Monday 20 January 2020

READY BUSINESS PODCAST: 'I'm only a serial entrepreneur because I failed at so many things' Gavin Duffy's business advice

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How do you get investment from the original Dragon on Dragons den?  What does Gavin Duffy look for if you’re pitching a business idea to him?

"I'm only a serial entrepreneur because I failed at so many things," he tells Brian Purcell on this week's Ready Business show. "There probably hasn’t been anyone who has re-invented themselves as much as myself."

"I genuinely love start-ups, but I get bored with the idea once it's up and running and I want to move on to the next challenge.  Unfortunately, entrepreneurship is a disease, it's not something to be wished upon every person!"

Brought up in the family pub and restaurant scene – The Gem in Naas was a main stopping off point for Cork and Kerry people going to Dublin - he got used to dealing with the public on a daily basis.

"If my father ever heard us saying anything disrespectful about customers, we’d get a good clip in the ear. It makes you realise the importance of customer service from a young age."

Aged just 18 he was running his own successful pirate radio station but says being an entrepreneur can also be a lonely furrow that does have isolation and loneliness around it. 

As to his advice for what makes a successful pitch? 

"You must have a compelling proposition. Take Kate Hyde who walked in on Dragons Den and said, 'Hey Dragons, there will be 27,000 weddings in Ireland this year with a whole industry around each of them.  There has to be 27,000 hen parties as a result and there’s nothing there for them yet and I'm going to create the marketplace for it.' That was a compelling proposition."

Gavin Duffy also has some timely and relevant advice for why you get into business.

"Whatever area you go into, there’s going to be sacrifices on your time and being away from your family, so whatever it is, make sure it’s going to pay you handsomely for all that effort in the end."

"And most importantly, you should also make sure to pull the plug on your business if it’s struggling or not really flying. Have a go at something else.  Don’t keep dragging it on.  First and foremost what determines a successful business is timing.  Don't forget: remind me of the problem I have and the solution you’ve got for me – that’s what sales and communication is all about."

The Ready Business show, in association with Vodafone, is available via iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher 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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