Photo: Karl Raynes at his home office in Winnipeg
When he moved to Canada in 2013, Karl Raynes wasn't planning on starting a business.
He got a steady job at a law firm, thought about pursuing a career in computer networking, and even took at few IT courses.
And then one day, Karl and his fiance came up with a brilliant idea for a home-care services company.
He immediately began looking for business training that would help him launch the company and make it a success.
Karl discovered Herzing College and enrolled in the Business Administration program.
This training is designed for people who want to work in an office, manage a team, or start their own business.
Karl signed up, worked through the courses, and actually launched his company while completing the internship.
We interviewed Karl a few months after graduation to get his review of the Business Administration program, and see how the company is going so far.
Here's what we found out.
Q: What were you doing before you enrolled at Herzing? Why did you go back to school?
Karl: I moved to Winnipeg from South Yorkshire, England in 2013. I started out working at a law firm doing manual work as well as administrative support.
About three years ago, I went back to school to study computer networking, but had to stop due to financial challenges.
And then my fiance, who works as a nanny, began getting a lot of interest from people looking for nannies, housekeepers, and other types of caregivers.
So, we decided to build a business around this idea. We wanted to offer an easier way for people to find and hire caregivers in Winnipeg.
My first step was to enrol in business training so I could learn how to launch and run our new business. That's what led me to Herzing College.
Q: Why did you choose Herzing over other business schools?
Karl: I chose Herzing because my admissions experience was good and not too overwhelming.
The advisor did a great job of explaining the Business Administration program and breaking down all the steps needed to enrol.
The admissions test was simple and straightforward. Plus, the campus was located just five minutes from my house.
Q: How was your experience in the business diploma program? What was the training like?
Karl: The instructors were very approachable and knowledgeable. Whatever questions I had, they knew the answers on the spot.
I even tried to catch them out with some challenging questions, but they were always quick to respond.
I attended on campus for the first few months, but then shifted online because of COVID. So we used the online interface, but the instructor was easily reachable for assistance and support.
I was able to progress through the courses very independently. I connected with a few classmates here and there, to share resources and tips for completing projects.
The assignments were straightforward and the skills we learned were relevant and practical. Overall, it was a very good experience.
Q: What was the toughest part of the program? And which courses did you enjoy most?
Karl: My favourite courses were Excel spreadsheets. When I was younger, my dad showed me how to use spreadsheets.
I thought I already knew everything, but the instructor taught me a lot of valuable skills to add to my knowledge. Some of it was quite mind-blowing - things I really didn’t think were possible with Excel!
The toughest part was probably the course on accounting. The math component was difficult and getting everything to match up and balance was tricky. It’s very meticulous work, but so rewarding when you get it right!
Math is a weak point for me, so I used other resources, like an equation app on my phone to help me get through.
I told myself I just had to get through it. So even though I was daunted at the start, I just kept pushing and working hard, and was successful in the end.
Q: Where did you do your internship?
Karl: While I was doing the Business Administration diploma, I was busy starting up my own business.
So, Herzing actually allowed me to use the business as my internship. The work I was doing to create the business strategy and marketing plan, and prepare for our first clients counted as real job experience.
The official launch date of the business was the same day I started the internship.
Q: Can you tell us about your business? What services do you offer?
Karl: The company is called KM Care Services. Clients come to us looking for a nanny, caregiver, or housekeeper.
We find and screen candidates and assign them to clients. We save our clients a lot of time by locating, recruiting, and paying the caregivers, plus finding replacements if they are sick, etc.
We manage every aspect of the process.
We launched on November 9th, 2020. We’ve been able to secure several clients so far, despite the pandemic.
Some people are reluctant to bring caregivers into their homes right now, but we’re making steady progress. And of course, we're following all required COVID hygiene and safety measures.
Q: Was starting a business harder than you expected? What challenges have you faced?
Karl: There are surprises around every corner when you start a new business! Things always come up that you didn't prepare for.
For example, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) sent me a letter saying congrats on starting your business, and here are all the regulations you have to follow.
I didn’t even know I needed to sign up with them.
They told me I had to register the business with the WCB, let them know what the company is about, how many employees we expect to hire, etc. I wasn't aware of this process.
We also had to consider things like insurance and legal fees associated with registering a business. There’s definitely a learning curve.
Q: How did the business diploma help you succeed? What key skills did you learn?
Karl: The Business Administration diploma included several courses that were very helpful to me.
For example, the course on entrepreneurship, where we learned how to open a business, make a business plan, and create a marketing strategy. I've used these skills to locate and attract customers for my business.
The accounting course has also been really helpful. When I started doing the books for my business, I went back and looked at the work I did at Herzing.
I am applying everything I learned to manage our accounts.
Of course, the spreadsheets training is also very relevant. I generate my client invoices on Excel, calculating things like overtime for our employees.
Also, my writing has improved a lot because of the communications courses. I'm much stronger in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and overall business communications.
Q: Any advice for someone who is considering a Business Administration diploma?
Karl: My advice is to start your business training with an end goal in mind. Your goal will keep you motivated and on track throughout the program.
I knew I wanted to start a business, and that's what motivated me through some of the more challenging courses and topics.
Think about where you want to get. Focus on how your life will change after you earn the diploma. That's what it's all about.
Thank you, Karl for sharing your experience with us. We're so proud of your success and wish you all the best with your new business!
Learn more about Business Administration training
Herzing College offers an online Business Administration program. This program teaches practical skills needed to get hired in any office, progress to management roles, or start your own business.
Courses include Microsoft office applications, accounting, marketing, business communications, and project management.
Wondering if this diploma is right for you?
Click below to explore the training and chat live with an admissions advisor. We're here to help!