Business Achievers Awards Final this 4th of December

Impressive previous winners

The Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards are all about celebrating the success of businesses from across the island. The roll-call of previous winners contains some very impressive names, and we’ll be adding to that list at this years Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards Final 2014 this Thursday 4th Dec. This year, ahead of our final we went back and visited one of our previous National Winners. These businesses have gone on to do some phenomenal work over the past few years. Take a look at what winning the award meant to them and how the business have benefited since.

Galway Clinic

Have a look at how Galway Clinic is doing.  Galway Clinic took the title of Best Service Business at our National Final in 2010.

Galway Clinic saw winning the Business Achievers Awards as an opportunity to celebrate, to reflect and to get independent advice and last but not least as good promotion of the business.

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This post was originally published here - on thinkbusiness

8 lessons from supernichist

Hidden Champions of the Twenty-First Century: The Success Strategies of Unknown World Market Leaders by Herman Simon

What do Baader, 3B scientific, McIlhenny, International SOS, Hoganas, Tetra, Bobcat, Gallagher, Seas Getter, Hamamatsu,Arnold and Richter, Petzl, Lantal, Tandberg, WET, De La Rye, Belfor, Ulvac, Orica, CEAG, Gartner, Zimmer, Technogym, Gerriet,Embrear, OC Tanner, Klias, Electro-Nite, Sappi, Essel Propack, Plansee, Dickson, Molex, Jungbunzlauer, Nivarox, SGS, Brainlab, Delo, Enercon, Omicon, Beluga, Nissha, Amorim, Jamba, Netjets and EOS have in common?

They are all companies you probably have never heard off, who have global market shares of over 50% and have been around for a long time. Hermann Simon calls them hidden champions.

The book is the German version of “In search of excellence”. With a number of lessons we all should pay attention to. Particularly owner managers of medium sized businesses.

What can we learn?


They are all extremely niche focusses and have embedded themselves in the value chain of their clients and are the undisputed market leaders in their niche. They usually focus on narrow, small markets. And become the best in that market. Making them he market leader. The claim to market leadership is not confined to market share alone, but includes performance attributes such as technology, innovation, quality, and reputation. Their tactic is to dominate our market niches by transforming general markets in which they are a nobody into market niches where they are somebody! They are supernichists.

What do they do

They are mostly family businesses. They are based in rural communities. They have a long term perspective. They have CEOs that have been there for over 25 years. The CEO is most likely to be the owner. They are very customer focussed. They are global. They look after their staff extremely well. They invest in training.They invest in innovation. They are ambitious, have vision and set themselves long term, some times generational stretch goals. They stick to what they do best. And most of all they all deliver superior quality.

Extreme segmentation

They refuse to employ customary or traditional market definitions. Instead they define their markets in autonomous and innovative ways and it becomes part of their strategy definition. Not “washing machines”, but “washing machines for quality linen, for the restaurants in 5 star hotels only”. Extreme market segmentation if you like. Which means that they are also very, very close to their customers

They have grown by going global

All of the companies have an international focus. They on average 24 subsidiaries in other countries, a surprisingly large number for midsize companies. They are all in China and have been for a long time. The triad they focus on is China, Russia, India. They know that Japan is a source of innovation (“What happens in Tokyo today happens in the rest of the world tomorrow”), but is not their focus yet. All their managers speak at least 3 languages in the company, and increasingly the staff reflects the diversity of their client base. This as part of getting as close as possible to their customers.

Selling versus marketing

Approximately 70% of the hidden champions only sell directly and maintain intensive, lasting relationships with their customers and  enter into a long-term commitment with the supplier. They don’t have marketing departments or marketing titles. They have 5 times more contact with regular contacts then “normal” business. As a result, they have extremely close relationships with their customers, embedded in the value chain of the customer, nearly symbiotic. With emphasis on high performance rather than at low price. They offer complex product and service programs, more often systems solutions. Such programs cannot be sold off the peg, but require detailed consultation processes. They brand themselves by high visibility projects in the niche, focus on being know by the people that matter and the message is simple. Being the best, the number one, the market leader, are excellent communication messages both for the market and for the employees. The statement: “We are number one” is clear and comprehensible for everyone.

