Episode 90: Business Pivot With Molly Gimmel

 

What You Will Learn:

  • How Molly started D2DInc and became involved with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) shortly after to seek support and education
  • What pain points did they experience at the seven-figure mark, and how D2DInc make a wildly successful business pivot out of consulting and into government contracts?
  • How the business pivot from consulting to contracts took time to implement but made a dramatic difference in the company’s growth
  • How the organization prioritized roles when they needed to recruit and hire new team members, and how they have worked to unify their team and its diverse roles
  • What suggestions does Molly have for any organization interested in making a business pivot into government purchasing contracts
  • How Molly learned to delegate and begin working on the business rather than in it as the team grew from 8-10 people to over 80
  • How D2DInc’s period of rapid growth caused the company’s leadership to be stuck in a reactive mode, and how stabilizing the team allowed them to become more strategic.
  • How Molly and her team have developed a strategic meeting cadence that has helped them look ahead and be more intentional
  • How NAWBO has launched a group called the NAWBO Circle specifically for the 3% of women-owned businesses that make more than $1 million in revenue

 

About Molly Gimmel

Molly K. Gimmel is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Design To Delivery Inc (D2DInc). It is an award-winning firm that provides program and acquisition management support services to Federal government agencies. Molly has been working in the field of government contract and acquisition management since 1991. Before co-founding D2DInc in 2001, she spent eight years working in the government practices of three of the “Big Five” accounting/consulting firms. D2DInc appeared four times on the Inc 5000 list of fastest-growing privately held companies in the US from 2014 through 2017. D2DInc was ranked #32 on the Women Presidents Organization’s list of Fastest Growing Women-Owned Companies in 2016. Molly has been a National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) member since 2002. She served on the NAWBO National Board of Directors for six years, including one year as Chair (2018-2019), is a past president of the NAWBO Greater DC Chapter, and has served in several other leadership roles within the organization.

 

She currently serves as a delegate on the US delegation to the W20 – the G20 working group focused on women’s issues. She also serves on the Board of the Women in Business Initiative for George Mason University. Molly was named Enterprising Woman of the Year in 2014 by Enterprising Women magazine and serves on the Enterprising Women Advisory Board. She received a Brava Award from Smart CEO magazine in 2015, recognizing outstanding female CEOs in the DC Metropolitan Area.

 

In addition to NAWBO, she is a member of Women Impacting Public Policy, Women in Defense, the National Defense Industrial Association, and the National Contract Management Association. Molly holds a Master of Science in Contract & Acquisition Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the College of William & Mary. She has a Graduate Certificate in Leadership from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

 

Resources:

Website: https://d2dinc.com/

National Association of Women Business Owners website: www.NAWBO.org

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mollygimmel/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/d2dinc

Facebook: www.facebook.com/D2DInc/

 

Additional Resources:

Elite Business Health Assessment: https://growwithelite.com/health

Email: info@GrowWithElite.com

Website: https://growwithelite.com/

Listen to the podcast here

 

I’m excited to have a special guest with us in this episode, who we met and had a great conversation. I said, “I hope that you’ll be willing to come on our show,” and she said, “Yes.” Her name is Molly Gimmel. She’s the Cofounder and CEO of Design To Delivery Inc. Their website is D2DInc.com. I’ll let her tell you a little bit more about it but welcome to the show, Molly. I’m glad to have you here.

Thanks for having me.

I’m thrilled to have you here. You are one of those unique people who not only has built up your own seven-figure business but has gotten involved at a national level in figuring out how to help other people with their business. Other women in particular, not just other people. We’d love to learn more about your business and your journey in helping other business owners with theirs. Tell us about D2DInc briefly and then we’ll get into our interview.

We are a government contracting firm. We provide program management and acquisition support for Federal agencies including the Navy, Coast Guard, General Services Administration, Department of Agriculture, and a few others as well. We’ve been in business since 2001. Right now, we’ve got about 80 employees mostly in the DC area. We’re headquartered in the DC area, which makes sense because that’s where the Federal government is.

Do you have to do a lot of that work in person to build those relationships?

You do, and most of our people work on-site at our customer locations.

