Musings from our small businesses: Thoughts from a Local Building Scientist

Periodically we like to hear from our small businesses: What are the main challenges they face? What do they need to be successful? What have they learned? And of course, how can businesses contribute to a vibrant community? Today Gabriel LaPlume, Owner, BuildSmart NE shares his “Thoughts from a Local Building Scientist”. – MAK

I believe that small business owners who work together to make their communities a better place is what will drive us forward to future prosperity. If I were going to tell someone just starting out what a critical first step should be, I would tell them to network: to find like-minded people and organizations who share their dreams and aspirations. Get excited about your vision and spread the enthusiasm. Organizations like the Hannah Grimes Center are, and continue to be, instrumental in my success. To answer the question the Hannah Grimes Center asked, “What can we do to help?” I would respond, “Keep doing what you are doing and don’t let up.” Organically grown organizations dedicated to growing the community one business at a time is key in a stronger more independent community and a better world.

I believe that small businesses will always make up the core of any healthy economy. Small businesses are the engine of growth that must bring us forward into the future. Without small businesses and a healthy entrepreneurial spirit, independent dynamic thinking dries up. It is my firm belief that the core of a vibrant, thriving economy is the small business owner: the individual who is intimately connected to their friends and neighbors. Individuals who understand the everyday problems and challenges faced by all those they serve. This close connection to community facilitates opportunities for unparalleled customer service.

Who better to serve us and provide for our wants and needs than friends and neighbors? I believe the growth of our communities will be born on the backs of small business owners who put everything on the line day in and out to support themselves and their communities.

This mind set was my motivation in starting my own small business. Over the years I have witnessed so many small businesses run with integrity and excellence serving the community. I wanted to join the ranks of these small business owners who have earned the trust of all of us with years of faithful service.

My business is thriving and growing. My degree from Keene State College in architecture allowed me to develop a sound foundation in Building Science and study energy efficient building construction. I originally intended to start in the new construction field building highly energy efficient new homes in Cheshire County. I quickly found out that there is a huge need for qualified Building Scientists in our region – Building Scientists who have years of practical experience to deal with the enormous amount of old historic homes we all love so much. These homes make our region so unique and beautiful, but are so hard to maintain. I still build decks and take on the occasional remodel but my business is slowly becoming specialized. Making our region’s vintage homes as energy efficient as possible, while maintaining their structural integrity and historic perspective, is becoming my full time passion. I have carefully chosen sub-contractors who share my vision of integrity and excellence in all aspects of service. Working together we are slowly building a network of highly skilled tradesmen who are community oriented and give back as much as possible.

Coming from situations where I had always worked for others, this was both a fulfilling and challenging experience. Fulfilling in that you become the captain of your own destiny and your ability to succeed is directly linked to your motivation and hard work. Challenging in that it is all on you. There is no one to turn to if things don’t go as planned. It begins and ends with you. With a lot of support and encouragement from friends and business associates I stuck with it and survived the first several grueling years. With many blessings granted I am able to boast of a successful endeavor where my biggest problem is not finding work but finding time to do all the work that is asked of me.

(To reach Gabriel and for more information about BuildSmart NE, call at 603-903-8478 or email: gabriellaplume@gmail.com)

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