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Leadership
June 8, 2021

From the Founder: The Story of Us

Post By:
Nicole Mastrangelo
Founder and Creative Director
The Daily Drip
Guest Contributor:

As the saying goes, behind every small business is a family, and it’s a saying that truly hits home for me (pun intended).  

Seven years ago, my parents were planning for retirement and without a child to take over the business, their only other option would be to sell.  I remember when my grandparents started the company- from their kitchen table. I not only watched, but lived, the phases of growth- from helping to stuff and seal envelopes as a kid, to booking appointments and data entry as a summer job during high school.  I felt a sense of obligation to continue the legacy.  I felt ready, too.  I had received rigorous corporate training alongside a wide variety of hands-on management experience during my career with Bloomingdale’s.  So, with both nerves and faith, I left my career on the fast track in luxury fashion, to take over my family’s pest control business.

The first month was a shock to the system for me, coming from the corporate world. With so many fundamental systems and processes missing, I wondered how we had even made it to 26 years! I spent my first year successfully orchestrating a complete overhaul in operations to improve efficiency, increase sales, and prepare for growth. Little did I know that overhaul alone would increase our revenue and profit by more than 20%.  No marketing, no silver bullet. Just good old-fashioned basics. 

In 3 years, our little family business grew from a team of 8 to a team of 28, and people started to notice.

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The growth was fast, consistent, and transformative, and drew the attention of other business owners within the industry and beyond.  Everyone wanted to know how we were doing it, and the more conversations I had, I the more I realized just how many other small businesses were missing the basics too- regardless of industry.  

From the painter who started a painting company, to the lawyer who started a law firm, the story was always the same. Most business owners start out as passionate and highly skilled industry experts who one day embrace their desires to “be their own boss” and chase a dream- they take the leap and start their very own business- without any business knowledge.  Over time, through trial and error, they learn the “business part” along the way, but eventually, exhaust their know-how, finding themselves in some (or all) of these very common dilemmas: 

  • Sales momentum has slowed down, and growth has become harder. 
  • Wearing a million hats has the owner on the brink of burnout. 
  • The business has taken on a life of its own- IT’S running THEM! 
  • Challenges and obstacles continuously prevent them from reaching their ultimate vision. 
  • The business’ viability has come into question. 
  • Quality of life, relationships, health, and spirit suffer due to the tremendous pressure and stress of it all.

It was clear to me that very few owners were enjoying the ride, and after looking into it further, it seemed my anecdotal consensus had some merit.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 48% of our country’s workforce is employed by a small business, and yet on average, a whopping 66% of them fail within their first 10 years (45% within their first 5 years).  What’s more, I learned that only 4% of women-owned, women-majority-owned, or women-50%-owned businesses ever reach the $1 million-dollar annual revenue mile marker.

Confirming the need was the first step in what has become the most unexpected and rewarding journey.  I determined that if business fundamentals were the difference between success and failure (or peace and stress), then I was going to find a way to deliver the basics to as many owners as possible. So, I began to volunteer as a mentor and started a monthly mastermind group at a local women’s coworking space.  We were a group of 40 businesswomen by the time a global pandemic rolled around. 

In the spirit of staying connected (and entertained) during a time of self-isolation, I decided to continue the meetings virtually. At that time, zoom was a novelty, and we all got a kick out of seeing each other on a tiny screen. Then something pivotal happened- people began to share the link. A turning point that would connect me to hundreds of businesswomen throughout South Florida, as well as industry experts and community resources that would join me in a mission to serve the business community in a better way. With each new woman, the community and its programming began to refine and take shape into something uniquely ours. "I've been looking all over for something like this" became something of a motto. 

When I decided to formalize, I was very intentional about honoring our organic evolution, and the void that this community fills. The Daily Drip is the intersection between education and entertainment, networking and connection, media and events, personal and professional, sophisticated and collaborative.  It is a daily drop of inspiration for the modern businesswoman- because one drop can make waves.