Taking Care of Business

Sponsored by: Local Enterprise Office Laois, Offaly & Westmeath
Entrepreneur and HR expert Ronan Berry steals ideas from the best business minds in the midlands, every Tuesday from 7pm.

Supported by the Local Enterprise Office, this programme introduces you to successful people, happy to share their insights and winning formulas – or from whom Ronan can prise the answers.

Need advice? Have a question or a discussion topic suggestion? You can contact the show, or select an article below to read more about previous shows in the series.


Taking Care of Business can be emailed at business@midlands103.com.


Organisational strategy – using VUCA to attempt to make sense of what’s happening in the external environment.

Dr. Jonathan Westrup is the Programme Director of the IMI Diploma in Strategy and Innovation and of the IMI Diploma in Regulatory Management.
His expertise is in the areas of business, organisational and regulatory strategy and corporate governance.
Organisational strategy – using VUCA to attempt to make sense of what’s happening in the external environment.
He joined Ronan to discuss the complex external business environment by assessing the factors using the term VUCA –
• Volatility (commodity prices and exchange rates)
• Uncertainty (changing Irish, European and global economies, and political changes);
• Complexity – attracting and retaining talent; regulation and compliance) and
• Ambiguity – an inevitable aspect of strategy formulation that should be embraced to allow for ongoing discussion and challenge.
Is your senior management team open to entering the ZOUD – Zone of Uncomfortable Debate?
Listen to the full interview here.

“We carry our whole lives around with us” – Tech journalist Andy O’Donoghue discusses GDPR and health records; a particularly sensitive item of data.

Andy joins Ronan to discuss the management of health records in line with data protection regulations. Medical or health records are considered to be the most personal type of data that exists about an individual.
With new data protection regulations being enforced in May 2018 to a fanfare of panic and confusion, might the new laws actually provide an opportunity to us all?

Aisling Hurley of Businessfairy.com reassures business owners on the likely impact of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) being enforced on 25th May 2018.

In an in-depth discussion with Ronan, Aisling Hurley suggests that if companies are compliant with current Irish data protection regulations they will already be well prepared for the introduction of GDPR.
As always, Aisling outlines practical steps that can be taken and mentions links to two websites providing free resources for assessing your current level of compliance.
Find out more here.

Emotional Intelligence – How to work, manage and lead with added impact.

Ronan talks to Barbara Nugent of www.eq.ie about the role emotions play in leadership, organisational and business success and outlines dome of the core emotional competencies.
The ability to understand how emotional intelligence (EQ) shapes your decisions is a crucial step in learning how your thoughts and actions are formed and thus how that impacts your work performance.
By measuring emotional intelligence can predict workplace success and is closely linked to sales performance, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, health and well-being, resilience, effective leadership and bottom-line results.

After 10 years in business, an estate agent partnership continues to grow. Does the lack of available housing present a challenge?

Breda Lewis and Hillary Hamill, owners of Sherry Fitzgerald’s Lewis Hamill estate agents in Tullamore join Ronan in studio to celebrate their recent winning of the Sherry FitzGerald Franchise of the Year Award for 2018. They also mark ten years in business in March of this year so what challenges did setting up just before the economic crash pose?
Find out more here.

Might increasing commercial rates spell the end of town centre retailing in Mullingar?

Mullingar Town Team represents retailers and businesses in Mullingar who work together to promote business in Mullingar. They held a meeting at the end of January to discuss a looming increase in commercial rates of up to 500% that will affect the retail and hospitality sector in particular, the very heartbeat of Irish towns. Chairperson Angela Maher joins Ronan to discuss.

The device that can save you 30% on heating bills and maybe even save your marriage!

Ronan talks to Art McArdle creator of Heat Hero- a high efficiency open vented solid fuel heating system that can save you up to 30% of your heating bills. Art details how the idea came about, his successful journey through the Dragons Den and how he now has the UK market in his sites. His reference to the customer testimonials they receive, towards the end of the interview, is worth a listen!

Tullamore is famous for its pineapples – discover the secrets to award winning Mór Irish Gin with IBYE nominee Eoin Bara

Eoin Bara of Arderin Distillery, producers of award winning Mór Irish Gin recently emerged victorious from the regional finals of Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur in the Best Established Business category. Eoin talks to Ronan about what attracted him to gin distilling, the influence of botanicals and his plans for future expansion.

