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Author Archive | fionan

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Win One of 100 Mini-Websites

The aim of Small Business Can is to provide real help to small businesses in Ireland. Too many do not have their own websites so we want to help change that! In conjunction with our Web Store partner PAX AD we’re delighted to bring you this super competition to win one of 100 free customised mini websites. Customised design – PAX AD will design it for you! Include your own […]

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Business Plan Writer Bridges the Generation Gap

Met with three kids (early 20s…is it ageist to call them kids?); educated up to their eyeballs in Ireland – physics, maths and a computer science degree (Although computer science guy said his course was out of the Nineties). They were heading to Silicon Valley to develop a killer idea. They told me what it was. I agreed. It’s commercial in confidence so I can’t reveal it here. For the […]

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Dose of Reality

We’ve tens of thousands of small businesses on this island. Some grow. Too many don’t. We can blame the government…the banks… the small domestic market…. Europe… We also have to look into our hearts, perhaps, to figure out why. If your business is struggling, here’s some hard questions about business strategy you should ask yourself. Maybe they’re a dose of reality. If used as context when writing a business plan, […]

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20 Years of Achievement

Ulster Bank is calling on SMEs across the island of Ireland to enter the 20th Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. The awards are open to businesses across all sectors and entries are submitted via Ulster Bank’s Business Achievers Awards website – BusinessAchieversAward.com Speaking about the awards, chairperson of the national judging panel, founder of Lily O’Brien’s and the Jack and Jill Foundation, Senator MaryAnn O’Brien, said: “I am delighted to […]

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Plan to Achieve

The launch of the Business Achievers Awards last week dovetails nicely with our own pumping up of the need for business planning and our promotion of a new Business Planning Tool. The Business Achievers Awards competition is in its 20th year and is probably one of the biggest and most broadly based competitions on the island with categories to appeal to most businesses of all sizes across sectors. We have […]

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A Business Plan That (nearly) Writes Itself

Here’s how we came up with our new Business plan writer. 1.    Last year we offered to help people entering business competitions (and especially the Business Achievers Awards) who were struggling writing their entries. We ended up helping rewrite or writing from scratch over 40 business plans. 2.    We realised that a lot of businesspeople find the writing of plans difficult. 3.    As a result they write them badly. 4.   […]

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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 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

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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