Archive for the ‘Business Tips’ Category

Free Business Resources You May Not Know About

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

college studentsI love sharing free business resources with other businesses, especially when I know that they are very valuable and little known or underutilized. This is one that fits both of those bills.

Not every small business has the ability to hire budding young talent to breathe a bit of fresh thinking and youthful perspective into their business. Did you know that most colleges and universities have programs available to you that allow you to have students work on projects for you as part of their course studies?

Many diploma courses require placements or projects in the final semester to be completed in the real world to allow the professors to judge whether their students have a working knowledge of their industry and to gain some hands-on experience. This is a win-win situation for all who participate.

The businesses gain valuable man-hours or completed projects that they normally would have had to pay for and the students gain experience dealing with the demands of the workplace and practice putting their education to work. If they perform well, they may be hired on at the end of their course studies or at the very least gain a much needed work reference for their resume.

  • Last year, we had a team of three students from the Computer Sciences course assigned to our project. They built a membership website for us and did some modifications to our shopping cart. In return, we provided feedback to help the professor grade and evaluate the students and we gave glowing references to them which resulted in them being hired right out of college.
  • This year we have a team of two college students building a mobile app.
  • We will also have a university student in the Marketing course doing an internship with us. He/she will work one day per week on-site strategizing and implementing marketing campaigns for us. If he is successful, we will consider hiring him at the end of the internship.

As a small business owner, it is important to take advantage of all of the free business resources available to you, especially if they are as valuable as this one! You would be surprised just what is available to you. Contact your local college or university (or both) and find out what types of courses have free internships or projects that might be suitable to your business.

Don’t be discouraged if you are not selected on your first attempt. We were accepted on our second try and once you get accepted, and providing it is a positive experience, you are pretty much assured of acceptance ever year afterwards. That has been our experience.

 

Please share your thoughts on this post and whether you think it would help your business in the comments below.