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Based in Galway - working with clients across Ireland.

About Donncha Hughes

Donncha Hughes is a mentor, trainer and business advisor. He delivers group and one to one training on Start Your Own Business, Lean Startup, Marketing, Sales and has a particular interest in Business Plans. My other website is which i use to promote my Website Creation services.

40 Brexit Frequently Asked Questions

Brexit UK leaving UK - 40 FAQ by Donncha Hughes, Business Advisor

I have been reading a lot about Brexit recently. As of November 2020, I am in the middle of a project on behalf of LEO Mayo to talk to their clients about Brexit preparation. So since mid-October 2020, I have spoken to nearly 40 owner-managers about the potential impact of Brexit on their business and […]

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What ‘grants’ and other supports apply to my startup business? (Covid-19 update)

Enterprise Agency Supports

If you have ever wondered what supports that you and your startup business could and should apply for, read on:

This blogpost and the accompanying presentation will categorise the supports depending on the stage of development of your startup company: pre-enterprise; early stage; and established startup

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Lean Canvas Free Online Training Programme

Complete a Lean Canvas for your Startup Business Idea with Donncha Hughes

The idea behind the Lean Canvas is to quickly sketch the business idea instead of using several weeks to develop a business plan. I am delighted to announce that my latest online training programme, ‘Complete a Lean Canvas for your Startup Business Idea’ is now live. This blog post will explain what is contained in […]

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Organise GMIT New Frontiers One 2 Ones with Phase 1 Participants

GMIT iHubs New Frontiers Galway

As part of the New Frontiers Phase 1 programme in GMIT iHubs, Donncha will virtually meet participants for a One 2 One session to review their draft applications prior to final application on August 6th, 2020 New Frontiers Phase 2 Application – One 2 One As discussed at our workshop on Friday 19th June, there […]

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Writing Business Plan Executive Summary – format, example and guidance

Executive Summary of Business Plan

I write business plans for some startup and SME clients. I review business plans for Enterprise Agencies. I also provide training on business plans. A question I am often asked is, ‘what content goes into a business plan’, with the follow up being, ‘how much information should be included in an Executive Summary‘. Most people […]

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‘What I know about Running Coffee Shops’ – a brilliant book by Colin Harmon

What i know about running coffee shops book by Colin Harmon 3fe 3fe

A great book for aspiring coffee shop owners and anyone thinking of starting a service business. Blog article focuses on learning gleaned in areas of Customer Service, Customer Insight and building a motivated team.

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What Enterprise Ireland are looking for in a New Frontiers Phase 2 Application in 2020?

Banner for New Frontiers Blogpost 2

Are you participating on one of the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Phase 1 programmes being delivered by the Incubation Centres in the Institutes of Technology in Ireland? If yes, you may have started completing your Phase 2 application form … click here to download . As a trainer over the years on the programmes in […]

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‘Writing your Business Plan’ Online Training Programme now Live

Writing your Business Plan Online Programme with Donncha Hughes Business Advisor

I am delighted to announce that my latest online training programme, ‘Writing Your Business Plan’ is now live. To publish this online training was an early goal for 2020 as it was on my ‘to do list’ for a while as I regularly deliver one day workshops on preparing business plans for New Frontiers, IBYE […]

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Business Cube updated by InterTrade Ireland – SeedCorn Competition 2019

Seedcorn Business Planning Tool

I have said for years that the best investor ready business plan preparation guide is the Business Cube Methodology published by InterTrade Ireland the organisors of the SeedCorn Investor Readiness Competition. So I was delighted to see that a modernised edition, now referred to as Business Cube, has been published in 2019. It is a […]

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Congratulations IBYE 2019 Winners

Sharon Cunningham Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur 2019

Congratulations to all the national winners of IBYE 2019 …link to official IBYE release I was delighted to hear the results via Twitter on Sunday 15th September that Sharon Cunningham of Shorla Pharma was selected as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur having earlier scooped the National Winner in Best Start Up Business – TIPPERARY Sean McGarry, […]

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Thanks ShowerGem – brilliant new Shower Organiser

ShowerGem Shower Caddy now available to buy

ShowerGem now Available to Buy Several years ago (2016?) I met a young Mayo student in GMIT called Sean McGarry. He had a really cool idea which solved the problem of untidy showers in your bathroom. I went home to tell my wife, Stella about his proposed invention for a new design of Shower Organiser. […]

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Early Stage Startups – My Inc60 Podcast – From Idea to a Business

Inc60 Blog Banner Donncha Hughes

I recently met with Clare Carroll of Inc60 to record a podcast about the pre-startup and early stage business journey. The Lean Canvas as outlined in the book Running Lean is an ideal tool at this stage. The 30-minute podcast also discusses Sales, Mentoring, building your Team and supports for business. Thanks to Maria Staunton […]

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Online Training to Create Financial Projections for your Local Business

Financial Projections Online Workshop

I am delighted to announce that I have published an online training programme called ‘Creating Financial Projections for a Local Business‘. One year access is €50 including VAT. This ONE HOUR online programme is for you if: You a startup promoter or small business owner who needs to create financial projections for your business to […]

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20 Business Building Ideas from ‘The 1-Page Marketing Plan’ by Allan Dib [Book Review & Infographic]

1 PAGE Marketing Plan by Allan Dib Blogpost Book Review

The 1-Page Marketing Plan Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out from the Crowd By Allan Dib I recently received this Marketing book in the post for free. I had been asked nicely in advance if I would review it. I like reading business books so I agreed (no fee involved). The book […]

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CSF Online Masterclass Go Live Announcement

