Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I served as an intern in high school, and I thought it was a good experience. I had the chance to work for two different industries, computer science at a bank, and an assistant to an orthopedic surgeon. In both cases I didn’t really do any work that matters, but I had the chance to see how the businesses worked, and it helped me to decide how I wanted to proceed in my career.

In college I actually had a paid internship, alternating a semester of work with a semester of college, and that was more like a real job.

I think internships are a great way to teach someone a bit about your business, and also to find potential employees down the road. It isn’t a direct investment, and I’d guess that for every 10 interns you had over time, you might find one or two that would make good employees, but it’s a good service to the community and for younger people, and it gives you a chance to see how interesting your work is to others. You might even learn a thing or two from a fresh set of eyes.

However be careful, and don’t treat interns as free labor, to be exploited. Make sure you follow the guidelines from the US DOL.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Service is part of the product

Not everyone runs a business the way Apple does. Plenty of people build products, expect them to fail, but sell them so cheap that they don’t want service to be a part of what they do. Think Dollar Tree and the manufacturers supplying those goods. Service is not part of anything.

However if you are a small business, you can take a lesson here. You can build and grow, and retain customers by making sure you have a way to provide good service.