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Author Archive | fionan

Dealing with the press

Here’s a fantastic guide to dealing with the media. Its a Publicity Guide for community and NGO activists published by the European Anti Poverty Network (Ireland) – people who do great work with little funding. However this guide can also be applied to small businesses. It’s very useful for people and organisations with little or no experience in publicity work, to give a basic grounding in how the media works, […]

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NI achievers talk and walk the walk

The debate was lively with a fantastic panel and an engaged audience that asked some great questions. This was an event where you could feel the energy from people that are at the coalface winning business. Here’s what they discussed:  Marketing or sales? Can SMEs afford a marketer or is a good sales person what’s really needed? All agreed (eventually) that in SMEs marketers also sell and vice versa and […]

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Strategy equals growth

We’ve said it before: We have a strategy deficit on this island. Indigenous businesses do not grow, because of the lack of strategy. Look at the proof; count the number of truly international household names we have? We can’t blame the recession because they didn’t grow during the boom years either; property development companies don’t count! Cut your nose to spite your face We see 2 reasons for this. First, […]

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Bert and Ernie do la, la, la

Its been a tough week with even more austerity being planned in both Ireland and the UK. We thought we would post someting innocent from happier times.. to cheer us all up. Here’s an idea; when you read the budget summaries, have Bert and Ernie playing in the background!

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UK faces up to austerity

The UK Coalition government has reached the halfway point in its term of office. When the Chancellor announced his master plan in the summer of 2010, he must have hoped that the worst of the fiscal pain would be behind him by now. Economic growth was supposed to be just shy of 3% in 2012 with a similar out-turn anticipated in 2013. Meanwhile, it was projected that by 2014/15 the […]

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Budget 2013 – Summary

The target of the Irish Budget 2012 was to get at least €3.5 billion in savings in a combination of cuts to spending and in increased taxation. Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, opened his speech by saying the government wanted to give the small to medium enterprise sector a ‘helping hand’. New measures were introduced but with the Minister himself accepting they were ‘modest’ the effects are unlikely to make massive […]

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business achievers awards

Business achievers online application

The Business achievers awards are one of the premier all island business competitions. If you’re thinking of entering the Ulster Bank Business achievers awards, have a read of this. We also hope that you find the online entry process to be straightforward enough. And if you do enter business achievers, we hope that the process will help you learn a bit more about your business, as-well as (hopefully) getting it, […]

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Setting the stage for women led businesses

Last Thursday we had ‘a bit of a do’ to launch our new initiative with Ulster Bank to support more women entrepreneurs called Business Women Can. Now we’re starting to promote it. Yes, we see the irony of ‘publicising’ during the mid term break when many business women are under even more pressure juggling family and working life with holidays. US women can and do In the US we don’t know if there’s mid […]

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Calling on all business achievers

You can Register Your Interest in entering the Ulster Bank Business Achievers NOW: Before everyone else. All embracing competition We’ve been working closely with a team in Ulster Bank on its Business Achievers Awards programme. This follows research we carried out on Small Business Can last year where 97% of you said you saw the value of entering business competitions, but 92% of you felt entering the competitions was too […]

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Why Small Business Can is supporting Business Women Can? The USA perspective.

When we launched Small Business Can (SBC), we had an animated picture of a number of business people standing steadfastly together around the logo. From memory there were about 8 or nine business people; only one was a woman. A few years later we had great gas when we set up a social group where SBC members could hang out and meet offline for a few beers. It was called […]

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Business Achievers Awards – Categories to fit all businesses

It’s that time of year again. Nominations and applications are now open for the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. Now in their 19th year, the awards celebrate exceptional businesses and recognise their vital leadership roles in creating and sustaining economic growth.  Raise your profile Prove your excellence Acknowledge your team’s efforts Impress partners, clients and investors Join a network of your peers We’re looking for all types of businesses from […]

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A competition designed for you

We’ve talked a lot in the past about the benefits for SMEs of entering business competitions. Last year we did something about it when we engaged with Ulster Bank and gave them feedback based on talking to you about the type of business competition you wanted. We’re taking it further this year with a dedicated micro site which will cover all things business competition. Here are some good reasons why […]

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If it’s worth doing, do it right

We’re a website. We have to do a Top Tips! Here’s our take on how you should approach entering business competitions and filling in the forms. Sorry if this appears a bit didatic. But last year some of the smallbusinesscan team were on judging panels; this blog is based on some of the very simple mistakes that were made – and could so easily be avoided – by applicants. Check […]

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Getting paid on time

For any business these days, it’s a familiar scenario: You win the business, submit the invoice, wait 30 days and then – nothing. Your staff and creditors expect to get paid on time, so is there anything you can do?  Here’s a methodology that may help you speed up delivery of payment of your invoices, and avoid hassle with your clients. Define Your Terms Define your terms and conditions It’s […]

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Downloadable Excel Financial Spreadsheets

  Here’s 8 pretty fundamental financial spreadsheets that every small business needs to have. All are in excel. All are templates and all are downloadable.   This spreadsheet will help you to prepare a projected profit and loss account as part of your Operating Budget, in a format suitable for inclusion in your Business Plan. Download the Operating Budget Profit and Loss spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will help you to record and […]

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