The Author is Luke Nolan, founder and CEO of Student.com
What is the mission of your business and how do you hope it will change the world?
Student.com’s mission is simple: to help every student find their perfect home. We believe that where you live and the people who you live with are among the most impactful parts of a student’s journey and living experience. At Student.com, we are always looking to give students the peace of mind they need to really make the most of their studies.
What’s been your biggest challenge in growing your business?
Achieving consistent growth across all geographies and initiatives was a big challenge for us when we first started out. Because of the nature of our business, helping globally-mobile students find accommodation, we’ve always had an international focus. But when you’re dealing with a large number of diverse markets like we are, it’s impossible to apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to expanding into new markets. Over the years, we’ve learned to be flexible in our approach and to really face challenges head on. We’ve been lucky to work with some great people in-market, both in terms of employees and partners, who’ve helped us considerably on our journey.
What advice would you give to your former self when you were starting your business?
The first piece of advice I’d give to my former self is definitely: start earlier. As a teenager, I had so many business ideas but would always procrastinate and leave them to one side, often thinking they were too crazy or I didn’t know how to start. Actually diving in at the deep end is the best way to start! Necessity is then truly the mother of invention. The second piece of advice I’d give my former self would be to focus on the things I’m truly passionate and excited about – I used to try to do too many things at the same time. Focus is very important for any entrepreneur – refuse to pursue initiatives that you’re not passionate about and focus on a small number of things you can be really good at.
What part of your job do you most love?
Without a doubt, I love being able to work with fun and passionate people every day. That makes it truly a pleasure and not “work” in the traditional sense. Whatever we are working on in the business it never feels like a pain. Even the challenging times are just that – a challenge and when you’re facing them with a lot of people that really care then it’s amazing. We’re lucky because Student.com is involved in people’s lives at possibly the most exciting time for them, and the impact we can have is really rewarding. That makes the industry we work in full of passionate people keen to make a positive difference.