SOS – Save Our Sucklers. Will an open letter to EU President Juncker protect the livelihood of 100,000 Irish families?

Adam Woods, Beef Editor at The Irish Farmers Journal joins Ronan to discuss an open letter to EU President Juncker, Commissioners Hogan and Malmstrom, An Taoiseach Leo Vradkar and Minister Michael Creed as part of their Save Our Sucklers (SOS) campaign.

Insurance should be a service to society not a threat to sales say The Alliance for Insurance Reform

On Thursday 25th January last, a group of civic and business groups formally launched a campaign aimed at reducing the cost of insurance in this country.
The Alliance for Insurance Reform is made up of 18 organisations – which in turn represent 35,000 members and more than 620,000 employees.
Spokesperson Peter Boland joined Ronan in studio, listen to the full interview here.

Is 2018 the year to make a career move? What must you consider before doing so?

In light of increasing job opportunities, Angela Maher of Career Coaching Matters in Mullingar talks to Ronan on all things career progression and coaching and explores the notion that people typically leave jobs because of the manager.
Find out more here!

Irish Polymer Extrusions Ltd.

With the regional winners of Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur set to be announced on Friday next, we hear from Gary Cobbe from Irish Polymer Extrusions Ltd. in Mountmellick, who represents Laois in the best established Business category.

The Hodson Bay Hotel Group

The Hodson Bay Hotel Group have their sights firmly set on expanding their chain of hotels and continuing to provide the best guest experience. Ronan discusses this and more with Commercial Director Garry Walsh.

Portlaoise Enterprise Centre

Based in Clonminam Business Park, Portlaoise Enterprise Centre offers an extensive range of facilities to help businesses grow and develop. First open 10 years ago the facility has proved to be the springboard for many exciting companies. Here, Centre Coordinator Patrica Frayne chats to Ronan about the centre and the services it offers.

Careers in Construction

Recent reports indicate that the Irish Construction Industry must fill an additional 112,000 job rolls in the next 3 years, Dermot Carey from the Construction Industry Federation discusses the upcoming Careers in Construction event that is taking place in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone on January 25th.

The Glorious Row – The Secret To Growing A Family Business

Glenisk Ltd. is a family operated business located in Killeigh, Co. Offaly.
Managing Director Vincent Cleary, joined Ronan in Studio for an in-depth chat about the history and the success of his business.

Taking Care of Business (Episode 17) – proudly presented in association with the Laois Local Enterprise Office.

James O’Connor owner of Fititout.ie joins Ronan in studio as he celebrates 20 years in business.
As Offaly Local Enterprise Office launch an Owner Management Development program later this month we learn more about the program from one of the trainers from the Entrepreneurs Academy.
And Ronan chats to Aisling Hurley from the Small Business Fairy.

Taking Care of Business (Episode 16) – proudly presented in association with the Laois Local Enterprise Office.

Ronan chats to some of the winners from the County finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition.
With Centerparks targeting late 2019 to open the new holiday village near Ballymahon, Co. Longford, we hear from the head of real estate investment with Barclays Bank who have agreed a debt finance deal to the tune of €165 million to fund the project.
Ronan discovers more about a community group as they launch an ambitious project with the aim of attracting business to Tullamore post Brexit.

Taking Care of Business (Episode 15) – proudly presented in association with the Laois Local Enterprise Office.

On this episode of Taking Care of Business, Niamh Sherwin Barry of the Irish Fairy Door Company reveals the secret behind the spellbinding success of her company.
The race is on – Ronan talks to key people behind the Live Green Tullamore initiative that allows SME owners to switch to more energy efficient and therefore cost saving lamps and spotlights free of charge.
And a weekly roundup of all the business announcements from the local enterprises offices and Chambers of Commerce in the region.

Taking Care of Business (Episode 14) – proudly presented in association with the Laois Local Enterprise Office.

On this week’s show, Margaret Edgill from Mount Briscoe Organic Farm talks organic beef farming, rare cattle breeds, Air B&B and upcoming events!
Eddie and James Mulhall from New Inn in Laois talk about their recent 2017 Irish Malting Barley Excellence Award win!
Dr Ann O’Donnell from the Mullingar Dental Centre discusses the importance of good dental hygiene and a revolutionary anesthetic procedure that promises to remove the pain and the fear of traditional dentist needles.
And a weekly roundup of all the business announcements from the local enterprises offices and Chambers of Commerce in the region.

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