SHERIDAN — The entrepreneurial spirit of Sheridan is evident across many industries from home-cooked restaurants to technology businesses and every start-up in between.
Downtown revitalization committees are working tirelessly to attract new business people and specialists to the area and the “buy local” movement is felt strong in this homegrown community.
When looking to the future of business in Sheridan, it is important to remember who will be at the helm at that time, the youth of today.
Many young entrepreneurs exist in Sheridan, diligently working for themselves in a variety of fashions, and learning early the value of hard work and business savvy.
Camren Schneider will be a freshmen at Sheridan High School in the fall and at the age of 14 he is already looking ahead to his upcoming financial needs.
Saving money for a car, Schneider utilizes technology and word-of-mouth to offer lawn services as his business.
After his services were posted on the Facebook page Sheridan Upcycle Schneider booked a few jobs, and did a few others for free.
He said he is willing to do any yard work they need from mowing to weed eating and cleanup, even of the pet variety.
Schneider thinks a hard-day’s work has a lot to offer anyone, especially someone his age.
“Hard work is something you’re going to have to do all your life so you may as well start now,” he said. “I think I’m gaining a lot of communication skills and also lots of integrity.”
Schneider learned early the importance of good references and a solid reputation when working for himself. In fact, the Upcycle post even reads “has references” and that is his advice to anyone looking to create work for themselves.
“Get yourself out there and make sure to do a good job so that the people that you worked for will spread your name out to others,” he said.
As babysitters, dog walkers, lemonade stand owners and other young teens grow older they may be the business owners of our community and for some that day may come sooner than others.
Lexi Kooper is a only 18 and just graduated from SHS this past spring. While a senior in high school, Kooper became a business owner after purchasing The Daily Grind coffee Kiosk in the parking lot of Safeway in October of last year.
Kooper said her and her mother have worked at Starbucks for many years and always had ideas on improvements or changes they would implement if they were working for themselves, so the transition to doing so was natural.
After attaining a co-loan together, Kooper and her mother became first time entrepreneurs and now operate the kiosk with one full-time employee and other aids like an accountant.
“We’ve had to turn the place around. We had to replace all the equipment at first and we’re finally getting to a place where we can even out and watch it progress,” said Kooper. “I’m hoping to expand in the future. Whether that means a store or another kiosk I’m not sure yet, but I know I want to do more.”
Kooper said she spent most of her high school years planning to join the medical field after school but a taste of being a businesswoman has changed that for her.
“I found out I love being in business, I have a passion for it and it allows me to stay close to home,” she said.
Her advice for young entrepreneurs is two-fold; don’t be afraid to try it, and don’t be afraid to fail.
“If you have a lemonade stand and your first day out there your mom is the only customer, don’t get discouraged; get up and get out there again tomorrow,” she said, “Sometimes I have days at the kiosk where I only serve people I know but you keep at it and the next day you might have an amazingly busy day.”