Right there where the action is happening. I bet that was a little challenging during COVID.

It was. Fortunately, with the type of work that we do for our clients, we were able to transition all of our employees to telework.

You have about 80 people. We talked before the show and previously that this show is for seven-figure business owners. You passed that million-dollar mark with those 80 folks. We’re going to be excited to hear about the journey post million dollars and what you’ve been learning. Would you care to mention briefly your involvement in NAWBO, and tell us a little bit about that?

NAWBO is the National Association of Women Business Owners. I first got involved shortly after starting the company. I got involved because I had never owned a company before, and I had no idea how to go about marketing, growing the company, running a business, and that kind of thing. I came across the NAWBO chapter in the DC area, and they were having various educational programs, workshops, and things like that.

I said, “This sounds like what I need.” I got involved. As these things happen, I get sucked in. A couple of years later, I was asked to be on the chapter board of directors and then a couple years later, I was asked to be the chapter president. Through then, I got involved in the national organization. NAWBO is a national organization with chapters in over 50 cities across the United States.

I was asked to serve on the President’s Assembly Steering Committee, which is the national group that helps provide resources and information to chapter presidents. A few years later, after serving several years on that, I decided to apply to be on the national board of directors. I spent six years on the national board, including a year as chair, and then rolled off.

Thank you for doing your service to a wonderful organization. For somebody who came across them many years ago to then being involved at such a high level in the national organization, you see the value that they were to your business and helping you grow as a leader. You have a servant’s heart. You’re out there helping other women business owners. That’s fantastic.

You have you have 80 people. You’re running a multi-million dollar business. You’re successful. Tell us as now our readers, hopefully, are dialed into the type of person you are, the things you’ve accomplished, and the way you’ve served. Before we even get to the lessons, what were some of the pains or challenges that you experienced after getting that first million dollars in revenue where it’s like, “We’ve got a business? We have a thing. It works.” There’s like, “Now, there’s a hurdle. There’s a speed bump. There’s some pain.” What were some of those challenges that you came across?

I started the business with a partner. When we started the company, we were not doing government contracting ourselves. We were a consulting firm to help other small businesses with government contracts. Both of us had been working for several large companies. We had been working at Deloitte in their Federal practice when we met each other and for various reasons, neither of us was happy there. We started talking and decided to leave and start her own company as a consulting firm helping other small businesses.

We spent the first 6 or 7 years of our company doing that. That’s what we were doing when we made it up to $1 million. It took us about four years of steady growth to make it to about $1 million in revenue. At that point, we probably had about 8 or 10 employees consulting with other companies, helping them do government contracting, and then the recession hit in 2008 and 2009.

A lot of our clients, all of a sudden, didn’t want to pay the money to do the things that we were doing for them to help them get on a GSA schedule or to help them with proposals responding to RFPs for the government, and things like that. One of our biggest clients who we did a lot of work for went bankrupt owing us a lot of money. That was an inflection point. We said, “We’ve helped so many companies win hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts. We know how to do it. Let’s start bidding on some for ourselves.”

We did and in 2009, we got our first government contract. We decided to keep building a business of our own on the government side and slowly phase out the consulting as we built our own government business. It took about four years before we could completely discontinue the consulting. We were doing both at the same time for a while. By about 2012 or 2013, we had enough government contracts of our own that we could stop doing the consulting and focus on building a contracting business of our own.

You did the thing that you were teaching and built up a business around it, and it worked. What makes your accomplishments even more impressive is that it wasn’t a start from scratch but that changed from consulting over to winning some of those contracts and servicing them. It’s not just about winning them but you have to service them. That’s like becoming a brand new thing and that transition period is nothing to minimize. That’s a big deal.

You transitioned. By 2012 or so, you’re out of consulting. In the last few years, you’ve been doing the new business that you created. That’s a great backdrop. That’s a little bit different than most of our guests are sharing. They’re usually sharing about that post-million-dollar growth journey. You got there and then you said, “We’re going to shift.” You went backwards. Maybe you didn’t go back in time, but you’re balancing between consulting and contracting before you could go forward again.

