A SUCCESSFUL Sligo businessman has told would-be entrepreneurs not to be afraid to make mistakes.
George Mullan whose company, Support in Sport (SIS) had a turnover in excess of €30 million in 2012 told a gathering in the Glasshouse Hotel that keeping customers happy was the key.
"For me, business is incredibly simple," he said. It's about finding your customer, talking to them and making some sales."
"Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but try not to repeat them," he said.
The son of a cattle dealer from the Strandhill Road, he spent the early part of his career working with multinational company Wyeth, before embarking on his career change.
His company produces and lays both natural and artificial pitches for leading football clubs around the world.
Theses include at Premier League champions Manchester City and Italian champions Juventus. SIS pitches have also been laid at the new national stadium in Sweden and at events such as the IRB Six Nations, the World Cup, Champions League and the African Cup of Nations.
The dedicated Sligo Rovers fan, who employs 80 people full-time in Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands, Turkey, Angola, eastern Europe and the Middle East said that 65 per cent of his business is repeat custom.
This underpins his mantra that the 'customer is king'.
His company, which is based in Strandhill, came in for praise at the function held to mark the end of the CEIM Enterprise Platform Programme.
Head of Innovation at IT Sligo Niall McEvoy said the CEIM Programme had provided an invaluable boost to entrepreneurial activity in the North West.
"CEIM has 60 alumni businesses which now employ 250 people and have a combined with turnover in excess of €12m.
"Moreover, each new CEIM generated business is firmly rooted within the region."
The programme has now been replaced by New Frontiers which is also run jointly by IT Sligo and LYIT and is funded by Enterprise Ireland.