Business: Cape Dreams Building & Design
Owner: Paul van Steensel
My website is more of a resource of information for both prospective clients as well as current clients. It is a tool that they can use to learn more about us, what we do, the products we use and recommend, and the people we work with and recommend.
How did you get started with your business?
After college, I decided I wanted to live on the Cape. Carpentry was something I enjoyed and had done on and off up until that point. I decided to pursue it full time with the goal that I would own my own business someday. I was fortunate enough to have worked for some very high end, successful builders; this set the stage for where I wanted to go.
Tell us about the business :
Cape Dreams Building & Design specializes in residential construction; particularly additions, remodeling, and new construction. These days we find ourselves building quite a few additions which incorporate rather extensive remodeling and/or renovation to existing areas of the home. This time of year, we tend to build a lot of decks and outdoor showers. We also have our sights set on a couple of new houses to potentially build this fall.
Tell us about yourself :
My name is Paul van Steensel. I am 31 years old and grew up on the South Shore. I have a seven year old black lab named Kona and am in the never-ending process of remodeling/adding onto my house in South Orleans. As a child, I spent many weekends on the Cape, visiting my grandparents, eventually I spent my summers down here. I enjoy being on the water, whether it’s windsurfing, fishing, surfing, etc…..I could never live far from the ocean.
What do you love about your business?
I find my inspiration in the values that my parents taught me. I believe that hard work, determination, and persistence are the keys to success. The economic situation we all face has challenges me and my business day in and day out, but I believe that if we can make it through this, we will be very successful when things take a turn for the better (which they have started to hopefully…).
I love the fact that we create things. If you are an instant gratification type of person, then you will definitely appreciate what we do. At 7:30 am, there might be absolutely nothing in a given space or structure, then by 4:00, there’s something there that will be there for a long, long time. We take pride in our work and have very high standards, which can easily set us apart from other businesses. It makes me feel really good when my clients’ hopes and expectations are far exceeded; it makes me feel like we made a difference and our efforts were recognized.
What are some ways that you promote your business?
My business is promoted primarily through client and professional referrals. Architects and designers are big source of potential business, but it’s all of our happy past client’s that promote my business better than anything. My past clients encourage me to take prospective clients to their homes and show them the work we’ve done. In some cases, I have literally opened the door, made introductions andÂ Â then not said a word, my clients are so happy with the way their home was transformed and the professional manner in which it was accomplished that they do all the talking for me. Business leads may come in from a variety of areas, but my past clients are truly my best sales team.
Do you have any advice to offer others in your same business?
If there is any advice that I can offer someone getting into this business, or any business for that matter, it is that honesty, quality, and professionalism go a long way and can truly distinguish your business from your competitors. Of course, these qualities aren’t necessarily chosen, they are most often inherent and simply a reflection of an individual or a teams’ core values. Nonetheless, taking the time to analyze a business’ positives and weaknesses might uncover some keys to success.