Fort Mill grad, now at Clemson, learns art of business

cwhite@fortmilltimes.comMay 6, 2014 

— Fort Mill resident and Clemson University sophomore Zachary Wing has been operating a business as part of an internship with the Young Entrepreneurs Across America.

Wing received an email about a program that would allow him to operate his own section of the business Student Painters, a student-run organization specializing in exterior house painting. After an informational session and multiple interviews, Wing was hired in October.

He put together a business plan, wrote a mission statement and set goals for himself and the business. He spent the spring semester hiring student employees, putting estimates on houses and marketing his business by going door-to-door, handing out fliers and putting out lawn signs.

Entrepreneurship has been an interest of Wing’s for a while, he said.

“Since this has been going on there have been some things that I like, some things that I don’t like,” Wing said. “It’s definitely up and down being an entrepreneur and running your own business.”

Wing said that he doesn’t mind the sacrifices he’s made for his business.

“I’ve worked incredibly hard at this since I’ve been hired,” Wing said. “Every weekend, coming back from college has not been easy, but I do it because I want to succeed and I want people to trust me to paint their house.”

More than anything, Wing said his new job has taught him to manage his time more efficiently. He has been dividing his time between schoolwork, on campus duties and running a business.

According to Wing, Student Painters has also allowed him to gain experience and knowledge he never could have picked up in the classroom. Wing hopes his business to provide that opportunity to his student workers as well.

“I’m trying to create a fun environment for my workers to learn from each other,” Wing said. “It’s a great environment for all of us to bond over the summer and become friends.”

Wing is looking for a few more students to join his team before they go through painting training with representatives from Sherwin-Williams. After the training, Wing will decide which of his employees will work on the painting team.

Although Wing moved to Fort Mill from Rochester, N.Y., a year and-a-half ago, he said he’s eager to do something that’s valuable for his adopted new home.

“One of the main parts of this is trying to serve the community,” Wing said. “Obviously the community likes what we’re doing because we’re giving jobs to students, and my main part in this is providing great service to homeowners.”

Wing and his employees are looking for clients and will begin painting homes on May 13 through early August, he said.

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