The best way to gain the specific skills which can help you succeed in business is through real-world experience. As a college student, you are learning the fundamentals of accounting, marketing, general business principles and the like. Yet, most of that information is only useful when applied to actual situations wherein services are exchanged for money.
As you work your way through your undergraduate studies, consider starting your own business within a reputable, time-proven, highly successful company. Pursuing an “auxiliary education” can provide you with the practical skills gained from hands-on experience which will allow you to excel in the fast-paced, competitive world of business.
College Works has developed a widespread professional network which uses a turnkey business model to teach participants about leadership skills, business ethics, communication skills, organizational management and sales principles which cannot be imparted in a traditional classroom setting. The mechanics of these business fundamentals can be applied to any profession while giving young people an edge over their peers when they are ready to leave the university and enter the highly-competitive world of business.
Lead the Way
One of the main characteristics of an effective leader is the ability to motivate others to take action. Managing a business which involves a team of workers is an excellent way to take the principles of leadership into the field and learn how you can make them work for you. A College Works internship provides an opportunity to learn the highly sought-after fundamentals of leadership and how to apply it in the real world.
True leaders motivate others to take action, whether it is on their own behalf or for the greater goodwill of an organization. Your painting business will provide the set and setting to see this phenomenon in action — which starts with your initial call to action at the onset of every project or workday.
Learn Honesty and Integrity
Running a business, especially a house painting enterprise with multiple parties involved requires transparency. You will learn to begin every professional relationship with full disclosure of all details pertinent to each individual and to maintain the integrity of your communication by giving the same information about bids, timelines and such to all concerned parties. This is a rare and valuable asset in the business world and gaining experience in College Works on how to “shoot straight” can serve you well beyond the classroom.
As you take on jobs during your internship, your managerial role will require that you see the big picture on each account and where it fits into your workflow. Being able to step back from the nuts and bolts of business and see where the current trajectory is taking you is a major part of learning to be a leader.
Curate Communication Skills
Effective communication between all aspects and levels of a business is key to success. As a College Works manager intern, you will quickly learn that being as specific as possible and repeating exact facts, timelines, numbers, and expectations to workers and clients can and will save lots and lots of headaches, backtracking and wasted time and energy.
Lead by Example
As a manager, circumstances will arise that require immediate, decisive action in order to be resolved. This opportunity will offer plenty of instances where someone needs to make a plan, delegate responsibilities, and get the ball rolling by rolling up their sleeves and getting into the work. This part of leadership ties into the motivational aspect yet is defined by the fact that it must be applied actively rather than in theory.
Decide with Clarity
While delegation is an important aspect of leadership, as the manager of your own College Works team, there are some decisions that you alone can make. This is because, as the owner/operator, you have more information about all aspects of every account — unlike anyone else. This part of leadership also involves gathering as much information as possible, which involves listening attentively to what others have to say and adding that intel to your cache of knowledge so that you can make the best decisions possible in any given situation.
Sound Business Ethics
Successfully conducting commerce — especially over a period of months and/or years — requires a solid understanding of business ethics and why observing them is important. These policies and practices serve as a road map for navigating controversial issues that you will inevitably encounter in the business world. Such concerns include discrimination, bribery, corporate culture, fiduciary responsibility and transparency. How you interact with employees, subcontractors, the government and customers will reflect your business ethics and in turn, will reflect the general perception of you and your company by the community at large.
It is important that you present a forward-facing professional identity (as a disclaimer on all hiring messages and personnel literature) which states that you do not, in any way, discriminate against race, religion, sex, gender identity, nationality, age, medical history or disability. As a College Works manager working in proximity to an institution of higher learning, you will no doubt encounter a diverse variety of people from every imaginable background. Your internship will help you develop a healthy sense of how to be inclusive in your actions, politically correct in your speech and thorough in your considerations.
It is also essential that you state that any and all necessary changes will be made for applicants and employees who need special workplace accommodations for religious or medical reasons, as the law requires. This means, in your painting business as well as future endeavors, you will make any reasonable requested changes to the workplace environment that a person with religious observations asks for or someone with a physical condition needs.
This business ethic is more of an unstated principle; however, it must be ingrained in your mindset during everyday transactions and interactions that corrupt practices will not be utilized, tolerated or entertained in any way. In your College Works experience, by associating with other entrepreneurs, you will learn to engender a workplace culture wherein others are not influenced unethically, illegally or dishonestly.
As a College Works business manager, you will learn to implement your business ethics through the sort of company culture you establish. As a leader, you will be able to set the tone and attitude of your company as a whole. This will determine how your employees (subcontractors) react to you as well as your clients. Your association will currently successful managers will help you learn to define and establish company culture, will serve you exponentially in future business ventures.
The College Works turnkey business model as well as guidance from your extended management team will show you how to properly account for profit and loss (P & L) assets, expenditures and accounts receivable. You will also learn the proper way to file taxes and accurately claim business expenses while taking advantage of any and all tax credits you may qualify for, and as a student working your way through school, there will be plenty.
Your College Works painting business and your interactions with those who train you will teach you how to be transparent in your dealings with customers, suppliers, investors, partners and employees (subcontractors). This simply means that all your transactions, since they will be legal, upstanding and legitimate, will be available to anyone should evidence of your business practices be requested.