Innovation is key

They spend double the average spend on R+D. With a higher emphasis on process innovation, but also in distribution, pricing, design and sometimes technology and patents. If they go for patents, their patent intensity is 5 times higher!  Because they involve staff in vision, values and strategy, innovation is easier. With active involvement of the management team, who are invariable domain experts themselves. And of course they involve their customers in the innovation process. The main focus is on ongoing improvement versus breakthrough innovations. Even many technical breakthroughs were the result of a development policy of small steps.

Simple organisation

The typical hidden champion is a one-product, one-market company with limited organisational complexity. The top management of the hidden champions is very lean. They manage their global businesses with the aid of network organisations that make use of the latest information technology to the greatest possible extent. The hidden champions prefer to promote their leaders from within and have a long term view. The hidden champions have high-performance cultures and are intolerant of shirkers. Shirkers get fired. If you stay, you stay for a long time. The average length of service is 37 years. Which allows the organisation to retain a lot of the knowledge and expertise. Employee loyalty, training, motivation and flexibility are seen as pronounced competitive strengths by the management team. They always have more work than people, which develops a high performance culture. The high performance culture is achieved through the formation of small units that make the performance of individual employees transparent. The hidden champions are enthusiastic decentralises and rely less on formal systems and key figures when it comes to mobilising employees’ creativity.

In core competencies, the hidden champions continue to favour high vertical integration and avoid outsourcing. Hey strongly outsource noncore competencies. They prefer to go it alone and have an aversion to strategic alliances.


  1. .Willpower and goals always come first. Leadership means inspiring employees from all over the world to be the best, to become a world market leader.
  2. Ambitious goals can only be achieved by focusing one’s resources. The definition of the playing field itself is an essential means of getting the focus right
  3. High performance requires intolerance against shirking and swift dismissal of employees who do not pull their weigh
  4. Uniqueness can only come from within and cannot be bought on the market. It therefore requires depth and a certain reserve toward outsourcing.
  5. Decentralisation is the most effective way to retain the strengths of the hidden champions, even in larger and more complex structures. Decentralisation should be put into practice wherever possible.
  6. Globalisation opens up unprecedented growth opportunities, even for small companies. In order to use these opportunities, leaders and employees must put aside their national and cultural boundaries. Incessant stamina and perseverance are required to survive the multigenerational globalisation process. The greatest challenge is the internationalisation of the people.
  7. Innovation is the only effective long-term means of succeeding in competition. Innovation is primarily a question of creativity and quality, less so a matter of money.
  8. Closeness to customer almost automatically creates competitive advantages. Top customers, like top competitors, should be employed systematically as drivers of performance.

Other lessons:

  • Thinking in generations instead of over a short period of time, (e.g., three, five, or ten years as is common in strategic planning);
  • Maintaining high continuity in top management;
  • Resisting management fads, and observing timeless maxims instead;
  • Fostering the loyalty of the employees and the entrepreneur’s reciprocally high responsibility
  • Simplicity
  • The condition “more work than people” also favours simplicity. Parkinson’s law that employees invent the work which keeps them busy doesn’t stand a chance.

You can do it

The end of the book is brilliant. The message is simple, you can do it too. Hidden champions teach us that instead of managing only one great thing brilliantly, good management means doing many small things better than the competitors. The sum of many small advantages ultimately leads to success. Genius is not required. To become a hidden champion, we must do many small things a little better in a targeted and consistent way and with stamina.

Focus, clear and specific market definition, extreme customer care and focus, high quality, high performance and a long term perspective are all you need.

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How to Choose the Best China Purchasing Agent to Grow Your Business

A lot of businesses need a helping hand when importing from a country like China because it is becoming the major manufacturer of industrial products due to its low price and improved quality. But the diversity of products, language, culture and business practice pose a problem for most foreign buyers and thus, having a good rapport with the suppliers is very important. This is where a China purchasing agent comes in.

What is a Purchasing Agent?

