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Student Insights for Entrepreneur Interviews

Entrepreneur insights and perceptions related to their businesses were obtained through interviews conducted by students. Student insights and reflections regarding the interview process are shown on this page.

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I think the most meaningful thing to me about this project is, he started this business from nothing.  He built it into something. He has had hard times and in this economy he has not stopped trying to achieve his dream.  He has pushed forward and continued to do what he had to do to keep his business going and himself out in the market.  He has been able to maintain a balance not putting more into it than he gets out of it, and he has been able to stay focused and humble about what he needs to do.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-12 16:24:43

        Every perspective of this project has some significance and meaning. When it comes to business, I tend to pay as much attention as I can. There's no question that I'd like to own my own business soon, and this interview gave me a bunch of new ideas. I'm lucky my boss was very willing to share his experiences with me in hopes of me learning from those situations. I'm beginning to keep my eyes open to the rest of the world, and not just the industry I'd like to persue. He taught me that doing so is crucial in understanding my consumers.
I took that idea to heart amongst the other topics. Paying attention to world news, keeping tabs on other country's exchange rates, what their stock markets look like are all very good tools. Tools you use to be able to branch out from the one category of consumers you know. Without this project, I would be stuck in the idea that beginning a business isn't so difficult and something I can handle on my own. However, after my interview and all of the side stories shared, I learned that mentors are there for a reason... basically so we don't conform to that thought I just mentioned.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-12 20:06:53

The most meaningful thing I am taking from this project is the experience from someone who had his own business, and a different perspective to see business. Sometimes I am busy over thinking about the best possible ways to start my own business, but when someone else shares his point of view, I can notice that almost anybody can start his/her own business. The most important thing is to have a vision of ourselves, and consistency to keep trying until our projects are realized. Another thing that is helpful is the guidance from someone with experience, and I am very sure it is not hard to find somebody who is willing to share that knowledge. At the beginning of this project, I was not sure if I could find someone because I though no one would ever share his/her secret of how to do business, but I was wrong. Now I know it is not difficult to find a mentor, who will be able to give me some guidance, but I will have to learn how to select and apply the information I was shared.
Eventually, I will have to adventure into the business world, but now I know I have to focus on learning the different strategies to reduce the possibility of failure. In the same way, I found that meeting with people that are or were in business is a very helpful strategy to safely start my own business. Moreover, I consider important part of entrepreneur life to have a mentor because I have not known someone who does not need any help at some point in his/her life. Subsequently, to have more than one adviser, so one can build a more accurate opinion about what decision to take at a certain point of the business. Ultimately, the business world may not be as nice as one may think, but with the help and guidance of a mentor, I am very sure it will be easy to start a business.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 00:06:20

I found this project very helpful in going into what business i want to get into. I enjoyed talking to the Quality Assurance entrepreneur and I want to follow in his footsteps, but take his warning on what he wish he could have done before getting into the business then be more successful then him.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 08:11:37

To me the most meaningful and useful information that I got from doing this project was the fact that even though this is a small company, mainly selling light bulbs, the company makes a good amount of profit. He told me that their sales usually go double, sometimes triple, and sometimes even more than that, during the holiday seasons. To me that made me realize how simple it is to have a fairly successful company, when it is a market that you know well. When you start a business doing the things that you have already been doing as a hobby or a passion, it is a lot easier because of all the knowledge that you've already acquired. Many of the people or friends you've aquainted in the past, becomes someone who can help you in your business expedition eventually. Because it is already a hobby or a passion of yours, you know the market of that subject really well, and the people in that field really well, and it almost seems as a natural step for you to start a business in that market. It is a lot easier, when you start up a company doing what you like.

Another meaningful information for me would be that having the right technology is really crucial. Even for a small company like this one, without the right technology, they cannot function and survive. He told me that during the holiday season few years ago, their sales grew significantly, and as a result, processing and packaging products became a huge issue. At the time they did not use the order processing software TrueShip, so they had to type every single shipping label out by hand. At the time they only had 2 employees doing about 500-600 orders per day. By the time they finished typing out all the shipping labels, there was barely enough time to pack the items. It became so hectic, that many of the orders were shipped late, some addresses were wrong, and some were shipped wrong, as a result, their negative feedback on E-bay was increased, and their buyer satisfication decreased. Plus they had to spend additional time to deal with all the RMA's, and they lost more time and money doing replacements and reshipping. That was when they decided to find a solution, and started learning how to program the software to their needs, and order processing became computerized. It became efficient and time conserving. This is one thing that seems to stand out in my mind, that because of this one thing, it really saves them a substantial amount of energy, time, and money.  
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 10:05:22

The most meaningful thing for me about this project was to see how the author actively managed his own business because his e-books publishing are doing better than the established publisher who used to fund him to write his books.  His success came late into his life; however, his business has increased since he was nominated for the best writer of the year.  He is devoted to his online readers, and keeps a very active personal web site for networking and publicity.  For example, it is easy to find him on the search engine.  In addition, the good news for those who are interested in creative career is that selling online has less age limitations. The entrepreneur could be 26 years old or 62 years old, if he can do it well. The entrepreneur could be worth millions from just selling online based on the things he loves doing them.

