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Business Advice for Irish Start-ups: Part 1
Starting your own business can be very exciting and challenging. As part of the journey, you’ll learn a lot about engaging with your customers, marketing your business and carving out a niche for your products.
Of course many people in Ireland have already walked a similar path – starting and growing a company whilst learning more about business and themselves along the way.
In conducting our ongoing series of Featured Business interviews, we too have learned – and continue to learn – from our own customers: what inspires them, what challenges they face, what motivates them, and what their vision is for the future.
These customers, many of whom were recognised at the SFA National Small Business Awards 2013 in March, have shared many invaluable nuggets with us during 2013. One of the questions we asked them was: “What’s the best business advice you’ve received?” Here’s a sample of the answers:
Critical, and the most basic one of all, which many people overlook: Know your product.
David Woolfson, SleepAngel
... stay focused and always work towards your goal. Everybody should have clear goals in business and you must always keep them in sight. Never take your eye off the ball.
Fintan Smith, Carysfort Healthcare
Never ask a staff member to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.
DJ Kelleher, Riverview Eggs
Perception is reality. If you portray yourself as a small local startup, that’s how you’re perceived; if you portray yourself as a leading international company, that’s how your potential customers, investors and partners perceive you.
Rory O’Connor, Scurri
Don’t reduce your price if you’re under pressure to do so – if it means it could damage your business. Stick with your plan.
Seamus Mulligan, Cuinneog
Don’t take yourself so seriously.
Cameron Wallace, Eight Degrees Brewing
Don’t stop learning, because if you’re not learning you’re not growing and it’s hard to succeed in a business long term without growth and adding to your product range.
Lisa Flanagan, Buggabandz
The major bit of advice, and I’ve given it to a lot of young businesses, is to get paid for your product upfront. The less credit that you give and get, the better for yourself. You can buy your product upfront and get it at a reduced price and vice versa.
Sheila Murray, Murray’s Recycled Plastic
Don’t have anybody owe you money. Pay at the till. If you don’t do the numbers, you’re in trouble.
Derek Murray, ForeGolf
You have to believe in what you do. You fail to plan and you plan to fail. You have to do it for the right reasons.
Michael Masterson, Moll Industries Ireland Ltd.
If you don’t try, you never know. You have to go for it or else you’ll always wonder what might have been.
Dorothy Creaven, Element Software
The best bit of advice I’ve had is your work is your best form of advertising … We always remember that a clap on the back is only six inches away from a kick in the behind. Don’t rest on your laurels.
David Burke, M&T Plant Hire
Control the supply of your raw materials and, as much as possible, try and make them yourself.
Dr Barry McCleary, Megazyme
If you’re going to do it, do it right; if you’re not going to, don’t do it. Don’t take short cuts. Quality will always stand out from the rest. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Bryan Lynch, Bryan Lynch Finest Salads
Excerpts from interviews by: Web Content Partners
Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.
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