This refers to an individual, working as a freelancer or employed by a company in order to help companies overseas import from China. Although a purchasing agent isn’t a requirement to import from China, a very good agent is really valuable in your overall product procurement strategy.

Why You Need a Purchasing Agent?

Handling these Chinese suppliers can be time consuming and finding the right one requires a sound and tactical approach that completely weeds out the bad suppliers (about 80 – 90 percent), which constitutes the majority. If you don’t have the time to spend ten hours a week for each product and each supplier, follow development and production then you need to good purchasing agent.

Also, choosing the right supplier requires a certain amount of product knowledge which is an asset that is not possessed by a lot of inexperienced importer. You definitely need a China purchasing agent if you do not have the basic technical understanding that is needed to speak intelligently about your product and the requirements of your market or you cannot go to China to inspect factories and get to understand the people you work with.

With that said, it is really up to you to choose whether to work with a purchasing agent or not. If you have the wealth of experience and a high level of “in house” expertise that can manage the often time consuming and risky tasks, then do not hesitate to do it on your own and save a few dollars.

Importance of finding a Good Purchasing Agent.

The responsibility of a purchasing agent is to look for quality products and reputable suppliers and handle everything you need in China on your behalf while looking after your every interest in it. Below are some of the duties of a reliable purchasing agent.

It is his role to keep an organization’s inventory of either finished goods, raw materials, or important services at a satisfactory level in order to keep business tasks at minimum possible price or cost.

He should verify purchase requisitions and compare items requested to master list, clarify unclear items and recommend alternatives. It is the duty of the Purchasing Agent to forward available inventory items by verifying stock and scheduling delivery and also verify price and specifications in order to prepare purchase orders and obtain recommendations from suppliers for substitute items.

His duty also includes obtaining purchased items by forwarding orders to suppliers, monitoring as well as expediting orders. He should be able to verify complete receipt of items by comparing items ordered to items received and resolving shipments in error with suppliers. It is their duty to accomplish purchasing and organization mission by completing related results as needed.

What to look out for in a Purchasing Agent?

A qualified purchasing or sourcing agent in China must have good command of English or any other foreign languages both in written and verbal forms as language is extremely important in communication among businessmen world. A good China purchasing agent should know much about the policies in China and should have good links with local government authorities.

A purchasing agent should also have proper methods on purchasing and sourcing the target items as soon as possible. He should also have a good knowledge of international laws and regulations. He should be familiar with international practice, certificates issue, quota issue, tax issue and anti-dumping issue, etc.

As more and more businesses seek to expand and make their operations more efficient, getting a purchasing agent to handle all the time consuming tasks is a wise approach to take. The guide discussed above should be able to lead you in the right path so that you can get a China Purchasing Agent that is trustworthy, reliable and efficient.

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Maven TM, a leading B2B telemarketing and lead generation agency to the technology industry, has been shortlisted for two major industry awards.

The Carlow-based company is in competition for the Best Small or Growing Contract/Shared Services Centre and also Best Customer Acquisition or Sales Campaign categories for the 2014 Irish Contact Centre & Shared Services Awards.

The awards ceremony – organised by CCMA (the Contact Centre Management Association) – will take place on Saturday, 15th November in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Competition is fierce as Maven TM is up against such major companies as Dell, UPC, eBay, Sky Ireland, Paddy Power, Vodafone and AA Ireland.

“We are thrilled and proud to be short-listed for these awards which are a very big event in our industry”, said Mr Mark Cradock, Managing Director, Maven TM, adding: “It is an acknowledgement that we are doing things right at Maven TM and making real pogress.”

Set up by Mark Cradock in 2011, Maven TM has been built largely on self-funding without external investors and has achieved strong results, growing to over 30 staff and building an impressive client base of over 60 leading technology companies across eight countries.

Providing its services in 12 languages, Maven TM finds and qualifies, through data analysis, digital marketing, social media and targetted telemarketing activities, new sales opportunities for its clients, boosting their sales revenue.

Only recently, Maven TM announced an expansion of its international business with funding support from Government through Enterprise Ireland which included the creation of eight new jobs in its Carlow office in the areas of Operations, HR, Training and Project Management.