We were right at the million-dollar mark for several years. Between $1 million and $2 million, $1.5 million or in that ballpark for probably 7 or 8 years.

You were there making the transition.

Once we got once we got a couple more contracts and discontinued the consulting, all of a sudden, it skyrocketed. We went from $1.5 million to $3 million to $5 million to $8 million and to $10 million in 5 years.

At that time, it was almost like the market or your client base was pulling you forward and you probably had to do some scrambling internally to keep up with it. I don’t mean scrambling to be able to service those contracts. You might have felt some of that but I the business building things that maybe you hadn’t done yet.

It’s the infrastructure things. When we won a new contract, for the most part, the people came with it because most of those contracts with the government are usually 3 to 5-year contracts. Every five years, they put it out for bid again. When we won some new ones, they usually came with the other previous contractor’s employees and we could then hire most of them. For example, we want to contract with the Department of Interior and overnight, we had ten more important employees.

It’s because those folks had been on the previous contract.

A lot of our growth happened that way but then, we had to scramble to keep up with it infrastructure-wise. My business partner, how we decided to divide and conquer. I became the client-facing partner. I was in charge of business development and proposals and then also, service delivery. Overseeing the work that was being done. She’s the internal partner. She oversees the human resources, the benefits, the payroll, accounting, the legal, and all that kind of stuff.

It’s all the back-office stuff.

As we grew, both of us needed more people at headquarters. We hired an accounting person to support her in HO. We brought in an HR person when we got to about 45 employees. That was about the point where we needed a full-time HR person. On my side, I brought in a proposal manager, a business development person, and a recruiter.

Role specifics aside, there is a need for you to get some help. How did you guys decide which roles to hire next? What method? It’s because a lot of times, business owners are thinking, “I need help, but I need it here and here. I can only afford it in one place at a time. How do I decide? Of all the roles I could bring in, which one would be my next best decision?”

We said, “I’m responsible for these three things and I’m up to here swamped. I need help with at least one. I’ve got to get one of those off my plate. Which one do I like doing least?” In Diana’s case, my business partner was HR. When we got to the point where she had to have help, let’s bring in an HR person. With me, it was recruiting because we were winning new contracts and they were coming with people, but sometimes those people would leave. We would have to replace them as we did the proposal.

Sometimes you had to include resumes of new people that you would hire in the proposals things like that. We would have a contract and the customer would come to us and say, “Things are going great. We need five more people next week.” Recruiting was a big need. That was the first full-time higher that we did after.

It sounds like you have teams dedicated to contracts. In this contract, you’ve got a team there. There may not be a lot of interaction between contracts and teams.

Correct. Except for the ones that may support the same customer.

How do you go about unifying these disparate teams or did you guys just decide not to do that?

We do. We’ve spent a lot of time on that especially since these teams are based at the customer site. It’s difficult to promulgate a corporate culture when the culture that they’re experiencing is the customer’s culture because that’s the environment that they’re in. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about that and working on that.

One of the things that we do is as soon as they come on, we do an orientation and onboarding session to tell them not just about the benefits and how to fill out a timesheet, but also, about the company, the history, our values, and things like that. We have a monthly company newsletter that goes out corporate-wide and highlights employees who are on different projects.

We share any Kudos that one of our employees might have received from their customer or things like that. We do site visits. I try to visit each customer site at least quarterly. I’d go at least quarterly to each site. I take everybody out to lunch. I’ll bring some of the other folks from HQ with me so that they can get to know people on a personal face-to-face basis and that kind of thing.

Take everybody out to lunch and bring some folks from HQ with you to know people personally. Share on X

You’re doing what you can to have people feel connected because it’s unusual for your team to be co-located with the client. Not within necessary, but they’re on-site working every day with the client. That’s super fascinating. You’re thinking about, “How do we help them feel connected to the whole?” How often would any of them wrap up with one contract, and then you redeploy them to a different contract? Is that common in your business?

Not very often just because most of the positions on our contracts are full-time positions. Occasionally, when one contract would end, another one would have an opening.

