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sales strategy

Top tips for dealing with late-paying clients - New Frontiers programme

Top tips for dealing with late-paying clients

By New Frontiers blog
We're not pointing any fingers, but you know who we're talking about! When it comes to late-paying clients, there are always a few stragglers. Although it's not personal and usually just an indicator of clunky business processes, if you're a small business trying to grow it is hard to be sympathetic. However, if most of your late-paying clients also happen to be your biggest clients, your problem is a bit more of a challenge. According to ISME, the Irish SME Association, 55% of companies experience payment delays of two months or more (Q2, 2019). CEO Neil McDonnell points out that: “Smaller businesses do not have working capital to wait for payment as long as big businesses. 36% of multinationals are...
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Nicky Bowman chats about sales strategies and finding your first customers - New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development programme Ireland

Nicky Bowman chats about sales strategies and finding your first customers

By New Frontiers blog
There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as seeing your startup idea come together and take the shape of a deliverable service or product. But now there’s a fresh challenge waiting for you – winning those invaluable first customers. Not beta testers, not friends and family. Real, paying customers. We spoke to Nicky Bowman, an experienced sales coach and Enterprise Ireland mentor, about how startup founders can develop their sales strategy and find those crucial first customers. Presumably, if a founder has built an amazing product or service, getting sales should be fairly easy? As a startup founder, you probably have years of industry experience behind you that’s been invaluable for getting you to this point. But suddenly you have to think...
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product-market fit and finding your sweet spot - New Frontiers

Emer O’Donnell chats about product-market fit and finding your sweet spot

By New Frontiers blog
If you are unsure about what product-market fit is, ask yourself are customers banging down the door? Instead of manufacturing demand for a product or service and relying on the hard sell, product-market fit is when you have found a sweet spot in the market and customers’ needs mirror the unique value you offer. A Qualified Executive Coach and regular Enterprise Ireland and New Frontiers trainer, Emer O’Donnell has spent 15 years helping companies to locate their sweet spot and grow. I sat down with her to find out more about this business strategy which turns build it and they will come on its head and puts customer needs in the driving seat.   Let’s start off with the obvious...
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Negotiating is like going into a church - New Frontiers Simon O'Keeffe

Negotiating is like going into a church

By New Frontiers blog
Negotiating is like going into a church or temple. It’s different. There are different rules and etiquette. People behave differently once they are there. Like a church, negotiation has a special purpose that makes it different from ordinary, humdrum conversations. Its purpose is to reach an agreement. But to leave it at that would be like saying that a church’s purpose is to keep out the rain. There’s more to it than that. Done properly, negotiation can deliver a rewarding and enriching experience as well as a good agreement. You can learn more about yourself by reflecting on a negotiation. You can find out more about others in the negotiation and deepen your relationships with them. Negotiation can provide space...
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Richard Mc Manus Exhibition tricks and trips New Frontiers

Exhibiting your startup: a 25-step checklist for excellence

By New Frontiers blog
Trade shows and exhibitions are an invaluable opportunity that's often underused by early-stage startups. However, it's a mistake to view them solely as a sales tactic. In this blog, Richard Mc Manus looks at other reasons to exhibit at shows and fairs, the lessons he has learnt from attending some 40 events with his startup, and gives us a 25-step checklist for exhibition excellence! You must be mad! Unless you are selling food for the hungry or hurley sticks at the Ploughing, you do not make money at exhibitions. Since graduating from the New Frontiers programme in 2015 my start-up, Cara Mara luxury seaweed baths, has participated in around 40 exhibition events. I hope that many business owners and managers, especially...
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WKI Developing your Market Attack Plan - in four steps New Frontiers

