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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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One important aspect that I learned from this interview process is to make sure that I always have a backup plan as far as money for when the money flow stops and the consumer’s stops buying as much product. Also, make sure that I always have a comfortable buffer to keep paying bills, as well as paying employees to keep the business running smoothly and to avoid strikes and bankruptcy. This is important because without spare money saved up there are a number of things that can go wrong such as machinery or air conditioning breaking down or even the possibility of a break in. It is essential to plan ahead for mishaps such as these.

Another aspect that I learned from this was to make sure to learn and study all of the different aspects of business. Including how to make a business plan or buying a business. Also, keep in mind surveying the area for other competition before deciding on where to place a business. This is also important to keep in mind when pricing items, because if you price to high the customers will go elsewhere and the business will lose money as well as valued customers.
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 20:34:16

The most meaningful about this project was getting to talk to a real business owner and getting a feel of business in the real world. Having the chance to interview a business owner really made me feel nervous at first but I learned so much from it. On my interview I got to know how the person came up into the business world and during the interview it showed me that if I have an idea and I pursue it I can be successful. This project was really unique and perfect for all upcoming entrepreneurs, because there are people willing to share their story. This is great too because now we can seek mentors knowing there are a lot willing to help us. I really look forward to reading the many more interviews my class mates are going to share.Talking to business owners is a good way to get our feet wet and really encouraged me to pursue a business path.

On the other hand I also got to see that it is not that easy and requires patience. This is good to know because I can mentally prepare myself ahead to be ready for whatever comes my way. I also get to learn from the mistakes made,from the business owner I interviewed, and get learn from them. This is the beauty of the project it lets us see the mistakes made in the real world, letting us strategize for what lies ahead. It also gave me an idea of different subjects I should have knowledge on when I know what I want. Everything I learned from this interview can be used as an advantage as far as preparation and getting started on my business. I can always seek out help and look back on this having some sort of guidance, because business does not mean your in it alone.
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 20:43:23

I really appreciated that he gave fantastic responses and really knew what he was talking about. He knows about trial and error and what it takes to make a business succeed. Starting at a very young age was able to not only learn from his father he became self-educated and self-aware and was able to educate his brother when he joined the company. I can only imagine the amount of pride one would feel when they’ve achieved something they’ve strived for, for so long.
When it came to the portion of the interview where I asked him to provide advice to aspiring entrepreneurs his response was more than favorable. How he came at the question with truth and experience and it tied it up with a quote at the end, in my opinion there was no better way he could have closed out our interview.
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 21:30:13

The first and probably most meaningful thing about this project to me is the knowledge that I have learned from it. and the most important thing that I have learned from it would be the best way to start my own business. The man that I interview told me that he has owned many other businesses and have sold them when he was done with them at a nice profit. This told me that he really knew what he was doing. When he told me about small business association I was intrigued because this told me that there was not only one source to borrow from to start up with. I also learned from this experience about the many difficulties the I could face when or if I end up starting my own business. During the interview the I had with this entrepreneur from all his business he says that having knowledge of your trade is one of the most important things, and the other thing is to always have a hook to draw in more customers because he told me that gaining new customers is one of the most difficult thing to do. The information that I learned is some of the most valuable I will use in the future.

Another important thing that I am going to take away from this is the type of entrepreneur that I can be. By this I mean that I can not only just own a business and stick with it this means that I can buy existing businesses and clean them up and make them better than they are and then turn around and sell them for a nice profit all while owning it making a normal businesses profit. The entrepreneur that I interviewed has done this multiple time with various businesses. The entrepreneur that I interviewed introduces me to some of his friends that also bought and harvested them for a living. This entrepreneur also told me how to do this way of being a harvesting entrepreneur. He said that you would want to find similar businesses like what he did when he want to coin laundry from coin wash. He said the moving in to similar businesses will help with the transition and I thought that with how successful he has been then it seemed and sounded like good advice. Finding out that there was multiple ways of being an entrepreneur was a very enlightening thing.

Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 21:39:14

What I felt was most meaningful about this project was the clear understanding of what it takes to market a product that new and different even if the idea already exist. For myself I am currently working and trying my very best to start-up my label, so interviewing someone like [name removed], a person I feel I share a great deal of common ground and passion with. His insight on business from an owner’s perspective helped me realize where I need to do my homework a little more and what I am prepared to release to the public about my ideas. This project also gave me a true reality as to what it takes to really make it as a entrepreneurial business, the constant preparation and planning that needs to be done all the time in order to truly be ahead of the competition. His pointers were very helpful and I will without a doubt look back at this project for guidance when I start my venture as a business owner myself.
I did also learn what not to do from this project. [Name removed] currently is not doing as prosperous as I had imagined from working with them two years ago. I was a young man working in there sales department of the company, that year we did very well for being only their second year in business. We made some very valuable connecting and transactions that I had imagined would have brought much more success two years down the line. It goes to show me this, having a proper marketing plan is the most important part of a business. Without one, you honestly never know where your headed or where you had come from. It seemed to me that they had constantly got lucky that people had found interest in the company’s products without having much idea what they wanted or who they were trying to market to. What that taught me was to always know where as a company and business I am headed and where our company fits in. It’s fine to want to step into a new idea but make sure it has a demographic. All in all I very much enjoyed this opportunity to learn what it truly means to be an entrepreneur and what it takes to conduct a prosperous business.
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 21:48:15

