'It is vital to let potential customers see strengths - so tell your story'
Nigel Gahan Sales Manager Gahan Meats
'I have worked full-time in our family-run meat business in Dublin for over 20 years, and have witnessed many changes, different products, fashions and trends.
"Yet the lessons I have learnt in real business situations throughout my career stay relevant today. When I started working as a boy in my family's business it was a simple case of following my father's lead and instructions throughout the busy day.
"When I began to take more responsibilities in running things I needed to change my mind set and put my own stamp on our company."
Recognise your strengths and weaknesses
"Challenge the advantages you have and ensure these strengths are consistent and durable, and you will build yourself a solid reputation.
"At Gahan Meats, top priority is given to quality and it governs everything we do. Quality products and quality customer service, delivered with the personal touch that would be expected when dealing with a family-run business.
"It is vital to let potential customers know your strengths. Tell your story, there are so many companies out there with great stories to tell who keep it largely to themselves.
"Pride can lead a person to avoid or dismiss their weaknesses. Everyone at some time needs good advice and guidance. Timely decisions can set a business on a path for success. Ask questions, ask for opinions and consider them carefully before deciding what is best for your business."
"It's a hackneyed phrase, but it's my stubbornly held belief that the customer is king.
"Like life in general, all companies will naturally experience good and not so good times, but repeat business is the life blood of the majority of companies.
"The focus should always be keeping your current customers happy. A word-of-mouth referral from a happy customer reflects well on how you do business and will deliver your company's most powerful marketing campaign, it's like advertising your product or service for free
"Seeking new business is also important, but it is a different strategy."
"The first task for a business leader is to build a team. Nothing lives in a vacuum, it's not all about you, your business needs different talents, different experiences.
"Allow your team to make contributions, they are a valuable source when you need new ideas. So to run a successful company, and especially to push forward and expand, you need to have a team of people around you that you can trust.
"Trust goes both ways, and that understanding will help your employees buy into what you are looking to achieve. Building a team will test all your people skills, requiring the management of employees' expectations and their constant demands for attention and recognition.
"We have taken a number of years to build our team around us and we strive to keep them happy and motivated."
Set your goals in concrete and your plans in sand. In a hectic business schedule it is very easy to get distracted from what is most important in your role and for your company.
"Setting goals helps you to keep focus but these are often quite a challenge and require sustained effort, because the obstructions will always be there to halt things, the trick is to keep going.
"Create an action plan and make a list of the tasks that are most important to achieve this week/month, track, acknowledge and measure this progress. Constantly refer back to this list to ensure you remain focused."
Sunday Indo Business