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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Since graduating from Solent, Liam Saunders has already kickstarted a successful career after establishing his own business, VIP IT. The company offers services in website design, SEO, PPC advertising, social media marketing, email marketing and digital project management.

We caught up with Liam, who studied BA (Hons) Business Management and MSc Project Management at Solent, to find out about how life as an entrepreneur is going.

How has what you learnt at Solent contributed towards your success?

I took part in an exciting live client marketing brief with Ahmad Tea in my first year, and another interesting business project in the third year of my degree. These taught me how to communicate and pitch to businesses with confidence, which is an essential skill within my current job.

What’s your favourite memory from your time at Solent?

It has to be attending the opening of Boux Avenue at West Quay. After winning a Solent Business School competition, I got to meet and interview Theo Paphitis, ex-dragon and owner of Boux Avenue.

What do you hope to achieve with your business, VIP IT, in the next 3-5 years?

I want to focus on driving business growth by expanding the company’s portfolio of clients and taking the next step of employing people that share my vision for the business.

Liam Saunders

What’s it like being an entrepreneur?

For me, being an entrepreneur is a very varied yet rewarding career choice.  Your work life varies considerably, and I’ve found that you need to be adaptable and ready to overcome challenges. If you’re willing to accept a manageable level of risk and uncertainty, being an entrepreneur can be very rewarding.

What tips would you give students who are looking to start up a business?

  1. Start your business while you’re studying. Solent offers a supportive environment for students with entrepreneurial flair. By starting your business during your studies, you’ll be able to access resources and support that are expensive in the outside world.
  2. Get professional industry qualifications. Getting these during your time at university will set you apart from other business owners and provide you with a valuable competitive advantage. The credibility they bring are particularly crucial during the startup phase when you don’t have the years of experience that other business owners have.
  3. Seek out work experience or an internship within the business environment. The knowledge you’ll get in a practical business setting is invaluable.
  4. Establish a strong professional presence and start networking. Being new to business gives you the unique opportunity to establish a presence from the ground up. Concentrate on creating a professional LinkedIn profile and brilliant business cards. Once you have the presence, you will be primed to engage in networking events where you can build awareness for your business and forge relationships with other business professionals.