Davey Jones is beginning a new adventure. No, not that Davey Jones. The other one.
Davey, or David Jones, of Elgin grew up in Fletcher, where most everything revolves around family and agriculture, not the sea.
Jones’ new business Time Savers is the result of Jones’ desire to be efficient and meet the needs of his community. Jones knows a thing or two about time, having stared cancer in the face, forcing him to contemplate the possibility of running out of time altogether. After a recent diagnosis, doctors removed a kidney and four lymph nodes, one of which was cancerous. But, just as time stops for no one, neither does Jones.
He and his family are active members of Grace Community Church of Elgin. He attributes his humility and work ethic to his Christian faith. Jones said his beliefs have always guided his business ethics. When asked how his beliefs impacted his business, Jones referenced the book of Colossians, specifically.
“Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.” — Colossians 3:23-24
Jones attended Oklahoma State University, earning a degree in agriculture. His first job was teaching FFA and agriculture in Hennessey. Since then, he has sold health and crop insurance, owned a local feed store and been a business consultant for the Elgin Cooperative Service. Jones’ work experience has taught him the importance of filling a need. With Elgin’s recent growth, businesses are struggling to do just that. Many residents still go to Lawton for things not availbe locally. With an hour roundtrip drive for most, the time and costs add up.
A more efficient way to shop
It is no secret that small towns have an increasingly large elderly population. The Elgin community is no exception. In fact, the pandemic has brought aging family members to the forefront of resident’s minds. Can they get groceries? Prescription medicines? Is what they need available locally? Recently, caring for his aging father gave Jones insight into these issues. Although vaccines are now more readily available, the senior population will still have needs and the convenience of filling those needs locally is irreplaceable. In the near future, the needs of Oklahoma’s aging population will take center stage. Aside from seniors, the pandemic has also transformed the way the public shops. Curbside pickup was a fairly new thing prior to COVID-19. But, with time, people have come to appreciate its convenience.
Jones’s business experience led him to his current adventure. His initial plan was to open an insurance office, offering coverage not available from local agents, such as crop insurance. Jones began to firm up a location and staff, which included his daughter, Beth. He wanted to be efficient in the use of his office building, located behind Scott’s Super Stop. If the building had to be staffed during regular business hours, could he increase efficiency by offering other services through the office as well? Dry cleaning was the first thing that came to Jones’ mind because the business offering it in Elgin had recently closed.
Instead of trying out a new business idea for the area, Jones decided to ask residents what they wanted. In September 2020, Jones did two needs assessments on Facebook. These questionnaires asked what individuals wished they did not have to go to Lawton for. What would save them time? Thus, the name Time Savers was born. Respondent’s answers varied, but out of the more than 400 responses, the top three were a dry cleaner, UPS drop-off location and items from large stores like Walmart.
Jones decided early on not to impede local businesses. He wanted to provide services not already offered in the immediate area. The point was not to take away from existing businesses, but to fill a need.
“If capitalism is real,” Jones said, “you can come in and meet a need.”
Jones said there was no need to steal customers from existing businesses. Another business principle by which Jones abides is to stay relevant and adjust as needed to meet the needs of the community.
Although the initial plan was for time saving services to be offered in the same building as the insurance office, to save money, the idea outgrew its location. Jones decided to make Time Savers its own business in a separate location entirely. In January, Time Savers officially opened in the building next to the Tag Agency in Elgin They offer dry cleaning and laundry service, 24-hour UPS drop off and shopping/grocery pick up from Lawton stores like Walmart, Target and Walgreens. The staff consists of four members, including Jones. To keep the services affordable for seniors, Time Savers offers a discount. They request orders be placed one day ahead, but same day orders are available for an extra charge.
Time Savers is open until 5:30 p.m. during the week and offers Saturday hours to accommodate those whose schedules do not permit them to come by during the week. Time Savers has a fee chart which guides pricing. It strives to be affordable for all residents. For example, a $70 grocery order may charge a $10 fee for pick up if ordered one day ahead. Other fees exist for home delivery in the local area, which includes Medicine Park, Elgin, Apache, Cyril, Fletcher and Sterling.
Some may question what makes using Time Savers any different from ordering on Amazon? The face-to-face interaction for one, Jones said. Some shoppers prioritize human interaction in customer service. For others, the most important service is getting prescription drugs and fresh food delivered to their door the next day. Another benefit of using Time Savers is the store’s policy to “make it right” if there is an error or mix up. Time Savers provides small town service by small town people.
Jones says he did not model Time Savers after any specific business, but he does think it can be successfully replicated in the future. He is keeping his options open in this regard. Jones has taken a slow but steady pace to opening. He hopes to slowly allow people to use his services and invites feedback for new services. Time Savers strives to be flexible and offer what the community needs.
Original insurance business still on track
Jones’ original business idea of an insurance company is still a go. Ag Defense Risk Management will open April 1, operating under American National Insurance. The building is located behind Scott’s Super Stop and will be a stand-alone business. It follows a holistic approach to insurance and risk management in general. Jones hopes to help people navigate the constant changes in healthcare, citing many who merely choose the cheapest option for premiums, and later have regrets when they have large out-of-pocket costs.
Flexibility is key
Time Savers plans to stay flexible, making adjustments to operations as needed. Jones believes this strategy will get the business off the ground while meeting the needs of area residents. If the needs of the community change, Time Savers intends to change with them. The store already has two company vans for transporting goods. Jones is keeping an open mind about expansion, but drop boxes in remote locations, like Apache, are more realistic than additional brick and mortar storefronts.
Time Savers is located at 813 H Street in Elgin, next to the Tag Agency. They can be reached on Facebook, at (580) 492-4046 or at email@example.com.
Ag Defense Risk Management is located behind Scott’s Super Stop and can be reached at (580) 583-1172 or www.agdefenserm.com.