What started as a favor to his parents unveiled a talent and eventually turned into a business. This entrepreneur shares what he has learned in his journey and offers advice to student entrepreneur hopefuls.
Brandon Doyle, BYU grad and entrepreneur, began his own search engine optimization business called Wallaroo Media. He gave five tips for BYU students who hope to someday be entrepreneurs.
1. Take Notes
Doyle explained that keeping a notebook handy to write down insights and ideas is very important. Whether it’s taking notes on a phone or on a pad of paper, writing the idea down helps solidify and shape it.
“A lot of my ideas have come from hearing something about one company here, and then hearing something else and it just gets your mind rolling,” Doyle said.
He explained that the ideas do not have to be new; some successful ideas simply improve products already available.
“If you can find a way to do something better than how it’s currently being done or to make something cheaper or more efficient or solve a problem, those are the big businesses that really make it,” Doyle said. “If you just have a notepad throughout the day, if you think of something that is annoying to you or if you think of a problem that can be solved, write that down then try and figure out a way to solve it.”
Reading about current trends and new ideas can help entrepreneurs come up with good ideas. Reading about start up companies, successful entrepreneurs and the cool new ideas can help show where, what and when to create a product.
“It’s good to see the problems that people are trying to solve,” Doyle said.
3. Network with other students
Networking and making lasting friendships can pay off later, Doyle said. It is very important to create relationships not only with students in the same major but also with students in other fields. Anyone can have good ideas, and they may need someone else’s expertise to create the product, he said.
“Depending on the idea you might need someone that is awesome at PR or awesome at marketing or finance or that can really build something, so that’s (building relationships) really important.”
Networking with people in other fields has already paid off for Doyle as his partner Kade Hendershot, co-owner of Wallaroo Media, is an English Literature grad of UVU.
The pair met as EFY participants years ago, stayed in contact, then eventually started a business together.
“We wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for networking,” Hendershot said.
Hendershot said his contribution as an English Literature graduate is huge. Creativity and quality content, things that he learned from his major, have really contributed to the company.
When addressing the tips given by Doyle, Hendershot said that networking is the most important.
“Without good networking skills, all those other skills don’t amount to much.”
4. Take risks
“A lot of people say they want to be entrepreneurs, but they don’t take the risks,” Doyle said. “You’ve got to take the risk.”
Doyle recommended that college students think of an original idea and work on it on the side. He said there is a lot to learn from taking risks.
“If it succeeds then awesome, and if it fails you probably don’t lose that much and you learned a lot,” he said. “It’s really going to help you progress as an entrepreneur.”
5. Learn to code
Knowing how to code will help you because that is the future, Doyle said. If you know how to code and you have an idea, you can just make it yourself.
“I think with the way smart phones are, and apps, that if you can become at least a decent coder then it’s going to make your life easier,” Doyle said.
Matt McArthur, a physics major and aspiring entrepreneur said he agrees understanding code is very important.
“Understanding it, at least at a basic level, is really important just so even if you are not the one doing it you know the limits and the abilities you can put into your product,” McArthur said.