You need to understand what your market will look like in 10 and even 20 years' time...
Sean O'Sullivan Chief Executive, Seabrook Technology Group
'Focus, focus, focus. I believe that every organisation needs to concentrate on one aspect of their business to truly succeed.
"It is impossible to be an expert at everything, so find what element of your business is really working and really yielding results, and direct your energy and time on becoming an expert in this area.
"When Seabrook started out 27 years ago, we were a very general business - providing manufacturing software and consultancy to a very broad catchment area of organisations. Since we committed to focusing on life science manufacturing companies, we have had significant success.
"I live by the rule of 'bad news first' and I believe every business should adhere to it. Every client has a right to know if there is a problem with a service or product you provided. The sooner you tell them of an issue and propose a solution, the closer you are to gaining their trust - and repeat business.
"Never hide a problem from a customer if you want to retain their business. No Seabrook employee has ever been criticised for coming forward with an issue or highlighting a problem.
"You have to consider exporting. Ireland is a small economy, there are many support systems in place - and you need only look to other Irish companies that have expanded internationally and follow their path if you need guidance.
"The main thing required is bravery. When I finally took the plunge in 2012 and took Seabrook's services to US markets, the company expanded beyond all expectation.
"Stay ahead of the times. The saying used to be move with the times, but if you merely move with the times, you'll be outdated in a year or two. You need to know what your market will look like in 10 and even 20 years' time, and start working to get there now.
"Look around for like-minded and successful businesses you can collaborate with. It may be for a one-off project, or it could be for a long-term partnership, but don't discount working in conjunction with someone well-respected and experienced in your field.
"Collaboration can afford fantastic opportunities, but ensure you do your research very carefully and understand every aspect of the other business before you make an approach."
Sunday Indo Business