Launching Commpetitive Start Fund Masterclass Online Thinkific 2018

I am delighted to announce that my first online training programme has gone live. It is a 90 minute video based programme for people applying for CSF – €50,000 Competitive Start Fund investment with Enterprise Ireland. It is ideal for startup entrepreneurs who have applied before and were not shortlisted for the Pitch Stage on […]

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Christmas Message 2017 – Scratch Animation

My christmas message 2017 was inspired by the kids summer camp when they learned scratch – this is an admittedly limited attempt but I hope you take a few seconds and that it makes you smile! The flash scratch animation does not play on Mobile so I have recorded the screen using Screen Cast O […]

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Congrats to Galway’s next wave of Super Food and Drink Entrepreneurs

clean cut meals best young entrepreneur

I recently attended the Galway Chamber Business Awards. Pat McDonagh, Founder of Supermacs delivered a fantastic speech in accepting the Special Presidents Award for his contribution to business in Galway. The performance of Supermacs, Ireland’s largest indigenous quick service restaurant chain, is amazing: Over 100 outlets across country and employs over 2,700 people. Annual commitment […]

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Galway’s Startup Scene : 2017 Snapshot

Galway Ecosystem report Banner

  In late 2016, Startupblink contacted me to write a ‘Startup Ecosystem article‘ on Galway to feature on their global website. I agreed and enlisted the assistance of John Breslin, NUIG, PorterShed and Startup Galway; and Barry Egan, Enterprise Ireland West Region. The brief was very specific with set questions to be answered such as: […]

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Happy Christmas & A little free Gift

Christmas 2016 banner

A quick blogpost to wish everyone in Galway and startup land a very Happy Christmas in 2016. A gift : 2.5 minutes of your time I love Lackagh Choir’s When a Child is Born available to listen free on Soundcloud. Pure Brilliant – well done to all involved. Their first CD was superb so presume […]

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Dealing with difficult clients as a Freelance Consultant

Troublesome trucks aka difficult customers

I was asked recently as part of a Q&A to discuss how I deal with ‘difficult clients’ or customers. Having provided a short and off the top of the head response, this post is my reflections on this very interesting question:     Starting Point : Choose your Customers Wisely   As a freelancer, you […]

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Role of SEO in marketing your freelance business

SEO Google Starter Guide Quote for Banner

Have you ever wondered does SEO, inbound marketing and a blog work for a small business? How important is SEO and content marketing within the marketing mix of a freelancer. I think that the answer is that it has been beneficial for my self employed consultancy and training business based in the West of Ireland. […]

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A quick explanation and example of Cashflow (video)

Cash is King

I am not an accountant but I do my own accounts. I also work with clients on financial projections for their business plans. Finance is at the core of business and marketing. Cashflow is the core of finances. I have published an online course ‘Creating Financial Projections for a Local Business‘. A bonus module was […]

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Good strategy; the importance of proximate goals

Eagle for strategy featured image

Goal setting is a key component of strategy development but it is not Strategy. In many cases, the key question ‘How are we going to do that’ is not answered. Strategy is not what you hope your performance is going to be. Strategy is about how you are going to get there. This is one […]

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Business Model Canvas for Social Enterprise

Start a Social Enterprise Ballybane Feb March 2016

The Business Model Canvas is a well-recognised tool for business planning for both Startups and established businesses. This article discusses the tool with specific reference to Social Enterprise citing examples of Irish businesses for each of the nine building blocks. BMC for Social Enterprise As I explained in this LinkedIn Pulse article entitled “Inspiring: Social […]

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CSF Masterclass + Articles about CSF for

Inspired Startups articles on CSF

Click EventBrite Button above to book to attend the FREE CSF Masterclass on Thursday 1st March 2018 hosted by in SCCUL Enterprise Centre, Ballybane Galway. Here is the 80 second promo video on the event. Donncha Hughes is also delivering the Masterclass in the Regional Development Centre, DKIT on Friday 2nd March. Book via […]

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Thumbs up for Hubspot Academy Inbound Certification

Hubspot Academy Inbound Certification Study Guide

I received an email from Hubspot Academy around the 3rd week of December 2015. The email offered a free online programme to learn all about Inbound Marketing. After undertaking the programme, in short intervals over a few days, I successfully took the test and received my Inbound Certification as per badge on sidebar.  This post […]

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Two hour Negotiations Workshop, DCU Invent, 10th November

Negotiations by Donncha Hughes

Donncha provides two hour, half day and full day Negotiations Workshops. Please contact to discuss your requirements.     I was recently asked by Maria Johnston, Operations & Enterprise Development Manager, DCU Invent Centre to deliver a two hour session on Negotiations at 10AM on Tuesday 10th November, 2015 for clients and startups. This post […]

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Ten things we probably knew and were reminded of during Startup Gathering Galway 2015

Last Friday (9th October 2015) was spent meeting new business acquaintances and talking to almost every startup promoter and supporter that I know in Galway. I attended 6 events throughout the entire day from 8AM till 9PM. Here are ten things (as recorded on Twitter) that I probably knew already but was reminded of:   […]

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[Book Review Part 2] Recommended Startup Marketing Books for Fast Growth Businesses

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This is the second part of a two part blogpost about books directly focused on Marketing for fast growth oriented startups. My most recent post reviewed the superb ‘Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers’ by Gabrial Weinberg and Justin Mares, 2014 and this post will review Startup Growth Engines: Case Studies on How Today’s […]

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[Book Review] My favourite Startup Marketing Books for Fast Growth Businesses

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  In December 2013, I wrote a blogpost selecting my four favourite Lean Startup books from the many books on the area of Lean Startup. Since then I have been on the lookout for books more directly focused on Marketing for fast growth oriented startups.  This article highly recommends two such books: 1. Traction: A […]

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