The entrepreneur managed his business well. He dedicated all his time to networking, promoting and writing books. Besides having good products, customer skills and consistency is essential to build a business.  The entrepreneur needs to know online networking and new technology that he can utilize for his business so that he can reach the widest audience and customers globally.  To make the entrepreneur business well known and improve the sell, he needs to have confidence of what he is doing, so others can have confidence in him. When people turned him down, he knows how to go around and create his own business. The entrepreneur also needs to create opportunities for him to reach wherever he wants to go. The good news is opportunities are present in our lives, and we need to find them and make use of them.

Before the internet, it was hard for small budget entrepreneurs, who had limited capital to compete with the large firm even if they had good products and good management skills. Today, we all connected globally and having a good web site for their businesses are essential. They will increase their visibilities and people can find them online. They need to reach an audience who could become their potential customers. Online business has blurred the barriers the ideal age to start a business. It is the quality of the products that matter and if they can satisfied their customers’ needs, they are in business.  

I am so glad that the author has very positive feedback for this interview; he told me that he actually learned quite a bit from answering the questionnaire.

Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 11:42:05

The most meaningful part of this project for me was hearing many things that I've learned about in business textbooks from a real, live entrepreneur. While it is helpful to read my textbooks to learn about business, it is even more helpful to hear from a successful entrepreneur that everything I'm learning about is true and important. Hearing real-life experiences about the ins and outs of the business world provides valuable insights that can sometimes be overlooked by reading alone. Talking to someone face-to-face allows you to really feel the passion and drive with which they speak which then helps you to really understand what it is they’re teaching. It is like the Chinese proverb, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” I believe that this interview took the role of involvement, which is the ultimate form of not only learning, but understanding.

There are several points that my interviewee expressed to me that helped cement things I’ve learned in class, such as the importance of a business plan and the value of customer service orientation. Learning, not only from my book and my teachers, but through my interview, about the extreme importance of creating a business plan has made me look at it from a more serious perspective. I think it was especially helpful for me to hear about the importance of a business plan from the entrepreneur of what I perceived to be a very small business. Before this interview I was still leaning toward the belief that I didn’t really need to put much thought into my business plan; however, I will definitely be putting a lot of effort into that endeavor now.  Hearing my interviewee explain how his customers are his business really helped me to really consider analyzing my future business plans from the perspective of a potential customer. I will surely be putting a lot of effort into making sure that my business is as ethical and customer-oriented as it can possibly be because that is what I expect from each business that I visit. All in all, this entrepreneurial interview helped me to truly understand things that I might not have considered otherwise.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 13:46:33

The interview was meaningful because I got insight on how it means to be a entrepreneurial in my family because family usually never talks about money. I got to see how an entrepreneur works to keep up with the business by accepting new technology like ways to help people. It gave me insight on how if you love what you do for entrepreneur instead of hating it really works out. Also to keep looking on how the community evolves.

I also take in mind that learn from peoples mistakes so that you can continue moving on as an entrepreneur instead of getting stuck with tools that you can use to help improve yourself as an entrepreneur. That marinating a business is hard yet rewarding knowing you have work hard.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 13:54:12

I think this project was very beneficial in learning what it takes to start a business. The most meaningful part was the one-on-one interaction with the entrepreneur. Hearing about the start-up of the business in person really helped me understand how the process was not short and easy. The opportunity to talk to an entrepreneur was really neat because it is good to hear someone personally talk about the whole journey of beginning a business. Reading about business in the book gives you a lot of information, but actually being able to interview someone really puts things in perspective. You get a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and what it takes to start a business.

The project makes it clear that there are so many components that make up a business. There are also a lot of way that a business can end up failing, so you have to be really careful and be sure to cover all the bases. It made me realize how crucial every employee was to the business and that everyone needs to be working efficiently, in order for the business to succeed. Having a few workers that lack a work ethic can really slow down the productivity of your business, so it is important to spend a lot of time during the hiring process. You need to be sure that every person you hire has the abilities and skills required, that they will be committed, and that they are aware of all their tasks and responsibilities. Starting a business is hard because of the name you have to establish yourself and the difficulty of putting your name out there to attract customers.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 14:08:01

I learned a lot during this interview, things that would have never even thought of. I got a good understanding on what it takes to make a business succeed. He taught me how its less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. At first I puzzled me, but then he told me that to get a new customer you have to advertise, get out there, prove to the people how your not like the other nutrition shops. All this costs money. He showed me how unlike other nutrition stores, he lets you take samples of any product before you buy it. If you like, it buy it and if you don’t try something else. He told me that this helps build a stronger relationship with the customers. I learned how important it is to know your products. The more information you give on a product the better chances of the customer purchasing it.
He was very strong about honesty. He said this more then anything else keeps a customer satisfied knowing he can trust you. This is also how your business will get more customers. Your satisfied customer will talk about your business to others bringing in new blood for the store. I thought his advise towards schooling was a big help. By telling me his weak points and what he wished he would have worked harder on, let me know that by learning through his struggles and applying them from and early start, can make me more successful from the beginning. I definitely feel that this interview helped me. I have a lot of answered questions as well as advice from someone who I can call a “mentor.” In the future if I start a business, I will not hesitate to ask him for advice.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 17:17:16

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