For owner promoters, both startups and microenterprise, get strategic guidance on your business across marketing, finance and delivering on your goals.

Expertise of Donncha Hughes, Business Advisor
Helping small business for over 15 years

Donncha works with a small number of Customers each year providing one to one mentoring & consultancy. This page summarises each service category – check out the pages in the navigation menu for more detail.

Mentoring : Enterprise Agency

I fundamentally believe that Mentoring is a fantastic resource to make available to small businesses particularly Startup promoters.

I am a member of the Enterprise Ireland mentor panel and the mentor panel administered by LEO in Galway and Mayo. I am a former member of the Enterprise Boards panels in Limerick City, Limerick County, Clare, North Tipperary and South Tipperary.

If you have business issues which you feel that a mentor may assist you with, please contact your local enterprise agency in the first instance. They will work with you to select a mentor with the requisite skills to address your requirements.

Free Business Mentoring in Galway

In January 2013, I joined the SCCUL Mentor Panel – a panel of mentors who are willing to offer pro-bono mentoring to small business owners & start ups/ emerging businesses in Galway City & County on a short term basis- three one hour meetings. Branded since 2016 as BizMentors, the network provides pro-bono access to business expertise and wisdom to people in small businesses (existing or start-up) who may otherwise have difficulty in accessing such expertise. To apply for mentoring contact directly (located in the SCCUL Enterprise Centre,  Ballybane, County Galway).

Consultancy: Business Plan Preparation

I have written business plans for companies in a diverse range of sectors to include: online retailing; fish processing; hospitality; software services; eLearning plus many many more. I can help you to write a business plan or I can write the plan by working closely with you. The plans will include full financial projections as required by banks, state agencies and investors.  Several of my clients (see testimonials) have secured bank finance and grant funding on the strength of the plans that we have prepared.

See my Business Plan preparation service page for more details of how this service works for you and check out my blogposts on this topic.

Consultancy: Business Advisor

Not dissimilar to the mentoring provided via Enterprise Agencies, I also work with clients on a one to one basis as a business advisor. I use tools such as the Lean Canvas, Business Model Canvas, One Page Marketing Plan and One Page strategy canvas to help startup promoters and owner-managers of small businesses to work through issues facing their business and to leverage opportunities for growth. Feel free to check out my Marketing Blog posts and One Page Marketing Plan.

Consultancy: Request for Proposal (RFQ) : Sales) and Tender Management

I assist small business clients to develop Tender Management strategies as appropriate elements of their Marketing and Business Development plans. I have experienced Tenders from both sides of the procurement divide. When I worked in the Enterprise Centre in LIT, I managed several high value tenders (to include building fit-out; security alarms; and business training). My business is significantly influenced by tenders and I have significant experience of assisting clients to win tenders. You might find this blogpost ‘Six Key Tips for Tendering‘ a useful starting point.

 Consultancy: Feasibility Studies

A feasibility study undertaken over several weeks to several months determines the viability of opportunities across four related areas: Technical, Commercial, Financial and Team. I mainly work with clients to supervise their feasibility studies – my strong view is that you need to undertake your own research to include talking to potential customers. I will work with you to provide guidance and direction and ensure that the feasibility is delivered on time.

See my What is a Feasibility Study? for more details of how this service works for you.

 Third Level R&D Commercialisation

In 2019, working with a Medical Engineering consultant, a report on the Commercial Potential of a new technology being developed in NUIG was produced by Donncha Hughes, Business Advisor working closely with the TTO and primary researcher as part of their Commercialisation grant application to Enterprise Ireland.

As a specialist in technology startups, I have worked with a number of spin outs from Third Level R&D Commercialisation projects.

 Pitch Guidance – Sales & Investment

Donncha works with startups and established business owners on defining and delivering pitches for their businesss. I specialise in both pitches for investment and also for Sales. Check out my free online training, ‘Introduction to Pitching‘.

Pitch Online Training