It goes without saying that starting a business can be - while exciting - very stressful. Not only do you need to establish your product or service, but you must also work out how best to market it, arrange your administration, think about legalities, and do all of this and more within a potentially tight budget.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things that startups can do to get their businesses off the ground; one of those, many people will be surprised to hear, is hiring an intern. In fact, startup internships in London and across the UK are on the rise! Here are six reasons why - and why, as a startup, you should consider hiring an intern, too...
1) Interns provide an extra pair of hands
As mentioned above, one of the huge elements of having a startup business is being able to market your product or service, on top of managing your admin. Often, these involve bitty, time-consuming tasks that mean you and your startup employees cannot focus as much as they would like to on their main job roles. This is where having an intern is especially helpful; they can take on the many simple hands-on tasks that you and your employees don’t have time to, or that sap their enthusiasm; for example, generating leads, launching marketing campaigns, research, administrative tasks, and using marketing and business software like Mailchimp and HubSpot. You could even have an intern that manages these different tasks individually!
Not only will this give time back to you and your employees, but it will also provide your intern with the opportunity to navigate the inner workings of your agency in order to better understand the more in-depth tasks they could be assigned later on. This will also mean that your business output will be much greater - for example, doubling your campaigns, getting your website blog fired up, writing your new web content and so on. Interns are also cost-effective, as they value the “learnings” they take away from the internship experience, and there are a number of government incentives and programmes that fund the use of interns, which makes the costs of hiring them negligible for employers. What’s more, as interns are typically more motivated in working on mundane tasks than regular employees, the quality of the results from these mundane tasks will increase alongside employee morale, which is a huge contributor to staff retention. Additionally, as interns are talent “on tap” (i.e. they can be on-boarded and off-boarded at short notice), they are a low risk resource to invest in.
2) Interns are tech and social media-savvy
There is a common misconception that interns are inexperienced and are therefore less likely than their experienced colleagues to produce impactful work. However, there are many things that interns can do almost as well as professionals! For example, the majority of interns will be (at the time of publishing this blog) around the Millennial or Generation Z age bracket. Millennials are known to be the tech-savvy generation, while Gen Z are known to be tech native. This means that your interns will be among the best placed individuals to support you and other employees with your digital endeavours, such as webpage building and email setup. These generations are also the most social-media savvy; so, at a time where internet users are more prevalent than ever and there is subsequently a huge war on digital marketing talent, who better to have running your time consuming social media campaigns and put your startup at a competitive advantage?
3) Your intern may later become your employee
As a startup agency, it is highly likely that, once you have settled into a working routine, business growth will come to the forefront of your mind. Although in some cases interns will only stay with you for a single project, others may come back for further projects or, as is the case with many startup internships in London, stay with you in the long term. In this case, should a vacancy become available, the intern will already have the entry-level knowledge they need to fill it!
4) Having an internship programme will boost your reputation
Having an intern instantly puts your business in a good light. The skills gap in the UK is currently a huge concern in the education and workforce sectors (it is currently costing UK business £4.4 billion a year), so by implementing startup internships in London or elsewhere in the country, you are showing your business’ dedication to bridging this gap and contributing to the future of the UK economy through the growing digital marketing landscape. And the better your reputation, the better your chances of business growth.
5) Interns will become your brand ambassadors
Word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising - and probably always will be. And no-one is better placed to be an ambassador for your brand than an intern! If your intern has a positive experience while they are with you and feel like they are a valued member of your company, they are likely to tell their fellow students, their parents, friends and other individuals about your business, which will in turn attract more people to your business - whether they wish to become an intern with you themselves, or to use your marketing services.
6) Interns can bring fresh new ideas to the table
As most of your interns are likely to be studying marketing at university, they’ll be in contact with lecturers who are currently conducting a lot of up-to-date research in the field. As a result, your interns will be able to bring a whole host of new ideas to the table; they may even teach you something that you didn’t know before that could shape your business for the better.
So, should you hire an intern?
Absolutely! If you’re heading a startup digital marketing agency, hiring an intern - or indeed several interns - truly is a no-brainer for your business success and future growth. Although we may have only listed what appears to be six different reasons to hire an intern in the above list, what is incredible is how many further benefits happen as a result of each one - and we can only anticipate that, as the digital marketing landscape continues to evolve, even more reasons will arise.
And what is the best way to do this?
While many startups will look to hire their interns in-house, this can be accompanied by a lot of issues. For example, finding available desk space, being restricted to locally available interns, paying for transport to and from the office, and so on. As a startup business, you will likely require support around the year, and these interns are only likely to be around for the summer, as they will need to attend university lectures during term time.
However, with interns available online, these issues are instantly eradicated; you will not only not have to worry about finding desk space for them in your office, they won’t even need to travel as they can complete the project work you set them from home. In fact, if your office was based in London but you needed feet on the ground in Manchester, you’d be able to find an intern in Manchester and still be able to track their work online. What’s more, your interns will be able to complete work all year around, not just in the summer; and should you find the right intern, you can easily invite them back again and again for future projects.
If, after reading this blog, you would like to hire an intern for your startup but are not sure where to begin, get in touch with our team here at ProjectSet. Our remote internship platform (which you can sign up for free here) will put you in touch with a whole host of high-quality interns who are studying digital marketing degrees or similar, and propel your business from startup to success!