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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.

Simply scroll down the page to view. They are shown with the most recent reflections appearing first.

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There was a lot about running a barbershop that I never took into account.  I mean, I always thought that a babrbershops'success is solely predicated on how good a barber may be able to cut hair.  But after conducting this interview I learned that there are countless other important factors in operating a barbershop.  I believe the most important factor of his success is his extensive knowledge of the community and the dedication he shows in making it better.  Everyone in the community knows that he operates with great integrity.  He also tries to instill it into everyone around  him.  I think this makes his customers more likely to come back, because they feel good about doing business with a community activist.  
I believe this to be the most powerful way to run a sole-propriatorship.
I really enjoyed conducting this interview. It gave me an oppurtunity to gain insight on how to accomplish my business goal.  I currently have my barbers liscence. I am close to where he was in "question #3".  It makes me feel good that someone so successful was once in my shoes having similar goals and aspirations as me.  Before conducting this interview I had a dream but no direct understanding of how to make it a reality.  He gave me a pathway to make my dreams a reality.  Now I have a better idea of the individual steps I need to take and the vision of owning my own barbershop seems much more attainable.  The information I gained in doing this interview I am sure will be beneficial to me in the near future and later on.  This experience will contribute to the philosphy I develope for running my own business, as a barbershop owner.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 23:58:35

It was very interesting to know that the owner of the restaurant had other projects in mind but instead end up refocusing and opening a restaurant. He had been thinking about opening other business, such as a clinic, since he is more familiar with the subject. Instead, he had another opportunity. He acknowledged the need and the support of mentors and friends. He did it without compromising his initial goal which was to have a backup in the case he was unable to maintain his job. He started an unfamiliar business, and mostly relays on his own customers’ feedback. He surrounded himself with a team of people that has the knowledge and the experience that he lacked.
Another remarkable factor is that the owner of the restaurant did not have all the money needed to start the business. He had ideas and a goal but not all the money. Different individuals believed in his plan and helped him put together the funds required.  Adding to the challenge was the difficulty to find some of the products needed. All these challenges did not discourage him or his supporters to embark in such adventure.
In addition, the owner of the restaurant has kept on working at his regular job. I find this remarkable because of the effort, time and energy that he has to come up with in order to harmoniously combine both commitments. When he explains that sacrifice is involved, he means it. He does not spend a lot of time with his family or his family spends time with him at the restaurant. The restaurant has been open for a year now and has been welcome by the community. The hard work and the sacrifices have started to pay off. He is already planning on his idea to open a clinic.  
All these factors are important, because one can realize that perfection is not essential to accomplish dreams or the lack of money or knowledge. It is the effort, the team work, the openness and the willingness to learn from others, and the drive to overcome challenge what empowers individuals to carry out their goals.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 00:11:22

I enjoyed having to interview an entrepreneur that experienced the pros and cons of owning his own business. At first it was difficult to find time to sit down and ask these questions, but each day having to show up for work I was able to ask a couple questions during the free hours. Having to interview my uncle the owner of the business, I had to speak in broken Chinese and English to replace the words I didn't know. That was the most difficult part, but it felt great knowing that I could speak more than one language. The owner answered my questions fine, but having to add on ideas opened up another door for me to understand what an owner has to deal with everyday. Interviewing my uncle also allowed me to see what makes a business good in contrast to a business going down the drain.

As one of the four employees working there, I lack work experience, but my communication skills and education is great. As I had to do my interview, the answers I got made me think more about the store and how if we worked together as a family, we will allow the business to improve. The store lacks family communication and I noticed that everyone works individually without a lot of discussion of the business. As long as the customers are satisfied with what they paid for to eat the business will thrive. The cooks inside and the owner should smile more and get involved with customers because the customers see all, and all the employees should make a good impression. As one of the two cashier upfront, my responsibility is to communicate in both English and Spanish with a smile to all customers, which brings many coming back. I enjoy working and communicating with people and this interview made me realize more to small businesses. This project has shown me that business is very hard to manage without having proper education in management itself, but having self knowledge and learning from mistakes can make any business better each day.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 00:12:30

I am very interesting in start a small business, and this project helped me to get a better vision about what kind of business I would like to be involved with.  This project took me to know how I can start my own business. The person who I interviewed gave me some good advises. For example, she said that I should write down my ideas about what type of business I want to do and go for it. Her advice was very useful to me because I already have some ideas that I would like to analyze them and see which is more effective.  This project gave me not just a theory about small business beyond that it gave me a clear picture about the topic because I could see that it is possible to have success.

