August 19, 2019
Small Business Stories: Hopkins Braces
Author: Jen Amundson, Deluxe Director of Social Media and Communications
In our “Small Business Stories” series, we hit the road to interview small business owners about their unique journeys. Each story provides inspiration and insights, while shining a spotlight on the passionate small business owners who are so critical to our economies and our communities.
Dr. Jonathan Hopkins’ best-laid plans went right out the window the year he opened his small business. It was August 2006 and he was finishing his residency when Hurricane Katrina threw seven feet of water into his house. At the same time, his plans to buy a practice in Searcy, Arkansas from an orthodontist fell through, when the other doctor suddenly changed his mind.
“He and I left things on great terms,” Dr. Hopkins says, “but I didn’t have an option. I had to open my new business from scratch. I had already bought a house in Searcy.”
He opened his door with one employee. Business was so slow at first, he called his own office number to make sure it was working. Sadly, it was.
Fast forward to today, Dr. Hopkins has grown a thriving practice. He now has 15 employees and deep ties to the community. He says he earned more clients by treating every child the way he would want his own children to be treated and by hiring employees who do the same.
“We hire here for culture rather than position,” says Dr. Hopkins. “Early in my practice I would need someone for the front desk, for example, so I’d hire someone for the front desk. And quickly I learned I’m going to hire a good person, I’m going to work with them for a while and figure what their skill set is, then I’m going to put them in that area and see them flourish.”
He says a website should be at the top or near the top of the list for every small business. Each year, he has more patients coming to him through Google searches. The website’s job is to bring patients in the door and the team’s to give them the experience it promises.
“Communication is king,” he says. “Communicate with the community what you bring to the table and allow that door to open, so that when they come in they experience what you provide them. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how far people will travel, even from large cities to small cities, if you provide something that they don’t have access to anywhere else.”
Find more ideas about how to succeed when you start from scratch in the Deluxe Small Business Resource Center.