A large percentage of the problems that arise during the course of doing business do so because of poor communication. Your College Works Management Internship will demonstrate the importance of being clear, concise, consistent, objective, relevant and understanding when imparting any sort of information — whether it be through verbal or written means — to colleagues, employees, partners, investors, and customers. Clear communication is the cornerstone of successfully conducting business, and you will have many opportunities a day to practice and master this all-important skill.
It is important to write and speak in simple, easy to understand terms. Although your vocabulary is undoubtedly expanding in your post- high school years, business is best carried out when all parties are crystal clear on what the terms of the current agreement are and exactly what roles each party is expected to play. Throughout your College Works experience, you will learn to conduct business using straight, direct language and to reinforce each transaction by reiterating the original message.
The ability to be thorough yet brief in your communications, whether they are via telephone, email or in person is — in essence — a time management tool. As you apply this skill to your business, you will set a tone with colleagues and clients that tells them you are not interested in getting bogged down in unrelated matters or spending precious time having a casual chit chat. As there is a time and place for everything, your business will flourish when you spend time at work handling work-related matters and saving socializing for another time.
Success of your painting business will also rely not only on consistency of service (the end product) but of your work habits and your messaging. You will learn to deliver top notch work, to conduct yourself with professionalism at every turn and to keep the same tone and content in your advertising as well as in your daily work-related discussions.
The professionalism instilled by the College Works organization will teach you to be fair and impartial when conducting business. This lesson helps avoid the pitfalls of subjectivity — which can cause people to make decisions and judgements based on emotion rather than logic. Being objective helps maintain a rational mind, especially when the inevitable situation arises where there are obstacles to overcome.
Staying on-topic when communicating with clients, other managers, colleagues and employees helps maintain the aforementioned qualities of clarity and conciseness. As an intern/manager, you will learn to stick to the matters at hand and to avoid wavering from one subject to another — as such a tendency has been proven time and again to hinder the progress of completing a project, finishing a transaction or closing a sale.
One of the top business ethics in the arena of communication is learning how to be understanding. As a manager of your own painting business, you will encounter situations where a subcontractor or a client has an extenuating circumstance that somehow delays or disrupts a project. You will learn to listen to them attentively until they have explained themselves thoroughly and to express a sufficient, professional level of empathy. Then you can begin to implement solutions in order to get business back on track.
Another key principle you will learn during the course of your College Works internship is how to effectively manage an organization. Your leadership skills will be an important component of this facet of your business, and additionally, you will learn how to implement planning, execution and delegation.
In this phase of managing your internship business, you will learn to utilize schedules and timelines to maximum effect. Here, you will learn to identify and procure project details such as staffing, equipment and materials and you will learn to approximate the necessary time required to complete a project. Through this process, you will develop an understanding of how well-made plans increase the chances of a smooth execution.
In this stage of organizational management, you will reap the fruits of your planning by carrying out the work. Here, every facet of accomplishing the project will be handled including the prep work (taping and cleaning of surfaces), application of all shades and necessary coats of paint and a thorough cleanup of the job site.
Many times, as a project manager, you will find there is more work than one person can accomplish over a reasonable period of time. This is when, in your painting business internship, you will learn to assign certain tasks to people who work for you. Your leadership skills will be fine-tuned here, as you will need to be on-site to lead by example, yet there are other facets of a job that must also be tended to such as quality assurance of the work, follow up with the client and collection of payment.
This part of your College Works manager internship will define how you are perceived personally and professionally and encapsulates leadership, management, understanding, clarity, conciseness, transparency and just about every other principle mentioned above.
Ethical selling is ensuring that, as you present your services to the community at large, every customer and prospect is treated with honesty, integrity, fairness and respect. As a marketer of your own business, you will learn to be considerate to the experience of others as they interact with you rather than pushing your agenda on them. You will achieve success by making honest claims, not disparaging others and utilizing a “serve don’t sell” approach.
When explaining how your painting service can benefit a potential client, it is crucial that you make honest claims. While exaggerating might help close a sale, the proof will be in the end result. If your assertions don’t add up to the visual proof of your work, the customer will probably let you know about it along with everyone else they know including friends, neighbors and family. Instead, if you are forthright with your explanation of how your service can improve the look and curb appeal of their property, they will have reasonable expectations and they just might send you referrals.
As a business offering a popular service, you will no doubt encounter competition in the marketplace. In your College Works internship, you will learn the merits of not talking poorly about your competitors. Many prospects, as a negotiation tool, will test your integrity by asking why they should pick your service over “the other guys.” Rather than disparage another company, you can use the instance as an opportunity to explain why your service stands out and how you are dedicated to quality and excellence. You can also cite glowing testimonials from previous clients of College Works Painting and perhaps highlight what makes your service unique.
Lastly, your internship will give you ample opportunity to test and perfect the “serve don’t sell” approach to business. This method is based on the idea that you are serving people by helping them make informed decisions. This lifts the pressure of ever having to utilize the much antiquated “herd sell” method by prequalifying your prospects, establishing that they are interested in your service, letting them know how you can help them and giving them a bid for the project.
A life-changing experience in learning business management skills through hands-on application awaits you with College Works. Contact us to learn more about a management internship that can help you pay for school while giving you a razor-sharp edge in business for when you graduate and enter the professional world.