As I listen to Molly, I think you have a lot of experience, and what most of us would refer to as acquisition. They might be small acquisitions, but we’re getting this piece of work. It’s more like a business for 3 to 5 years. It’s got employees. It’s already set up and you’re integrating that into the whole. That’s a little unusual.

These are common in the government contracting industry.

Common in your industry and for most of the people reading this, they’re going, “That’s a different world.” I didn’t plan on this but do you think it’s worth any explanation to our readers about if they want to get involved in government contracts, how to go about doing that?

There are tons of opportunities to get involved in government contracts. What I would suggest is to find a workshop or a class to learn Government Contracting 101 to see if it’s something that works for you. The Federal government buys everything you can imagine. Every type of service and product you can imagine, the Federal government buys it. It’s a matter of, 1) Figuring out which agency would be the right agency to pursue, and 2) Figuring out how they go about buying whatever it is that you sell.

EEP 90 | Business Pivot

Business Pivot: Find a workshop or a class to learn Government Contracting 101 to see if that works for you.

 

In some cases, there’s something called a GSA schedule, which is an approved vendor list of companies that have been pre-approved to provide a certain type of product or service. If you’re serious about selling to the government, you want to get on that list. Every agency has a small business office. If you’re a small business, how it’s determined if you’re small is based on either your revenues or your number of employees depending on your industry and your NAICS code. The code that we’re under is the $16 million code. Any business that does less than $16 million a year is considered a small business.

In IT, for example, the codes are more like $30 million or $40 million. It depends on what industry. It’s higher classified because that way, companies are like, “I can’t compete against the Lockheed Martin’s of the world or the General Dynamics,” or whatever but as long as you’re under that threshold for this small business in your industry code, then you should be okay.

Not that they have had these thoughts, but if any readers are thinking it might be an interesting way to grow, at least, part of our business. There’s a way to look into government contracts. It sounds like the process might be a little late here than some other customer acquisition panels but once you get in, that’s a 3 to 5-year thing easily.

The profit margins on government contracts are generally lower, but you do have a 3 to 5-year contract that’s a cash cow. As long as you don’t screw something up, you’ve got that contract for five years, and then you can rebuild it again for the next five years. It can become a profitable and beneficial business model but you have to understand it because there are a lot of rules and regulations that go along with it. This was what our old business was because we were helping companies deal with that, but we don’t do that anymore. Don’t call me asking for that but I can refer you. I know lots of people who do that still.

EEP 90 | Business Pivot

Business Pivot: Get in government contracting. The profit margins on government contracts are generally lower. You have a three to five-year contract. It’s a cash cow.

 

Let’s go back to your own growth as a seven-figure business owner. I appreciate that we’re having this conversation. You have a partner who’s been through this with you. You’re not necessarily speaking for her, but you can share some of the experiences that you’ve had together. What were some of the changes for you personally, as a leader, that you had to go through once the team started to grow from 8 or 10 people to 80? What’s the difference? What do you think about that? How do you develop yourself or prepare yourself? How do you make that transition because it’s different?

It’s very different. For one thing, when we were consulting when we only had 8 or 10 people, I was doing the work. All of our people were in our office, first of all. I was overseeing the work that they did on a daily basis. I was interacting with our clients. I was doing some of the work myself. It was much more hands-on. It was a lot of doing.

As we grew and as our employees were more dispersed, not in our office, not seeing them on a day-to-day basis, one of the things that we do is depending on the size of the contract, we appoint one of our on-site people either the task lead, the team lead, or program manager. For large contracts, we have a full-time program manager and that’s their job to be on-site managing the day-to-day.

They oversee it the way you do back in the day.

They oversee what’s happening. They interact with the client on a day-to-day basis or the team leads for smaller projects. That’s what we call them. Now, those people, the program managers, and the team lead report to me. They’re the ones that I’m interacting with. I’m not interacting with the customers as much. I do the site visits on a regular basis to meet with the customers and make sure everything’s going okay but the onsite program managers and team leads are the people who are managing the day-to-day work being done. My effort is working and providing resources for the program managers and the team leads and then also, focusing on the business development and bringing in more contracts.

