Julius Osner from Lindau became self-employed on 1 January 2020 at the age of 15. This makes him Germany’s youngest entrepreneur at that time. With his company he offers services in photography, video and social media marketing. He accepted his first assignment at the age of 9.
In our interview, Julius Osner tells us why he set up his own business and what challenges he is facing.
Why did you take the decision to start your own business at such a young age?
On the one hand, I am “biased” in the best sense of the word. My father and my grandfather were also self-employed. In this respect I am very familiar with this way of life with all its opportunities and risks. On the other hand, I have been fascinated by photography and video for several years now. There is something working inside me that drives me again and again to become even better and more professional. In the meantime I have reached a level where I can also accept larger orders. And I have the good feeling that I will be able to build up my professional existence on this later.
How do you manage self-employment and school? How do you deal with possible tensions between school and entrepreneurship?
My school activities must of course be separate from my business, and vice versa.
So tensions between these two areas hardly ever occur.
As you know, photography is a highly competitive industry. Why did you choose it anyway?
I first got to know photography as an interesting and extensive hobby.
With time I decided to get into contract photography, because I am not forced to work on a certain number of orders, so I can take a lot of time for customers and still don’t have to worry about the competition.
What was your most exciting project so far and why?
Some time ago I was allowed to promote a big world premiere with my company.
For this we produced several professional videos and photos.
We also did social media marketing on all platforms and contacted magazines and newspapers to create a successful premiere, which we did very well.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
In ten years I hope I will still have as much fun taking pictures and filming as I have today. If you can get enthusiastic about something, sooner or later you will be successful with it. At school, the end is in sight. This will allow me to concentrate more on my company in the future. One thing is also clear: At the age of 15 or 16, you are not yet “done”. I still have a lot to learn. So in the next few years it will also be important that I network well with other professionals.
Do you have to deal with special challenges in your self-employment because of your young age?
I usually have to fight harder for trust in customers at my age than adults. However, this hurdle is no longer relevant after the second interview at the latest.
What do your parents think about your self-employment?
My parents support me in all areas of my life, which is why I approach assignments without fear.
What has been your greatest success so far?
The foundation of my business and the trust that I have received from customers are my greatest successes so far.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur and how did you master it?
My age, of course. First you have to find a business, a hotelier family or a shop owner who trusts a 13 or 14 year old and says: “Do this for me!” Fortunately there were such people. They were convinced and recommended me when they saw the finished product. It was also important to convince my teachers to be able to manage the company and the school together.
What tips would you give other people in your age that would like to set up their own business?
Tip number 1: never give up.
Tip number 2: never give up.
Tip number 3: never give up.
Is there anything you want to change in your line of business?
I hope that the industry develops again to the “good” and that the photo market is not further damaged by stock photo sites where you can download free photos.
Therefore, also on behalf of all professional photographers, the so-called “hobby photographers”, I would like to call on you to give your photos to newspapers, but not for free.
Website of Julius Osner: foto-osner.com