Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kelly Del Fuoco Mota, Co-Founder and COO of Pembroke & Co., located in Boston, MA, USA.

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

Pembroke & Co. is a full-service consulting firm specializing in loss prevention monitoring, recruiting services, and human resources consulting. Our clients are business owners and enterprises.

Tell us about yourself

Before this role, I worked in talent acquisition for a biomedical company and spent years in quick-service restaurant management. I was brought on board at Pembroke to manage the internal operations and develop the recruiting sector of the company. I enjoy seeing immediate results, so being able to create something - a process, a new position within the company, etc. - and seeing it come to life motivates me to keep going.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our service is niche, and there is nothing like it in the market at our scale. There was no guideline or playbook for us to set up a structure, pricing, culture, scalability, etc. I had to perform my analysis and have a pulse on the business to know exactly what it needed to grow. When you're in a fast-paced company, turnover can damper your progress, so I built a culture where everyone is empowered to speak up, work hard, and be rewarded immediately for their results. This environment helped us retain top talent and allowed them to grow their careers within the organization.

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

The hardest part of being a business owner is managing and motivating people. Whether it's employees, vendors, or clients, people are what drive a business. They're also the most diverse and sometimes unpredictable. It can be challenging to adapt your style individually and foster relationships actively, although it's crucial to success.

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

  1. Know what you are getting yourself into before getting started. People often go into business thinking they will "be their own boss" or get freedom. If that sounds like you, you are in for a rude awakening. It's a 24/7 job, and most business owners work 60+ hour work weeks.
  2. If number 1 doesn't scare you: find a problem and solve it. Don't try to create a problem and find a customer. That rarely works. Know what you are the best at and use your skills to solve a problem people are facing.
  3. Don't expect instant gratification. Most businesses take time to build a pipeline of sales and contacts. It doesn't usually happen overnight. Be patient but strategic. Keep moving forward and be consistent with your product or service.

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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