Find out more about Maven TM on






This post was originally published here - on thinkbusiness

The profiles of the Ulster finalist of the business achievers

Find below the profiles of the the business achievers Ulster finals. They now go for the big prizes at the final on 4 December. Which one is your favourite? Tweet us @smallBC, #businessachievers

Business Start Up: Arklu (Donegal)

Arklu is a children’s entertainment company, specialising in dolls. Having launched their doll brand Lottie in August 2012 they are now selling in 30 countries via a network of 16 distribution partners. The character is being developed through a series of books and through animation. Lottie is described as “a wholesome alternative doll based on a nine year old child” who “does not wear make-up, jewellery or high heels”.

Small Business: Cornerstone Automation Systems (Londonderry)

Established in 2001, the company now employs 60 people in a 70,000 sq. ft. facility in Campsie.

It manufactures and integrates a full line of cutting edge product handling systems for manufacturers and distributors. Automation systems include shipping systems, in-motion scales, sortation, box opening, order picking, receiving systems, dispensing systems, print and apply systems, robotics as well as necessary software and controls to integrate.

Established SME: BA Kitchen Components (Cookstown)

Established in 1990 by Brian McCracken, BA Components has grown steadily to become a major manufacturer of kitchen, bedroom, bathroom doors and accessories.

Its  customer base ranges from small UK retailers to large kitchen, wholesale, furniture, DIY manufacturers, contractors and retailers throughout the UK, Europe and  Asia Pacific.

The headquarters are based in an 80,000 square foot factory in Cookstown with a workforce of 95.

 International Business: Almac (Craigavon)

Headquartered in Craigavon, Almac is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services to over 600 companies globally within the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. Services include state-of-the-art drug discovery, world leading cancer diagnostics, research and development, manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients, formulation development and the support of global clinical trials. Today the global organisation employs over 3,500 staff in a diverse range of activities

 Social Enterprise: Employers for Childcare Charitable Group (Lisburn)

EFCG encompasses a registered charity and two Social Enterprises, Employers For Childcare Vouchers (EFCV) and Employers For Childcare Solutions (EFCS). The aim of the charity is “to make it easier for parents with dependent children to get into work and to stay in work”.

 Food and Drink: Avondale Foods (Craigavon)

Established in 1965, Avondale Foods the family-run company is located just outside Lurgan on Chestnut Farm. Avondale initially grew and sold vegetables before moving focus to research and development and subsequently diversified into vegetable processing. With products supplied under own label and Country Kitchen brands, the company supplies most major supermarkets.

 Agri Business: SlurryKat (Waringstown)

Slurrykat specialises in the design and engineering of the very latest cutting edge, world class agricultural machinery. It is at the forefront of technological innovation and is currently exporting over 140 different products to more than 20 countries worldwide. A global brand Slurrykat is now widely accepted as the trendsetter and market leader in slurry management systems.

 Women Led Business: Moy Park (Craigavon)

Moy Park is headed by Janet McCollum who was appointed Chief Executive in January 2014.

The company offers a range of fresh, high quality and locally farmed poultry and complementary convenience food products to all the leading retail and food service customers in the UK and Europe. As Northern Ireland’s largest private sector company it employs 12,000 people with 14 main sites in the UK, Ireland France and the Netherlands, accompanying mills and hatcheries and 800 farms in its supply chain.

Special Recognition Award: Vita Liberata (Doagh)

Vita Liberata is a luxury self-tan and skincare brand and its products are sold in 24 countries worldwide. Vita Liberata is recognised as the world’s most advanced non-toxic, organic tanning brand. Founded in 2003 by the current CEO Alyson Hogg to offer innovative skincare that truly delivered, in 2007 Alyson saw a gap in the marketplace for a luxury self-tan with skincare benefits combined, suiting the needs of women on the go.

The post The profiles of the Ulster finalist of the business achievers appeared first on Small Business Can.

