THE PAST 50 years have seen major changes in the business world - a series of tribunals, the dot com crash, two recessions and one Celtic Tiger, that viciously turned its back on the nation.
Through all of this, Paddy Sheridan has grown his business from a small office on Wexford's Main Street with three employees to one of the South East's largest insurance brokers, employing a team of 55 across three offices in Wexford, New Ross and Kilkenny.
In 1963 Patrick J Sheridan was inspired by JFK's liberalising speech on his visit to New Ross, Co. Wexford.
He left his secure job with Norwich Union, took the leap of faith and established his own Insurance brokers - Sheridan Insurances Ltd.
Sheridan Insurances opened its doors on 93 North Main St Wexford in March 1964.
Fifty years on, the same office is a hub of activity and the head quarters for one of the largest insurance brokers in the South East.
Paddy is still is still heavily involved in the day to day running despite being the ripe age of 86. He is an inspiration to every member of the Sheridan's team. Paddy is in the office each day offering advice to any team that needs it; he acts as a mentor to team leaders and tutors those doing exams. Paddy has a great appreciation of his team and his clients.
In 1990 Paddy's son Ciarán joined the Sheridan's team of eight to develop and expand the business.
In hard times when other companies looked to cut corners and reduce service levels, Paddy and Ciarán invested in improving customer service. They listened to their clients and put their clients' needs above the companies.
They didn't try to cut down on staff members at the expense of service; in fact they increased staff levels year after year and continuously improved their service levels.
In recent times as many other financial institutions tried to disconnect with their customers Sheridan Insurance's have increased communication.
All of these changes came with a high price tag, but the Sheridan family recognised excellent service as their competitive advantage.
They took a risk and invested in customer service predicting that it would have a direct impact on the sustainability of the business. Paddy's youngest son Donagh opened the Kilkenny office in 1997 with three employees. They now trade out of a state of the art premises in Danville Business Park with a team of 16.
Sheridan Insurances Ltd is now one of the South East largest insurance brokers.
So what has been the key to their success? Their core policy of treating everyone with courtesy, respect and dignity has been the lifeline of the company. The Sheridans have a great appreciation of their staff and customers.
They are not afraid of change or to move with the times.
They support and encourage their team to be the best they can - the Sheridan's family does not start and end with the Sheridan family it extends to the entire Sheridan's team. Over 4,000 new clients choose Sheridan Insurances last year alone.
Every insurance advisor in Sheridan's is fully qualified to offer professional advice on any of your insurance needs be it personal, life or business insurance.
With over 50 years experience they can confidently compare insurance policies from over 20 companies ensuring you have the best policy for you at a price you can afford. Every client is assigned their own personal insurance advisor with access to their email and direct dials to make life as easy as possible for their clients.
You can find them at their offices in Wexford, Kilkenny or New Ross. You can also check out their new website, www.sheridan.ie.