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Based in Galway - working with clients across Ireland.

Blog of Donncha Hughes, Marketing & Business Plans for Startups

Happy Christmas from Donncha Hughes

I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very Happy Christmas to all the people who I met for mentoring, training and consultancy this year. 2012 was a very busy and productive year. I thank you all for making my ‘job’ very rewarding. And thanks to all my customers for their continued business.

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Diesel versus Petrol my motor cost comparison

I changed from a petrol to a diesel car this year. I always wondered how much money this would save me in terms of motor costs. I estimate that the change has saved me 20% or approximately €108 in reduced fuel bills when I compare my travel in September 2012 to September 2011.     […]

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The biography of Steve Jobs is a brilliant read

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This blogpost will highlight some of my favourite parts of the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaccson – which i think is a brilliant read. I will focus on the parts which epitomize the role of Steve Jobs in building Apple – a company which changed the world. I will also pick out nuggets […]

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What is Dropbox and why I recommend it?

I use Dropbox every single day. Dropbox is described as a free* service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. The key for me is that Dropbox sits on the desktop of my laptop. I save files in the normal way into folders as I work on them. […]

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How to write a business plan that won’t gather dust?

This blogpost will focus on writing your business plan so that it proves valuable to you during your first year in business – we don’t want it to just gather dust, that is never be read again. In essence, your business plan should concisely detail what your business is about, who your customers are, and why they buy from you. It will also set out how you plan to grow the business. You should write your business plan with the objective of copying and pasting the words, descriptions, images and graphs into other communications during your first year. You can refer to your business plan to explain to suppliers such as website and graphic designers and your accountant what your business is about. You can also use it with agents, partners, and your bank manager to set out the vision for your business. Finally, you can also use it for yourself and your team to record ideas for the future and most critically to track the progress of your business.

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Ten challenges to help your business plan succeed

I volunteered to speak at BizCamp Galway tomorrow (Saturday 10th September) on the topic of ‘Ten challenges to help your business plan succeed’. We have been allocated a 30 minute slot to include Q&A. My talk (slides on slideshare) and this blogpost focuses on my experience of working with hundreds of startups to present the […]

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How to write your Press Release?

Public Relations (PR) is coverage of your business in the media – tv, radio, newspapers, magazines and now blogs – as part of their news. While there is no money paid to the organisation for the coverage it does take time, effort and money to get lots of positive coverage for your business. The flipside of course is that not all PR is 100% positive but that is another story. The blogpost will summarise some key points to remember when preparing a press release to promote your business. They are two key stages in the process. The first is to think about an angle that makes your release newsworthy. You then need to write the release in a style and language that suits your audience. The second key stage is distribution of your release. At the end I will talk about the advantages of using a PR agency.

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Alan Sugar and the success of Sky TV

Chapter 12 of ‘What You See Is What You Get: My Autobiography’ by Alan Sugar (2010) is fascinating. It tells how Amstrad reinvented itself by helping Rupert Murdoch to launch Sky. I love stories. This particular story is fascinating as it shows superb lateral thinking by Alan Sugar and his team. Around 1988, satellite dishes and receivers were on the market for approximately £5,000. In June of that year, Alan Sugar agreed that Amstrad would develop satellite receiving equipment which would sell in the shops for £199.

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How to reclaim your money from 57030?

If a premium rate number operator like Zamano which manages the number 57030, take credit from your phone without your permission, you can get it back! You will need to text STOP to unsubscribe from the service, you will then need to contact your mobile phone operator, you should also contact the operator, and finally I would suggest contacting the very helpful Comreg.

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Six key tips for tendering

Six factors critical in formulating your approach to tendering in Ireland are discussed in this blogpost. It is critical to select your tenders carefully, read the tender invitation carefully and structure your submission to demonstrate that you meet all the requirements of the tender.

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How to facilitate a group meeting to achieve your goals?

To facilitate a good meeting you need to: spend time in preparation, build group dynamic, establish shared focus, maintain control but also capture constuctive input, close with a plan of Action. And follow up including drafting and circulation of minutes is critical.

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How to listen to your customers to get them to buy?

When you meet a potential customer are you confident that you can figure out how to help them to buy from you? Take the listening test to find out if you are a good listener. The biggest challenge facing the modern salesperson – remember every startup promoter is the key Salesperson – is helping potential customers to buy.The more you listen to your customer the more you learn and the easier it will be to create a compelling case to facilitate your customer to buy your product/solution. Do not be fooled, listening is not easy but if you can master the skill it will help your stand out from the crowd.

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Happy St. Patricks Day

Lovely to have a day at home with the family in the middle of the week. Looking forward to the All-Ireland Hurling Club Final later. Best of luck to Clarinbridge, the Galway Champions.

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Sources of Secondary Market Research

Marketing Research is hugely important for the promoters of new business endeavours to include: new products; geographic or market expansion of an existing product; or start-up businesses. Secondary research is hugely important for both consumer and business-to-business (B2B) market research. Secondary research lays the groundwork and primary research helps fill in the gaps. By using both types of market research, business owners get a well-rounded view of their market and have the information they need to make important business decisions.

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Marketing : The starting point for Startups

My presentation to Limerick City Enterprise Board Startup Network ‘Marketing : The starting point for Startups’

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Why not buy a hands free solution for your car?

My Parrot hands free carkit is a product I could not do without. I would recommend that everyone should buy a hands free solution for your car as we are all tempted to use their mobile while driving at some stage.

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No need to be afraid of the Irish Tax Office

The Revenue in Ireland are very approachable and user friendly. I recently transferred my tax credit to my spouse to assist with domestic budgeting. I got a nice cheque from the Revenue by way of tax refund. To get money back on bin fees, medical bills and my additional pension contribution was great.

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Three good reasons to choose self employment

My reasons for choosing to set up as a Management Consultant on a self employed basis.

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Welcome to my blog by Donncha Hughes

My first post just to say hi….

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