In addition it helped me to understand that I need to get a lot of information to educate myself about what kind of business I want to be involve with and at the same time it would help me to get and give training to employees. Therefore, these would increase the labor productivity and reduce the labor turnover. I think employees always need to be incentive in order to make a satisfactory environment. I need to learn methods of building new skills, developing new human talent to preserver employee morale. Failure to do so might result in a reduce competitive position for the most talented employee. The entrepreneur that I interviewed got problems with its employees, they quit because they found a better opportunity, so it is very important to know how to keep them, so this might avoid the small business going down and be productive instead.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 00:19:22

In this project i learn that is very difficult to get started with a business, also I learn that many small thing can be a challenge for get an efficient business. The people always expressed their ideas in social places for example TV and social networks. one of the most meaningful things for me was to see how an entrepreneur has to face new challenges during their business time. however I learn that a business has to innovate constantly in order to get better services and more costumers.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 00:19:57

The most meaningful to me was the last question I had asked her. Even though she had a store that failed before, she was willing to try again and go through all the work of re-opening another store elsewhere. I feel that that takes a lot of passion and courage. I want to make greeting cards and Jody has motivated me to keep trying, even though I feel like the greeting card business is not doing too well. As long as I love my work and try my hardest, I feel like that will be worth it. And that is what I got from my interview with Jody. I can see her love for her store and it is truly inspiring. Especially since I know it is not cheap to relocate, rent space for the store, hire new workers, and everything like that. Also, her tips on taking a marketing and human resource related class was useful as well. Along with her top three things you must be good at to succeed.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 01:48:00

I learned more about a restaurant that I have been frequenting since I was 5 years old. I interviewed a business owner who has been a very close friend of mine for over a decade, and I have been wanting to gain more insight into his operation and this interview has allowed me to be better informed as to the day-to-day operations of his business. I have always felt an attraction to the restaurant business. Speaking with the owner has made me want to start a restaurant, take the culinary classes, and continue taking this and other business classes. My mother has worked for many years in the food-service industry and had always dreamt of having her own restaurant, but unfortunately that hasn’t been on the playing table, and I personally do not want to end up with any regrets for the things that I did not even try. The other thing this project helped me with was a better understanding of the mental drain some business can have on a person.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 02:35:13

During the interview I had alot of inspiring things that were said to me. I think It wasnt even the idea of asking all the questions about the biusiness, but more of the experience I got from meeting  with someone sucessful in a small business.From what we were speaking about I learned his reasons for starting the business are part of the same reason I decided to start my own. The business owner I spoke with started his business in 2004 which is around the same time i met and started with all my business partners. That helped me see how work and dedication helps build up your business.

One thing he said that really stuck with me was that I should make sure to continuously network. Networking in any business is a huge factor. He gave an example and said " theres alot of people that say they have noone to network to because theres so many printing companies. I tell them look into the yellow pages for printing. now look at the rest of the book thats all the people you can network to."  
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 02:56:26

I Jeremy George, would have to say the most meaningful thing about this project was having the opportunity to meet my next door neighbor and learning about her business that she owns.  Why, because I was given a insight firsthand on a women who has her own homebased business.  And how she never thought in a million Years she would have her own business, it's truly incredible and exciting.  And how she got to this point with no help from financing, banks, creditors, nothing.  And she's such a sweet lady, that she doesnt really call herself an entrepreneur, or ambiscious.  Which she told me to be.  And I learned new things like having the right balance, overwork, and sacrifice at times when needed. This project was so meaningful, because it gave access from a ladies point of view on the business side.  And she showed me her products and how they put them together using different fabrics from her collection in her Inventory. Which she showed me and it was in her garage, because I wondered why they never park their  cars in the garage. But anyway it was amazing that my new neighbor let me in to her home and business and how they run things in the house. And I had the chance to meet her all three of her employees who are very dedicated to their bosses business.  So if I take anything away from this project and her, I would take everything including how much she's in to family, and her business and sometimes you again have sacrifice your business for your family and maybe take a minor step back, because you cant get time back with faimly.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 04:17:17

In this project, the most meaningfull thing I learned was that even if I have troble starting a buiness, I should give up. Seeking advice is sometimes better than trying it on your own.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-14 09:40:38

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