Six of the best cinemas in Ireland

The International Union of Cinemas says that Ireland has the most cinema goers of any country in the EU. Below are six of the best cinemas in the land.

 

Lighthouse Cinema

Located in the Market Square in Smithfield, the Lighthouse cinema is regarded as one of the coolest places to catch a movie in Dublin. The Lighthouse distinguishes itself from its competitors by offering punters a mixture of Hollywood blockbusters, old classics and art-house films. A stone’s throw from the achingly cool Stoneybatter, the cinema is surrounded by a wealth of hip pubs and restaurants.

eye cinema galway

Eye Cinema

Galway’s locally-owned Eye bills itself as “the cinema that Galway deserves but has never had”. It sets itself apart from the big cinema chains by giving customers a choice of both mainstream film as well as more arthouse offerings. Visitors get the full multiplex experience with multiple screens, cafés, bars and an ice cream parlour. However, its Eye’s commitment to culture (as well as independent cinema it also host live events with musicians, poets, and comedians) that makes Eye the best in the West.

Phoenix Cinema Dingle

This family-run cinema is just another reason to love Dingle; an adult ticket to its nightly evening showing is only €8 while a matinee ticket will set you back €5.50. The 150 seat cinema also has its ‘Art Film’ night on Tuesdays, with tea and biscuits thrown in for good measure. A good option following a day exploring the Wild Atlantic Way or one of the town’s other attractions.

Century Cinemas

Another family run business, Century has been bringing cinema to Letterkenny for over 75 years. It has all the trappings of a multiplex with eight screens, stadium seating, and 3D movies. However, it also broadcasts live theatre and dance productions. In 2013 it opened its very own ice skating rink, Century Ice, so there’s no shortage of things to do in this enterprising venue.

best cinemas in ireland

IFI

Home of the Irish Film Institute, Temple Bar’s IFI is the go-to cinema for Dublin film buffs who want to get their fix of the latest in cutting-edge movie making. Its Georgian building gives visitors a cosy cinema-going experience, while its bar and café give people a place to hang out before sampling what’s on offer on the big screen.

Movie Junction

Cork’s Movie Junction is Ireland’s only dedicated drive in cinema, open seven nights a week. Visitors pick up snacks at the drive-thru kiosk, pull up in the parking bay, tune into the Movie Junction FM frequency on the car radio, then sit back and enjoy the latest blockbuster. Pizzas and chips can be ordered and delivered to your car door, and canopies keep your windscreen clear when it rains. A little slice of American culture in County Cork.

What’s your favourite cinema? Let us know on our Facebook page.

READ: The film sector is big business. If you want to open a cinema find the right finance.

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Data leaks, disasters and what to do

Data leaks are damaging. It’s never too late to put ten basic security practices in place.

52% of firms* in Ireland have no comprehensive strategy when it comes to preventing digital crime or data leaks.

Sensitive data leaks are the stuff of nightmares for business owners (and public representatives). What can you do when the horrible happens? 

darragh doyle

When it comes to sharing information, social media strategist Darragh Doyle says business owners should have very clear social media policies in place.

“Along with the policies and a nondisclosure agreement, employers should make it very clear that company information is never published in social groups,” says Doyle. 

Nightmare scenario

And what do you do if customer data or other sensitive data makes its way into the ‘wrong’ hands? 

“You have to own the problem,” says Doyle. “You have to find out how the issue occurred, where did it leak from, and then seek to address the fallout.”

Can someone press the big red button? 

“You also need to know the administrators of your social media groups and trust them. The question is, ‘Can someone hit the big red button?’” asks Doyle. 

Data dumps

It’s also important to keep company devices free from sensitive data. “Employees should be asked to do a data wipe, every day if necessary,” advises Doyle. 

“For example, they may have downloaded a database for a meeting to view it on screen. They should erase sensitive documents. It’s like having a clean desk policy but for smart devices and laptops.” 

The top ten things to do

*Grant Thornton suggested in a 2016 report that only 16% of Irish firms believe that cyber-crime is a credible threat.

