Have you ever thought about starting a business while in university? One student at the University of Saskatchewan did just that and has been running his own business all throughout his time here.
Joel Rohs — a third-year commerce student, who is taking a semester off, and owner of Tri Sonic Sound — started his business while he was still in high school two and a half years ago. On top of this, he is currently recording a full-length album with his band All Mighty Voice.
Tri Sonic Sound does live sound systems, DJ services for weddings and dances, equipment rentals and concert promotion. Rohs talks with the Sheaf about how he came to the decision to start the company.
“I’ve always played in bands, and I’ve always had to provide sound systems for events that I would play at,” Rohs said. “Finally, I just thought, ‘I could find enough work with this part time,’ and I sold my cargo van and away we went.”
Juggling the business and university classes was not easy, but fortunately for Rohs, the nature of his business made it possible to do both.
“Most of my work is in Prince Albert, where I’m from, so it involved a lot of travel back and forth, but luckily, the busy season with the company is the off season from regular classes — from May to August — so that works out really well. I still have work in the winter, but it’s not as condensed as it is during the summer,” Rohs said.
To stay on top of university classes while playing in a band and running a business, Rohs says that perhaps the most important thing is staying organized.
“I’m not a very organized person by nature, but I force myself to be with schedules and stuff,” Rohs said. “I think sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Hopefully, it’s not always that you’re sacrificing schoolwork, but sometimes it comes to that. I usually plan well in advance to avoid that kind of thing.”
Although it may lead to a busy life, running a business while in university is also rewarding. Rohs gives advice for students who are thinking about starting their own business.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. I was very fortunate to have a lot of people around me to help me out with things, whether it was a small loan or [helping] me work some events,” Rohs said. “The biggest thing is don’t go too big too fast. It doesn’t happen overnight, and even I’m still taking small baby steps towards where I want to be … to do it full-time year-round.”
Although Tri Sonic Sound has been operating in Saskatchewan for over two years, Rohs is still working on growing the business, which is often a never-ending process.
“Right now, I want to focus on growing things slowly, while I finish my commerce degree,” Rohs said. “My goal is to have another full-time worker. It’s a lot of work to do on your own — lots of lifting and manual labour. Ideally, I would have a good set of hands that would work full-time for me.”
You can get in touch with Tri Sonic Sound on their website, trisonicsound.ca, where you can book their services and find upcoming events. On top of this, Rohs is currently recording a full-length album with his band All Mighty Voice, which is set to release in the spring of 2018.
Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer
Graphic: Tri Sonic Sound / Supplied