Business has fun times for parents and kids in its sites

Business partners Jill Holtz and Michelle Davitt established MyKidsTime.ie three years ago, to provide parents with information on children’s clubs and classes in their locality as well as family-friendly places to stay and attractions to visit.

Initially launched in the Galway area on a pilot basis, the site has since grown to include localised versions for Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Wexford, Clare, Sligo, Meath and Cavan.
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Twitter marketing… Made Easy!

Twitter is an excellent tool for Internet Marketing. You can use it for practically any marketing campaign. Twitter marketing can reach millions of people simultaneously and best of all…it’s free.

Twitter has taken over the social networking world by storm and in a very short time has become bigger than MySpace and is taking Facebook head on for the title of most popular networking site on the web. Converting the massive amount of traffic from Twitter into money in your pocket is easier than you might think.
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Showing strength in adversity

Adversity begets innovation, according to John Concannon, founder and managing director of Galway company JFC Manufacturing. He said companies which took the necessary steps to survive the recession would be well-placed for growth in the years ahead.

‘‘We have had two big crises over the years: BSE and then foot-and-mouth. Both hit us severely and drove us to go after something else,’’ Concannon said. ‘‘When BSE struck, we started a range of linen trolleys and similar products for hotel and catering customers. We were almost compelled to do it, as we had nothing else to do.’’

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Internet presence is crucial for survival of Irish businesses

People who read Smallbusinesscan articles and contributions will know that, in our view, no company can do without some form of e-commerce. Social media is an extension of that.

A fundamental shift in media behaviour is taking place and if you are not ready for it, you had better get started. If you are in any doubt, watch the video that was recently posted in the Smallbusinesscan social media group.

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Be Aware Of The HR Implications When Taking Over A Second Business

The first issue you need to consider when buying a business is whether the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003 will apply to your specific situation. Commonly, the Regulations apply when a business is bought (other than by share transfer) and where services are contracted in/out or there is a change of
contractor.
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Is Your Business Green Enough?

Government and environmental groups have long been lobbying the consumer to do more to act in a more environmentally conscious, greener way  with these lifestyle changes gradually being adopted in some way or form by the majority. Whilst were not all eco-warriors, its now generally accepted that we shouldn't waste water, our houses should be effectively insulated and that we should be looking at alternatives to fossil fuels. If nothing else, the personal cost savings these green measures have brought the individual in recession-hit times have spurred us on to embrace these eco-friendly actions.
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Strategic SatNav for SMEs

Many SMEs recognise the importance of mapping out a future strategic direction for their business and acknowledge the need to become more structured in their approach, however, very often, business owners just don't know how to start or where to begin. Without a clearly mapped out destination point for a business, its form becomes too malleable, shaped by the vagaries of an eternally changing environment, leaving the business a hostage to fortune.
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5 Reasons Why Your Marketing Doesn't Work

Running a business without marketing is like winking at a pretty girl in the dark - you know what you're doing but nobody else does. Marketing is the lifeblood of any business and the engine that drives demand, turnover and cash flow.

Marketing is not about boring your customers to death. When you have a personality and a story that is all your own, you can create marketing thats a tough act to follow.
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Innovation Nation

In tough times we need ideas more than ever before. New ideas are the rocket fuel that can propel growth, ignite economic opportunities and improve our quality of life.

INSEADs Global Innovation Index 2009-2010, currently ranks Ireland as the 19th most innovative country in the world. Ireland Inc is basing its recovery on forging a new smart economy built around innovation. Crowd-sourced competitions like Your Country Your Call have recently been launched to encourage citizens to generate new ideas and proposals that could transform Ireland by creating new jobs, new opportunities and a new way of thinking.
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Action needed to develop knowledge economy

Ireland is ten quarters into twin crises of credit contraction and house price declines which will last for 33 quarters unless radical policy changes are made according to leading economist Dr Constantin Gurdgiev of Trinity College Dublin. Dr Gurdgiev was speaking at the annual national conference of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) in Carton House, Maynooth, today.

