Thomas Wale’s business story is amazing and we were excited to chat with him. We hope you enjoy it.
1. Tell us about your background and how you started your business.
I purchased Tidey Lock and Key in the Fall of 2012. This well-established key shop with locksmithing services was a sensible purchase, for two principal reasons:
The first being that I love problem-solving, with over 20 years of Motorsport Engineering experience as well as 10 years of working on Canada Post’s High-Security lock systems, I knew that I had the necessary skill sets to better serve customers over any other local competitor.
The second reason was that the shop was originally founded in 1980 by Alex Tidey, the renowned NHL Hockey Player, it was one of the oldest remaining businesses in West Vancouver.
2. What services does your business provide?
The Primary services that Tidey Lock & Key provide are:
- Lock Rekeying
- High-Security Key Systems
- Key Cutting and Programming
- Lock Picking, Entry work, and Safe Cracking
- Locks, Hardware & Accessory Sales
3. How has the journey been so far for Tidey Lock & Key?
In 2014, after 30 years in Park Royal Shopping Centre, the store recently relocated centrally to North Vancouver into a larger facility. Currently, Tidey has eight employees, each of whom brings different skill sets to the company. Tidey Lock and Key wants to work only with the best.
4. What is your plan and vision for Tidey’s?
After successfully achieving our five-year plan to buy out the business in full and bring in additional resources, we want to establish ourselves as the best locksmithing company in the lower mainland with a 10-year plan. We also plan to manufacture repair components in-house utilizing a machine shop. If business continues at the rate it is now, we will achieve our goal in only 7 years, 3 years earlier than planned.
I also feel that it is important for any company to give back to the society that it serves, and Tidey’s is no exception. Tidey Lock and Key provides services to those in need at accessible rates to ensure the community continues to have the support they need.
5. How did you hear about OnDeck? How has your experience been?
I heard about OnDeck through a friend who asked me to check alternative funding through online lenders and coincidently I received a mailer from OnDeck. When I spoke to my sales agent, it was easier than I thought, and I had the money in my account in 24 hours. I really love the customer experience. OnDeck is very honest and straightforward with the terms and conditions. If I need any assistance, I just call up my agent and he does it for me. OnDeck is very quick and I enjoy dealing with them.
6. What was it like looking for financing as a small business owner? What made it challenging to obtain financing?
We all know the amount of time banks take to even carry out a single process. It took me 2 months to get my bank to reduce my Line of Credit. Unlike banks that take 2 months to process any application, OnDeck does it in 2 minutes. All I do is call up my agent and tell him what I want and it’s done in minutes just like that.
7. How have you used your OnDeck financing?
I use the OnDeck financing for my accounts payable, to pay off my payroll and other expenses. I have tried other means of finance, but nothing beats the overall OnDeck experience.
8. What are you most excited about when thinking about the future of your business? What’s on the horizon for Tidey Lock & Key?
We are planning for the future of locksmith with the new staff in training for today’s and tomorrow’s technology, whilst still utilizing the best of the knowledge of our more senior staff members.
At Tidey Lock & Key, we have a strong belief that all of us work for the greater good and that all people need to get along. We are strongly multi-cultural here, with members of staff that strongly identify as First Nations, Persian, Japanese, European, and as first, second and third generation Canadian.
These last years have been a pleasant challenge and have brought great happiness and peace to our lives and to many others as well. We are really looking forward to what the future holds for us.