Sunday 23 October 2016

Small business: Falling, failing and doing better

Published 10/02/2016 | 16:24

Should we be doing more to celebrate business failures in this country and use it as a springboard for future success?

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That was the topic for discussion on the latest Ready Business podcast, sponsored by Vodafone.   Joining presenter Brian Purcell was Paul Hayes, founder of BeachHut PR and Flounders, the  ‘club for failed founders’, plus DC Cahalane, who has been VP Growth & Marketing at, as well as Chief Marketing Officer at Trustev.

Brian Purcell with Paul Hayes, left and Dermot Cahalane before the business podcast. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 9/2/2016
Brian Purcell with Paul Hayes, left and Dermot Cahalane before the business podcast. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 9/2/2016

Both of them advise that failing – and most importantly, learning – from your business mistakes is key to growing and improving in your business career.

‘Every day you’re in business you have small successes and small failures,’ says Cahalane.  ‘It’s what you’re doing every day that makes the difference.’

‘Talking and sharing your experiences is also key,’ says Hayes whose Flounders club is a forum that ecnourages such interaction.  ‘We go the whole nine yards with coffins and ceremonial burnings of business plans.  Some of the most successful Irish tech entrepreneurs of recent years have been to Flounders.’

Brian Purcell also spoke to Leo Crawford, Chief Executive of the BWG Group, who are owners and operators of the Spar, Eurospar, Mace, XL and Value Centre brands.  He is a firm believer in honest failure and doing more to help entrepreneurs.

“Ireland needs risk-takers,’ he says.  ‘The challenge for risk-takers in Ireland is that, while we are happy to applaud their successes, we seem to be less tolerant and supportive of honest failure. It's not surprising, therefore, that the fear of failure is greater in Ireland than in other countries, especially the US.”

On the #readybusinessadvice slot, there were questions about ideas not just being hobbies – ‘there’s a world of difference between an idea that might work and actually running a business’ says Cahalane.

While Maire wondered how many failures before you should start wondering if it’s for you?

“Keep trying and listening to your gut,” says Paul Hayes.  “But be honest with yourself and have that conversation asking if this is really for you?”

On next week’s Ready Business show, we’re discussing mobile coverage and broadband for businesses in rural Ireland.  Send in your questions on Twitter to @Brian_Purcell using #readybusinessadvice.

The Ready Business show, in association with Vodafone, is available every Thursday via iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and Or subscribe to the RSS feed of the Ready Business Podcast using your favourite podcatcher.

You can check out the full Ready Business Podcast series here.

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