Business Irish

Monday 19 March 2018

What I wish I'd known: I don't need to be an expert in everything - I just need to understand all the moving parts

Jude O'Meara, MD, Elephant self storage

Jude O'Meara
Jude O'Meara

Despite growing up surrounded by all things 'business' I decided to follow a different path and chose to study nursing. Following my studies I lived and worked in the UK and travelled as much as I could.

While travelling I was involved in all sorts of jobs (apart from nursing!) such as promotions, telesales, waitressing, farming and even a charity build in Africa. I didn't realise it at the time but these experiences and the people I met meant I learnt a lot about myself and the importance of communication. These experiences have had a direct impact on the way I run my business - people come first - customers and staff.

In 2005 I returned to Dublin from the UK to manage Elephant Self Storage and work alongside my father. In 2009 I took over as managing director and have been responsible for developing the business into what it is today. Taking over and stepping into my father's shoes has proven a challenging experience.

As a family business we have had our fair share of interesting times and I have learnt that being as transparent as possible with family members involved and hearing their opinions is vital to our success. While final decisions lie with me, having a supportive network of staff and family to bounce ideas off of is imperative.

The one thing I wish I had known before I started is that 'I don't need to be an expert in everything - I just need to understand all the moving parts'. As a managing director you need to be a good multi-tasker and keep on top of all the continuous changes throughout the business.

Sales, marketing, website, signage, maintenance, staff, as well as dealing with suppliers and customers are all vital elements of my business.

I am conscious of all these different aspects so that when it is necessary, I can make a sound decision. When I started out with Elephant Self Storage I used to breathe, eat and sleep everything business related, as unhealthy as this was. This was down to my desire to do well.

I am aware that the success of the business will continue to impact on my family many years from now. While I am never 'off duty', I am making a conscious decision not to bring my work home as much, especially now that I am a mum.

If I was asked would I do it all over again, I would most definitely say yes. I may have hesitated if I was aware of the worry and challenging times this position brings, but I know I would still take the leap as working in business is something that I was made to do.

Sunday Indo Business

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