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 [email protected].


New Laois Chamber of Commerce has officially opened its doors.

The move marks a milestone for business life in the county, following a hiatus of a number of years in which there has been no local Chamber of Commerce.
The revamped Chamber has come about following lengthy planning and collaboration between the key stakeholders, Chambers Ireland, the local business community and Laois County Council.
Listen back to Chief Executive Bernie Everard outlining her vision for the Chamber on Taking Care of Business.
Bernie has been involved with the neighbouring award winning Kildare Chamber for seven years, initially as a business owner and most recently as Business Development to the Chamber.

Long standing Offaly business receives coveted All-Ireland Business All-Star!

An Offaly based agricultural business has achieved a quality mark signifying it meets the highest standards of service and trust.
A Business All-Star is an independently verified standard mark for indigenous businesses, based on rigorous selection criteria.
Casey Agri is a family run business with Robert and Denise at the forefront and was was awarded the coveted All-Ireland Business All-Star accreditation.

“Political uncertainty is always bad for a currency”

…Says John Finn of The Treasury Hub as its confirmed that Boris Johnson will be the British PM.

Shining spotlight on Ireland’s rarest and traditional breeds of farm animals.

Margaret Edgill of Mount Briscoe Organic Farm dropped in to discuss the Farm Fest and Rare & Traditional Breeds Show on Sunday 21st July.
Now in its third year the event brings together rare breeds enthusiasts as well as a number of experts on organic farming, sustainability, pollination and more.
And it promises to be a great family day out too.

The future of home heating systems under Climate Action Plan

Stephen Grant, Managing Director of Grant Engineering in Birr, discusses the proposed changes outlined in the government’s Climate Action Plan 2019.
More than 80% of Irish homes use oil or gas for their heating and the push will be to move change to electric heat pumps. Immediate targets will be to phase out the installation of oil and gas boilers in newly built homes in the next few years.
This means the majority of homes will need upgraded insulation fitted before they are suitable for heat pumps because heat pumps work effectively only in well-insulated buildings.

Midlands shop begins selling internationally three weeks after new e-commerce website launched.

Ever think you don’t need to bring your business on-line? Three weeks after launching a new e-commerce website, Colgan Sports have already begun selling sports gear and equipment internationally.
As they approach 30 years in business, founder Aidan Colgan talks about the new website and how customer satisfaction is key to staying in business.

Innovation at the core of the success of Dotser, an Offaly based provider of online business solutions.

Founder Loughnan Hooper discusses the latest technologies and cloud based solutions that Dotser provide to a growing client base. Dotser help streamline business processes, automate administrative tasks, reduce costs, increase sales and ultimately improve profitability across clients businesses and most notably to assist the administration management of large agricultural shows.
Their success was recognised recently, winning an award for the Mid East Region at this year’s National Enterprise Awards.

Digital transformation is revolutionising the construction industry – can your business afford to ignore it?

Sean Downey Director at Construction Industry Federation discusses the drive to Construction 4.0 whereby digital transformation will lead to more productive, sustainable and profitable industry.

CIF Digicon takes place on 13th June 2019 in Croke Park and will bring together developers, planners, architects, engineers, contractors, material and solution providers, and other key stakeholders pivotal in the construction supply chain to explore best strategies and solutions to embrace digital transformation.

Unique opportunity to avail of free or heavily subsidised upskilling or reskilling at AIT

Athlone Institute of Technology has been awarded €3 million in funding across 23 exciting, industry-focused programmes ranging from level six to nine. In total, more than 742 places will be made available to prospective learners looking to upskill, change career or return to employment.
Some of the programmes on offer include emerging technologies such as Blockchain, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Data Analysis and Visualisation, as well as Civil Engineering and Construction, Advanced Polymer Materials, Cybersecurity, Culinary Arts and Applied Laboratory Science.
According to Dr Michael Tobin, Dean of Faculty of Continuous, Online, Professional and Distance Learning, each nationally-accredited, flexible programme has been designed in response to the current and future needs of industry in the Midlands and presents a unique opportunity for learners to avail of free or heavily subsidised upskilling or reskilling.

Are you struggling to manage a business without proper broadband – you’re not alone!

