Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Discenza, President of Discenza Business Continuity Solutions, located in Westbury, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is to help companies prepare for the unexpected but inevitable disruption that could put them out of business. This ongoing pandemic is a prime example of an event for which few businesses were prepared. It has disrupted supply chains. It has disrupted the way in which business is conducted. Those few businesses that were prepared experienced fewer overall disruptions to their business. They had thought about and planned for what they needed to do when they couldn't operate in their normal way. They followed their plan to get back to a new "normal" and continue to serve their customers while their competitors stumbled and lost business.

My customers are small to mid-sized businesses across all sectors. They tend to be in the supply chain of much larger companies. These larger companies make business continuity planning a "must have" for their suppliers. That's where I come in. I help these companies develop a plan they can implement when a disruption occurs so they can get back to business as usual as quickly as possible.

Tell us about yourself

Like many others in the field of operational risk management, I did not come directly into it. In fact, for thirty years, I was in the training & development field. My vice president at my last employer gave me the responsibility for the business continuity plan of our business unit. I discovered that business continuity planning is all about figuring out the "what ifs" and responding with "then this" in a documented plan. It turns out that I'm pretty good at this.

I believe in the value of the service I provide. It is very satisfying knowing that I am helping a company remain in business through the services I provide. That means that companies remain in business, employing people, and providing goods and services to others. That's enormously satisfying to me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment in business is remaining in business. I sell a service, business continuity planning, that no one wants to talk about but every business needs. The pandemic proves this point. I have been able to "sell" the idea to customers who otherwise might not have thought about it.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

As a "solopreneur," everything falls on my shoulders: marketing, sales, finance, and product delivery. The hardest part is balancing all of this. When I'm working for a client, I'm not selling. When I'm selling, I'm not working for a client. I have to trust in the experience of my accountant to make certain I'm paying the appropriate taxes and taking the legitimate deductions. I have to trust my lawyer that my legal documents are in order. There are items like maintaining the website with which I need to deal. It doesn't end, but that's not a complaint. What I'm building is mine from start to finish, and that's a source of great satisfaction.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

My first tip is to commit fully to going out on your own. Once you start, don't look back. My second tip is to cut yourself some slack. You are going to make mistakes. Own up to them and learn from them. My third tip is to remain flexible. You never know when another opportunity will arise that will take your business in an unexpected direction. Don't be so rigid as to let a new and exciting opportunity pass you by.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

There is nothing I find so satisfying as depositing a check in the bank from a customer. I went and got that customer. I provided the service and satisfied their need. No one handed this to me. It was my effort that made this happen.

Starting and running a business isn't for everyone. If the idea excites you, then try it. You may not succeed. Then again, you just might. You'll never know until you try.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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