Interview with Ruairi Devlin – Founder of Ireland’s first Micro Biz Awards

Hello all,

My new year’s resolution is going well, so far I have done two interviews with two businesses in the West of Ireland. Last week I interviewed Jackie Queally from Earthwise.me and the week  before I was given some insights in Twitter, when I interviewed Philip Gleeson – from http://www.quickestfox.com/.

Today I am interviewing Ruairi Devlin, who is the founder of Ireland’s first Micro Biz Awards. It’s an area close to my heart, as there are so many small/micro business in Ireland, and there are few (affordable)opportunities where these businesses can be showcased outside of their usual geographic area. I am hopeful a small business/micro business in the West of Ireland reads this interview and decides to pack up for the day to Dublin and showcase their business to the “other” side of the country and network, as much of business is networking with other people in business, and learn what works, what doesn’t, learn from mistakes, and also to inspire to push yourself just that little bit more out of your comfort zone and see how it can transform your business.

Please share this interview, as I’d like to start a small movement to highlight the brilliant businesses in the West of Ireland!

Tell us a bit about yourself & where you are located in the West of Ireland or what would you like to share with businesses in the West of Ireland.

My day to day business is Devlin and Associates who deal in all things taxation and business development, but what I want to talk to you about today is my work as founder of the Micro Business Awards. These are awards aimed at creating awareness of Micro Businesses and the work they do.

Can you give me a description of your business?

The Micro Business Awards are in their inaugural year with 7 categories up for grabs this year. Unlike a lot of the exhibitions out there ours is totally –We are inviting small to medium-sized businesses from around the country to showcase themselves, giving them an opportunity to grow, prosper and network out of their normal networking area.  This is an opportunity, to network and meet like minded business people that you may not have met before.

How long have you been in business? In this business? In other businesses?

This is the first year in this business but I have been in business with Devlin and Associates for a few years.

How did you get started in this business?

These awards started out as my brainchild, and with the support of Whatswhat Online Business Directory and Diamond Events we created the platform to give Micro Businesses a voice.

Is this your full-time job, a hobby or a bit of both?

This is a hobby which has become a full-time job. I am lucky that I have great support in my day job to make time for my work with the awards.

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?

I feel that the nature of my day job introduced me to the struggles facing small businesses and I was glad to give an outlet to make a name for them.

How do the social, economic, environmental, technological, legal and political environments impact your business?

When it comes to awards everything is a factor. For this year we made social interaction a huge factor in the awards and the returns are showing from it.

How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business? Where can people find you? 

Linkedin Devlin and Associates Website Devlin and Associates 

Facebook Devlin and Associates Twitter Devlin and Associates

We market our awards through social media as we have zero budget for advertising this year.

Website Bizexpo  Twitter Whatswhat Facebookgroup Irishbizgroup

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?

We plan on growing from strength to strength with plans already happening for next years awards and a jump to up to 20 categories.

Do you plan to compete in the global market place? If yes, how? If no, why not?

There is no reason we can not expand the awards in the future

How has technology, such as computers and the internet, impacted on how you conduct business?

They are a huge part of our business as the awards look at websites etc.

What do you love about the area you live in/do business in?

I am fortunate to do business all over the country and love getting out into the West and meet all the small business owners and hear about their efforts.

Whom do you seek advice from for your business/ do you meet up with other business owners? If so, where?

Through our networking group on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/irishbgroup where we have over 1500 business owners more than happy to offer support and ideas.

Can you describe your customers?

Our customers come from all walks of life.

Why do your customers select you over your competitors?

We are the only Micro Awards in Ireland.

What are the biggest challenges for running this business? What are your big successes.

As with all events money is always a challenge. As this is our first year getting sponsorship was particularly difficult. FREE registration here for our Biz Expo which we are running in conjunction with the Awards. A handful of exhibition spaces are still available.

Take part in Ireland's first Micro Business awards
Take part in Ireland’s first Micro Business awards

What keeps you going, when the chips are down?

Feeling I have made someone else’s day.

Any special things planned for 2016?

With our first Awards Presentation coming on 19th April this is the first year of something special.

Any tips for someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
Know your market. Get professional advice. Give me a call. 0831086692

What did you learn from this interview?

It is great to see someone doing this for the West. Looking forward to seeing its expansion around the country.

Just a 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! My next interview will be with Dave Slaat from the Dutch Bakery in Sligo! If you would like to be interviewed, please drop me an email to katleen@workinglivingtravellinginireland.com and I’ll be in touch.

Connect with me on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook!

Have a great evening,

Katleen

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