Before this project I have never had the opportunity to interview anyone and I never thought I would be interviewing an entrepreneur either. Therefore, the experience gave me a good idea of what it’s like for employers. It fascinated me to find that there is so much more to having a business than I thought when I first began. The most meaningful thing I find about all of this is the amount of dedication, commitment and effort thats put into making a successful business a reality. This project definitely was a bit difficult when it came down to the actual interview because my interviewee spoke only spanish and I had to translate and ask for as many details as I possibly could get. Also, my interviewee was having busy hours at the time but they still agreed to the interview and I really appreciate that.
Another thing that I enjoyed about the project is learning about the amount of planning done constantly. It reminded me of playing checkers or chess, some people have the ability to think up to twenty moves ahead and that takes a lot of effort. In the end, I’m glad I was given this project because it also helped support everything I have learned so far in both of my business related classes. I definitely feel a lot wiser and it has made me eager to learn more about the business world. Also, I was glad to hear that many entrepreneurs look out for each other and help one another. Meaning that they have friendly competition within themselves because they both want their business to thrive. It makes sense to want to help others do the same with their own businesses.
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 21:48:44

The most meaningful thing I took from this interview was learning how hard it is to start a business and you must have determination so you do not fail at your business. If you are not resilient, and afraid to fail then having your own business is not for you. You must have the income or resources needed to start any business or you can go into debt. What I also learned was to be financed 80% by a bank, 15% by crowd funding and 5% from personal income so no one can own 100% of my business. Although, the person I interviewed recommends dropping out of school if needed, I do not recommend that advice. I believe school is important to achieve better goals, learn about small business, and be better preparing for any future choices I have to make.
I also learned that advertising your business is important so that it would keep you connected to your community and the needs of the consumer. The community where your business is located and keeping the customer’s content is very important to the growth of your company. Focusing on world economics, local economics as well as past mistakes and achievements from others in my field will be beneficial for my business. Financial problems are constant but being aware of your Overhead expenses and trying not to break even is necessary in any profession. Special features as online inventory checklist will help document all inventories on hand and items that might need ordering as well as keeping track of inventory that sales the most or least. The person I interviewed gave me a sound tip, “If you decrease expenses by 11% you would increase profit by 50%.”
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 23:04:25

From this project, I have a lot of information that I can take away because what I was able to type was only a small portion of what the interviewee was able to say about the topic. It seems apparent that experienced entrepreneurs are a wealth of information. I think this interview personally was helpful for both myself and the interviewee. For the interviewee, the authenticity of the answers revealed in some of these responses is pure marketing gold (the story of how it started as a hobby he enjoys with his wife is a beautiful story). It’s a story that can have an effect in advertising for the firm. From there, he also mentioned several things that anyone could resonate with (based on the responses). Particularly, the importance of experience and an educational foundation helps formulate a strategy for a prospective entrepreneur such as myself. It’s very helpful in planning a next move, and based on the responses given by the interviewee, my focus is on credit building and acquiring education.

Of course he was not able to share how the idea to get into business really came at him other than just a hobby but I’m on the same boat. I have a history of being successful in high school as a club entrepreneur from launching new clubs generating funding but, I just went with the flow. I don’t know what startup I want to launch but I know how to plan for a dream I have in business. What the interviewee mentioned about acquiring funding such as building credit and acquiring an education gives me a plan to put into action while I wait for the right idea that hasn’t presented itself in front of me to come along. We both feel, it’s a better strategy than just waiting. It's time to focus correcting what I don't know.
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 23:42:52

8. This was the first time interviewed an entrepreneur. It may be very far from the type of industry I would ever partake in but I learned that I shared a lot in common with [Name Removed]. She has a business that continues to grow in a manner that has kept her and her family afloat for a long period of time. Our interview was too short. I felt that there was much more to learn. As mentioned before, I don’t stand a chance in the beauty or barber business. But I learned that there is so much in the development stages that are similar to the type of business that I want to start. Marketing, research, finding your customers, saving money and staying ahead of my competition are key elements to the first few years. The relationship she has with her vendors seemed to stand out the most in the interview. No matter the industry one goes into, vendor relations plays a significant roles. If I were to open my specialty coffee roaster business in the near future, I learned that vendors, suppliers and other product specialists are vital for growth. I also learned that being your own boss is a lot more work than one would expect. There were many realistic expectations that business owners rely on from their staff. Choosing the perfect staff can pose more of a challenge that I ever would have thought. But I have accepted the fact that everyone is not always as qualified as they say they are. This assignment was exciting. I experienced a day in the life from a perspective that I hope to one day have. It was easier than I thought to ask an entrepreneur these questions and get first-hand responses that will hopefully one day be passed down to a student like me.
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 23:43:24

This project was a great experience I’ve never had the chance or thought to have a conversation with a business owner like this so it was very informative. Thankfully my interviewee was a buddy of mine so I can continue to go to him for advice and have him as one of my mentors. What was most meaningful to me about this project was that it got me seriously thinking about what it is I want to do and this helped me to realize how achievable it is for me to one day, hopefully soon start a business of my own and be my own boss. I’ve worked under people in a couple jobs and it’s never been something that I enjoy and I believe most would agree that its not that great having managers over your shoulder telling you to do this or that or knowing the store owner is watching you. I’ve never been a fan of this, thankfully now I’m an independent contractor and now have much more freedom and space, this has given me a taste of what it would be like to own my own business and I want more, more control more security this is what I desire and this project has helped me to see that even clearer
Date Submitted: 2014-10-23 23:45:55

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