For Renee DeVincenzo, previous careers in administration and sales laid the foundation for what would become MDR Administrative Services, an outsourced administrative and marketing solutions business. DeVincenzo shared the story behind her journey including, how she ended up in Florida, why she started her business, challenges she faced along the way and what she hopes to accomplish.
"I started working at an early age in the administration field," she said. "I worked at a hair salon where, in addition to cutting hair, I also ran the office, ordered products, sold products and maintained the schedule. In between getting married and starting a family, I got involved with direct sales in order to have a plan B. After ten years as a Sales Director for Mary Kay, I stepped down and took an administrative role with a non profit organization. After seven years with that organization, the economy got bad and I realized I needed another backup plan."
After doing extensive research on administrative outsourcing and identifying an opportunity to apply her skill set, DeVincenzo made the decision in 2012 to launch MDR Administrative Services. For the next two years, she worked her business on a part-time basis and expanded from administrative outsourcing to include marketing and other services. By April 2014, DeVincenzo took the plunge and left her day job to exclusively focus on her own business.
"I was actually laid off from the non-profit," she said. "That left me in a position where I had to make a decision and I decided I didn't want to work for someone else."
DeVincenzo shared that, as a result of planning and previous networking, she was invited to give a presentation on administrative outsourcing. After that presentation concluded, she picked up six new clients. Her mindset had shifted, she moved out of her comfort zone and she was now more focused than ever on growing her business.
"In the early days, and even now to a certain extent, helping people to understand what I do and why I'm a valuable resource was a big challenge," she said. "I knew that what I offered was valuable, but learning how to communicate that value was key. When I started in April, I gave myself a revenue figure of what I needed. By the end of 2014, I was at that number. I got there by putting in place systems and ways to track what I was doing. That's part of what I help my clients accomplish."
DeVincenzo views her relationship with her clients as a true partnership. She works with them to see what they need, guides them on how to efficiently run their office and helps them identify and acquire new employees. Her clients include solopreneurs and businesses with multiple employees. Her services range from standard outsourcing to virtual workshops and a 30 day accountability and support program.
In 2018, DeVincenzo made the decision to relocate her business to Florida. Originally from New York, she was ready for a change and identified Flagler County as the perfect place to make that happen. As DeVincenzo shared, the move to Palm Coast presented a new set of challenges, but also an opportunity to make a few adjustments.
"It's definitely a different mentality here than New York," she said. "I had to slow down and desensitize myself from being a New Yorker. I also had to get to know people in order for them to really trust me. I did a lot of networking, presentations and workshops. Along the way, I was given some great advice, which I took to heart, about changing a few things."
DeVincenzo, who loves seeing the personal and professional growth of the people she works with, is forward-focused on growing her business by helping her clients grow theirs. She enjoys helping them identify issues holding them back and what they can do to move forward. As a Productivity Strategist, a title given to her by her clients, DeVincenzo is ultimately focused on making entrepreneurs and businesses more productive by putting strategies in place.
What advice does DeVincenzo have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "It's important to have goals that are attainable within a year, know your why, and be able to accurately track yourself. A time management plan is crucial. Utilize appointment books to see how much time you're spending with clients. Also, know the gross income you want to get to. Every year, your goal should be to double your income. If you're doing that, you're growing. If not, you have to see why. Along those lines, make sure you pay your quarterly taxes to see if you're truly making a profit. Finally, make sure your marketing message is understood by your desired audience."