Starting small ... but with eyes on big time

LIR-MED has big ambitions. The Craigavon company may only have half a dozen staff now, but it intends to employ 50 workers within three years. By this time, according to its business plan, its initial £1m turnover will have jumped at least five-fold.

These aspirations are backed by the knowledge that the year-old company has launched into one
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Kilrea firm sets sights on export markets

A North West company has engineered funding from Invest Northern Ireland as part of a £100,000 investment to enable it to target export markets.

Hutchinson Engineering in Kilrea, Co Londonderry will be focusing on markets including the Republic in a bid to boost sales.

The engineering company employs
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A toast to O’Toole’s as Armagh pub wins title

A Co Armagh pub has raised the bar after securing the accolade of Northern Ireland Pub of the Year.

O’Toole’s Bar in Armagh beat off competition from hundreds of rivals to win the Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade (FRLT) title.

It also clinched the Co Armagh Pub of the Year award while other regional winners
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Sign It sign off on expansion of family business

With economic recovery on the way there are companies in Northern Ireland well placed to make the most of opportunities that arise. As part of our Small Business Can series Paul Gosling looks at four of them.

Many small firms begin trading from their garages, aspiring to move up into larger premises as they expand. This is exactly what Sign it Design has achieved.
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Grand designs the norm for JTPY

With economic recovery on the way there are companies in Northern Ireland well placed to make the most of opportunities that arise. As part of our Small Business Can series Paul Gosling looks at four of them.

There is no more fitting a place to locate a showroom for a professional interior design practice that services clients with taste than Stormont Gate House.
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Lighthouse guides on stormy sea of energy-saving

With economic recovery on the way there are companies in Northern Ireland well placed to make the most of opportunities that arise. As part of our Small Business Can series Paul Gosling looks at four of them

The move to a lower carbon economy means that companies have to re-evaluate the way they do business. It also creates new commercial opportunities.
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The caring hand of serial entrepreneur is rewarded

In tough times, many companies still operate with a ‘business as usual’ mindset. Market expert Ron Immink warns this is dangerous. We look at firms thinking outside the box.

Rosemary Armstrong can be described as a serial entrepreneur. Since the late 1970s Rosemary has been starting care homes,

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Recession Means Firms Must Think Up New Ideas

In tough times, many companies still operate with a ‘business as usual’ mindset. Market expert Ron Immink warns this is dangerous. We look at firms thinking outside the box What has perhaps struck me most about the many discussions between firms on www.smallbusinesscan.com in recent times is more what isn’t there than what is.

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Callssorted.com is answering the call of home workers in style

Callssorted.com has launched a remote receptionist service for home-workers and small businesses.

‘‘We saw an opening for a business that serves a key need having someone warm and friendly answering the phone promptly, at the lowest possible cost,’’

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Are You A Boiling Frog?

(Disclosure: No frogs were harmed in the development of this article.)

As a co-founder of Smallbusinesscan.com, I am passionate about helping SMEs grow and prosper. It frustrates me that lots of good SMEs tend to leave things too late. Hopefully this article will get you thinking and we maybe even get a debate going. If you want to comment, feel free to post below.
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Firm crafts wood furniture to order

Ardmore-based furniture manufacturer WaterfordWood is marking its 50th anniversary in business by returning to its origins.

The company’s founder and managing director Paul McCarthy said high-quality handmade furniture would be top of the agenda from nowon  a direct response to the challenge posed by low-cost imports.

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Funding helps Digitary expand

Digitary, a provider of educational security software, has launched a e1.2 million funding round to aid expansion into new markets. ‘‘We are in the middle of a funding round, which is going well and should be finalised within the next few months.We are looking to a combination of venture capital, Enterprise Ireland and private investment ,’ ’ said Jonathan Dempsey, chief executive of Digitary.

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Successful Trade - Inbound Or Outbound - With Chinese Businesses

In today's recessionary environment where we're all being told we have to take action in terms of cost savings, cost reductions, cutbacks, and belt tightening, it has become more and more difficult to maintain margins and remain profitable.  Downward pressure on prices means that all cost areas have to be examined closely.

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Setting Sail

When John Griffin’s SSIA matured in 2006, he didn’t run out and buy a new car. Instead he and his friend John Innes used their savings to buy a couple of boats and a landing rig
and set up a sailing and powerboat training centre in Youghal, Co Cork. Three years on and the firm is one of the largest sailing schools in the country.


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Tidal Energy Firm Wins Recognition

The team behind the tidal turbine in Strangford Lough has been ranked as the world’s leading tidal power company on a 100-strong hotlist of green technology pioneers.


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Bangor firm develops scented hair brush

The scented version of Denman's ionic hair brush County Down company Denman International has invented the world's first scented hair brush.

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Budget Analysis ROI

The Minister for Finance certainly faced an unenviable task today.  The idea of trying to take some €4bn, equivalent to 2.5% of GDP, out of an economy contracting at a record pace with the unemployment rate at a near 15-year high must be every politician’s nightmare.


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Budget analysis – UK

While David Cameron's so called era of austerity remains largely on hold, it should be remembered that today's announcement was the first of three budget statements anticipated over the next 8 months. 

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Eurozone SMEs Feeling The Strain

Credit has become even tighter for small-and medium-sized companies in the euro zone, according to a new European Central Bank (ECB) survey published yesterday.

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Where is the "Green Buzz" Leading To?

There is a huge amount of chatter (and twitter and blogging) these days in the media and in general conversation, about what the future brings in terms of Eco Friendly and Green Products. The buzz words in the current recessionary environment are 'Green', 'Sustainable', 'Carbon Neutral', and a host of similar words and phrases that are heard and seen almost everyday wherever you look or listen

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