Developing your market attack plan in four steps

By New Frontiers blog
So you’ve completed your market research and analysis. You’ve found a great opportunity to exploit. The solution you have will give you an edge over other approaches and will offer real value to the client. You’ve spent the last couple of months building out the team of advisors and have some friends who’ve agreed to help you with branding, marketing, helping to write a business plan or to get the financials together... Everything looks great – you’ll definitely need 10 people on board within the next few years to support the €1 million turnover you’ve set as your year three target, especially as you’ll enter foreign markets towards the end of year two. Sound familiar? But have you created your...
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Value Proposition and Channel to Market New Frontiers

Value proposition and channel to market

By New Frontiers blog
We all know that setting up a new business is almost always an uncertain journey, one that can bring enormous swings, from exhilaration one day to doubt and fear the next. There are many reasons why we subject ourselves to this stress - creating a job for ourselves, escaping dull or unsuitable work, a bad boss, or just the simple desire for increased wealth. After all, who would not wish to achieve financial independence? The entrepreneurial rollercoaster The chance to create something from nothing, to see an idea in your head develop and work, either in the form of a new service or new product, is incredibly motivating and, when successful, enormously satisfying. “I did it my way” as the song...
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Business strategy why it matters and how to do it

Business strategy: why it matters and how to do it

By New Frontiers blog
Years ago, when the internet was in its infancy, I was part of a study group that developed a business plan for Intergift, an online shop that would sell books, CDs and other 'gifts', complete with reminders for birthdays, anniversaries. Sounds familiar? A year later, Jeff Bezos would start a company called Amazon in his garage. The point is that loads of people have a great idea. It's the people who make a decision to prioritise and act on the idea - and then stay with it - who reap the rewards. We did actually set up a company and made some attempts to get something off the ground. However, looking back, what prevented us delivering on a great idea was...
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New Frontiers Business expansion scaling your startup

Business expansion: scaling your startup

By New Frontiers blog
Any small company that has tried to expand will tell you that it's a tricky business! Expansion - whether it’s increasing the number of staff, adding new product lines or more retail locations - brings an array of potential problems and headaches. The risks of scaling your business are real, and they are as problematic for young startups as they are for large, established companies. But, in identifying the risks, you can work out solutions, learn from others who have faced the same challenges, and become more confident in forging on with your business expansion plans and strategies. For my own startup, the Irish Biltong Company, our expansion plans are continually growing as new markets present themselves to us. I've found that the key...
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becoming an expert in your field new frontiers advice

Startup PR: increasing awareness and becoming an expert

By New Frontiers blog
For new businesses, raising brand awareness is the key to building a community of fans and driving sales. A good way to do this is to highlight the expertise of the founder or co-founders with public appearances and authoritative content.  When I started Mummy Cooks, there was no such thing as a ‘weaning expert’ in Ireland. By virtue of being the first person to start talking about this topic, I became the weaning and feeding expert - initially for Eumom and then for MummyPages. I also became the weaning expert for the Pregnancy & Baby fair; talking at events in Dublin, Belfast and Cork. In order to promote my fledgling business, I started to work on my PR. I have...
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Supply versus demand: how to set your pricing

By New Frontiers blog
Pricing is one of the most difficult issues for new businesses, but it is also one of the most critical. While there are some general principles that should be applied by all businesses, there is no one size fits all model for setting prices. Creating the right image through pricing Pricing affects profit, but it also plays a major role in forming your brand's image. Set your prices too high and you will be perceived as not offering good value for money, set prices too low and you may be perceived as cheap. The basic starting point for setting prices is an understanding of costs - you cannot sell your goods or services for less than the cost of production, at...
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UK markets and beyond: think before you leap

By New Frontiers blog
The United Kingdom represents Ireland’s single largest export market, providing significant opportunities for ambitious and growth-focused companies. The UK market is a natural overseas destination for Irish businesses looking to expand and is viewed by the Irish Government as a key export region for our economic recovery. Not only is the UK one of Ireland’s most important trade partners, but its geographical proximity and cultural similarities make expansion into the UK easier for Irish businesses... on paper, anyway. There is no doubting that both regions share common characteristics. However, the strategic and operational approach that needs to be adopted in, say, Dublin versus Manchester, or marketing and selling to the public sector in the UK versus that of Ireland differs...
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International growth: how to get started