The cost of cyber-crime to the Irish economy is estimated at €630m annually.

Here is a list of 10 useful tips that will help protect your business from cybercrime.

  • Secure your computers: Firstly, install anti-spyware and anti-virus software and always make sure that your firewall is activated. Additionally, Windows has a standard firewall on all of its computers. Access it from your control panel and confirm it’s switched on. This will help reduce your susceptibility to malware.
  • Secure your wireless network: Verify that your wireless network is not available to the public. Verify that your internet access is password protected and restrict usage to employees and guest visitors.
  • Encrypt your data: Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt. This cannot be emphasised enough. Encryption allows you to encode your information so that only authorised personnel can access it. Use encryption for any sensitive files or data that you own.
  • Avoid clicking unsafe links: The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” rings true here. Exercise caution when it comes to advertisements online, install ad-blocking software or, better yet, simply ignore them.
  • Use strong passwords: Perhaps the most obvious safety precaution, you should implement a strong alphanumeric password policy that consists of numbers, lowercase letters, uppercase letters and special characters with the password requiring a minimum of 12 characters.
  • Review statements regularly: A relatively simple action, review your monthly financial statements and check for any irregularities. If you spot anything suspicious, contact your bank immediately.
  • Keep systems updated: To combat any new threats that may emerge, keep your anti-virus software and Windows systems up-to-date. Advise staff to update their systems on a regular basis. If this approach is not suitable, automate how your updates are installed and roll it out across the whole business.
  • Social media housekeeping: Make sure there is adequate security surrounding who has access to the company’s social media accounts. Ensure that only authorised personnel have access to social media accounts and the log-in details.
  • Use multiple email accounts: Use a separate e-mail for financial dealings, another for social networks and one for general queries and so on. In the scenario that a hacker manages to gain access to one of these, all of the sensitive information isn’t compromised. In the same vein, use different passwords for each address.
  • Don’t store your credit card information online: Yes we know it’s a nuisance but having to input your card information for every transaction can save you a lot of hassle in the long term. If a hacker does manage to bypass your security they may also have access to your card details. Don’t take the risk. Alternatively, only use a prepaid card online.

If you find yourself the victim of a cyber-attack please contact The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation on +353 1 666 3776 as well as the Data Protection Office and your Internet Service Provider.

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Do you have what it takes to be in business?

Do you have what it takes to be in business? Whether you are starting, running or growing, take this and test your fitness.

Local Enterprise Office
First, contact your Local Enterprise Office and check out all the resources on the website. You can also register your business with the CRO.

TOP DOWNLOAD: A brilliant business plan template.

Business finance
If you need money to start and grow your business be prepared. Have a business plan before you approach a lender. You may also qualify for a grant.
Here’s a great guide to raising finance.

First steps – start your business plan
Before you start, flesh out your idea using the lean startup Business Model Canvas.
For investment you need a solid business plan. Writing a business plan can seem daunting so here’s a brilliant, easy-to-use, free business plan template for the Irish market.
Your marketing plan
Your marketing plan is an important part of your business plan. It shows potential investors that you know how important sales are to the survival of your business. Download it here. 

Your cashflow planner
Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business. This free template will help you through the tough times as well as the good times.
Don’t forget, financiers and investors will want to see cashflow plans. A cashflow plan can be the difference between getting an overdraft, or a term loan, and not getting one.
Read more: Raising money – a definitive guide.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/starting-a-business-ireland/ on thinkbusiness

How to grow your business at the right pace

It is possible to grow your business too quickly, it’s called overtrading and it can be dangerous.
Managing growth can be tricky, requiring a careful balancing between meeting customers’ orders on the one hand, and not over-stretching the resources and ability of the business to meet these orders on the other.
This constant balancing act is at the heart of a key risk for many businesses – the risk of overtrading – or the ability of a business to safely finance customer orders, before these orders are paid for by customers, without running out of the cash that the business needs day-to-day.
It’s often a particular dilemma for start-up and high growth businesses – finding the cash to fund business expansion, before being paid by your new customers. Even long-established businesses can be affected by over-trading. So all businesses should be aware of the risk and take active steps to prevent it. Luckily, there is a wide range of practical steps and actions that can be taken to manage business growth safely and avoid the risk of overtrading.