If you think about how we develop over time and how we add value, there’s a learn, a do, a lead, and lead leaders. For a long time, you’re squarely in the doing and then you begin to lead other doers. Now, with those program managers, maybe sometimes you’re doing lead leaders. Sometimes you’re leading doers but that mix of leading and leading leaders, how do you tell people reading this how to move up that from doing? We all get this gratification, “We know this well and I’m going to do it right. I don’t trust somebody else to do it.” How do we make that key?

It’s not easy and it takes a while. It’s a mindset shift and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Any tips about how to make that? I know it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a quick thing but what are some of the things that you did to help yourself be able to make that transition?

I found other things to do because I always took pride in my doing and my doing well. When I had to become more hands-off with the doing and let the on-site team leads do the doing and leading, I wanted to get in there and be more hands-on but I knew that would not be a good thing because I personally always hated when I was micromanaged. I always said I did not want to be micromanaged.

I don’t want to be a micromanager. I need to let the team leads lead the team, check in with them regularly, and make sure everything’s going okay. Also, see if they need anything. I said, “To get myself out of that, I’m going to start focusing more on the business development and bringing in the new work and developing relationships. In the government market, companies team all the time. There might be an opportunity that we’re going after and we have three subcontractors or a subcontractor to another firm. Going out and developing those relationships with other companies to develop teams to start looking at pursuing opportunities together, and things like that.

EEP 90 | Business Pivot

Business Pivot: Let the team lead the team, check in with them regularly, ensure everything’s going okay, and see if they need anything.

 

Another way that we sometimes talk about the scaling up of how we add value individually is in terms of dollars per hour. Learning might be $10 an hour. Doing so might be $100 an hour. Leading might be $1,000 an hour. I’m exaggerating maybe, but lead leaders might be $10,000 an hour. However, what I heard you say is you took higher value-add activities and filled your plate with those so that you wouldn’t get sucked down into the others. You said, “I know myself. If I don’t fill my time with other things that are of higher value add, I’m going to keep getting pulled down here and I don’t want to micromanage the team.”

My business partner and I decided that we had to be more strategic about what we were doing with the company. During that period that we grew from 15 to 60 employees in about a 3-year period, we were being reactive. We were reacting to what was happening. We couldn’t even stop to think about what we wanted to do or where we were going. As things stabilized, as we started rounding out and stabilizing our infrastructure team, and our headquarters staff, we said, “We needed to take a step back and be more proactive, not as reactive, and start being more strategic.”

We need to take a step back, be more proactive and not as reactive, and start being more strategic. Share on X

Let’s talk about some of your structure or your rhythm, if I can introduce that word, for being strategic. I imagine there’s some cadence at a minimum annual planning, but maybe there’s a quarterly planning process or something that you do to help yourself get out of the day-to-day, level up in our thinking and our viewpoint so we could be strategic Are there any nuggets in that process to share with the readers?

My business partner, Diana and I do a quarterly Zoom meeting where we would talk about the high-level things, the strategic planning, and any issues that were happening. When we first started doing that several years ago, it was more what we were talking about. It’s making people feel part of the company, not only a butt in a seat which is an industry term because so many companies win a contract that I already have 50 employees on it. They change the name on their name badge and they don’t think about them as people. They’re just a butt on a seat making money for them.

We didn’t want to have that kind of culture. We wanted to put our culture and have our employees feel connected to us as a company. That’s how we started having these quarterly meetings. Those are the kinds of things we were focusing on. Since we’ve been stabilized, we’ve got a great team at headquarters and everything’s pretty under control most of the time. We focused more on the strategic type of planning.

There’s some rhythm and process around strategic planning. I imagine you have a way to check in on how well the business is running now. How healthy are we right? Some weekly key metrics reports or meetings or something.

It’s more of a monthly thing because that’s how we build all of our clients on a monthly basis. We have to submit monthly status reports to all of our clients and things like that. We use those to stay on top of what’s happening on all the projects.

You got a monthly view of the projects. You got more of a quarterly view of the strategic plan and where we’re going. I would imagine you bring in the right people from the team to help inform and lead both of those things.

The quarterly strategic is just the two of us, the two partners.

How about in the monthly more operational?

We’re bringing in our VP of Operations, finance, and that kind of stuff.

