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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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What was most meaningful to me about this project was getting substantial advice from a member of my community, and someone I’ve looked up to since I was little. When my family first moved to the area we came to the feed store and they gave us advice on everything from where the best restaurants were, to who to call for the best low cost veterinarian. My sister has been working for the company for almost 15 years, and it was great to get business advice from someone I could trust.  Knowing that the owner took time in her busy schedule to see and speak with me also meant a lot to me.  Finding the beginnings and drives behind the business was interesting. Knowing her inspirations to start, the support she had from whom, how she did when she first opened her business was inspirational. It gave me some insight of things to expect when if I someday open my own business, even if it isn’t in the feed industry. I may some day open a low cost vet clinic, and having the knowledge she has shared with me can help me with being successful.
Date Submitted: 2012-04-10 19:08:32

I learned so much by seeing how a business runs instead of  trying to get my own going without any insight to a business or how it works. Business is in everything, you can't go anywhere and not see anything to do with a business and seeing how it is run is a chance for me to find a need out there somewhere is the world where i can fill it and share my knowledge and power with the rest of the community. Not only are there needs but you need to find out how they want it and from the help of my friend Vi i found out that customer satisfaction is the best thing to have. For instance he said " if your business gets published on a paper then everyone will hear about you." that was one of the smartest things that can be done. Knowledge is power, don't be fooled.   Something else important that I learned was the giving part of the project. I learned that giving is more than giving its receiving and for everything you give later you shall receive, so now that i learned that I will become much more giving. This project will be saved and probably help me open and keep my own small business going for a long time. The most important statistic that I saw was the customer satisfaction, when I saw on a website of reviews that it was a good place then the next new customer will expect the same but when I saw a bad reviewed business they had very little to no customers. So satisfaction has changed dramatically older businesses need to keep up with change because now more than ever customers can  see how another fellow customer enjoyed there service and can now make a decision based on an opinion.
Date Submitted: 2012-04-10 20:43:56

The most meaningful part of this project was what the entrepreneur said to me was towards the end of the interview. He stated, “Keep studying and never get a job like this”. The reason for this is because the competition is brutal; anyone can open a paint and body shop or mechanic shop and take you down. I never realized how difficult it is to stay in business until this person explained it.  For example if you have a shop and sell brake pads at thirty dollars, someone else can open a shop across the street and sell the same brake pads for fifteen dollars. Pretty soon, the other shop takes all your customers; it is all a matter of time and endurance. Now I am thinking twice about opening up a shop  The only part I did not like was that I interviewed him at the end of the day after the work day was over so during the interview he was having a beer. The answers I was receiving from him were short and to the point. It is not that he was upset or in a rush, it is just the way he is. One flaw I saw in his business was location. His shop is in a busy street but in the back of some abandoned buildings so it is impossible to know that a shop exists behind the buildings. He also has no signs or advertisement, except for business cards. He says that he receives customers by word of mouth. Happy customers tell their friends and family and so on; although the entrepreneur’s main business is buying defective cars, fixing them and then selling them. Overall this was an excellent way of obtaining information that otherwise would have been difficult.
Date Submitted: 2012-04-10 21:42:12

I learned that owning a business is like a roller coaster.  One month of the year you might have a ton of sales then next month comes around and you have maybe one or two.  One important thing you must remember is to be able to stay positive and remember your goals.  Goals are very important to remember and look over very often so you stay insight of them.  Staying focused and having a strong mindset will benefit you while owning or starting a business. Owning or starting a business can be highly stressful and you must know how to relieve your stress or troubles without losing your sight of your goals.  Also I learned that learning to listen to customers can be beneficial to your business.  Customers are the main focus in most businesses, some might be profit, and others might be personal happiness. Customers can be very helpful when owning a business. They can offer suggestions to make the service better. Also, they can help a small business with word to word advertisement if they like the service. One thing you must always keep in perspective is the customer comes first.
Date Submitted: 2012-04-10 23:24:01

