Gabrielle Deculus Shares Business and Strategy Tips to Pivot and Cope Amid COVID-19

Gabrielle Deculus began her entrepreneurial journey in 2008 at 19 and has earned herself a reputation for delivering results. For nearly a decade, Deculus has gained experience in branding, marketing, public relations, and social media while keeping people at the center of her work.

As a former development director for Habitat for Humanity, Deculus was instrumental in the management of all marketing, grants, and fundraising projects in South Atlanta, including Rick Ross’ Fulton County Community Initiative. Deculus was recognized by Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD Foundation and Essence magazine for her efforts in raising over $30,000 for flood damage and mobilizing recovery efforts in South Louisiana.

Deculus’ latest entrepreneurial accomplishment, Saint Josephine, is a marketing consulting firm for social good. She created this firm to house her brands, serve her clients, and build a space for partnerships to develop. One of the brands—Business Rules for Women (BRFW)—just celebrated a 240,000 milestone, now reaching success-driven women on six different continents. The BRFW online network distributes unique content to over 2 million viewers per month.

BLACK ENTERPRISE had the chance to speak with Deculus about Business Rules For Women, how to pivot your business strategy, and how to successfully execute a fully virtual conference.

BE: What is Business Rules For Women?

Deculus: Business Rules For Women was created for women who are looking to dominate in their careers. The Business Rules For Women platform was founded in April 2015 in Houston, Texas, and currently reaches over 1 million women each month through online content. We have built a global community for a wide range of women totaling just under 250,000 coming from major cities like Atlanta, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and Lagos.

How were you able to successfully pivot a three-day conference into a virtual conference?

To me, it was all about pivoting this event. People purchased tickets and were traveling from all over to attend this conference so I had to make this happen. After many conversations with my team, volunteers, and mentors I decided that I had to have this conference. Before contacting the attendees I knew that I had to have a solution for them. I was able to work a deal with on-site vendors to transition the physical meeting into a fully virtual conference utilizing the technologies that were available. We were expecting a few hundred attendees so we literally had to pivot every aspect of the conference to the virtual space. We developed a conference app that allowed attendees to check-in at workshops, panels, and health and wellness events that were scheduled. We had a QVC-style business marketplace for our vendors to still take part in the virtual experience. We took the experience of a physical conference and took it virtual.

What key lessons did you take away as a result of having to pivot to a virtual conference?

Information and being a resource is so powerful. This is what this conference really did for us. It solidified the importance of education, and access for people. How can you continue to be a resource for women and men in the community regardless of uncontrollable things happen? Being innovative in the face of uncertainty is possible.

Three pieces of advice you have for entrepreneurs to get through this period of time:

  1. Great companies are built when the rest of the world is in chaos. Be a solution and let people see you as a resource.
  1. This is a time to reconfigure what your business looks like, and what your products and services look like. You may have a product or service that before COVID-19 was positioned for one thing. Now is a great opportunity to possibly re-market and pivot that same product for a solution it provides today.
  1. Invest in yourself. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and become even more of an expert in an area. There are a lot of free online classes and trainings that are available due to the climate we are in. Take advantage of them.