In the last little segment here where we transition, I’d love to hear you share some lessons learned around hiring, onboarding, and leading higher-level talent. You mentioned a VP of Operations. Some of those bigger hires get to be a little scary for a business owner. You grow to that million-plus point. It’s been you and your partner and you guys figure it out.

All of a sudden it’s, “We need some higher level help. Not because we’re not capable, but the things getting bigger and we need we need more leadership around here.” What was that like for you to think about and hire somebody with a bigger salary? Somebody who has their own thoughts about how things should run and how we integrate that into the team. Talk to us about your experience with that.

We’ve got two VPs right now. Our VP of Operations is the person who works for Diana and oversees a lot of the finance and HR internal operations stuff. She came to us in a lower-level position and has been promoted over the years. We didn’t bring her in at that level from outside. Our VP of Business Development worked for one of our subcontractors on one of our projects.

She was interested in leaving the company. They had gone through an ownership change and we weren’t happy with their new owners. We were planning to terminate their subcontract anyway and she was looking to leave. We had a conversation and decided to bring her on to focus on BD efforts. It worked well. She’s been with us for a few years now.

It’s about one of the life of those contracts. I can’t believe how long those 3 or 5-year contracts are. That’s the leadership team. We got a couple of VPs and partners. What are you learning about how to build trust and work together as a team? Whether you develop them from within or you bring somebody in from the outside, you get some leaders together in a company. You have to be able to work together, discuss challenging issues sometimes, coordinate well, and all those things. How do you make sure this team is healthy?

EEP 90 | Business Pivot

Business Pivot: You must work together, discuss challenging issues sometimes, and coordinate well.

 

We do a weekly staff meeting with all of our headquarters folks every Monday morning so everybody knows what’s going on even if it’s not in the area that they support. It’s the big picture thing. I have a daily huddle with my group and Diana has a daily huddle with her group. As I said, once a month, we have a meeting with the more senior people for project updates, client service, operations, and all that kind of stuff. In that way, we make sure we’re all on the same page.

Before, we talked about quarterly strategic and monthly mega operations type of meeting but there’s a weekly staff meeting. There are even daily huddles for each team. Do you have a good cadence for the teams to work together to see the right information and coordinate? That’s important. I think a lot of our readers see a meeting rhythm as being more structured and more like, “How am I going to get all the work done when I’m in a meeting all the time?”

The huddles are ten minutes a day. It’s a quick, “What are you working on? Do you need help with anything? What’s your plan?”

It’s a little positivity and focus. “Do you need any help?” That’s a great practice and it doesn’t take much, but it gets us all started together on the right foot. Every week, you’re having some updates for the headquarters team, and the staff to make sure that we’re all together on that. That’s a good practice. Any other thoughts about how to hire not only leadership? I’m transitioning.

We haven’t talked about hiring, but if you think about hiring great people for this team that you’ve built, the 80 people? I know many of them come with the contracts that you secure, but when they don’t come with the contract or when you’re building out the headquarters team, how are you figuring out how to find and attract the best people? Also, from all the ones that are coming in, which ones are the best ones for us?

Having a good recruiter in-house on staff is important for that. I know that there are a lot of recruiters that you could hire out there and we get calls all the time from companies trying to get us to use them. Having a recruiter on staff who understands our culture, who understands our values, and who can incorporate those into the hiring process with the types of questions that she asks and the type of people that she looks for is key.

I want everybody reading to take note of what Molly said. She didn’t say anything about their qualifications. You’re going to hire people based on, “Do they have the skill and experience but you went right to, “Do they fit our culture? Do they fit our values?” Also, your recruiter has developed questions to use in the interview process to assess for fit on those things that are so important to your business.

D2DInc is not just any business. There’s a special thing about D2DInc that you guys want to preserve and if you don’t know what it is first, you can’t articulate it yourself. That’s a problem. If you can’t figure out how to hire other people against that standard, that’s a problem as well. It sounds like you guys have worked to include everybody on all these disconnected teams on other contracts back to, “We have a culture. There are a set of values. You have an identity. You belong.”