Listen back as a panel of three business owners discuss the thrills and spills of self-employment, establishing a brand identity and the importance of focused networking. And not forgetting the issues presented by inadequate broadband!
Darren Doyle of Studio 93 in Moate, Declan Kelly of Kelly Fitted Furniture Kilnabin and James Dooley of Dooley Custom Carpentry joined Ronan and Sinead in studio for Taking Care of Business on 7th May.

Owner of Burgess Department Store recalls her Retail Therapy experience with the late Feargal Quinn

Managing Director of Burgess Department Store Athlone Rosie Boles recalls the impact the late Feargal Quinn had on her business when he visited the store as part of the Retail Therapy television series.
Mr Quinn passed away on 24th April and leaves a lasting impact on Irish retail and a customer service mantra that is the benchmark for many businesses.

Self-employed people will be entitled to seek dole payment from November provided they meet strict qualifying criteria.

John McCann discusses what the move promised in the last budget might mean for self-employed persons who find themselves unemployed from November 2019.
How many PRSI contributions will a self-employed business owner or independent contractor be required to have made to make a claim?
Find out here.

Skills gap – 50,000 ICT professionals needed in next 3 years.

In response to major skills shortages in the ICT sector LM Ericsson in Athlone have created an innovative Masters programme to recruit and train people to fill the many roles they have available.
Find out more as Ronan discusses the programme and the eligibility criteria with Dr. Enda Fallon Head of Department of Computing and Software Engineering at AIT.

‘Retailment’ – consumers are seeking experiences in addition to quality products. How an Offaly business combines retail and entertainment effectively.

Owner of The King Oak Paul Lynam dropped in to discuss a new venture that promises to offer great family entertainment alongside quality gift-ware and home ware.

Company that recycles 75% of Ireland’s electrical waste celebrate 40 years in business.

General Manager of KMK Metals Recycling Max Kyck discusses the growth of the company established by his father Kurt Kyck in 1979 that currently employs 108 people in their recycling facilities in Tullamore and Kilbeggan.
Max and Ronan also touch on the Circular Economy, the metals and materials most sought after at present and what demands the move to electric vehicles will place on the recycling industry.

Number of people working remotely now greater than number employed in tourism.

Co-founder of Grow Remote Tracy Keogh talks about the upcoming Grow Remote Conference in Tubbercurry on Tuesday 16th April.
There are currently 216,000 remote workers in Ireland.
The Grow Remote movement began as a Whats App group but now has chapters across the island and in 4 other countries.

Enterprise Award winner on starting a business at 21 and his vision for the future

Hanlon Woodcraft are the winners of the Laois Enterprise of the Year Award 2019.
Founded by Danny Hanlon it produces bespoke kitchens and fitted furniture and the business has grown steadily from humble beginnings.
Listen back to Danny discussing the journey so far and his vision for the future with Ronan on Taking Care of Business.

Doubtful about taking your business on-line?

Two business owners talk about the benefits of having an on-line store for business growth.
By availing of Trading On-line Vouchers (TOV) from the Local Enterprise Office, Siobhan and Gary Smyth developed www.floorstoredirect.ie to compliment their existing business.
Sales growth has been rapid – their typical customers were based in the midlands area but they are now selling to 15 counties.
Catriona McMorris of Reveal Make-up Studio used the TOV to create www.fayrebeauty.com to sell exclusive brands of make-up, beauty and skin care products.
Listen back to Siobhan and Catriona discuss their experience of taking a business on-line and how it has revolutionised their sales strategy.

EU to introduce measures to protect Irish Farmers in the event of a No Deal Brexit

Phelim O’Neill Markets Analyst at the Farmers Journal discusses the potential costs of a No Deal Brexit to the Irish agriculture sector and whether having an Irish EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development offers additional security as the threat of new tariffs on goods into the UK looms.

Midlands Career Expo in Mullingar on 23rd March to showcase over 200 vacant roles in the region

Are one of those workers who wants to spend less time sitting in your car or on a train commuting and wants to spend more time with your family or doing the things you love?
The Midlands Career Expo in Mullingar takes place on Saturday 23rd March 2019 at the National Science Centre, Mullingar and may provide the solution to you.
Tom Griffith of www.midlandjobs.ie and Shirley Kiernan Commercial Manager at Pharmaforce joined Ronan to discuss the upcoming event and the exhibitors present and to outline the benefits of reducing your commute or relocating to the midlands region.
For further details or to register for free visit www.midlandscareerexpo.ie/

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