The Interview Assignment
One of the classes I teach is Introduction to Small Business. This is the beginning class of the certificate and deals with the basic topics of starting and running a business. Twice during the semester I give the students the assignment of interviewing an entrepreneur or business owner to get a “real world” perspective on what it is like to start, run and grow a business. Over the years this assignment, more than any other, has been the most help to students in the initial stages of starting a business. What they learn by doing this assignment gives them the best possible education on the businesses they want to start. They always learn things that I could not teach them, and many times make connections and opportunities that truly help them succeed. In all cases, they are getting the best research possible on starting their dream business.
Whenever I speak to groups on starting a business and mention that I give this assignment and how much the students get out of it, I get asked for the list of questions the students are required to answer. I also get asked such things as:
-How do I approach a business owner?
-Why would they want to help me?
-Should I tell them I’m starting a business just like theirs?
Finally one day it dawned on me that this process of interviewing another business owner in the industry that your new business is in, is another one of these great tools that help new entrepreneurs get the best education and the best research to help their new business succeed. But in order for this tool to be truly effective, it needs more explanation than just a list of questions to ask. The whole process needs to be drawn out and explained in detail. This is exactly what this book does!
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