Buies Creek, N.C.- Campbell University freshman by day, CEO of his own company in his spare time, Michael Savage isn't waiting until graduation to follow his dream. A student in Campbell's Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, the young entrepreneur and owner of MDS Web Studios, Inc. in Lillington, was recently featured in the national magazine, "Future CEO Stars," published by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.
"Future CEO Stars" is a publication designed by and for young entrepreneurs. Its purpose is to share experiences and inspire students toward future entrepreneurial success. Savage's article, "Loving What You Do," appeared in the March 2009 issue.
"My long range plan for my business overall is to bring it to $1 million in sales by the age of 25," Savage, who is 18, said. "Although I'm pretty far off right now, I have a few years so I think I can do it."
Savage's client list already includes 12 up and coming businesses that range from a luxury limosine service in Pinehurst to a charter fishing service in Holden Beach.
"In the last 12 months, I have been through many experiences-some good, some bad," Savage said in the article. "But all have helped me bring my business to the success it is now."
A graduate of Harnett Central High School, Savage first got interested in web design when he was 13 and a member of the paintball team. The team wanted a website and Savage volunteered to learn how to make one.
"I instantly knew I wanted to create more websites and for more people, so my business really began at that point," Savage said. In 2008, he entered his idea for a web design company into a state business plan competition sponsored by the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and won. He used the $750 second place prize to launch MDS Web Studios, Inc.
Today, the business maintains more than 20 websites at any given time and offers a variety of services, including web design, website management, content management systems, web site usability services, graphic design, web hosting and search engine optimization.
"Owning my own business while in high school was interesting and challenging, but owning one in college is even more interesting and challenging," said Savage. "I enjoy creating websites because they are the most effective and affordable methods of marketing for any company or service. I also enjoy it because it is measurable. I can tell you how many people visited my client's site yesterday and if they contacted that client as a result."
Savage advises new entrepreneurs to first enjoy what they do.
"I enjoy every aspect of my job. The money is just an added bonus," Savage said. "I want to continue to take on new clients and increase the services we offer as time goes on."
Savage and his partner Ryan Poolos, a Campbell freshman and North Carolina Teaching Fellow, are working on a new venture that is currently in the startup funding stage. The new stage of the business will work with existing companies by providing a content management system that clients can use to quickly and easily update their website content.
Savage is the son of Earl Savage and Lori Walters.
Photo Copy: Campbell University freshman Michael Savage.