From a young age Tony Clark knew that, if he ever started a business, it would be accredited with the Better Business Bureau. He recalls his mom and grandmother using the BBB to find companies they could trust and feel comfortable hiring. This stuck with him all those years, and today Tony finds himself among the ranks of BBB Accredited Businesses committed to creating a trustworthy marketplace.
BBB’s Dawn Johnson sat down with Tony Clark, owner of TLC Home Solutions LLC to learn more about his journey to business ownership and how the Better Business Bureau has helped him along the way. The company has proudly served Southwest Washington and the Portland area for more than 20 years.
When did TLC Home Solutions begin?
The company was formed in 2013. My love of remodeling and renovating [began] in my teen years, well over 25 years ago.
What brought you to this business?
It was my last job, a building engineer for Norris Beggs and Simpson at the Vancouver Center just before I started my own business. I was laid off after my work was done. I personally updated 108 flats, and I was let go with a couple more to go. A vendor of ours from All Aspects heard about it, called me into a meeting with himself and another owner, and told me I should see what it’s like on the other side. They found me work while I was studying for my contractor’s test. Then I was a sub for them for two and a half years in Oregon, not exclusively but most of the time. Without their help and encouragement, I’m not sure I would have made it.
Clark’s advice to new business owners?
Listen to others with more experience, trust me, it can help a lot!
What did you do before?
My first job into construction was in 1995, A friend’s dad owned a siding company and needed help. I have been in construction ever since. I was a sider for new construction for a time. Then I got lucky enough to work for a builder/investor remodeling homes. From there I learned a lot about every trade from the roof to the crawl [space]. We did so many homes, it was an opportunity that seldom people get a chance at. After 2008, when the market tanked, I got into property management, which lead me to Norris Beggs and Simpson, then to my own business!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
To be honest, making people happy, I love from concept to completion but the joy I bring to my clients is really where it’s at. To have people so appreciative and excited about you and your company just makes everything worth it.
Why do you think some companies fail in business?
I have been stuck on this question, my situation is different, I’m not a specialty contractor, I do all phases of remodeling and renovation, in the end it comes down to what you can prove you know to get the job. I must be doing ok, I’m still here. But I think it would be a great benefit to utilize free programs. SCORE was a big help to me and its Free.
What sets you apart from other companies?
First off and most importantly, COMMUNICATION!!! Then deliver what you promise. Give good customer service. We are honest and trustworthy.
Why as a business owner was it important for you to be BBB accredited?
BBB follows some of the same morals and beliefs as myself, and I like to partner myself with like-minded companies.
What have you noticed since becoming a part of BBB?
BBB helping TLC spread the word. TLC is an honest, trustworthy company, committed to serving all your needs.
Cark has advice to business owners interested in qualifying for BBB Accreditation.
“If you are a serious business … and you hope to be a household name someday —then it is a must.”