Step 1: Listen to your accountant

Your accountant will often be the first to spot the warning signs of overtrading. Listen to advice offered to you, carefully, and then act on it. Do not bury your head in the sand and ignore good advice. Advance planning and taking preventative steps now, could save a lot of trouble later and make the difference between business survival and extinction, especially in the early stages of business growth.

Step 2: Know your cashflow

Cashflow forecasting is an essential tool for any business, either new or well established. Read the ThinkBusiness.ie cashflow guide for more information. You need up-to-date financial information at your fingertips, to help you assess and plan the impact that any business expansion will have on your

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/how-to-handle-business-growth-spurts/ on
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Five Young Scientists who took on the world

 
Ireland’s ‘Young Scientist’ competition has had many brilliant winners since its start in 1965. Here we look at five previous winners who have set the world on fire.
 
Patrick Collison
Limerick native Patrick Collison won the competition in 2005 at the tender age of 16. With success under his belt and ambition in his heart, he moved to the US and, at the age of 19, sold his first software company, Auctomatic (which he founded with his younger brother John) for €3 million. Not bad for someone who [legally] couldn’t buy a beer in the States at the time. Not content with being two of the youngest self-made Irish millionaires ever, the Collison brothers (main image) then founded Stripe, an online payment company valued at over $9 billion. The brothers are on course not only to change the way people pay for things online but to help more SMEs sell online and usher in the era of global mobile eCommerce.
READ MORE: The winners of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2016.

John Monaghan
The first ever Young Scientist winner hasn’t done too badly for himself either. After winning the inaugural trophy way back in 1965, by building a working model of the human stomach, Kildare native John Monaghan ended up moving to California when the biotech industry was still in its infancy. Here, he founded Avigen Inc. As CEO of his firm, he raised nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in financing, and the NASDAQ-listed company is now a global leader in the US pharmaceutical industry.

Adnan Osmani
Mullingar-born and reared, Adnan Osmani claimed the 2003 title with his project, the XWebs browser, which he subsequently patented. Addy, as he is known to his 120,000 Twitter followers and friends, is a YouTube star with his show Totally Tooling Tips. As well as being a key

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/young-scientist-winners/ on thinkbusiness

Performance management systems explained

Performance management is a system of involving your employees to help you achieve your business’s goals.

It’s as important for an SME to have performance management systems in place, as it is for a larger business. Why? Because the more you involve your employees in delivering your business targets, the more you will meet customer expectations, improve productivity and deliver the bottom line numbers.

This 10-point checklist will help you create a performance management system for your business. 

1: Start at the top

The CEO (owner) needs to champion a performance management system, and all senior managers should be involved in the process.

2: Communicate the benefits

The CEO needs to get the message out about why performance management is being introduced and why it’s of benefit to both the business and the employees.

3: Get employee feedback

Don’t just launch a new system without involving employees in the process. Tell employees how it will work for them. Seek constructive feedback and act on it.

4: Identify clear business objectives

Ensure that the business’s objectives are well-defined. Use financial and non-financial measures, such as customer retention, new business wins or speed of customer response. Next, translate them into individual goals.

5: Set tangible individual goals

Employees should be able to understand what they need to deliver, how their performance will be measured and the skills, behaviours and knowledge that are expected of them. Employees should be provided with written business objectives, a clear job description and the criteria that their performance will be measured.

6: Ensure goals meet the SMART test

The business needs to ensure that goals are specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely (or SMART).  Here’s an example. A manufacturing plant sets a goal of reducing overtime hours of ten hours per week to five hours per week no later than the end of the financial year.

7: Formalise employee feedback

Managers should continuously review an employee’s progress against targets. Review meetings should be formal and should be held quarterly, if there are quarterly targets. Employees should be asked to contribute and asked about how they perceive their strengths and weaknesses.

