Latda Vaughn and Corey Jones are the founders of Diamond Restoration, a construction firm specializing in exterior cleaning and concrete accommodations. The two met while working in very separate arenas, Corey was on the exterior cleaning industry and Latda was the controller for a national promotional products brand in Nashville.
What inspired you to start your business?
Corey: We started Diamond Restoration in 2010. I was always inspired to be an entrepreneur. After being in the exterior cleaning industry, I started venturing to understand the business and what other opportunities were available to me. I was then able to connect with Latda who was working as a controller for a successful brand in the area.
What makes Diamond Restoration different from other construction companies?
For one, we do not have a cap on jobs we perform. A job could be $1,000 or $1 million dollars. We pride ourselves on being very honest with each client on our capabilities and if we can or cannot take on a job size. Partnering and teaming up with other firms to get the job done is one of our strengths. Being able to collaborate with others really helps us expand our opportunities.
Definitely the growth. It has brought more opportunity for small businesses. Now with a boom in construction, it is bringing more outside companies into Nashville. Businesses are looking to work with smaller companies, which forces people to work together in the city.
Why has NBIC been the best option for you and your business?
I love the use of my convenient and functional office space, beneficial business development services and information that I receive along with the opportunity to network and establish peer-to-peer relationships with other small business owners. NBIC was actual pivotal in helping me develop my accounting system, which was one area I needed help. As a small business, I could not go out and hire an accounting firm. Having the opportunity to gain this insight through NBIC was priceless and has helped in the sustainability of my company.
What advice would you give to others who may be intimidated by getting into government contracting as a minority business?
I would definitely share that you can’t get good at it until you start doing it. Once you start getting involved, reaching out and going online to feel out the proper documents, you will begin to find a comfort level. Don’t let fear hold you back from an opportunity.
Is there one business resource or tip you would give to NBIC readers just starting out in their business?
Latda: Make sure you have your books together and have a separate business account, so you are not commingling expenses.
Corey: Understand what it is that you are trying to achieve with your business. Make sure you are finding out about different programs. If there are opportunities to participate in any building block programs, make sure you are attending.
Is there one significant win you have received over the last 6 months to a year that you would be up for sharing with the NBIC community?
We will start work on a first project with Skanska on the JW Marriott. The bidding process and paperwork were a huge fete and we are now excited to showcase all that we can do.