Dismissing optimistic reports of an imminent recovery Dr Gurdgiev said: “Since May 2009, we’ve been “turning corners” to a recovery more often than Michael Schumacher on a World Grand Prix circuit.”
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JUMP? or LEAP OF FAITH

In response to our E-zine on Friday, about being depressed, disheartened, dejected and down in the dumps for the weekend I like to give you an alternative view.

I read the newspapers in Holland (world cup!) and there is a distinct difference in the language that used when talking about the recession. The narrative we are currently using in Ireland is too negative. If we belief the papers, the commentators, the economist and a whole range of other ”experts”, we might as well drive to the cliffs of Moher and jump.
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Going up? How to craft the perfect Elevator Pitch

Let's say you're at a networking event and someone steps in the elevator with you, notices your nametag, and asks, "So what do you guys do?" Quick--what's your answer? You've got just 30 seconds before the doors open so you'd better think fast.

In many ways an Elevator Pitch is shorthand for what your brand stands for. It's your one-shot opportunity to be different and present yourself in a compelling and memorable way. For most business owners, getting to the crux of what you really do is the hardest, yet potentially most rewarding, one-minute conversation you could ever have.
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Innovation = Insights x Ideas x Implementation

Out there in some garage is an entrepreneur who's forging a bullet with your company's name on it, Gary Hamel, a leading business strategy writer and consultant, has written. You've got one option now to shoot first. You've got to out-innovate the innovators.

Unfortunately most organizations have an in built defence mechanism against new ideas. People don't like change so immediately find reasons why ideas should not be considered. The problem is that if you don't start anticipating the future you could be run over by it.
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Planning in Times of Extreme Turbulence

We have witnessed a period of unprecedented economic turbulence and instability. Of course, this uncertainty is not just affecting us here in Ireland; in a globalised economy it is affecting people all across the world. Years of consistent economic growth have given way to rising unemployment, increased costs, reduced disposable income and a greater number of risks. In this short article, wewill describe some courses of action that may help to reduce the sense of helplessness businesses are currently experiencing.
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Vouched funding for R&D

Here’s some funding availability that’s been highlighted in the forums. If you own or manage a small limited company with a company registration number and you have a business opportunity or problem that you want to explore, why not apply for an Innovation Voucher worth €5,000? The objective of the Innovation Voucher initiative is to build links between Ireland's public knowledge providers and small businesses and create a cultural shift in the small business community's approach to innovation.
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Importance of a business pre nup

How is ownership decided in a start up? When to bring investors? I'm being diluted! What does that mean? What's a ratchet? What's pre-money and post money valuation? Help!
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Where are all our leaders gone?

Where are all our leaders gone? Have they gone into sports management and left our business, public and political sectors rudderless? Two years ago I attended the Philips Sports Manager of the year awards in Dublin. It had been a golden year across all sports. But the recession was really beginning to bite and we were all beginning to realise, it could be really bad. I sat with a group of businesspeople and we were all admitting to being fairly shell shocked at the rapidity of the downturn and were all wondering out-loud where the ‘plan’ to get us out of the mess was.

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When the going gets tough, entrepreneurs get going

New opportunities or good-paying jobs won't come from bailouts like NAMA. They come from start-ups. And where do start-ups come from? They come from smart, creative, inspired people who are willing to take risks and not handouts.

So if you're considering starting your own business - or looking for ways to expand an existing one here are three time-tested strategies you can implement to fast track growth and gain a competitive edge.
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Marketings PPPPPs

The tactical marketing mix is a term used to describe the combination of marketing tactics you can use to develop your marketing strategies.
The marketing mix is described in terms of the five Ps: 
  1. product
  2. price
  3. promotion
  4. place (distribution)
  5. people

The five Ps reflect the needs and desires of consumers in your target market, and you choose the marketing mix that fulfils those needs.
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Quality printing in reams

Ryan Quinn has operated in virtually all parts of the printing business, ranging from pre-press to sales.

For this reason he remarks that he knows what works well and what doesn't. He was convinced that he could make a successful printing business of his own, and the steady growth of his Belfast business, Ream, seems to have proved him right.

I always saw areas of improvement with other printing companies, from pricing and turnaround to overall quality and service, says Ryan. So, along with my partner, Ja Quinn [left, with Ryan], who is the financial brainbox we set out to improve on all these aspects of print, and in 2006 Ream was born.
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