8: Give constructive feedback

Feedback should be about encouraging employee self-awareness. Managers should provide timely feedback and use specific examples to support the points. Focus on the behaviour, not the individual.

9: Understand underperformance

There are many reasons why employees miss targets. Sometimes it’s due to a lack of skills, miscommunication or inadequate supports. Employees may have personal problems or lack motivation. Managers should encourage employees to share reasons why targets are missed. Together, they should agree what support or changes are needed.

10: Seek professional help

Performance management is a specialist skill. If you feel you have insufficient expertise in-house, get help. The investment of retaining an experienced adviser to help design the system will likely pay off in the long run.

INTERESTING: You can’t do it all alone. This is why mentors make sense.

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Developing a business strategy

Planning to grow? Below are nine points that will help you build a successful business strategy. 
1: When business planning, be alert to changes in your market or in customer behaviours. Many businesses fail because they bury their heads in the sand and don’t read the signs until it is too late.
2: Remember that marketing is an essential part of strategy formulation. It’s about creating value in response to customer demand.
3: Ensure you rely on good data and analysis to inform the strategic direction you take. A reliance on merely historic (usually financial) and other internal data will not provide the necessary insight to plan ahead. You need richer sources of data and market insight.
4: You don’t have to commit to a big research budget to get that all-important external insight. Simple processes, like customer surveys with the incentive of a prize, can be hugely valuable.
5: Involve your staff in the process of gathering information and opinions to inform future strategy. Remember that many winning strategies start with insights from staff members.
6: Communicate your strategy to your staff in a manner that they will understand. Keep it simple and tangible. Ensure you update them on implementation milestones.
7: Consider how you will communicate your strategy externally, particularly to allay any unfounded fears. For instance, if a business plans to expand into a new market and you or a senior manager will be in charge of that expansion, you need to ensure your existing customers understand what you’re trying to do and get assurances that servicing won’t be affected.
8: Your mission statement needs to be widely understood. Don’t fall into the trap of just sticking it on the wall and ticking the box that a new strategy is now in place.
9: Remember that strategies evolve and need a degree of flexibility. They should

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/writing-a-business-strategy/ on
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‘Every breath counts’ – PMD Solutions

Myles Murray, PMD Solutions, on starting and growing a business in Ireland.

What’s your business pitch? 

Today it is well known that the difference between 25 and 29 breaths per minute can be the difference between life or death within as short a time as 24 hours. PMD Solutions has developed the world’s first continuous and accurate respiratory rate monitoring, to improve patient outcomes by making every breath count. We enable medical teams to deploy timely interventions for patients around the world.  

How long have you been in business?

I was first introduced to the clinical need in 2010. PMD was incorporated in 2011 and now employs 17 amazing people. 

What’s your ambition?

To make a meaningful impact in the world. I know this sounds very grand. However, I look at what we’ve accomplished in PMD, and what we have yet to accomplish, it makes me realise that everyone can make an impact. 

What’s the most important thing you have learned so far in business?

There’s the plan, and then there’s reality. What tells successful companies apart is their ability to pivot, adapt, and adjust to the changing landscape. It is so important to lift up your head to look and listen to be aware of what is being said. That whole idea of work on as appose to in your business.

What was your biggest ‘mistake’ been, in business so far?

Cash is king and it’s not real until it is in the bank. 

Who inspires you in the business world?

Nothing gives me a bigger kick than watching the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards. 

What would you do to change the business climate in this country?

I believe Ireland has a fantastic infrastructure for supporting all types of business. In particular, for the MedTech sector, the Irish MedTech Association, IDA, and Enterprise Ireland. Great people are doing amazing work already. Ireland is a great place to start a business.  

Did you receive any supports to start your business and what do you need most at this stage of your business? 

