The quiet Louisville-area company that is growing 1,600%

Colin Receveur grew up watching his dad, “Dr. Ron” Receveur, practice dentistry in New Albany. But he knew from an early age that it wasn’t the career path for him.

“Dentistry never interested me,” Receveur said in an interview. “I never cared for the clinical side of it — the needles and the blood.”

But even if he’s not running his own practice and filling cavities, he does get to work with lots of dentists every day. He’s now CEO of his own New Albany company, SmartBox Web Marketing, which provides digital marketing services exclusively for dental practices.

“Dentists don’t get into dentistry because they want to do marketing; they want to do dentistry,” he said. And that might why business is booming.

Receveur said SmartBox’s overall growth in the past three years has been more 1,600 percent. The company applied and is now in the running for a spot on online business publication Inc.’s annual list of 500/5000 fastest growing U.S. companies, ranked by overall growth and yearly revenue.

SmartBox should hear back on that in July, and the list will be published online in August and in September’s print edition of Inc. Magazine. Receveur believes SmartBox would be in the top 200 or 250.

He started the company in 1997 — sort of. He was right out of high school, and he started developing websites for his dad and his dad’s dentist buddies. Word spread, and his web-design work developed a local following.

Things have ballooned since then, and SmartBox now has about 500 clients nationwide. Most clients are concentrated on the coasts, and none are local — Receveur said it would be “weird” to help his dad’s competition. (Although he does still help with his dad’s site.)

SmartBox focuses on small practices, like his father’s. He sees the company as the voice of the little guy, standing up against the big dental chains.

The company provides a “wholesale” suite of digital marketing services, tailored for each practice’s needs. The services are provided on a subscription basis and may include everything from a new website to social media, blogging and search engine optimization.

And the company recently started offering a service where staffers listen to a practice’s customer service calls and offer a critique of how employees interact with patients.

“We’re not looking for the dentist who just wants a new website,” Receveur said. “That’s not going to put new patients in the chair.”

The company has sold about $5.6 million in subscription services so far this year and is shooting for $8.5 million. In 2014, the firm’s gross revenue was only about $1.8 million, and it was about $4 million last year.

“It’s funny looking back,” he said. “I really didn’t think I could make any money doing this type of thing.”

That’s one reason it took Receveur so long to “get serious” about SmartBox: He didn’t hire his first two full-time employees until 2014. Those employees were a copywriter and a videographer, both of whom are now directors.

SmartBox’s staff has since expanded to about 70, with 51 of them at the New Albany office. Those who work remotely are mostly in the region, and they work in such areas as design and email automation.

The company has had to expand twice to find room for the New Albany workers. SmartBox started on the second floor of the office building at 819 Mount Tabor Road and now has taken over the first and third floors, too.

And SmartBox might need more space by the end of the year. Receveur has plans to hire eight to 10 people to work in finance, project management and
other departments.