On any university campus around the world, there are two things that you can always count on. Students always need jobs and students are always moving in and moving out in the spring and the fall.
Carlisle Norwood, a Dalhousie University student in Halifax Nova Scotia, recognized those two constant facts, which got his entrepreneurial spirit thinking. He saw a need on his campus so he started a business co-op project that provided storage and moving for students at his university.
Three years ago, he created the business Freshman Storage & Moving. Now, it is going strong and has four full-time employees. Norwood has partnered with a local furniture store that helped him get the equipment and staff that he needed.
This company is like any other moving or storage company. All employees are students and all of the customers are students. So, the Freshman Storage & Moving employees know exactly what their customers are going through at the beginning of the school year – moving to a new place and starting school all in the same week.
Freshman provides part-time jobs for university students. Students can fit their work around their class schedule. During April and September, the peak months, students can usually work as much time as they need or want.
Of course Freshman offers move-in and move-out services, storage, and long-distance shipping. However, it also offers a unique service – junk removal. Many times students acquire hand-me-down furniture from friends and family or items from a thrift store. At the end of the school year when they don’t need or want the items any more, Freshman picks up their ‘junk’ and carts it away.
Freshman has also partnered with Premier Self Storage in Dartmouth, Halifax Chester, Truro, and Bridgewater. It’s a win-win- situation because Freshman doesn’t have to spend money on renting a warehouse and Premiere Self Storage puts its unused storage space to use. This allows Premiere’s sales team to focus on acquiring longer-term residential customers and allows Freshman to focus on the student market.
Freshman has also partnered with Saint Mary’s, another local university. St. Mary’s allows Freshman to distribute flyers and information on campus and student residences in their effort to find more customers.
Freshman’s main focus is making the student population aware of their business. After their name becomes well known, Freshman hopes to reach out to St. Francis Xavier University, Acadia, and other schools that are further out in their province.
“Business finds both willing labour pool and customers on campuses.” Herald Business; 4 April 2013.