SIDNEY – Donovan Clark said his new company, Clark Family Moving, is well equipped to help its customers move anything they want although he’s not sure he wants to move an eight-person hot tub again.
Clark opened his business on June 1 and has completed more than 30 moves in the past six months. He’s the company’s only full-time employee but has help from family members who work part-time for him, including cousins Ricardo Lenhart and Xavier Foy along with Lamar Gullette, who is engaged to his sister.
They focus on creating a positive customer experience, Clark said, and have received good feedback.
“We’re all laughing and joking amongst each other so a lot of people says that alleviates the stress of the move when we’re in high spirits,” Clark said.
“We’re all family guys. We know what it’s like to go through the stress of trying to pack up a family and move.”
Clark has wanted to own his own business since his days at Sidney High School. His high school marketing teacher, Linda Carpenter, inspired him and sparked the desire to become his own boss.
The Sidney alumnus earned a marketing degree from Bluffton University and spent the past five and a half years working in retail as a Verizon store manager before becoming an entrepreneur.
“I looked at it for a while,” he said. “I actually should have had it started probably a year before I did, but, you know, when you look at it, there’s nothing locally. I mean you’ve got stuff with Lima and Dayton, but there’s nowhere in between so I wanted to fill that void.”
Clark spent a year researching the moving industry and the local market, which included him and Lenhart, Clark Family Moving’s field supervisor, taking freelance jobs with another company to learn the business. That combined with personal experience of helping friends and family move gave Clark confidence in his business venture.
“We want to make sure we provide a quality service first that’s going to help build our image and reputation in the community, and then we can grow,” he said.
Clark Family Moving, which is insured and licensed through the state, mostly has done local residential moves thus far but can handle more including commercial moves. It’s traveled to Dayton and Cincinnati for clients and moved some large objects including a hot tub and pianos.
Since opening, Clark Family Moving has added services to better serve its customers like taking apart beds and reassembling them.
“We did a lot of hard work in these few months to have a good rep locally,” Clark said. “We want to make sure we keep that going forward.”
Clark has enjoyed being his own boss and also likes the flexibility his new venture provides him. He now has more free time with family, he said, and doesn’t have to miss holidays and events with family and friends like he did while working in retail.
“Being able to be there and not have to sacrifice time or miss anything has been a real blessing for me,” said Clark, who has an 11-year-old daughter, a 5-year-old son, a 2 1/2-year-old son and a 3-month-old son. “Having some more free time allows me to be there and enjoy those moments fully, and that’s important to me as a person and a dad.”
He hopes his business will grow generational wealth that he’ll be able to pass down to his children.
“You want to work for something hard so you have something to pass down to your kids,” he said.
As his business grows, Clark would like to add more workers and be able to make some of his associates full-time employees. He’s also interested in having an office and opening storage units but wants to ensure the business is growing at a steady pace.
“Don’t want to grow too fast because that’s how you fail,” Clark said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Before worrying about expanding the business exponentially, Clark wants to establish it in the community and build a reputation as a reliable company.
“You want to treat it like it’s your own and make sure that it gets from point A to point B the same way,” he said.
For more information about Clark Family Moving, visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ClarkFamilyMoving/. Clark also can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling or texting 937-638-8437.
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