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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 is the fact that it deals with a current business owner who is successful and willing to help provide information for me. Since, I plan to open a business myself in the same industry. It definitely means a lot, and gives me motivation to begin my company. More importantly, I won't be going in blindly into the industry. A main reason I chose this class, and this project was a added bonus to help get me where I want to be a year or two from now. It already sounds tough but I'd be much happier working for myself than others. I'm those type of people who can't really work for someone, and I much rather deal with things myself. I have a way of doing things and let us just say I like having it my way.
The project also acts as a guide. The questions are basic guidelines a business owner should follow and learn before one starts a business. This project isn't just an assignment, it's also a guide and reference for any potential business owner. I like assignments or projects that act as a double edge sword. This will potentially help my future goals and hopefully my grade, most importantly my grade and most passionately my goals. I will be referring to this assignment a few times I guarantee it when I am running my business.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 17:05:35

This project was meaningful to me because it allowed me to interview a successful entrepreneur who I have known for most of my life and I was also able to hear about how he got started and became so successful. [Name removed], the entrepreneur whom I interviewed, has been my neighbor since I was three years old and my parents have taken their cars to his garage for years but I was never familiar with his story about how he got into this line of work and also how he was able to start his own business. He also shared with me some of the
struggles that he encountered when he was first trying to establish his business and find a location. One main struggle that he encountered was when he was trying to get his business plan approved by city council, all five council members were long-time, loyal customers of the Mercedes dealership that [Name removed] worked for at the time so when they told his manager that he was going into business on his own and quitting his job working for them, he was fired from his job and his business plan was rejected by city council. Since his motto is "alway be prepared," he already was thinking ahead and had another location right across thee street lined up and he was able to move in right away and because the other side of the street is in a different city, the business plan was approved immediately. This situation is a testament to the idea that entrepreneurs must be risk takers, plan ahead and anticipate the unforeseen events that may occur in the business world.
What I most appreciated about doing this project was the fact that I was able to get information about an industry other than the one that I am interested in.
Information about other industries can be valuable to other businesses because it can offer insight into how other companies are doing and also indicate how the economy is doing as a whole. If new car parts or components are being made or made widely available, all companies that have anything to do with the manufacturing of that part or component will also benefit. For example, the industry that I am interested in, metal heat treating, will benefit because all metal parts must be heat treated at some point which results in positive business trends for industries that are seemingly unrelated to the automotive business. In my opinion, there are also benefits in having someone who I have known for many years give me guidance and provide experience in the business world. When the time comes to go into business for myself, I now know that he would be an excellent source of knowledge and expertise when starting up a new company. Overall, this project provided me with a little bit of inside knowledge to the world of automotive repair and also with a mentor in the spirit of entrepreneurialism.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 17:27:07

Learning how he started up his business was most meaningful to me because he started off from selling flowers on the streets and now a successful business man. It’s an encouraging story for those who want to start a business; it goes to show that anybody is capable of accomplishing their goals with hard work and dedication. He not only owns flower shops but he also has a water store and shopping centers. It has definitely inspired to continue pursing my goals as an entrepreneur. It may not be as easy as back then but its possible.
Another topic that was most meaningful within this project was gaining advice and knowledge from an entrepreneur. It has helped to further look into what to expect within a business and how to prevent certain issues. His advice about taking an accounting class is very true, it would be smart to have that background if I decide to hire an accountant so I am aware of what numbers should add up to what. I also like the way he promotes his business in various ways because they all seem very successful and it’s a great way to gain relationships with customers who in the end will help spread word about your business.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 17:55:13

This project was really helpful for me because it inspires me to keep going with my business and to never give up. There a lot of things that I didn’t know about business and now with this interview I think my eyes were a little open from so much staff that we got to know to become successful. This encouraged me to also keep reading and be aware of today’s change. Everyday new things come out so I learned that before anything we have to be prepared for what is coming. The best thing that I liked about this project was to see a little bit about my interview’s testimony because it shows me that everything it’s a process and even though knowing that we want to have it done right away I learned that it takes time to get to the point we all want to achieve.

To conclude the interview was a good project. Someday I see myself not only being successful but also being helping others. There are few things about banking staff and credit staff that I still need to know but besides that everything went amazing.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 19:41:19

What was meaningful to me about the project is that I got the chance to go out there and talk to someone that is in the small business division and accumulate the most important information before starting a business. I first thought to myself, “how do these small businesses survive in an area where most of the time you cannot consider a fair competition due to big industries taking all the sales”. Well I was wrong small business can survive and generate large cash flows in this tight economy. I interviewed four small business owners from which only one was able to answer all, the rest seemed like they didn’t have an explanation other than location is what sells. They skimmed through my questions and answered a couple questions, what I learned and from my understanding the best way to have a successful business is to do your homework, set strategies, and provide what others can’t. Jasmine (fake name) owns a tropical fish store and she makes profits ranging from 300k-1m in annual sales; who would ever think a small fish store would make so much profits? She told me she started with a demographic outlook within a radius of 10-15miles, she attended other pet shops to have a full understanding of her competitors, she looked for things that others didn’t provide, again she didn’t go look at retailers nor warehouses, instead went after those who sell the same products and service as her. Jasmine wanted to have a more competitive price, provide better customer satisfaction, have a larger selection of rare fish that are hardly found in the market (legal ones of course) so that her store is the only one that provides what others do not within the same city - kind of a monopoly of owning the city. After talking to Jasmine, I got an insight of tips to be successful in the business world. I plan on starting a business, and going out to interview someone who already has a business (not necessarily a corporation) helped me understand that doing market analysis and strategizing are vital components essential to starting a business. Like many books, she recommends getting family loans rather than bank loans if you don’t have the right capital to start a business – family members are more lenient on the payback method, than banks are.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 20:24:00

