Last updated on May 6, 2018 - My Free Marketing newsletter 👀
It all started out when I saw many freshmen at UC Berkeley unable to get summer jobs.
I asked: How can I take advantage of people who are super smart but can’t get an internship?
I decided to create a local business consulting company. Why?
Over the course of two months, we contacted major companies through the college’s alumni list.
The very first gig we got was for Dell computers. We helped dell recruit students. After that we began advising local businesses about their menus and on-campus marketing.
A great tip for anyone to use (in school or not) is to start off doing stuff for FREE to build your expertise, client base (for repeat business), and testimonials (for new business).
This is something we encouraged in our old course that helped people create a $1,000 a month business.
We grew to a small army of 20 people doing this consulting. Then one day, Kenny (an intern) suggested we do a student discount card.
There are about 5 prototypical student businesses: selling credit cards, discount cards, t-shirt company, tutoring company and something with booze.
The year before, a company did a discount card and it was wildly popular over campus but they decided not to do again.
I figured it wouldn’t really cost us a lot and would be good to keep some of the (unpaid) interns busy.
A few of the key things to note about this business:
We ended up getting about 20 businesses together on the first Ninja card. We sold them for $10/each.
The keys for growing a business in college:
Ultimately, we spread across 5 campuses and generated $50,000 within a year. Not bad for a senior (me) and some freshmen.
Since then I’ve been an early employee at Facebook and Mint, plus I started 2 multi-million dollar businesses. A LOT of people have asked me how I started those businesses.
Instead of repeating myself over and over I created the solution to get you your own business.
If you want the blueprint to start your own business, personal support, and access to a community of 3,000+ entrepreneurs, take a look at “the FREE Sumo tools.
Dude, how did you get buyers to the landing page? Is that the main way you sold the cards? I'm in college and I wanna do this!
Noah great post, I try to preach this to all of my students. Many universities just don't deliver knowledge like this, they treat entrepreneurship like a formal class, and don't see the value in instilling mentalities like this.
Oy vey. I like your thinking, Noah. I'm reading (and writing) a lot about the growth hacker's mindset (although I am more interested in the hacker's) and I gotta say, I'll include you in some of my case study analyses. Good stuff, keep up the tacos! 😀
Doing things for free is a good thing to start BUT ... make sure you understand the value you are giving to people.
I had the problem of giving webinar away for free thinking it will help people and in the end, free things did not make them commit to it ...
Lesson learnt though!
Noah! Thanks for a great post. Wish I had known this 8 years ago!
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