American Entrepreneur | Clark Hill

April 11, 2009


Clark Hill Electric

Clark Hill is the owner of Clark Hill Electric.? We interviewed Wesley (see previous post) and Clark in their home in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Denver, Colorado.? When we arrived we were given a house tour, which was a peek into the skills and craftsmanship of Clark Hill.? Clark built an 800 square foot addition with the help of friends and contacts in the construction business.? His wife proudly showed the wall to wall bookcase that he built for her book and fossil collections. Given the level of craftsmanship in the bookshelves, the bathroom renovations and the seamless addition, we knew we were in the presence of a master.

Clark was the first person that we met on this journey that talked to us about how his business has been directly affected by the housing bust and its effect on the economy.? He gave us some insights into how all of us can thrive during the downturn.? He shared the importance of finding your life?s work and your target market to buy it, the commitment to do anything to make it work, the importance of your reputation and the benefits of education and certification.


Clark Hill, of Clark Hill Electric, standing in the new addition to his home.

Here again, we were faced with the intrinsic optimism of the entrepreneur. Clark also provides something real and a service based on necessity. He is providing a service that people truly need.? Clark says, ?A lot of what I do is fix things that are broken. While I think that people are more apprehensive [now] about spending money on additions to their houses upgrades, [but] when an electrical repair needs to be made, it becomes a fire hazard issue.?? Your outlet catches on fire?? You have to have it fixed.?

His commitment to business and to his customers is to think locally. Clark wants to serve his neighbors and his community in a way that is fair and indispensable. He wants to be a part of his community.

?One of the markets that I target is the small job market, and jobs that large companies are too busy or don?t have time to deal with. I?ve found that people want someone local. The neighborhood wants a person they know ? someone local that is available,? said Clark.

Clark accompanied Sadie and me on an evening walk out to the lake by their home.? Along the way he pointed out some of the homes in the neighborhood where he had done work for the property owners.? Advising on electrical upgrades, assisting with rental properties.? I could tell he was quite content to be a part of his neighborhood, offering a service to his neighbors and neighborhood businesses.

In addition to being a friend and an integral part of his community, Clark finds his target market by placing ads in the local paper. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make his small business successful.

Clark reminded us of the importance of the many years of formal training and time investment that it takes to become as master of your craft. But being a master in his field, holding state licensure both as a contractor and electrician, being committed to his community, and charging a fair price is not enough for Clark.? He tells us he relies nearly entirely on one essential thing: reputation. Clark believes ?reputation means everything.?

Clark reminded us how incredibly important it is to hire a qualified and reputable electrician. We should all think of our own businesses in a similar light. We should do everything we can to make sure that our reputation is excellent.

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