Could an Intern Help Your Business This Summer?

As a business owner, you're probably looking for ways to get more done in less time, and perhaps even save money. One way to do that is to hire an intern.

I was an intern one summer, and I found the experience valuable. That's the key for businesses. Recent scrutiny on internships means that you do need to be careful if you decide to get an intern to help you out.

How an Intern Can Help Your Business

An intern can be very helpful, allowing you to sort of
. You can have an intern do some of the things you don't have time for, freeing you up for more important, big picture items.
You can also usually have an intern work for less. Some interns are even willing to be unpaid. However, you will have a better chance of attracting someone with talent if you are willing to offer a stipend. It doesn't have to be huge, and it can still save you money over hiring someone and paying benefits.

Provide Value for Your Intern

It's important to understand that the intern isn't there just to help your business. You also need to provide value to the intern. There are guidelines about how you can utilize interns as part of your business. Whether you use your intern to
, or you have some other assignments, you can't just use your intern to get everyone coffee. Here are some of the things to keep in mind as you use interns to help your business:
  • The internship is supposed to benefit the intern
  • You should make sure to meet the requirements set forth by the school
  • Interns should receive relevant hands-on training
  • The intern should be supervised in some way
There are different guidelines, depending on whether or not the intern is paid or not, but the main idea is that the intern should actually learn something useful to his or her career.

This can be a win-win situation for you. Many young people are digital natives and can easily take over some of the tasks that require social media and computer use. This can be a way for them to practice their skills while helping you grow your business.

If you can't pay your intern, find ways to make up for it other ways. You can take your intern to lunch a couple times and let him or her pick your brain. Consider other ways to provide benefit for your intern, such as providing free merchandise, or writing a personal letter of recommendation that the intern can use to advance his or her career later.

As long as you give your intern meaningful work, there is a good chance that he or she will be happy to do the work and earn the college credit. It's not always ideal, but it can be a way to get a little extra for a little less. Look for ways to help your interns learn and grow, even as your interns help your business.