Friday, May 30, 2008

It's too sunny to blog

Is that the wrong thing to say? Sod it. It's been too long since we've seen sunshine in Ireland. No more comments about "ooooh, what if it's the same as last year, a few nice days in April/May and then nothing but shite for the entire Summer," using the term summer as loosely as humanly possible...

At least business was booming last year. Not. People were unable to go outside and enjoy BBQ weather so they could have stayed indoors and shopped, gone to the cinema [summer of sequels!], etc. but no they couldn't, because the cost of living was shooting up all over the place. According to the never-one-handed folk (Economists) the hike in fuels were offset by the drop in spending on fun things like shoes... Not to mention the old ECB hiking things up just for fun, people's mortgages shooting upwards, the effects really driving home during the summer months. Remember that? Personally I think everyone still went out shopping and going to the clickies and having fun. I think they never really believed that a downturn was on the cards. I reckon it was a case of "surely not, not the Celtic Tiger, sure we'll be grand! Aren't we streets ahead of the rest of them..."

Let's hope it doesn't happen again this year. And let's hope we get some sunshine too :) All the never-one-handeds are focusing on the positive, bless their socks. Matt Cooper's been chatting with ESRI this week and they keep talking about the positive medium-to-long-term forecasts. Nobody has the balls to talk about the big elephant in the room. As yes, those short term realities. I for one don't remember anything but cocopops and cartoons from the 80's so I'm in 2 minds about this. Greedily interested in seeing how it pans out, but also worried about what it could mean for the old financial security...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Interesting post from a CEB CEO about the Manufacturing Industry

Frank Fullard is the CEO of Mayo County Enterprise Board, and has posted on the future of the manufacturing industry in Ireland. Worth a read, if only to find out what "they" think...those folks in the know...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hmmm, Economic Downturn?

So, according to RTÉ News the old rental market is going a different way on the graph, for the first time in ages. This is news the day after it hit that McNamara's are pulling out of no less than FIVE social housing developments. My Dublin house is €50k cheaper than it was this time last year, at least.

So it looks like people are pulling in the belt buckles, it's been happening for a while. Some are making hay of course - lots of little business popping up all over the place, specialising in house extensions, renovations, home improvements........Woodie's & B+Q have never been busier I'm sure ;) When one thing goes up...

One thing I can't get my head around just at the moment is this: Ryanair - always with the finger on the pulse of a lot of people's purse strings - are increasing their fares, rather than strengthening their position as a low cost airline, in times of economic uncertainty. I wonder what they're up to? Ripping everyone off of course, as usual, but what does the Big Guy have up his sleeve, do you think?

Personally I'd rather not fly with the blue and yellow team unless I abolutely have to...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Amusing Businesses - the original entrepreneurial spirit

I just love this. I was at a local garden centre recently and typically, came across bags of "fertilizer" for sale.

I just think it's brilliant, you sit there for a moment, staring at a big pile of poo and wonder to yourself "what am I going to do with this?"

Sell it.

Making money from the byproducts of your business is a fantastic idea, mainly because it is such a simple one.

I'll admit that this blog originally started out quite aspirational - but I think that bit of my learning curve has maybe ended. The thing about trying to think of something interesting to blog about has turned into blogging about things that come up during the week and just approaching it from a business sense. A business start up sense :)

I have just started a blogroll, I hope that's ok with those I've listed. They are blogs I read that I find amusing. As I venture futher into Irish Blogland I will no doubt keep adding to them...

But back to the point of making business from byproducts. It's not as difficult as it looks - just step outside the box for a moment and have a little think.

This is apparently the time for us as a nation to focus on The Knowledge Economy. So, if your business is not in manufacturing or farming or retail or hospitality, but more service or IT based, then think about getting a healthy cashflow early on.

For Example!

If you have a web based business and you are busy looking for customers but they are not coming along as quickly as you would have imagined - how about selling your valuable IT skills on the side on a consultancy basis, just to get the coffers healthy. It will benefit you in 2 ways:
1) Cashflow, obviously
2) Get you back into other businesses

The second one is another byproduct, but this time - for you. It's a lonely old road starting up a business, and sometimes (cheesey but true) you can't see the wood for the....big leafy things. So interacting with others will help, but learning about their day-to-day issues will help you too. It can only help to discuss general business issues in the long term, I find.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Something interesting happened today...

Listening to Customers/Potentials! How unusual...

Irish King of Blogging Damien Mulley posted about Perlico yesterday - a flyer came in his door disguised as a message from Eircom, but really it was just some "alternative" marketing by Perlico. Cue rant! Cue lots of other rants from fellow bloggers and blog readers alike! (Cue me laughing at the success of such a cheeky move by Perlico Morkeshing Deportment).

But what I think is really swizz is that they replied to all the moans and gripes, explained their moves and welcomed a cuppa with the ranters to really get feedback on what would work!

Have a read, go on - it's amusing. But also SO important. If you are going to start a business, LISTEN to your customers. It doesn't matter how big or small your business is going to be, just make sure you listen - people don't always moan for the sake of moaning (some do, I grant you!) so if it's free feedback on you, your services or your products - take it on board. Do something about it. Impress the world!

Well done Paul Woods, Perlico's Commercial Director. Now, the next time you post to a blog Mr Woods, would you PLEASE explain the stalker-like cold calling system? Does it really work anymore?