PMD has been fortunate with support from LEO South Cork and Enterprise Ireland. We also have visionary investors and partners. Right now PMD is focused on growing its market share. Enterprise Ireland’s foreign offices are an enormous asset in helping to make this happen.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/business-ideas-pmd-solutions/ on
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Ten brilliant Irish business ideas

 
The Irish are an entrepreneurial bunch. Below are ten business ideas that originated in Ireland and changed the world.
It’s difficult coming up with an original business idea. Today, it seems most startups are trying to provide a different version of something else using an app or a piece of software. Back in the day, when people were made of sterner stuff, and computers were non-existent, people had ideas and made things that shaped the world forever. 
Below are ten ideas, conceived in Ireland, that went on to leave an indelible mark on human history. 

The rasher
Perhaps the tastiest invention of all time? It was invented by Henry Denny, a Waterford butcher, in 1820. 
The hypodermic syringe
In 1844, Francis Rynd, a Dublin doctor, performed the world’s first subcutaneous injection with his homemade hypodermic syringe. 

The modern stamp
The perforated stamp was invented by an Irish printer, Henry Archer in the 1840s. 
Artificial fertiliser
Artificial fertiliser was invented in 1817 by James Murray, an Irish doctor with a keen interest in chemistry. Dr Murray also invented Milk of Magnesia. 
The modern stethoscope
The binaural stethoscope was invented in 1850 by the Irish doctor Arthur Leared. 
The steam turbine
The steam turbine was invented by Charles Parsons who lived at Birr Castle in the 1880s. The steam turbine is what drives power stations and the modern distribution of electricity. Where would the electrical appliance industry have been without the steam turbine, or the computer industry or the digital age? 

The submarine
John Philip Holland changed the face of warfare by inventing the first commercial submarine in the late 1880s. 
The defibrillator
Professor Frank Pantridge was a physician and cardiologist from Northern Ireland who changed medicine and paramedics forever by inventing the portable defibrillator. In 1965 he installed his first version in a Belfast ambulance.
Radiotherapy 
John Joly was an Irish physicist, who developed radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. 

Colour photography
John Joly

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/brilliant-irish-business-ideas/ on
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VAT and tax tips for 2017

Follow these tips and you’ll be in a better position to hit the ground running when it comes to your tax affairs.

1: At the start of the year, review your taxes due. Your business could be eligible to file returns and make payments less regularly or using direct debit.

2: File your returns on time to avoid interest. Remember, Revenue’s interest rate is calculated on a daily basis, so missing the deadline can be costly.

3: Learn more about the VAT “cash-receipts” basis. This helps you avoid the cashflow difficulty of accounting for VAT on a supply when the invoice has not been paid by a customer. More information on the cash receipts basis and how to opt in is available from the Revenue website.

4: Consider whether you can make a claim for bad debt relief. Where bad debts arise and VAT has been accounted for on the supply, there may be scope for a VAT bad-debt relief claim.

5: Where at least 75% of your turnover is sales to customers outside of Ireland, it may be possible to register with Revenue to receive all supplies without VAT. Applications for authorisation should be made on Form VAT 56A, which is available from the Revenue District responsible for your tax affairs or may be downloaded from the Revenue website under “VAT Forms”.

6: Ensure that enough of your preliminary tax is paid in order to avoid possible interest charges.

7: Consider if any tax reliefs may be claimed and employ a qualified tax adviser to help you prepare the submissions and formal claim applications.

8: Use ROS to file and pay your taxes. This online system is obligatory for many businesses.

Tax arrears and the powers of Revenue

The Revenue pursues tax debts in a timely manner. If a tax liability runs into arrears and Revenue has not recovered the tax by following the normal process, it has the following powers:

    • It can refer the debt collection to the Revenue Sheriff, who can seize assets of the business and sell them to pay tax debts.
    • It can issue a “power of attachment order” to a debtor who owes the taxpayer money, requiring the money to be paid directly to Revenue.
    • A court judgment against the taxpayer can be sought, which can result in the forced sale of assets, an instalment order or a bankruptcy petition.

“Remember, if in doubt, consult a qualified tax adviser as early as possible to ensure you are fully tax compliant.”

READ MORE: Tax back when you retire.

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