This post was originally published here - on thinkbusiness

5 Essential Accounting Skills for Small Business Owners

The role of a small business owner can be difficult because they are required by necessity to assume a number of different roles including that of an accountant or bookkeeper. Staying on top of your accounts is critical to the success of any business small or large. Although there are many accounting skills that can be of benefit to small business owners I regard the following as the most essential ones.

Accounting Skills: Recognition of loss making business activities

Small Business Owners must recognise any business activity which is not turning out a profit. These business activities may include long running business products which are in demand from the business’s customers but which have become expensive to produce, due perhaps to a shortage of raw material. If the increased cost o production cannot be reflected in the sale price, then production of the product should be discontinued. Continuing to sell a product line below cost will inevitably lead to serious losses within the business.

Small Business Owners will sometimes consider the loss of some of its customers with the lack of profit on a certain product line. If the product line concerned is an inexpensive product which contributes a very small profit margin it may be acceptable o suffer a small loss on the product line in order draw customers to the store. This concept is generally known as a “Loss Leader” and is often seen in certain industries such as the furniture retail business. One item, say a coffee table is put on display at or slightly below cost in order to attract the public into the shop with the view that everything is priced similarly low there. When a customer enters the shop they will usually purchase one or more expensive products along with the coffee table.

Cash flow monitoring

Small Business Owners should continually monitor the business cash flow in order to ensure that any up and coming cash surpluses can be invested profitably and earn a good return on investment. Any expected cash flow shortages must also be carefully provided for with additional short-term bank finance or personal loans. A business may be running profitably with a full order book and loyal customers but a cash flow shortage for even a short period of time can lead to the business becoming bankrupt or being forced into liquidation.

A business will have a set bank overdraft limit and this usually cannot be increased at short notice. If the business is delayed a large payment from one or two customers for eight to ten days it can have a devastating effect on it. The business will have to pay its suppliers and its staff and if it cannot raise short-term finance or organise a loan to the business then an unpaid supplier or a union representing unpaid staff will apply to the courts for a winding up order for the business.

Control of overhead expenditure

Small Business Owners should keep a careful watch on overhead expenditure to ensure that profit margins are not being exhausted paying for excessive day to day running expenses. Overhead expenses will include business rent, rates, light, power, telephone, advertising etc. Some of these overheads are fixed and unavoidable such as rent and rates but other overheads such as advertising are variable and must be controlled to avoid excessive use of profit margin and cash flow.

Annual budgets should be prepared to determine the correct amount of variable overhead expenditure each year in line with expected sales income. Strict adherence to budgeted overhead expenditure is necessary and any excessive spending on; advertising for example, can eat into gross profit and create an accounting loss which may not be discovered until the financial year end.

Controlling staff costs with staff production

Small Business Owners should ensure that labour costs are adequately matched with the revenue created by each staff member. Staff should not be reimbursed for merely attending the work place during work hours. Staff attributes such as skill, timekeeping, loyalty etc. should be taken into account when a new member of the workforce is being recruited.

A Small Business invests heavily in its work force and a return on this investment is essential if the business is to continue profitably. Controlling of staff costs and recognition of each staff member’s productive capabilities is an essential skill for all Small Business Owners.

Business break-even analysis

Small business Owners should analyse the business break-even business projections at the beginning of each fiscal year or each major business contract. This analysis will always form part of a business plan prepared by a new business prior to commencing trade but should be prepared by business owners when quoting for a new contract or at the beginning of a financial year.

If this analysis provides evidence that the business will not break even, in other words the business will run into a loss making situation, then the business venture should not be undertaken.

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Invoice Discounting Vs Factoring – Which Is Better For A Small Business?

When a business faces financial crisis and with the growing demand for working capital in the market, securing finance to meet your daily business needs has become an item of luxury. The banks are growing to be even less credit-friendly as they were and obtaining working capital is becoming more and more difficult for both small and large scale companies. In this post we look at invoice discounting vs factoring and how it can impact on your small business.

For those not familiar with Invoice Discounting, it is simply a short term loan provided by financial agencies to the business owners, utilizing the unpaid sales invoices as collateral. Factoring on the other hand is the selling of the invoices to a third party at a discount. While both the terms may sound the same to many, there are often noticeable differences between the two.