It’s all those things, and then when we outside to hire, we’re using the same type of criteria to make sure we bring in people that fit. Molly, do you have any other seven-figure business growth advice for these people who are like, “Molly’s doing it I want to do it better than I’m doing it?” What else should they know as we wrap up?

The one thing that we talked about that we haven’t even gotten to is the NAWBO Circle.

Let’s talk about that. It’s for women business owners who are reading. It is something that you can share with them.

As I said, NAWBO is the National Association of Women Business Owners, and a few years ago, we launched a group within NAWBO called the NAWBO Circle, specifically, for women who owned million-dollar-plus businesses. In the country, only 3% of all women-owned businesses make over $1 million in revenue every year. Within our membership, about 20% make that threshold.

Only 3% of all women-owned businesses make over a million in revenue yearly within our membership for about 20%. Share on X

What was happening a few years ago when we first started talking about this was that we were losing a lot of our members at the chapter level. The majority of the interaction that our members have with the organization is at their chapter level. Most of the chapters were programming for smaller businesses. As companies grew, their owners didn’t find the programming as relevant to them so they were dropping out.

They were going out of what the program was delivering.

We said, “We need to come up with an idea to keep these million-dollar-plus revenue business owners and provide value for them. We created the NAWBO Circle. It’s been a fantastic organization. We do a couple of retreats every year where we bring in speakers and do workshops on topics that are of relevance to larger business owners.

The NAWBO Circle helps keep these Million Dollar Plus Revenue business owners and provides value for them. Share on X

We have monthly masterminds. It’s a national program so the masterminds are on Zoom because your mastermind group could be women all over the country. These women are fantastic and it’s also about forming that network. We call it a sisterhood because it is. It’s about having a group of women who understand what you’re dealing with, who are facing some of the same challenges, and who can be your mentors, your advisors, or your therapists. Also, your best friends. It’s become a real sisterhood of other women who also have successful businesses and just want to support each other and help each other grow.

I hear that these represent the top 3% of businesses. You mentioned women in businesses because we’re talking about NAWBO. However, in our experience of all the businesses that ever start, only 3% to 5% percent ever make it there. Other women or not. These are the elite entrepreneurs which is how our business got its name to honor these people who are getting to 1 million. The game is different here.

It’s not that you’re trying to keep the 97% out. It’s not an exclusive thing that way. It’s that only these ones in the 3% know what it’s like at this level. It’s a different game. We got to figure out how to provide the resources and the support and the help. I love that NAWBO has created this, with your help. I just need to acknowledge that because you’re not going to toot your own horn. It’s because of your involvement in NAWBO and your view of that problem. Now, there’s this thing called the Circle and it’s amazing.

For any of our readers who are women-owned businesses who are women who own businesses, you should check out NAWBO. It’s a fantastic organization. Also, because you’re a seven-figure business owner, you should be involved with the circle. I’m glad you said that. Thank you for saying that. For anybody who wants to learn more about you, about D2DInc, about NAWBO, or about the Circle, how would people connect? Molly, you’ve been very generous and helpful but how can they learn more if they want to?

Anybody is welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook. I’m the only Molly Gimmel in the entire country so you won’t have an issue figuring out which one to pick. My company’s website is D2DInc.com. NAWBO is NAWBO.org. You can start to do a search for the Circle and you’ll find it. We are in the recruiting process to bring in more people to the Circle for the next year.

It’s good timing. Thank you so much, Molly, for sharing some of your own personal insights, as well as your very personal knowledge about the resources available for women-owned businesses. NAWBO again is a fantastic organization and you’ve done a lot to make that even better over the years. Thank you. If you want to read other great episodes like this one with Molly, all you have to do is keep following the show.

There are other business owners in your circles who need to hear this so please like, share, review, and do all those things that we do to spread the word. We exist at Elite Entrepreneurs to help seven-figure business owners figure out those very specific and unique challenges in the seven-figure growth space. Thank you again, Molly, for being here. You’ve been a fantastic guest.

Thank you for having me. I enjoyed our conversation.

Take care and keep reading, everyone.

 

Important Links

 

 


Want to listen to more?  View all episodes here >