Dana Trabulsy, Owner and Founder of All Things Treasure Coast, is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Before launching her website, she spent eight years working in marketing and public relations for Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchise owner of Panera Bread. The original founder of Covelli Enterprises, Albert Covelli, was an original franchisee of McDonald's restaurants. Mr. Covelli passed away in 2014, but his story and philosophy had a significant impact on Dana's career and her future.
"Toward the end of 2015, I started to get burnt out with all the travel associated with my position at Panera," she said. "I wanted something different. I wanted something new." The prospect of starting over in her 50s was a little terrifying, but Dana had previous experience and plenty of motivation to help support her new journey. "I had a small business named Party Solutions in my early 30's. We did bounce houses, magicians, clowns, dunk-tanks and things like that. Mostly for families and fundraisers". This experience would come in handy. She also had a very strong lasting impression that Mr. Covelli made on her. "Mr. Covelli was an amazing man," she said. "After a very successful career in franchising, he got bored in his mid 70s, went back into business and quickly became the largest franchise owner of Panera Bread. What he was able to accomplish at his age really inspired me."
When Dana first launched All Things Treasure Coast, she met a woman in Brevard County that had a very similar platform. They formed a mentor/mentee relationship and she helped Dana with the design of her platform. Slowly but surely Dana started adding more and more content and resources to her website. Dana explained that today, "it's a trifecta of a website." They provide local resources, a business directory, coupons, job postings and, an incredibly popular feature, their Events Calendar. They also provide space where local businesses can advertise at very reasonable rates. "I read through SCORE that 91% of people do their business online," she said. "The most important thing you can do as a small business is to advertise in a business directory. Our business listings are much more than just a promotional page and a mini website. We create a custom page for each business with links to social media, their website, various back links and calls to action. We can even add coupons, promotional material and event announcements."
Two "spin-offs" from the website include an email newsletter that goes out to almost 18,000 people and Dana's recent acquisition of the Treasure Coast Business Summit, the largest business to business event in the area. Dana, along with a partner, took over the event in 2017. This year is the 10th anniversary and, with the addition of some incredible guest speakers, they expect the event to play a big role in motivating and inspiring the local business community of the Treasure Coast.
Dana offers up some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "Really think about where you're going to put your dollars," she said. "It's also very important to find the right sales people. You want people that can take your idea into the community and get people to embrace it. I'm also learning to under-promise and over deliver." She also encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to do their research, get a mentor they trust, engage in business events and workshops in their community and just go for it.