Invoice Discounting Vs Factoring

  • Factoring arrangements are a complete sale of ownership of the debt owed to your company to a 3rd The invoices are sold at a discount with an agreement that the payment for the invoices will directly be collected by the 3rd party which is also known as the ‘Factor’. This not only provides immediate cash flow into your business but also relieves you of the burden of collecting debts for the unpaid invoices. Chasing unpaid invoices is often a time consuming process which can affect your business further. Factoring thus takes care of your short term finance requirements and your debt collections.
  • Invoice Discounting on the other hand, is a loan borrowed against the invoices which are held with the financing organization. As compared to Factoring, the business owners retain the right to collect the payment for the pending invoice. The finance company also charges a monthly fee and interest on the loan. While this doesn’t provide the same benefits as Factoring, it is more helpful in maintaining client relations. The Invoice Discounting is often done on a confidential level between the business and the financing company and the client will never get to know about the funding.

What Should You Consider For Your Business?

If you own a small business it is often confusing to choose between Invoice Discounting and Factoring as both of them have a fair share of pros and cons. Although, both are being put off by several businesses due to the financing organization’s high demands from the applicants and only suits a handful of businesses. Factoring indeed seems to be a better choice for small businesses as you have a flexibility of putting only a portion of your total invoices for sale while still maintaining your valuable and more trusted clients.

One must remember that most small businesses thrive on the healthy client relationships and selling up the more profitable clients can stain your business’ reputation in the long run.

Despite of Invoice Discounting and Factoring being popular the popular means to raise short-term finance can provide several disadvantages to small businesses. One can also opt for the several other means for finance, available for small businesses. Short-term bank loans, invoice financing, equity financing, peer-to-peer lending, government loans and grants etc. are the various other methods through which working capital can be raised for your business.

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New Loan Support Welcomed for Ireland’s Small Business Community   

The network of Local Enterprise Offices is teaming up with Microfinance Ireland, to launch a new type of loan support aimed at Ireland’s small business community.

The ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan was launched in Cork with small business loans on offer, of between €2,000 and €25,000, at a reduced rate of interest. Benefitting from advice and support during the application stage, start-ups and small businesses can now apply directly to any of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country for the new ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan package.

Under a new Protocol between the LEOs and Microfinance Ireland (MFI), it is expected that up to 250 new applications for the loan support will take place this year alone. Based on an average loan size of €15,500, the €3.8 million in lending is expected to support 500 jobs nationwide.

Importantly, loans are generally unsecured and can be used for working capital, as well as items like equipment, hiring new employees and marketing campaigns. Start-ups and small businesses across all industries and sectors, which employ fewer than 10 people, are being encouraged to apply if they are finding it difficult to access credit.

MFI, a not-for-profit lender, was established in October 2012 and received its first loan application the following month. It was set up to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund, announced in the Action Plan for Jobs.

Around half of MFI’s loan applications already come through the LEOs, and the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of MFI, Michael Johnson, is keen to encourage many more start-ups and small business owners to apply through the LEO network. Speaking ahead of today’s launch, he said: “Since Microfinance Ireland opened its doors less than two years ago, we’ve made significant progress, approving loans to 308 small businesses, providing €4.8 million in lending, supporting 711 jobs to date.”

He added: “We are in a demand-led business, so for every loan application we receive, there could be ten or more potential loan applicants out there, still finding it difficult to get finance for their business. For those new start-ups and small business owners who meet the criteria, our advice is to talk to your Local Enterprise Office and apply for the new loan support. Supporting jobs is at the very heart of what we do and providing loan assistance to viable businesses through the Local Enterprises Offices will help unlock a company’s potential to create those jobs.”

Welcoming the launch of the new loan support, Vincent Reynolds, Chairperson of the LEO Network said: “Through this partnership arrangement with Microfinance Ireland, our aim is to assist the small business community in gaining access to the credit they need now, to help their business develop and grow into the future. If microenterprises are the driving force behind the Irish economy, then access to credit is critical for our recovery and job growth. This new loan partnership is a welcome addition to the range of supports, now available through the entire Local Enterprise Office network.”

