We are very excited to share our next BizSPOTLIGHT! As we always mention, at BizON we come across many terrific entrepreneurs daily and want to give them the recognition they deserve by putting the spotlight on them via BizON’s BizSPOTLIGHT!
It’s an honour to give our next spotlight to Andrea DeGasperis-Ronco, Founder of OPUS Homes located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. See her Q&A below:
After 10 years of experience working in the industry Andrea’s entrepreneurial drive kicked into full force. There was no escaping the three generations of construction blood that ran through her veins. Realizing that purchasing a new home is a daunting and overwhelming experience Andrea took this concept coupled with her passion for this industry and in 2010 launched OPUS Homes. Creating a company that would stand out from the rest was central to her philosophy. She wanted to provide Clients with a personal, informative and caring approach to the new home buying experience. Over the past 5 years, while having had three children, Andrea and her team have designed beautiful homes containing elevated Signature Finishes and Go Green initiatives, all while giving back to the communities in which they build through their Families Helping Families Program but most importantly ensuring that their Clients are treated with respect & with a smile.
Why did you decide to be a business owner?
5 years ago OPUS was a vision that I aimed to build. This year as we celebrate our 5 year anniversary I stand proud as a female entrepreneur and a young mother of 3 children making my mark in this male dominated industry. I always knew that I wanted to own my own business. As a young girl, I would mimic my father and pretend play that I was the “boss” of a construction company. Perhaps this “boss” attitude stemmed from being the eldest of 3 siblings and 8 cousins. After gaining 10 years of experience working for a larger homebuilding company and feeling comfortable with the entire homebuilding process I knew that there would be no time better than the present to break out and make my mark.
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of being a business owner?
Having your own business is definitely rewarding. There’s nothing better than the satisfaction of working hard and watching your vision become a reality. With hard work though, comes some sacrifice, and as a mother of three young children prioritizing your work and family life can certainly become a challenge at times. Owning your own business certainly provides you with some flexibility in your schedule but what I found to have worked for me is to be very focused and efficient during my working hours (which sometimes include after the kids go to bed) – but most importantly, to be very present when spending time with my children, meaning that the phone has to be put away. I am of the belief that every successful organization should build for itself the perfect team. Having your “dream team” in place of people you can trust and you know will carry out your vision and work ethic will certainly further you as a business owner to accomplishing all of the goals, both personal and professional, that you have set out for yourself.
What are some hurdles you had to overcome while being a business owner?
As woman who sits at the helm of the company in a male-dominated industry there were certainly a few challenges to overcome at first. After launching the company late in my 20’s I knew that it would be necessary to prove myself to Clients, trades, associates and industry professionals alike. Therefore I used my 10 years of industry experience coupled with my desire to expand my knowledge base to show and prove to everyone that I knew my way around this industry. Standing true to my work and making good on my promises are some of the inherent qualities that were passed on to me by both my father and grandfather.
What is your vision and exit strategy for the business?
Over the past 5 years OPUS has built almost 300 truly unique homes containing our elevated Signature Finishes which keep our healthy Go Green initiatives central to our building practices all while giving back to the communities in which we build. But most important to us… our Clients… and ensuring they are treated with respect & with a smile. I am proud of our team for carrying out this vision day in and day out. When my six-year-old daughter was recently asked by her teacher what she wants to be when she grows up she exclaimed that she wanted to be a “homebuilder just like her mom and her dad.” The plan for the future of OPUS Homes is to one day pass the family business onto my children, should they be willing and interested in following in our footsteps, just as my father laid the groundwork for inspiring me in my childhood dream to one day be an entrepreneur.