The most meaningful thing that I got out of from this project is that I found a lot about how time consuming owning and operating a business could be. When you are barely starting a business you need to be dedicated and focusing constantly on the business. So there really is no leisure time to relax when you are barely starting up your business because your mind is continually thinking about it. Due to the fact that your regularly thinking of the business you do not have as much time to spend with your family as you would like to because your main focus is to build your company up in order for it to run smoothly and prosper in the future. I remember when I was younger and my dad had barely started his business, I would thinking that my father didn’t want to be with my family or me and that’s why he spent so much time away from us. I feel foolish for thinking that way now that I know that starting up consisted a lot of time from him. This project also made me realize that I need to educate and teach my father how to use the Internet. I didn’t realize how much he really needed to use the Internet until he answered one of the questions. The Internet is a very valuable trait that I myself have not taken acknowledge of. I should be grateful that I know how to navigate and use the Internets to my advantage. This project also taught me how starting a business was not as impossible as I would have thought. Starting a business may be very difficult and time consuming but it can be done by almost anyone who is determined.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 20:53:47

After interviewing an entrepreneur for the project he made me realize the full commitment he must put into his store to have another productive business in the society. It is businesses like his that help boost the economy. That’s why it’s important for every entrepreneur to make smart decisions and have the right skills to make another prosperous business for the general public to enjoy. I’m glad I had the opportunity to investigate what a little convenience store goes through in order to succeed. Every store will always have its challenges and prosperous moments. All entrepreneurs have to be prepared for gain as well as for loss. For example my entrepreneur said he had more sales in the summer than any other time of the year. He has learned to distribute that profit wisely and save for months that don’t bring in much profit.
Another meaningful part of the project was learning that technology will always continue to advance. Sometimes this may be positive but other times it can be negative. For example Andy will be getting new ice cream machinery in the summer. Both the customers and he will gain from the change. On the contrary the life span of machinery or the requirement of new machinery because it’s no longer approved by the state will not bring profit for the store owner. It’s good to have new advanced technology when both society and the owner of the business will profit. Overall I had an excellent experience and decided to review my goals for when starting my own business in life.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 21:13:32

I felt this data collected for this was a really good thing to me. I got to communicate with someone one who has created the business and sit down with him on a friend/professional level. After all the questions we talked on about more and more things from how to looks for people that can help you make moves to create whatever you wish to create. I took a lot of this in and I am glad I did, because this really does help me and gives me a stronger ambition to do what I want. He differently showed me how having friends in similar business can really help you be popular in your community. It was very amazing when he showed me this list of people that will refer people to him and he does the same for them.
Overall as an aspiring entrepreneur so much of this information will help me grow. The only thing I wish I got more was challenges he had. The business owner i interviewed was very relaxed and easy going he was not worried about to much of anything. It was cool to see that there still are cases of people who are lucky and have a business growing and no thought in your mind about going under any time soon. He did make some good points to always go for a business that there will always have to be business like in his everyone need to drive there car and it has to be smogged every two years. With the amount of people living in L.A. surrounding cities you will always have a good flow of business if you do it right. The amount of confidence he had was good to see but I felt it could hurt him in the end but I wish the best for him and his business.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 21:25:04

This project was very interesting to me it helped me to get an inside scoop on how the business world really works. I got a lot of useful information that I can use when starting my business. I had to observe all this information and not to forget any of the important things to achieving my goal.
When first starting this project I had a sense on what having a business means and what to do. Yet after this project I know more things that I didn't know before. Much of this new information can come in handy when i have my own business.
It makes me see how difficult it will be, yet I shouldn't give up on my dream to have my own business. In the long run after all my hard work I'm going to have a successful business that I build myself. There is no better feeling then knowing that it was all possible because you believed it and never gave up. I can start to brainstorm little by little my ideas to start up my business and to adjust it day by day. This was a great experience not only for me but for all the other students. I can take a lot from this project even though it might not seem like it.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 21:53:10

The most meaningful about this project would have to be about finding out more of what the owner has to do in order to keep a business healthy and running. As the entrepreneur was interviewed, the information presented were very concise and accurate. Knowing that as a family business made new ways of thinking of the owners life in the business way than a relative. It gave me insight to maybe as a motivation to start my business one day. Learning the essentials, consequences and the hardship being put into a business. Understanding that there are rules and regulations that must follow in order to make a business.
In a family business, the relative can be visualized differently when not at work. A family member, concerning their career, will give a different perspective when discussed about their career. If needed any help to starting a business, there are always a family member who has or had a business that can give any assistance if needed. There are so many assisting sites or people to guide me through for a chance at managing a business. Thus, finding more about the desired business has encouraged me to prepare myself for what has to come. The project has opened a view to new possibilities and exploring what goes beyond it.
Date Submitted: 2013-04-25 22:31:02

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