Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mohamed Suwaid, Founder of Graduate Scope LLC., located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is called Graduate Scope. We are registered as an LLC in New York. We help students and professionals of all ages to help improve their professional profile, improve their interview chances, and help them land more jobs ultimately. We do this by improving their resume, writing outstanding cover letters, and assisting them with optimizing their LinkedIn profiles. In other words, we are a career services agency that helps job-seekers get better employment opportunities.
Our customers include job-seekers in the USA, UK, and the Middle East. They range from the age of 18 - 45. They can be university students, graduates, and professionals of all ages. We have helped more than 1,000+ students and young professionals land more interviews and increased employment prospects so far. We started on Fiverr, a freelance platform, a year ago and became one of the fastest growing accounts with a 99.5% 5-star rating from our customer reviews.
Tell us about yourself
I first started my business in march 2021 last year as a freelancer but officially registered the company as a new york based start-up in march 2022. I was always drawn to the idea of doing something independently. Although following the traditional route of performing well at school and university and getting a job was still the path I followed, it all changed at the end of 2021.
During my undergraduate years at Bristol University, I applied to 120+ jobs with not much luck as an international candidate. I found out that not only students but many job-seekers of all ages faced the same problem of not being able to secure enough jobs because they did not know how to approach job applications, network, and pass automated screening correctly.
That year I studied and researched job application strategies and ended up attaining 15+ interviews from about 35 job applications.
Replicating my success, I helped friends and family members, then took on paid clients from referrals, and then eventually became a freelancer.
I finished my LSE master's and joined my banking job in September 2021 but eventually quit in December to my passion being in my freelancing and helping customers land better job opportunities. Impacting others' lives is the ultimate motivation I need to continue working on this and scaling this business upwards.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is actually achieving consistency with the freelance business and eventually turning it into a proper agency-style business with an LLC, and the biggest win of all is actually helping a customer solve this problem and helping a total of 3,000+ customers land more interviews and attain better job prospects.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things for me is having a disciplined work ethic - no day is ever the same.
I currently manage a team of 7 career consultants and one operations director, and one marketing manager - which means that for so many other activities, I have to be the operator. From doing the resume optimization and the actual deliverables myself, now handled by my team, I have found myself to have much more time available, but that was short-lived as I soon had to get a good website, run up, ramp up recruitment, marketing, operations, build resources, and scale up the business. Being a newbie to entrepreneurship, I sometimes struggle with having the perfect growth strategy or growing a business and making it more tech-enabled, so I try to invest in courses that can help me and watch youtube videos to help me become a smarter and impact-driven entrepreneur that not only focuses on creating a great service for customers but building a fast-growing profitable business.
However, I believe I am naturally more skilled in being an entrepreneur as I was the president and founder of 3 student clubs at university and won many awards for it and scaled up the operations to have a total of 300+ student members, and oversaw wide marketing, operations, finance, and PR efforts. I won a prestigious award called the 'Bristol Outstanding Award' for being 1 of 3 students amongst 25,000+ students to drive large-scale impact at university. Now, my goal is to drive impact on the world. That is the ultimate message that drives my work ethic and efforts.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ensure your business actually solves a real problem or fills a need and does it well.
- It is okay to enter a highly competitive market, but make sure you have a unique angle to your services so that you can stand out and create your own little blue ocean strategy.
- Start a business by first working in the business but eventually, as you grow, make sure you transition away from working 'in' the business to 'on' the business.
At the start, the entrepreneur will need need to work on creating the social media, the website, the product, hiring the initial team members, and finding customers but eventually, as a company grows, they need to start trusting and outsourcing their work to specialists so that they can focus on the big-level drivers to drive the direction of the company upwards.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
My business was started not to make money or anything, even though we are on track to generate more than $120,000 this year, and as a 24-year-old - I am grateful for that - but the ultimate goal is to impact other people's lives.
I found a problem I faced in my own life and now help others overcome the structure of a start-up. I am soon creating tech-enabled software so the customers can connect with career consultants on a real-time, live-messaging basis through a secure and interactive dashboard with several resources available for maximum career growth impact. Graduate Scope will soon turn from being a career services agency into a career services platform with DFY services, courses, mentorship, and coaching. That is the long-term goal!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.