Michael Hanley, Head of LEO in West and North Cork said: “As the ‘First Stop Shop’ for anyone wanting to grow their business, or start one up, Local Enterprise Offices are well-placed to understand the needs of small businesses in their communities. We understand that getting access to credit can be difficult, especially for people getting new ventures off the ground. By partnering with Microfinance Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices can now offer a tailor-made loan product to our small business clients, at a reduced rate for the term of the loan, in addition to our other enterprise supports.”

Three microenterprises, which have successfully applied for MFI loans through the LEOs, are invited to showcase their products at today’s launch. They include: PAP Healthcare Ltd (suppliers of sleep apnoea machines to the medical industry), Fastnet Catch Ltd (producers of breaded fish and shell fish, with gluten-free ingredients) and Veronica’s Snacks (distributors of healthier snacks and crisps under the ‘Veronica’s’ brand).

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[Event] Free ‘The Perils of Business Growth’ Seminar, September 16

At long last we are starting to see some signs of recovery and business growth, however, this comes with its own risks, many businesses have failed as a result of uncontrolled growth, so business owners need to be careful.

Broadly there are three categories of risk associated with business growth:

  1. Financial – Increased turnover requires increased working capital, if it’s not available, your business goes bust.
  2. Infrastructure – Growth usually requires more staff, more systems and more training.  Often businesses get one or all of these wrong with potentially disastrous results.
  3. Tax and Compliance – The larger the organisation, the larger the compliance burden and the more important tax planning becomes.

We are running a free seminar for business owners to help them negotiate these hazards and plan for successful growth.  Everyone is welcome, all we ask is that you register in plenty of time, so that we make sure you get a bacon roll!

Venue: Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island, Lurgan.

Date: September 16th

Time: 9.00am for a 9.30am start (bacon rolls with registration from 9.00am), finishing with tea and networking at 11.00am

Speakers: Warren McCleary (McCleary & Company Ltd., Chartered Accountants)  and Jason Holmes (Lumen Financial Planning)

Please register using this link BOOK NOW.

For details of other McCleary & Company Events please register for our monthly newsletter at


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How to Cut Costs When Organising a Business Conference

Nowadays the importance of face-to-face meetings is obvious. We are looking at so many opportunities that are available and when it comes to conferences, everything is a lot more necessary and needed than in the past. These meetings are necessary for so many different reasons and while it is so hard to organize them, this need automatically leads to price analysis. Saving money is something that is always necessary.

The problem is that we cannot simply save money by doing cost cutting. It is really important that we do all we can in order to choose the correct answers. This is definitely something that is a lot more complicated than you may be tempted to believe at first glance.

Choosing a Correct Venue

Most of the money you can save is available by simply taking a close look at the venue options available. Choosing a perfect conference venue that is affordable in terms of price and quality offered is what will help you out the most. Never choose something that is too expensive. It is not difficult to save money if you just stay focused on the best venue.

Cutting Costs on Services

You do not necessarily need to agree to absolutely everything that is offered by the venue you chose. Remember that time is precious and you will be tempted to save money and time by just agreeing to a specific package. However, most of the different venues that you will consider will include many opportunities that you were not aware of so that you can save a whole lot of money. All that you would have to do is ask. Make sure that you do so and you analyze what the contract allows you to do and what not.

Using the Internet for Information

The more information you have about the options available for you at the moment, the higher the possibility you will make a correct choice. The World Wide Web does offer all the information that is needed in order to make the best possible choice. For instance, when you live in London, you can easily find the best possible venues by simply looking at search engines for business conference venues.

It is also important that you use the internet in order to learn more about how to organize the perfect business conference. The truth is that all you really need to do is remain informed at all times. There are so many things you might miss out without even realizing it. What counts is to know exactly what options are available for you.

We have to add that we can also include various different blogs in our list of resources available for research. There are many internet professionals that talk about the many different opportunities that can be taken into account and it is not hard to learn how specialists deal with cutting costs. Organizing conferences may be a necessity these days but it is not something that has to be done with huge attached expenses.

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