By Diane Carter
Getting started in small business ventures requires building networks of like-minded people who are able to discuss business strategies and chart individual successes and failures together.
Have you ever wanted to be your own boss, or start a small business from scratch? If this is your goal, communication about what does and doesn’t work in a business startup could be the key to your success.
The fifteen members of the Entrepreneurship Club share ideas about what it takes to be in business during their campus meetings every Tuesday in MUB 250 at the City College Ocean Campus from 4 to 5 p.m.
I met with the members of the Entrepreneur Club on Oct. 26 at a Halloween lunchtime fundraiser they were hosting. Some members of the club dressed up in Halloween costumes to market the event.
The faculty advisor for the club, Michael Needham of the business department, has a special interest in small business finance. Needham works with the club members who committed to the process of becoming their own boss.
Under the leadership of the faculty advisor, officers of the club practice applying marketing principles – especially those used in determining product price, placement and promotion.
“In a nutshell, we are treating our club like a business,” club President Ted Manahan said.
Central to a successful business is the ability of the owners and management and employees to perform what business students call a “Lessons Learned” assessment. Club members always discuss what strategies work and what strategies fail during each planned event.
Club members track the progress of each task that is assigned to them by using a project management tool provided by Google called “Asana.” One benefit of using this software is that members always know what other members of their club have completed toward the club’s common objectives.
Like every recognized club at City College, the Entrepreneurship Club has a president, a treasurer, an Inter Club Council representative (ICC), and vice president.
Manahan is a business major, who has had previous experience in project management and in the fields of automotive and solar industries.
He enrolled in City College this semester to gain experience in forming and leading teams of individuals to create and run new small businesses, and hopes to launch a startup business that will offer tutoring in math and science to aspiring students.
Vice President Chase Lopez is a former Marine aircraft mechanic and residential electrician. Lopez is currently a business major, but hopes to transfer to marketing, and attend SFSU or UC Berkeley.
“Follow your dreams and have confidence. It will take you anywhere you want in life,” Lopez said.
Treasurer Miriam Rene makes sure that the finances which the club generates are well accounted for. Her main interest in the club is learning techniques that will build her personal business as a financial coach.
“Being a member… has helped me build my business,” Rene said.
ICC Representative Ben Louis-Jean is a computer science major interested in advertising that will benefit his limo company.
Louis-Jean works for the student club, and was instrumental in creating the visual media poster shown with this article.
Members of the club sum up the purpose of their organization as follows, “The strength of our group is in the unity of our club members who are passionate about following their dreams.”