Finding summer employment is a stressful endeavour for many university and college students. Not only are we pressured to find a well-paying job that can support our education and spending habits, but also a job that offers valuable experience relevant to our studies. With many of the 1.9 million post-secondary students in Canada looking for summer employment, competition is fierce in a job market already saturated with recent graduates looking for work. Rather than settling for unrewarding jobs that don’t build desirable skills, many students are now taking an alternative route and starting their own small businesses instead.
While starting a business may be an attractive alternative to a summer spent organizing filing cabinets or folding t-shirts, the experience means more than just having a flexible schedule without an irritable supervisor. Starting a business still requires determination, motivation and of course, an idea.
Entrepreneurship Can Be Sweet
Taylor Toll, Lindsay Wheeler, and Stephanie Fricke are three university students in Wilford, Connecticut that have been operating their own ice cream truck company, College Creamery, for the past three summers since their freshman year. With a personal loan from Wheeler’s parents, they bought a plain white ice cream truck and transformed it into their own startup venture.
In addition to working up to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, the ladies also do special events. This includes private parties, birthdays, weddings, and corporate events. Earning up to $1,000 a day, College Creamery helps Toll, Wheeler, and Fricke pay for a part of their tuition, books, and personal expenses. While the women admit that the work is hard and that they have questioned their decision to start a business, they all agree that the startup has provided them with many valuable skills for the future.
It Takes Skill To Start Up
Starting and running your own business can help you develop skills such as leadership, marketing, networking, financing, and strategic decision-making. Rather than performing repetitive tasks every day, running a startup is a multi-faceted experience. As the owner of a business, you’re not only responsible for daily operations, but also marketing your business, managing your team, meeting investors, and keeping track of your budgets and expenses.
Richard Branson, billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of Virgin, claims that delegation skills were crucial for the success and growth of his company. Virgin now employs over 50,000 people, and although your business may at first consist solely of you and a friend, efficient delegation and leadership will help you grow your business the same way that Richard Branson did: by capitalizing on the ideas, initiative, and skills of everyone involved with you. Starting a business may at first seem like a daunting task, but the skills you develop, the relationships you build, and the money you make all culminate to a rewarding experience.
This summer, forget about finding a summer job and start your own small business. Gain a broader experience and reap the benefits that come with being your own boss. Who knows, maybe your summer startup will become the next big thing!