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Breaking new ground in the year ahead

Fleet Financial has grown substantially since it was formed in 1996. Five people were involved in the Belfast company when it was formed by senior managers who had run the contract car management operation for Charles Hurst. Today Fleet Financial has 25 staff. The trigger for the formation of Fleet […]

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Pinterest as a Form of Social Media Marketing

Pinterest is the hottest thing, so far, that happened in the world of social media marketing. This new social media site has substantially grown in just few months. In fact, from the 1.2 million users as of August 2011, it ballooned to nearly 5 million users now. Although it first […]

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Do you know what monkey brain is?

Do you know what monkey brain is? It’s a kind of mental wander lust. Many entrepreneurs have this condition. It manifests as busy work. Put crudely an entrepreneur with monkey brain will be described (behind his back) as a ‘blue a@&%d fly’ jumping from one wild idea to another; more […]

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Getting into the swing of a growing golfing operation

Londonderry retailer Total Golf provides an object lesson in how to develop and grow at a fast rate, even in a recession. Exports and online retailing offer enormous opportunities. Dermot Hegarty opened a shop in Derry’s Springtown estate in 2006 with two staff: he now has 13 employees and expects […]

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Is it easier now to start a business?

I started my first business in 1984 selling study books to my fellow students and side-stepping the cartel that Dutch schoolbook publishers had by importing the books from the USA. 
Life was simple then. Computer screens were black and green (or yellow). Wordstar was the preferred software for writing business […]

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Summer Slouchers

Summer is again almost upon us and it’s likely you are preparing yourself for the summer holidays. But when planning your summer holiday, have you spared a thought for your back? Holidays are notorious for creating ‘summer slouchers’ and it isn’t difficult to see why, when you consider the amount […]

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Franchising in Ireland in 2012

As we move into 2012, we have been hearing a lot about economic challenges facing many countries, including Ireland. Orna Stokes, of Ulster Bank reports. Not all business sectors have been performing the same – to paraphrase Charles Dickens, Ireland 2011 saw the best of times and the worst of […]

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Advice and support for franchisors from Ulster Bank

(Originally appeared in the Sunday Business Post 22 April 2012) Sunday Business Post: What is the current state of the franchising sector in Ireland? Ulster Bank: Recent years have seen strong growth in the number of franchise brands in Ireland. The 2010 All-Ireland Franchise Survey (UCD Smurfit Business School in […]

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Start-Up Business Award – Budget Energy: Derry

Budget Energy is the new, low cost electricity supplier to the Northern Ireland Market focusing on simple tariffs and excellent customer service. Established in 2011 as a Northern Ireland registered company, their goal was to be cost effective, competitive and operational in real time bringing much needed consumer choice to […]

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Family-Run Business Award – O’Connell Group: Cork

Established in 1974, O’Connell Group is one of Ireland’s leading logistics companies with over 746,000 square foot of warehousing and a large fleet of trucks and trailers, coupled with extensive container handling facilities and a pallet manufacturing division. O’Connell Group is an export-driven business which delivers for its customers to […]

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Green Business Award – Joule: Dublin

Joule is the leading manufacturer of domestic hot water and solar thermal systems in the UK and Ireland. Young entrepreneurs Ian Barrett and Ronan Ginnell started out as a two-person team in 2007 and now employ a staff of 34 between their bases in Dublin and Runcorn, UK. Since its […]

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The business landscape for Franchising in Ireland

Irish SMEs are undoubtedly operating in a challenging environment – Business Information Provider Vision-net reported that 1,930 businesses in Ireland closed their doors during 2011.   But Vision-net statistics also tell us a story of entrepreneurship – 14,654 new firms were incorporated and 26, 605 business names were registered in 2011. […]

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Free entry registration to the Franchise Expo

Yes, we did take a bit of a break. Our union, eNUFE  – The National Union for the Entitled (eCommerce branch) said that under the ‘We’re Croked’ Park Agreement we were entitled to take a break, that in fact we were obligated to take what we were due. So with […]

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