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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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Opening a restaurant business has a very high risk of failure in which 9 out of 10 restaurants fail in their first year of opening. Since restaurants have such a high risk of failure, it is important to understand the in’s and out’s of owning a restaurant to prevent myself in becoming part of the statistic of failing restaurants. I was very excited to hear that our project would be to interview a business owner in the type of business of our choice. The required questions were already worded and well-thought out to get the most out of the business owner during the interview. The questions probed useful and practical information to help prepare any aspiring entrepreneur to open a business.
Through this project, I was able to get insights on how to start a restaurant business. The experience and knowledge of the restaurant owner was very helpful to me in thinking about the practical ways to open a restaurant. Before the interview, I already had the realization on how hard it would be to open a restaurant of my own, but the restaurant owner I interviewed was able to bring more light to the day to day problems of owning a restaurant—problems which an aspiring entrepreneur could not possibly foresee without having experienced it him/herself. The successes and failures that he was able to share with me are priceless. I am grateful that I was able to develop a relationship with the business owner I interviewed in which he has become a mentor figure to me and is open to answer more questions I might have in the future.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-22 16:21:13

I think the most meaningful thing about this project was learning from someone else's experience.I got to hear an entrepreneur who started with an idea and then went on to making it come true. I learned the hard obstacles they had to overcome and also learned how they became to be in their business. It was good to learn how they ran their business and learned how they managed making decisions. I learned that you need to have certain demographics to make sure you approach the people that would benefit it from the most.

The person I interviewed gave me some good tips on what to do to become a little bit more successful. One thing he told me was that you couldn't have any sense doubt because that would soon lead to fear and if you are scared going into your business then you have already lost. I have to be confident with things that I do and make sure they are best possible choices i could make. I also was told to be prepared such as having knowledge as to knowing about loans and financial statements. He also told me to listen to the customers and hear what they can say that could be of good use. Last is presentation , to be able to share my knowledge to the people so that they feel more comfortable with any product you are selling even if they don't buy anything from you.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-22 16:45:40

In my opinion what was most meaningful about this project was the fact that I got to see through the eyes of an entrepreneur. For example, credit was never something that I looked upon with a smile. To me credit was something that motivated a man to take out a loan that they later would not be able to repay. The fact that most Americans today are in debt and can't afford to pay it back didn't do it justice either. While talking to this man, I learned that credit is one of the most important things for a businessman to have. Without it, your business will not move forward or live very long for that matter. Second, I also learned through our interview that experience or having a business degree is something great to have. Even so for people not wanting to join the management, economic, or accounting field that it offers. The example that we were using was someone they knew that had a psychology degree, but couldn't get a job. Having knowledge in the business field is great for people that want to have a career but cannot receive one from other sources.

Another reason why I found this meaningful is because it helped me receive in hindsight, what to expect from managing a business. While his business focused on construction and engineering, I found it to motivate me to enter in the same field since I have at least some sort of an idea of what I can expect. For example, the material that needs to be gathered and how negotiation will be your best friend. Another would be to satisfy the consumer from giving them top quality to making a financial plan so the consumer does not feel uncomfortable. This was meaningful because what I saw was that each and every one of these things fluctuates. For example, material might be expensive now which means that customers might be insecure about the spending. Law changes would also affect the company with new regulations and will all these changes one must be on top of the game. Many of the reasons are mostly because it gave me a preview on how his business worked and what I should do to keep it alive as well as just being able to receive advice from a successful entrepreneur that I knew. To me, that is what made this project most meaningful.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-23 07:54:18

What was the most meaningful part of this project is the experience of knowledge that I was able to get from the owner. Being able to have information shared to you about completion they go through and how they overcome it is fascinating and empowering; since you can you use their history to improve your start up. The information they gave help me also helped me understand what customers are and how to listen and react to their expectations. It is important to understand that the relation of a business is not based on what I want to sale but what the consumer wants to buy and how they are willing to buy it. The foundation of a business is not based just on your ideas anymore it’s about accepting people as people and being able to step out of comfort zone so that you are serving a wider group rather than a selective group that fall under your personal ideas morals.
I also what was meaningful that questions came up that I never asked myself. As I am an individual who is planning to open business I found that the questions asked helped me understand the important of attitude, dedication, and most importantly do I really want it? Attitude is important because it is the way you set the mood for your company and how people will feel about your company and if they are willing to stay around. Dedication is important because the time you put in and the willingness you have is what keeps your business functioning to a certain but meaningful extent. finally understanding if you really want something. When going into a business you cannot just think of the money but you must think do I really want all the responsibilities that come with opening a business including all the necessary stress, risks, dedication, and personal sacrifice; it leads you to that question, Do I want it?
Date Submitted: 2013-04-23 10:10:16

What was most meaningful to me when doing this project was being able to talk to a business owner. Speaking with the owner of the business let me know of what I can and cannot expect when running a business. Having that insight made me think of what I am capable as one person to make something of myself. With the information I received i can live by it even if I do not own a business now. With that being said I can now have someone to look up too, whenever I need more insight. Even though I have someone to look up to I must look elsewhere for my own information.
I know what I want know and I know what I need to do to run my business. Though I have the info I search for a mentor that fits the business. To find a mentor with a style that fits mines and is mines to be called. In terms of money I need to find my own way of making it; that can only be determine of who I am with. Other than that, what I do will determine, whether my ship floats, or sinks taking my entire crew down and myself. I am who I am, and I believe on where I am capable of going is great.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-23 15:53:54

