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::W.B.O.C’S LEADING WOMAN Joanne Del Balso: A true entrepreneurial rock star! BY FARAH F. JADRAN I PHOTO BY CINDY BELL After almost 20 years of being someone else’s employee, Joanne Del Balso crossed over and became her own boss. On Oct. 12, 2007, Joanne bought the DBA (“doing business as”) to No Fuss Accounting Services. “I’ll never forget [that it was Oct. 12] because it’s my birthday,” she said. Heading toward the fifth anniversary of her business, Joanne reflected upon all the positive experiences she has had since becoming an entrepreneur. Part of her business launch, and much of what she says helped her achieve success, was becoming a member of the Women’s Business Opportunities Connections. The WBOC is a non-profit organization that supports professional women and entrepreneurship through year-round networking and business programs. Joanne has been involved with the WBOC since November of 2007, both as a former treasurer for the WBOC Board of Directors and also as the organization’s administrator. “It’s all about the relationships that I’ve built,” Joanne said. “I immediately connected with [longtime] members.” In particular, Joanne said Lisa DeVeau, owner of Completely Organized, encouraged her to join and to put in for the vacant treasurer’s position on the board. Coincidentally, Joanne helped DeVeau with the concept for Completely Organized 10 years ago. Their reciprocation of support is a keen example of the WBOC mission. Through her WBOC involvement Joanne not only started networking and learning how to use social media to boost her own business and market her services, but now she has mastered it. Anyone who knows Joanne or follows @NoFussAcctng on Twitter knows she could be easily classified as the local “rock star” of social media, networking and teaching others how to master it as well. “I guess I’m a teacher and I never knew it.” Besides offering one-on-one and group social media coaching, Joanne also offers QuickBooks training for solo-preneurs. She understands that not all small-business owners can afford to outsource their bookkeeping needs. “I set them up and make sure they know what they’re doing and I check on them after that.” However, once an entrepreneur is established, it is time to “let go” and focus on other priorities, like making money! Even Joanne had to let go and give the bookkeeping task to Janine Joss, her assistant. While enjoying a day at the No Fuss office on a Friday, Joanne joked about Joss also being known as the “head of maintenance” since she does a little bit of everything. Joanne also explained that Friday is “Pajama Friday,” it’s not just a “casual” day. “Be wary if you book an appointment with me on a Friday, you might s e e me in my pajamas.” Giving Joss a task such as bookkeeping gives Joanne more time for clients and driving new business, something she suggests other businesses should do as well. “The less time you spend counting beans the more time you’ll have marketing your products, services or company.” Thus far, her own business has been thriving and she’s had the joy of seeing other entrepreneurs, many of them WBOC members, succeed while she handles their accounting needs. “I come across different people with new types of services or products.” For instance, one of her clients, Jessica Hofschulte, introduced unique seatbelt bags to the CNY area when she started JJ’s Creative Gifts. “I get excited when I see [my clients] succeed…it means I am succeeding.” The WBOC is a local non-profit organization that has been providing support to women and access to innovative events and workshops for 20 years. Whether running our own business, working for an employer or launching a new endeavor, women are connected through their entrepreneurial mindset. The WBOC and Syracuse Woman Magazine are exclusive partners and aim to promote each other’s missions. For information on how to become a member, visit www.wboconnection.org. 12 APRIL 2012 :: SYRACUSEWOMANMAG.COM