounters. Through TAP, our proprietary software, we can engage directly with the patient, collecting valuable data that's shared with clinicians and used to personalize care.
What do you attribute your success to? Is there a trait you have or a person who helped you along the way?
I'd attribute my success to my unwillingness to give up, no matter how many times people told me my ideas wouldn't work. I was lucky to have a fantastic role model in my Mom. Just watching her deal with some challenging times, her resiliency was incredible. And I think subconsciously, it stuck with me and gave me a foundation for good values that stuck with me throughout life.
When times get tough, what would you say motivates you to keep going? To not hit the snooze button and to keep fighting for your goals.
I have a burning desire to make a positive difference in people's lives. There have been over 93,000 overdose deaths in 2020, and it has been reported that 1 in 4 Americans have a diagnosable mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. I look around, and these are my family, my friend, and my community. I know that the ERPHealth platform ensures that when people seek help, they get the help that meets their unique needs. That makes me very proud and motivates me when times get tough.
Employees are one of the most important players to succeed in business. What do you look for in an employee?
I learned very early on in my career that it didn't matter if I was the most competent person in the room. What ultimately mattered the most was my willingness to be available and work hard. I was always the one who would show up early, agree to help with any project, and stay late if needed. That work ethic made me stand out, and I was always at the top of my mind when it was time for a promotion. Now that I'm in a leadership position, I look for that quality from personnel on my team or when I'm hiring.
Have you ever gotten a disappointed client or customer? If so, how did you handle the situation?
When we first launched, we often got emails from frustrated clinicians concerned that ERP was adding to their already busy workload. They loved that the platform individualized patient care and improved outcomes but were wary of how it would fit into their workflow. We handled it by listening with empathy and an open mind. It turned out that some of their concerns were valid, and we were able to make modifications to streamline the process. We value honest feedback from our partners.
Is there a type of marketing that has worked amazingly for ERP Health? If so, how did you stumble upon it?
The best marketing for us has been word of mouth. From day one, we planned to align with a few early adopters and deliver in a big way for them. We wanted them to enjoy every step of the process. Our goal is to be a trusted partner that is with them every step of the way. Our ultimate KPI is when the providers that we are working with are thriving. That approach has helped us to build trust in the industry and has led to many referrals.
Is there any resource or resources that helped you on your journey to becoming a business owner?
I've had some fantastic mentors who have been great resources on my journey to becoming a business owner. To this day, I strive to remain coachable. If someone is willing to share their experiences with you, listen. It's easier to learn from someone else's mistakes than your own.
What are the three best pieces of advice that you would give to anyone starting a business? What do they need to know from the very beginning?
Be flexible. It's essential to have a business plan when starting, but I'd say it's even more important to be able to pivot when necessary. Second, be patient; most people overestimate what can be accomplished in a year and underestimate what can be accomplished in ten. Play the long game. Third, prioritize family and self-care. Starting a business is hard and takes much work. You can achieve your goals without sacrificing your health and happiness!