Almost every good consumed by the US population, was at some point, transported on a truck. It is easy to underestimate the importance of this industry. Majority of communities in our country count on trucks to routinely deliver all of the essential products, the trucking industry is one of the key factors in the U.S. economy, in order for the trucking industry to operate in such a large capacity its necessary to have trucking companies with qualified drivers for each truck on the road locally and nationally. By completing this project it has sparked such an interest, I admire how he has created this business from taking all his obstacles and turning them into opportunities. His great knowledge of the transportation industry makes him stand above others who may have had more advantages such as large start up money, investors, and great credit. He has offered his experiences in the industry to me to shed light on a very profitable industry, and how I can use my skills to be successful.
By using him as a mentor I can take his advice and ways of doing business to adapt to a style that will work for myself being a dispatcher for a trucking company currently, I am very inspired to create my own business from my prior work experience I know that this will be no easy task. With hard work and dedicating myself I can create a transportation company of my own. Being aware of obstacles in this industry can be my advantage over other companies.

Date Submitted: 2013-04-23 18:17:29

During the entrepreneur business project many epiphany ran through my head. One of the epiphany was the questions about the challenges that he faced. He said that during the summer it's very sunny and hot making it a perfect refreshment weather because many people are dehydrated, and the exact opposite season is winter. Not many people are fond of a cold smoothies during Christmas, thus affecting his overall sale. The epiphany was that I didn't realize that seasons played a tremendous role in sales and how people acted according to the weather. After I interviewed him I knew to what extent seasons and holidays had on sales, it was eye opening. Another meaningful insight that I gained by the interview is the emphasis on building a strong foundation to start your business early. Meaning start saving while you can, and acquire all the necessary information while I'm still young and have the capacity to learn.
Another amazing insight that I gained from interviewing a business owner, and a entrepreneur is that I got to see what kind of tools he used to start up his business. This was amazing, I literally thought before the interview, that I had to know everything there is to know in a business but turns out I didn't. Terry did not know every tedious bit of detail in his industry, but he had a certain amount of knowledge and insight that he gained from the previous owner. For me, this meant that I did not have to be a bookworm on any given business, in fact having a decent amount of knowledge and a good amount of experience is the ultimate equation to success. The final thing that struck to me as I was interviewing the entrepreneur is that he had an insane amount of tenacity to not give up and prosper. He was definitely quite a character and an entrepreneur I would like to do business in the future with.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-23 18:51:32

The most meaningful part of this project was learning about the biggest challenges he faced during business and how he got through all the rough patches. I thought that was most meaningful because all though a business seems fun and easy to start up, there a lot of conflicts that could happen and most people aren't ready for the unexpected. I like knowing that even though there are conflicts, they can be handled in a correct fashion if you set your business plans right. And knowing the things he does to fight back the challenges is a great part of a business plan. Besides knowing the Challenges, meeting with a successful business owner was really cool, knowing what he went through and how he made it was a wonderful experience.

Another thing about this project that was very meaningful to me was knowing what he would go back and learn if he could go back in time to where before he started the business. I thought that was meaningful because it gives me the idea of that if he would go back and study those subjects, i'm going to make sure i study and master those subjects well before starting my own business. Just the whole interview really was great, it gave me a lot of inspiration and knowledge.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-23 19:25:52

The most meaningful thing to me about this project was to hear my uncle start from the bottom and have nothing to developing different employee and creating a foundation that people can trust and always go to. In reality it is all about the customer. When the customer is happy, that causes the customer to go tell there friends, that tell their friends, which leads into the referrals to the company. This allows the company to gain more clients. This is important to me because it shows that with honestly and loyalty it can go further then someone might think. If you don't treat your customers right then your competitors will.
Another thing that I found most meaningful was, when my uncle's company had a lot of competition in the area and the business was not doing as great as they thought . They would not go crazy and get stressed out;however, they would be patient and try different ways of bringing people into the shop. Such as, having promotions on tires, brakes, oil changes... This would allow people to get an incentive on coming to the shop. This is important to me because when I open up my own business I have to realize that every day is not going to be busy, so I need to learn how to be able to drive-in traffic so that customers are the winners at the end of the day.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-23 19:41:00

What was most meaningful to me about this project was learning more about the entrepreneur whom I have known almost all of my life. Getting to know how much blood, sweat and tears it took to accomplish their success was beyond interesting. They started from the bottom and worked their way to the top which truly inspired me. The advice I was given during the interview will be something I believe that I will remember for the rest of my life.

I learned that you can do what ever you want to do as long as you push yourself. Even when things seem to become to difficult I must remember nothing is impossible. There will be plenty of obstacles and walls that we must surpass but it will all be worth it in the end. As long as you are doing what you love then there is nothing and nobody that can stop you. I enjoyed this interview a lot more than I thought I would and I am glad I was able to do it!
Date Submitted: 2013-04-23 19:49:43

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