They started from selling lemonade to raking leaves and shovelling snow and now they both run a series of successful business, I guess you would say their twin bond has helped them along the way, whatever the case is, the twins are not stopping, They are currently sitting their finals, Im sure we will be hearing a lot from them in the near future.
In this interview they talked about:
How they got started in business
What else they do out of business
what they are currently working on
Their twin bond
Their favourite company and advices for young entrepreneurs out there
Guys, I’m so glad you are able to make time to join us, welcome to YHP and how are you doing?
We're doing great thank you!
Can you give us some brief background of yourself?
I am currently a senior studying accountancy and technology & management (engineering). I love business! I have always been fascinated by entrepreneurship and the ability for one to create new technology and innovations to improve the lives of others.
So who is older?
Ashton is older.
How are you guys able to do business and still be cool brothers regardless?
Business and entrepreneurship is our hobby. We love what we do. Working together brings us closer. We are always finding new ways to do something. We enjoy finding solutions to problems and turning these solutions into the successful businesses. As college students we have our own lives. Ryan has his own friends and I have mine as well. At the end of the day we come together and work on our ideas and current businesses.
Our twin bond has helped us greatly in business. We are a great team. I would not change it for the world.
When did you both begin on your entrepreneurship journey?
We began our entrepreneurship journey very early in our lives. As soon as we could mix lemonade as children we were selling it outside our home. At the age of 9 we started raking leaves and shovelling snow. We quickly found out that if we worked hard enough we could make money! This is exactly what we started to do. We had so much business as kids that it was kind of overwhelming at the time. We had a waiting list of clients to serve; the two of us could not handle it ourselves. People would call our house to see when we were available to rake leaves or shovel snow. The demand for our services was greater than what we could supply. This was phenomenal! We were young entrepreneurs. We were Clark Snow and Leaf Removal.
Can you explain to us what your company does and the roles you both play?
Ashton is the President of Dynamik Duo and Ryan is the Vice President. Dynamik Duo is our holding company for some of our internet web ventures. We also wanted something to identify us beyond our names. Dynamik Duo does just this. We are a strong team. In other words we are very Dynamik. We are known as the
Dynamik Duo on campus and when we speak around the United States in regards to entrepreneurship. We are both responsible for working on new business ideas and growing our existing companies.
What inspired you to start business at such a young age? Were you exposed to entrepreneurship from your family?
My mom is a business woman as well as my grandfather. They always encouraged my brother and me to go after our dreams. And this is exactly what we did. Ryan and I worked hard on our businesses ludakicks.com and 247mixtapes.com throughout high school. Everyone has a hobby of some sort. Ours happens to be starting companies and growing them. This is our expertise.
Did being an entrepreneur at such a young age affect your family?
Being an entrepreneur at such a young age had a strong affect on my family. Our family saw our passion and realized that this is our special gift. My mom helped us and watched us to make sure we were on the right track. She also made sure that we were kids first and entrepreneurs second. We played just like any other kid in our neighbourhood. We just did not play as long. We learned how to manage our time and still have fun as kids. We learned time management, and work, life-balance at a young age.
How are you both able to maintain good grades and run multiple companies very successful at the same time? What is your secret or is it a magic word?
Yes, we are phenomenal students. In fact we are at the top of our class. Our secret is that we are students first. I consider school to be a game, some people play it right and others do not. We know the rules of the game and what it takes to be successful. We work hard and study hard to ensure that we make and maintain good grades. In order to achieve this and maintain a successful business we sacrifice sleep. But we make it through and management everything we have to do. Time management is very important to us. It helps us to make sure we take care of the tasks we have at hand.
What are your hobbies?
I love playing the piano. I am a keyboardist/pianist on my campus. I play for various groups and performers on campus and in Chicago. It helps me to relax and overcome the difficulties I face in school and business. If I did not play the piano, I would be stressed out. Being a student entrepreneur is very stressful at times. At the end of the day I have to perform in school and with my business.
How did you get finance to fund your business?
Our businesses are all self funded. Our mom taught us to save our money at an early age. We used this money to start our companies.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy?
Do not spend a great deal of money on internet marketing when you are first starting. This is one reason why most star ups fail. They incur more expenses than revenues and essentiality go out of business because they cannot cover their costs.
We learned to tell others what we are doing. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. It has worked well for us. If a customer of ours likes our product, they will come back and tell others. This is an example of one successful marketing strategy for us.
What is your business model?
Our business model is simple, bring our creative ideas to fruition and make them profitable.
What is any average workday like for you both?
Our days vary. No day is exactly the same. One day I may work on the programming and design of one of my current websites and the other I may work on our marketing strategy. As an entrepreneur, I handle every single task you could think of: Accounting, marketing, and technology to name a few.
How has your market changed in the past few years? How has your business changed to keep pace?
With the recession that America is in we have had to work harder to find new customers and satisfy our current customer base. We have superior customer service in comparison to our competitors. This is one technique that sets us apart from our competition. We have used our prices with discounts and coupons to encourage new customers to try our service.
What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
Telling everyone! No matter how much we advertise our company has grown the quickest when our customers tell their friends and family about our services. To stay competitive we work smarter and not harder. This is one of greatest limitations. Because we know this, we work hard to manage our time and use our existing time in ways that will most benefit our current and future companies.
What plans do you have now to expand your business further?
Currently, I am working on our next start up called UTicketIt.com an event registration and Management Company. We are set to launch our company in January. Stay tuned. If you are looking for a way to sell tickets to your event online, UTicketIt.com is the solution for you.
What systems have you used to automate your business to give you more time for business planning and development?
Many of our systems are custom made. We use knowledge bases and FAQ sections on our website to automate common answers to questions our customers have. Since our companies are based online, our websites enable us to automate 90% of our processes. This allows us to focus our time on the 10 of non automated work as well as new ventures.
Apart from your company, what other company do you admire the most and why?
I admire start ups like Google, Meebo, and Vimeo to name a few. Just take a look at them. You can see how innovative they are. They help to set the newest trends on the internet. They are perfect examples of successful internet start-ups. They motivate me to work hard because I want to be just as successful as they are.
I totally agree, I have actually just finished an interview with the co-founder of Meebo, Elaine wherry, she gives us an amazing interview, i would say you should stay updated for that.
Who is your favourite young entrepreneur at this moment?
This is an interesting question. I have to do more thinking regarding this.
What is your favourite business tool?
I like content management systems. They contribute significantly to automate processes within my companies.
What has been your most fulfilling moment so far?
My ability to give back to my community. I like helping others. These are my most fulfilling moments.
What do you do not to get carried away having achieved some much at such young ages?
I understand where I came from. And I will never forget where I came from.
What should be expecting next from you guys?
The release of UTicketIt.com . I hope we can do a news blast on your site when it goes live next month?
SURE! Shoot me an email as soon as it launches
What advices do you have for young entrepreneurs out there?
Continue to go after you dreams. You can do well in school and still be an entrepreneur. The key is to work smarter. As a student, your time is already limited. You should make sure that you are spending your time as wisely as possible. Use your time effectively. I do this on a daily basis. Ask yourself the following question, how can I add the most value to my companies? Just a thought.
Thanks for your time Guys
Check out their website and get in touch to ask them any questions we din't cover in the interview, Remember they are currently sitting their finals.