We caught up with the amazing Jessica Dalziel all the way from New York to learn more about her innovative company, D & Co and to share with our readers tips, challenges, rewards and work that goes into running your own business!
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? What is unique about your business?
I help small businesses think big! I provide 1:1 consultative services to small businesses, advising on marketing strategies. Once we’ve established the plan, I also have the network and oversight to execute on it. What’s unique about D&Co is that we bill a flat monthly fee for our services (some ad-hoc creative is add-on) to help our small business clients stay fiscally responsible. It’s a win-win for both parties!
That sounds so interesting! How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
My background is in marketing, specifically oscillating between client management and project management roles. I’ve worked on the agency side (traditional advertising, digital marketing and tech firms) for a diverse portfolio of international clients. I moved to Dublin, which is a tech startup mecca, to obtain my MBA. While I was there I attended loads of networking events and I realized over and over that these companies have amazing business ideas and product ideas. However, no one knew how to talk about their product! They didn’t know how to connect with their ideal consumer. Inspired by this, I founded D&Co to provide large agency level services at a scale more appropriate for small businesses, who I truly believe need it so much!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
D&Co is the second company I started. Several years ago I founded (and operated) a hand-poured candle company where I sold predominantly online. I think the biggest lesson with D&Co was shifting away from a model that charges dollars for hours (and bills for the value), whilst providing the most value to my clients.
Running your own business has so many challenges. Have you had any career defining moments, or hurdles that shaped who you are and where you are right now?
YES! Absolutely. Decided to leave the corporate world, move abroad and obtain my MBA was certainly a defining moment. There was a brief period of time where classes ended and we were working on our dissertation. During this time, I was able to clear my mind, do a ton of research and thus, D&Co was born!
How do you stay productive and motivated?
I think it’s easy to burn out if you are constantly motivated. Sometimes you just need a Netflix binge and to think about nothing. Then, dive back in and get back to work. Currently, I’m working full time for a digital firm and operating D&Co on the side. Focusing on D&Co motivates me for my future and the potential it can evolve to. I actually started to track a number of my favorite tools, you can read about them here: https://www.dalziel.co/library
If you had one piece of advice for someone who is just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. As much as people hate the sound of it, you really need to start selling as soon as possible and start making money! The key is to be adaptable and evolve your brand and pivot your business, as needed.
What are your goals for the future?
In the short term, I’d really like to gain more media exposure for D&Co as well as work on structure to ensure new business is consistently coming in. Also, I’d like to finally launch my e-Course that I’ve been working on/ going back and forth with! In the longer-term, I’d love to potentially host some live events for D&Co and of course, take this full time!
Do you have a particular life motto that you live by?
No! Strangely enough I’m one of those weirdos who kind of goes with the flow. But I do believe in being kind to others in all aspects of life, as it will come back to you.
Couldn't agree with you more! Which women inspire you?
There are so many. But for the sake of this interview and for my business, I have to say that my clients are truly inspiring to me! All of my clients are women -- not necessarily by design, but I’m not complaining about that either! I absolutely love them. They are all living their version of their dream life and continue to grow, progress and succeed. It’s not easy, but they are persistent and a constant inspiration for me.
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