Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandru Pascal.
Alexandru is an entrepreneur, altruist and business owner based out of Massachusetts. A first-generation immigrant, he came from humble beginnings. Born in Moldova, he cherished the opportunity that he found in the United States and committed himself to making the most of it, striving to overcome any challenges that stood between him and the lifestyle that he envisioned for himself.
On the road to serving his community and building a career for himself, Alex launched Basement Finish Pros, expanding it from a father-son team into an industry juggernaut. He has established a brand presence for his company throughout several states, employing a number of contractors in the community.
A harder worker by nature, Alex is driven to succeed. He is a perfectionist, and as someone who recognizes the transient nature of all businesses, he is always picking up new pieces of knowledge in order to maintain a competitive edge. Ever watchful for new innovations, he is open to novel ideas if there is a chance they could grow his business or help him to offer his client’s even greater value.
They started in 2011 as a father and son family business taking on basement remodeling projects. His father is an amazing carpenter and great handyman, they made a great team and they were growing fast. The business expanded fairly quickly so they hired more help, with him being on the field less and less they started to look for ways to innovate and bring more value to their existing and future clients. At this moment Basement Finish Pros provides services like basement interior design and remodeling, waterproofing and floor coatings. Also, they are proud to announce that starting this year homeowners can find amazing furniture and home decor items on their online store, all is to compliment their newly remodeled basement or living space.
The goal is to make the homeowners experience with them absolutely easy going and family like, they want their remodeling and decorating experience to be stress-free.
Q.1 Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Ans : I don’t think there is such a thing as a smooth road in the business world, especially when you start from absolutely nothing.
Just to give you an idea of my personal experiences and struggles, I will list a couple instances, situations, and decisions that I had to make to be able to “plow” through and keep the business going.
When I started, we had about $6K saved up between me and my parents, I was living with them at the time, so we have invested all that into a 2003 Ford van to be able to move about and do handyman jobs, we did that for a year and it was a good. Our first winter was brutal, the jobs stopped because we did not have any substantial advertising campaigns going on, and in addition to that, the contractor that was giving us jobs here and there still owed us over $3000.oo and would actively avoid me and all of my attempts to collect my hard earned money. I did not have any money to pay the rent, not considering money for food or utilities. I used to play saxophone as a kid, so in order to get by until the next month I sold my saxophone and all its accessories for about $600.00 That winter taught me how to plan in advance, I will never forget it.
Fast forward 3 years we already have two crews working with us and winter is our best season, doing on average two basements a month at $35,000.00 and up, full remodeling projects. It’s at this time that I realize that not all men can stand behind their word and some workers are not here to stay, they do not care and are not passionate about what they do at all, many just want to get paid as much as possible while putting the least effort in what they do. So I had to radically change our strategy, now we work only with contractors as partners never subcontractors, It is a very unique and lucrative method for both parties and probably the most optimal option for the homeowners.
2016 is our year of major bets and changes, I and my yet to be a wife, go on my lunch and learn “tour” across the USA promoting our unique waterproofing systems and setting up meetings with major architectural companies in Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Georgia, New York, Kansas etc. My assistant Lily, was doing an amazing job in setting up these meetings, sometimes 3 lunch and learn meetings in one month, very exciting and very busy time, constantly flying and constantly on the road. Many of the connections that we have acquired while doing that is still in the development process right now and hold amazing future opportunities for us. The biggest lesson I have learned while being on this lunch and learn tour, besides getting better at public speaking, was that innovation comes at a great cost and not many are willing to pay the price. Most choose to settle for mediocrity and comfort.
I have learned that I can not afford to qualify as most, and while I’m alive and kicking I will not settle for mediocrity, even what to some may look like failing or failure for me it is not failing, I have learned so much from failure, more then I could ever learn from success. I wish it could be the other way around but it’s not, the most valuable business or life lessons came to me from my biggest failures. To answer your question, if it has been a smooth road… Being an entrepreneur, growing and managing a business is like being at sea in stormy weather, the bigger the boat (business) the smoother the sailing, and even then you have to vigilantly steer and anticipate upcoming danger, remember Titanic?
Q.2 Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Basement Finish Pros – what should we know?
Ans: We are proud to say that we are a one stop and shop company and also very flexible at the same time. For instance, Basement Finish Pros can take care of every aspect of any remodeling job, starting with creating a 3D model of the future finished space to full-on remodeling, electrical, plumbing, heating, interior decor pieces and custom carpentry. The homeowners can choose in advance or while the job is in progress, their favorite decor items, furniture, barn doors, vases, lights even linens, from our vast and still growing variety of handcrafted and manufactured items available at our online store.
All this is done with one thing in mind, to meet all our client’s needs and reduce stress and shopping anxiety. At the same time, we are absolutely flexible when it comes to the clients remodeling needs and project set up. We had clients that just purchased their first home and wanted to convert their basement into a playroom for the little ones, the family is on budget and can not afford a full remodeling. We took on the project but left some finish aspects, like painting, and decorating to the homeowner as a DIY project that they can handle and also save money on.
What sets us apart are the unique construction materials that we use for wall finishes, fireproofing and waterproofing. It took us years to develop amazing business relations and partnerships with prominent manufacturing companies that are constantly innovating and developing new ways and products which help us deliver high-quality finishes and items to our ever growing family.
Q.3 Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Ans: Personal and spiritual support. My parents Stefan and Elena Pascal deserve all the credit, they have endured tremendous financial stress in the early years and still are fully aware what is going on in the business and feel the pressure as much as I do when things seem to fall apart. My amazing wife Alona Pascal for being so supportive and the ability to handle the stress as well as I do, she is the one partner I have never had, I am truly blessed and eternally grateful for her patience, love and strong will.
My sister Liuda Ciubotaru that has always been by my side and helped and supported me in many ways.
Business and healthy financial lifestyle. All of my mentors are on the books I read, my all time favorites are Tony Robbins and Peter J. Daniels both men that came from nothing and achieved tremendous success.
And last but not least, David Melnichuk the most eccentric human being I know, a born entrepreneur that is destined for great things, he deserves all credit for unconditional help and tech advise.