I am very excited to publish my very FIRST Small business interview . I have wanted to do something with/for small business in the West of Ireland for a while now, and this a first step. I put a message on this blog I was looking for candidates and also put a message on my Facebook group ( and other groups) that I wanted to interview businesses in the West of Ireland. And then TADA , Philip dropped me note!
Please share this interview, as I’d like to start a small movement to highlight the brilliant businesses in the West of Ireland!
Interview with Quickestfoxmarketing – Philip Gleeson
Tell us a bit about yourself & where you are located in the West of Ireland.
Hi, I’m Philip Gleeson and I’m 42. I’m a full time member of An Garda Siochana. I’m based in Gort, Co. Galway. I’ve got 3 kids and 2 rescue dogs. I commute up the M18 on a daily basis from Abbeyfeale in Limerick. The 1 hour 20 minute drive each way gives me plenty of thinking time!
Can you provide me with a description of your business?
I run an on-line marketing company called QuickestFox Marketing. It was a small cottage industry from April 2014 but I registered it as a company in 2015 and we’re going from strength to strength. We specialise in Twitter. We promote business on Twitter by running Twitter chats in every county in Ireland. We’ve 26 counties up and running and will look at expanding into Northern Ireland and The Isle of Man in 2016. https://www.quickestfox.com
How long have you been in business? In this business? In other businesses?
I was a social entrepreneur for the last 15 years and worked with a lot of Charities and local groups. I was active for about 15 different groups in all sorts of capacities from PR and funding to development and social media management. While this was very rewarding I decided that I’d like the challenge of setting up a business myself. My background growing up was in pubs and shops.
How did you get started in this business?
I was developing a new business and was trying to develop a marketing strategy. I realised that there was no company in Ireland promoting SME’s on Twitter in Ireland. So I set aside the business I was starting and set up QuickestFox Marketing. It was a huge success from the start and we are looking at expanding it quickly over the next 3 years,
Is this your full time job, a hobby or a bit of both?
I’m the Managing Director. We have an operations manager who deals with the day-to-day running of the business and we have Regional managers. The hero’s of the operation are our County Hosts. They run each County Hour and liaise with local businesses and end users. I’m a full-time member of An Garda Siochana so I work all sorts of hours.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
While a national director for Arthritis Ireland I toured Europe and did a lot of work on Social media strategies for Arthritis groups. I found Twitter to be really useful and I organised and ran several Twitter chats for people with Arthritis. This experience served me well and I use this experience to promote businesses and Events all over Ireland.
Do you know who your competitors are?
I certainly do. However, I find the together we’re stronger and I try and forge links with as many of them as I can. We find people think what we do is easy and set up their own business in competition. They haven’t lasted too long so far. We work really hard. We offer an independent report and evaluation of what we do to our customers so we are very professional and transparent. We’ve managed to keep ahead of our competitors with this attitude, so far!
How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business? Where can people find you? Website, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Pinterest, etc. Please provide details.
At the start we considered other media in which to advertise, we thought that we couldn’t boast about Twitter if it didn’t work for us too! So we do it all on Twitter. We have a Facebook page so customers can find us on that forum. https://www.facebook.com/QuickestFox/
We use periscope as an add-on to what we do on Twitter. https://twitter.com/QuickFoxMarketi
I’m on linkedin too: https://ie.linkedin.com/in/philipgleeson
Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?
This year is crucial for us. We are expanding to offer nationwide services to bigger businesses. We’ve been liaising with Foreign embassies to encourage FDI’s to use us for their marketing when entering the Irish market. This has been very positive and we’ve met some amazing people while we’ve been networking.
Do you plan to compete in the global market place? If yes, how? If no, why not?
Yes, we’ve some software in development that I designed and we hope to bring that to a worldwide market in the next 12 months.
How has technology, such as computers and the internet, impacted on how you conduct business?
I can run my business entirely from my phone, from anywhere in the world. No overheads and no restrictions (apart from WiFi) It’s an awesome world out there now!
What do you love about the area you live in/do business in?
The west of Ireland is equally beautiful and frustrating. It’s an amazing place to live and bring up children. It’s savagely undervalued by government in services. No motorway from Limerick to Cork? Brutal WiFi networks – no matter how much you pay! But the people, the passion and the lack of Earthquakes and tsunami are great!
Whom do you seek advise from for your business/ do you meet up with other business owners? If so, where?
I love networking and do a lot of informal meeting with other businesses. I’ve rarely left a room without a new contact or a lead. It’s one of my strengths. I like people and love chatting to people in business. This is very useful! I tend to pick up advise from all sorts of places and people. I like to take a lot of ideas onboard, evaluate which ones to use and put them on trial to see if they work.
Can you describe your customers?
Our customers are a mix of small and medium-sized businesses in Ireland. They are computer savvy and if not, are savvy enough to delegate to their more technically minded staff. They are all hard-working people with a passion for what they do. They truly appreciate the boost we give their business and we get great feedback from them.
Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
We’ve a large network in Ireland and we can do small campaigns and can quickly scale up for businesses if they need to push a product or event. We’re very approachable and we can react to their needs quickly and efficiently.
What are the biggest challenges for running this business?
I find getting sales people in Ireland very difficult. We have a great product but sometimes we are not great at selling it.
What keeps you going, when the chips are down?
I have several chronic illnesses, I’ve been bed bound for several months at a time. I won’t lie down while I can still stand. I want to make a difference and make my children proud.
Do you support local charities? If so which is your favourite charity and why?
As you can see from above, I’m a sucker for charity. We promote charities all over Ireland and are proud to do so. We will help any charity we can. We have a Twitter charity account @CharityhourIRL and we hope to do more with this in the next year.
Any special things planned for 2016?
To be so big they can’t ignore us!
Any tips for someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
Breathe, sit and have a quiet think every now and then. Don’t get caught up doing every single job. Think the big picture every now and then.
What did you learn from this interview?
Thanks for this opportunity. It’s good to write down these things every now and then, it’s easy to forget the progress made in a short time..
My next interview will be with Jackie Queally from Earthwise ! If you would like to be interviewed, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be in touch.
Just quick reminder: Please share this interview, as I’d like to start a small movement to highlight the brilliant businesses in the West of Ireland!
Have a great evening,