An Eager & Innovative Workforce
Local colleges and universities are a goldmine for useful information, entrepreneurial assistance and eager employees for small businesses.
Cal Poly and Cuesta are both proactive in creating entrepreneurial curriculum and preparing students for local internships and jobs. Take advantage of the opportunities your local educational institutions provide and build relationships with the schools, students, alumni and staff.
Academia is a place of innovation and an ongoing source of new ideas and manpower. All good things to add more of to your small business.
Are you taking advantage of the resources available at local higher education institutions?
You don’t have to visit campus to know there is a huge pool of eager rockstars anxious to put their learn by doing philosophy to practical use.
LinkedIn, Facebook and university website’s are brimming with bright students looking for their first experience in their chosen field. All you have to do is commit to giving them a chance and they’ll probably come find you.
Whether you have a dedicated plan for maximizing university resources or not, here are a few ideas for you to start or add to the mix.
7 Ways To Leverage University Resources
- Visit The Small Business Development Center – Most universities have a small business development center that provides “quality business assistance for both start-ups and established companies”. Partially funded by the Small Business Administration, the SBDC helps entrepreneurs launch companies, attract capital investment and create jobs. Check out the Cal Poly SBDC for free consultations and workshops.
- Visit Career Services – University career services gives you access to students looking for jobs and internships and the opportunity for your business to play a larger role in student career development. Visit Cal Poly Career Services for career fair information, job postings, prospective interns and more.
- Volunteer For A Senior Project – Many schools, including Cal Poly, require students to complete a senior project in order to graduate. The insights you learn about your business through this research can lead to great opportunity or growth. Create senior project opportunities for students including any number of marketing tasks like market research, graphic design, software development or copywriting.
- Sit In On A Class – You’re not going to get any credit, but you just might learn a couple of new tricks by sitting in on marketing or other classes related to your business. The more technical, the better. Participate with the students and soak up their enthusiasm and new ways of looking at things.
- Partner With Greeks – Local fraternity and sorority houses are constantly looking for ways to give back to the community and work together with local businesses. Develop a public relations plan with Greek organizations that raises awareness and does some good for a needy cause.
- Develop Focus Groups – It’s always a good idea to test new products, services and even marketing tactics before rolling them out in full. Give coupons, freebies or even class credit to student focus groups you develop on campus, at your business or online.
- Develop New Products Or Services – Local college students are a large demographic that’s hard to ignore for any business and they have considerable purchasing power thanks to their parents. Even if you don’t currently have products aimed at students, ask them for ideas to change that.
Instead of struggling to find new customers or inspiration for new innovations, look to your local colleges and universities.
A constantly renewing source of manpower, information, ideas and ideals are readily available and eager to help your business and community.