Time for another small business interview!
If this is your first visit to my blog, glad to have you on-board! This is the 14th interview in a series of interviews with small business in the West of Ireland. I used to run a business, and one of the parts I found most challenging was to promote my business, as I had little funds(read:none) and lacked the contacts to get featured. My new year’s resolution was to help small business in the West of Ireland by interviewing them on my blog, to give them an opportunity to tell their story. Please share this interview, as it’s one of the easiest ways to create awareness! Would you like to get featured? Drop me an email email@example.com and I’ll be in touch!
I have reached out to a few more local businesses and very excited to share the interview with Niall Scully from Irish Lift Inspections, who is based in Oranmore in Co. Galway. There are many opportunities in health and safety/regulation, and Niall is addressing one of them.
Tell us a bit about yourself & where you are located in the West of Ireland.
My name is Niall Scully, I’m 42 year old Limerick man with 2 girls. We moved to Oranmore in 2009. We have always loved Galway and have never looked back
Can you provide me with a description of your business?
I provide Engineering Inspections Services on Passenger/Goods Lifts, Escalators, Vehicle Lifts, Forklifts to everyone really from the biggest operator to the guy with a single forklift truck. My main clients are Property Management Companies, Hotels, Shopping Centres, Factories, Garages. These inspections are required under the current H&S Regulations…it’s like an NCT on the equipment.( NCT – National Car test )
How long have you been in business? 10 months
In this business? Inspections..8 years.
In other businesses?
I’m a qualified Electrician, Lift Installation/Commissioning Engineer & Engineer Surveyor.
How did you get started in this business?
I carried out the Inspections for a Major Insurance Company and seen an opportunity for myself to provide this service outside of the Insurance market, after all it’s a H&S requirement not an insurance requirement.
Is this your full-time job, a hobby or a bit of both?
At the moment I’m working about 20 hours a week on it, it takes time to build up a client base.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
I was always interested in Computers, Machines and Technology.Lifts are at the cutting edge of modern technology, I was always interested in further education and I am currently studying for a H&S qualification too.
How do the social, economic, environmental, technological, legal and political environments impact your business?
As a start-up it’s hard, there is very little the government do for a person starting a business by themselves. Most of the courses I do are paid for by myself…but I have to says the SCUUL Enterprise Centre in Ballybane, with their Bizmentors programme was brilliant and free. I have developed most of my own work stuff, branding, website, blog, social media presence, inspection programmes and cloud accessible computer database for work. The insurance hikes are really affecting people, but I’m not tied to any of them and can offer businesses a more bespoke and less costly alternative for their Engineering Inspections.
Do you know who your competitors are?
Oh Yes…the big Insurance Companies, but I like a challenge.
How do you market your business?
It’s all hands on,Social Media, website, knocking on doors, Phone calls, Email, Info leaflets, attending networking events.
How are people aware of your business?
I think I was a reliable and helpful person with some of my clients when I was with the Insurance companys and they remember that, Irish People are great to support a local business.
Where can people find you?
Facebook: Irish Lift Inspection Services
Linkedin: Irish Lift Inspection Services
Where do you see your business in the next year? Hopefully a full client book.
In the next five years? It would be great to be busy enough to employ people.
The next ten years? Employing even more people.
Do you plan to compete in the global market place? No…If yes, how? If no, why not?
Its too volatile with Banking, Brexit, Europe is changing very fast
How has technology, such as computers and the internet, impacted on how you conduct business?
I couldn’t do my job without them, being mobile and connected is a must. I think businesses watch people too much, it’s all about counting seconds and minutes, you need to spend time with your clients…rushing causes accidents.
What do you love about the area you live in/do business in?
I love Galway and the West, I love being by the sea too.
Whom do you seek advice from for your business/ do you meet up with other business owners? If so, where?
Yes, I’m involved with the Oranmore Business Network, great people and always available for some advice.
Can you describe your customers? From Self employed to International companies.
Why do your customers select you over your competitors?Quality, Cost, Reliable and available for a query.
What are the biggest challenges for running this business?
You have to be a quick learner, and be able to handle rejection…and go back to the potential client again.
What keeps you going, when the chips are down?
My Wife! She’s unbelievably supportive and I’m a bit stubborn:) If you knock me back I’ll get up after a bit and try again.
Do you support local charities? If so which is your favourite charity and why?
I do when it’s local, but unfortunately, I can’t help them all. There is a local man who does great charity work and I’ll always try and support him.
Any special things planned for 2017? Yes, build my company and keep my Quality service.
Any tips for someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
Get involved with local groups and networks.
What did you learn from this interview?
I was surprised I had an answer for most questions.
Please share this interview, as I’d like to start a small movement to highlight the brilliant businesses in the West of Ireland! If you would like to be next, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be in touch.
Thanks for reading & sharing!