SBA award winners: Connecticut Basement Systems
Larry Janesky found his niche almost by accident. After graduating from high school in 1982, Janesky started a carpentry business. As he worked in homes throughout Connecticut, he noticed a common theme – poorly constructed basements that were prone to flooding.
Janesky opened Connecticut Basement Systems in 1987. The company specializes in basement waterproofing, basement finishing and dehumidification services. “We also make nasty crawl spaces clean, dry and healthy and make homes more comfortable and efficient,” Janesky says.
Over the years, Janesky expanded his business, opening seven related companies like CleanSpace, a crawl space encapsulation business. Janesky runs his operation out of a five-building campus in Seymour, Conn., and employs more than 260 people.
The hard work paid off for Janesky, and he was named the 2012 Small Business Person of the Year for the state of Connecticut by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He will compete for the national title at the SBA’s National Small Business Week conference, May 20-22 in Washington D.C.
Janesky says he’s proud of the award and he credits his dedicated staff. “It’s a great honor to be recognized,” he says. “I’m glad I live in America in a free market and have great people behind me.”
After 25 years in business, Janesky has basement waterproofing down to a science. “An outsider wouldn’t believe the level of sophistication we have in our basement company, relative to software, video, animation, financing, training, facilities and the internet,” he says. “I’ve never seen a company integrate so many disciplines and talent so well. We’re pretty darn good, and always improving.”
As if running a business isn’t hard enough, Janesky is also a published author with five books on basement waterproofing and energy efficiency, he gives motivational speeches, rides motocross and writes a daily inspirational email message that boasts over 1,500 recipients.
In 2009, Janesky released “The Highest Calling,” an inspirational novel about a struggling small business owner who meets a mysterious man and learns “the most important and powerful business principles of all time.” The book won the 2011 National Indie Excellence Award and won prizes in 2010 from the New England Book Festival and Small Business Book Awards.
Janesky has come a long way since starting Connecticut Basement Systems and he is always looking to evolve. “To grow your company you must always reinvent yourself – your routine – what you personally do each day.”
Since 1963, the U.S. SBA has used the National Small Business Week to recognize small business owners and entrepreneurs in all 50 states and U.S. territories. The majority of businesses on Angie’s List are small businesses and, as a former small business itself, Angie’s List is happy to join with the SBA to celebrate these companies and highlight the importance they play in each of their communities.