Ben Tees: Who am I as an entrepreneur?

My Life

First things first, I am a current student at Acadia University going into my 3rd year of studying business administration. I grew up in Bedford, Nova Scotia where I have lived my whole life. From a young age, I began doing work around the house including lawn cutting, raking etc. After continuing this work, I began to find my work streaming house to house on the street I lived on and after a few years, I was mowing lawns for half the houses on the street. This is where I found my passion for entrepreneurial work. The most attractive aspects to being an entrepreneur, in my opinion, is having the control over choosing WHO you work with, WHAT line of work you do, WHERE you will be working, and HOW you will complete the task at hand. Thus after completing my first year at Acadia University, I co-created Student Lawn Care.

 

Who is SLC?

Student Lawn Care (SLC) was run by a fellow Acadia student and myself. SLC ran out of Bedford, Nova Scotia but completed work throughout the entire HRM. We offered a variety of services from simple lawn mowing or garden clean up all the way up to re-sodding the entire lawn. Throughout our marketing process, Vistaprint was a huge resource; we ordered business cards, signs, posters, and car magnets all with the purpose to sell SLC to customers. I use the words “sell SLC” because there will always be plenty of options for customers when choosing lawn services, so when we are given the chance to work for a customer, it is our personal SLC service we are being paid for, not just the task at hand.

 

Personal Key Success Factors

1. Customer Service– In a highly competitive market, you as an entrepreneur need to differ yourself from the competition to survive. Customer service is a great way to do so. Through my experience, we thrived on making the customer happy and this created great relationships along with word-of-mouth marketing, which showed through the amount of work we had lined up.

2. Positive Attitude– Being the heart and soul behind a small business, you may begin to realize the workload piles up very fast. In my mind, you can look at this work in two ways.
a. I have to do this work or else my company will fail OR
b. Completing this work will allow my company to grow and thrive
Both of these outcomes relate to completing work, but b. resembles keeping your mind in a positive state and no matter the situation, this will be a major key in the success of your company.

3. Don’t be picky– Work is work. As a start-up, especially in the lawn care business, some days were better than others but the bottom line is that it was work. Every work experience offered something new to learn and my partner and I thrived on this. I would strongly recommend this mentality to any entrepreneur looking at starting their own business as it may be the lifeblood to your company.

 

Current employment

I am currently enrolled in the co-op program at Acadia University and have been given the chance to bring and improve my entrepreneurial skillset to the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre (AEC) for my first co-op work term. This will give me a chance to experience my first job within an office, along with the ability to expand on my entrepreneurial efforts and not just in terms of personal successes, but also improving my ability to help other entrepreneurs succeed with their current vision. In addition to that, I am also looking to improve my communication/writing skills throughout the work term to maximize the effectiveness of my communication with future clients/customers.

 

For those pursuing entrepreneurial visions or have interest in the life of an entrepreneur, check out the launchbox page for new blogs that may interest you!

If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to contact me at ben.tees@acadiau.ca

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