By New Frontiers blog
International growth is not the same as getting beta customers in your home market – to sell overseas, you’ll need to be able to scale your sales acquisition, and service and manage all the possible agents and resellers in the market. This article will illustrate the major points your startup should be aware of and how you can best position yourself for international growth The international growth ‘toolkit’ Startups today have to think in terms of international growth pretty much from day one. However, it involves a very different set of skills than the one it takes to achieve the first beta customer in your own market – skills more aligned to scaling growth, and managing customers and intermediaries at...
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Making trade shows pay: a strategy for startups

By New Frontiers blog
With the number of high-profile exhibitions and trade shows increasing, how can we be sure that participating isn't simply a costly and time-consuming exercise, with no guarantee of success? Trade exhibitions can be very profitable for your business and the secret to success lies in good planning. Determining whether trade fairs are to be part of your marketing strategy is not a decision to be taken at the last moment. You should allow time to research which shows to attend, assign a trade show budget, and identify and purchase the necessary promotional materials. Deciding to exhibit at the last minute may result in increased costs and inconclusive or poor results. Who is organising the event? The success of the show depends primarily on the footfall...
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Goals & milestones for growth-focused businesses

By New Frontiers blog
I recently delivered a one day workshop as part of IT Tralee’s New Frontiers Phase 2 programme entitled, ‘Goals & Milestones for Growth-Focused Businesses’. The aim of the session was to discuss goals for each of the participant business and to help them identify milestones to be prioritized among the many competing demands for their time and attention. Sessions such as this assist participants to communicate both their progress to date and the potential of their business to Enterprise Ireland and other potential investors. These are some of the key points we covered. Starting point: hitting milestones is extremely important for early-stage investors The calibre of the team driving a new business is very important in determining an investment decision. This...
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New Frontiers workshop: How to find customers

By New Frontiers blog
Around 30 Phase 2 participants from around the country joined us at Enterprise Ireland on Thursday for a special workshop that looked at how to find customers and the sales pipeline. This is the first time New Frontiers participants from different locations have come together for a training session, so it was also an opportunity to meet and network with entrepreneurs from other Institutes. How to find customers Finding and retaining customers was the subject of Thursday's workshop, which was facilitated by Alan Costello of Ruby Consulting, a strategy- and innovation-focused boutique consultancy. Alan has worked with numerous small/early-stage/HPSU companies, and as a founder himself has great insight into the reality of startup life. Alan's workshop looked at the different sales cycles that...
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Generating your startup’s first sales leads

By New Frontiers blog
Generating sales leads is key to starting a business, but what's the best way to connect with and convert potential customers who are not aware of your company? For most start-ups the priorities are: Confirming that someone will buy your product or service; Building the first version of your product or service; Getting your first paying customer; Raising funding, or making enough sales to self-fund. Every one of these priorities, even building your product, depends on acquiring customers. And you need to acquire customers in a repeatable way, so you know which inputs will generate more outputs (i.e. more customers). Your goal should be to build a process for acquiring customers that is predictable, scaleable and automatable. There are two...
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Market Research: a key component of business strategy

By New Frontiers blog
The Enterprise Ireland Market Research Centre is located at our offices at East Point Business Park, Dublin. Client companies can access the most up-to-date information on a vast range of markets, sectors, companies and countries, either in Dublin or at our regional locations. What is market research? Neil Armstrong defined research as a “means to investigate something you do not know or understand.” This definition can also be applied to the more specific area of market research. There are two types of market research: primary and secondary. Primary market research involves collecting data from its source (e.g. by surveying customers). This type of research is usually used by the company itself. The other type of research is called secondary research (or “desk research”)...
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