     There are many points to this project that i believe are meaningful to me. First of all i believe that the interview questions were very important. By important i mean each question brings out an important key to remember when starting businesses. They help spark ideas for the reader and the business owner. Business owners also benefits from the interview by reviewing what he or she has done in the past to get where they are today whether it be a good or bad situation. This means that the business owner has a chance to reflect on their past in order to continue toward the successful path while the interviewer has the opportunity to get insight on starting a business      The other key important thing that was meaningful to me about this project was that i was able to analyze the business. While analyzing the business i realized that  when starting a business you should always plan ahead. planning ahead will help you tackle the constant change the world is going through. Also with planning you can  stay away from the mistakes others have made. This is important because if you can find out why other businesses fail, that means you can avoid what they did and instead find a solution so that you may prevail in which the competition did not. So a big key that also ties into the planning is change. As a business i believe that you should always adapt to change. If you do not keep up with the current market then who exactly are you trying to sell to?
Date Submitted: 2012-04-10 23:38:23

I think the most meaningful part about this project was to know all the know-hows of the business and how to keep up the motivation. I have learned many important fact to how to gain experience and networking is important when starting a business. Without these factors I don’t think the business can be stable. Also the balance between the business and private life. Before interviewing the owner, I did not even think the importance of keeping the business life and private life was so important. However now that I heard and know about it I think I am prepared for this.     Doing business is not just about making profit but it is a way to communicate with the world and knowing the needs of it is the other factor I have learned. Trying new things, listening to customers are very important to keep the business stable. Just like the video of “Where is the Cheese” it is important to keep up and move, shift and be flexible. Also by doing this interview I now I have more flexible ways to think about the business. I have gained more knowledge about how to start and maintain the business. This project has made me think more about the business and how to keep the faith to make the business moving.
Date Submitted: 2012-04-10 23:56:53

To begin with it means a lot to me to know that my family is goal oriented. They work hard for what they want and so far have been successful. This project is important to me for the reason that it help me understand how my family got started and what made them start a business. Also because one day I will take part in the business. And its important to keep up their reputation. Overall I learn a lot on how to start a business and what to expect. And who is my number one priority the cusumer.
Date Submitted: 2012-04-11 01:20:12

 The most meaningful thing about this project is when my interviewer told me her advice about having a business.  Source she tells me is her advice to me. She said that you need to know how to sell and how to keep track of things. The product you are selling must be top of the line or else no one will buy your product. Friends can also play a factor in this making new friends and knowing people might get you somewhere in life.  My interviewer kept it simple and easy for one to understand.   Also she was truthful about every detail of her business. Learning all of these mistakes she made can make one person think about starting a business. Although she was just working for her husband she still learned a lot. Finding source could be hard for other if they don’t have the right resources. So what I have learned is study your product and know what you have to do , to sell it. And make sure you have the right people there for you when you are in trouble.
Date Submitted: 2012-04-11 02:10:47

Date Submitted: 2012-04-11 06:56:39

This entrepreneur was interesting because I have never known anyone in the food service industry, especially specialty foods. This person specifically had experience also working for the state board of equalization. He may not know the ins and outs entirely but he did work for one specific department that did keep track of business income. From doing those things he was able to find out what and who made good money by viewing each businesses income level. I would have mapped out the area within 20 miles and see which places were where and the demographic. He did exactly that and found an untapped market that has enormous potential and almost guaranteed customers. Being around the UCR campus a lot, I have always thought of different businesses to start there that would be suited to the students for pleasure and convenience. What (name removed) had that I didn’t have was the advantage of seeing the area through details and being able to determine what was there and what was not. Then again, not being a student at that school has also given me a different view of what businesses are in the area and what are not. Also having an Asian specialty market by my area in Upland has never really been a worry to me since it is down the street. So being able to think outside the box and get into the smaller details and find out what small market had the potential for business was what got me to ask him to help me for this project.
Date Submitted: 2012-04-11 07:30:40

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