Dedication, determination and dependability are three characteristics that have allowed me to celebrate my first year in business with Inspiring Students To Excel In Higher Education. Who are we? We are a scholarship and financial planning organization that works with U.S. college bound and enrolled college students ages 16-23. I am a current business owner with 15 years of experience in consultant work with small business banking owners throughout the United States. The two businesses relate, because they are centered around financial planning and saving money.
Timing is very important when starting a new business. During the past year, I began to pay more attention to various news stories about college tuitions on the rise, states cutting more funds and students struggling to stay in college due to financial problems. What could I do to help? Helping parents and students locate scholarships is a gift that I acquired many years ago dating back to my high schoool years. As a high school student, I worked as an assistant to the librarian within the Social Science department of a library in Ohio. Our department consisted of numerous books on locating scholarships, grants and fellowships. So, this resourceful information became a passion of mine at the age of 15. So, please allow me to take you on a tour of my companys first year in business.
June 2011 – I attended a very uplifting business conference which dealt with understanding your “gifts”. After attending this conference; I realized that I had placed too many apples on my plate over the years and was not properly utilizing my gifts that I’ve been blessed with. So, I prayed about a vision and began to write down ideas within my journal. I began to think about what I could do to help impact the lives of young people within the United States who were college bound and enrolled college students. My vision was to teach students on how to financially prepare for their college education and careers. So, I called a close friend and shared my vision along with the name of the company and after a week of meditating – we both agreed that our existing name would be most fitting and descriptive concerning our purpose.
July 2011 – Our business plan was created along with setting up a Tax Accountant, Legal Counsel, and other important business tasks.
August 2011 -Our business was incorporated as a LLC and we created our first scholarship for our high school alma mater St. Ursula Academy.
September 2011 – We began working on creating material to go onto our website. Boy was that a job! (smiles). Once our domain name was saved; business cards were ordered.
January 2012 – Our website went live www.inspiringstudentstoexcel.com and we were quite excited, so we began to contact high school counselors and scholarship foundations to inform them about our service by inviting them to our website.
March 2012 – I visited my first school to speak with high school juniors and seniors about our program. Students were very receptive and had several questions about our program.
July 2012 – We started reviewing applications coming in from students at St. Ursula Academy who were applying for our $500 scholarship toward their tuition. We received some really great essays to read. The essay questions that students had to respond to dealt with their community service, goals in life and how an education at their school would benefit their future plans in life.
August 2012 – We awarded our first $500 scholarship to a student showing financial need at St. Ursula Academy.
September 2012 – I attended a networking event for women and enjoyed meeting many business owners. During this particular event I received a new speaking invitation, was invited to participate in the Marketing For Trailblazers Seminar and gained a new customer all in one day. – Wow! There are truly some benefits to networking. (smiles)
October 2012 – I attended an annual event where the publisher of a magazine called People You Need To Know promotes women business owners. I was highly impressed to see all of the various women being recognized during this event for their years of accomplishments. I began to read over one of the magazines and was highly impressed by many of the personal interest stories of these women in business. So, I later thought about things and reviewed my business plan for 2013 and decided that it was time to begin advertising my business as well. Inspiring Students To Excel In Higher Education needed to be apart of this unique media source, because we have a vision for college bound and enrolled college students that people need to know about.
I realize that in order to grow your business; advertising and marketing are essential to its longevity. My goal for 2013 is to become more involved with professional organizations, networking, speaking engagements and to create more unique ways to drive traffic to our website. We plan to be around for years and years to come, because our business is planting seeds of excellence for generations to follow. There is an inspirational quote by Napoleon Hill that will be my motto statement: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”