Inspired | Local Women | April 2017

Local Women (Mid Ulster edition) April 2017
Local Women (Mid Ulster edition) April 2017

Local Women (Mid Ulster edition) April 2017

Hello ladies,

When it comes to growing your business, we all know that networking is where it’s at. After all, networking increases your visibility and helps you to find new customers. But that little n-word can strike terror into many people’s hearts!  If you’re one of those otherwise happy, confident, life-loving people that just doesn’t like walking into a room full of strangers, read on! Networking makes many people feel anxious. Maybe it’s the image of a room full of self-absorbed, career-climbers munching on canapés, smiling and slapping one another on the back.  It all feels a bit fake, a bit transactional.

But networking isn’t about peddling a superficial image of yourself, it’s about building up relationships.  In this month’s Inspired, we’re profiling two women’s networks here in Northern Ireland that will help you to build some great relationships. Whether you’re a seasoned networker or just feel ‘ick’ at the thought, we guarantee that AWE NI or Lean In will help you to become part of something bigger than yourself. Please reach out with your thoughts through our Facebook page or website, and we hope to meet you in person online or at an event soon!

Camilla and Sarah


Five Networking Tips

Here are our five top tips to get the most out of every networking event:

  1. Develop a 20 second ‘elevator pitch’ to describe what you do in an easy-to-understand way. This really helps to open a conversation with the person that you’re meeting.
  2. #giversgain When you someone new, tune in to what they’re saying. Is there some way that you can help them?  Or maybe, there is someone you know that can help them?  Relationships are reciprocal. Anna Macauley, the Savvy Retailer said it best, ‘For many years I used to attend events and use them as hunting ground for new contacts or clients – then I realised that if everyone actually went with the idea of giving, someone, somewhere would have something to give to me that I needed. ‘
  3. Set networking goals. Do think about what you want to get out of your networking activity, and set goals for each event that you attend. This might be as simple as asking two people you meet to follow you on Facebook or as specific as getting to speak with one person that you know will be attending.
  4. Less is more. Networking takes time.  You’ll achieve your goals more productively if you commit more fully to a smaller number of networks.
  5. Most of all, make sure that you find a way to make networking fun. When you enjoy networking, it stops feeling like work.  The tech entrepreneur and legendary networker Mary McKenna networks to ‘collect interesting people’, and her life is the richer for it.

Top Tip from a Networking Pro

Lisa Strutt, networking pro

Lisa Strutt, Asentiv Certified Networker Instructor says ‘Avoid networking alone!  Can you team up with a friend and go to events together? This means that you’re able to introduce one another to people you each know. It’s such fun introducing someone, because you can really champion them and their skills.’

At Bespoke Communications, we regularly host networking workshops with our customers, and we’ve blogged about what we’ve learnt. Read more here.

 


At Inspired, we’re in awe (no pun intended!) of two local dynamos that give their time to support and encourage other women. Read on to find out how you can be part of the networks that Geri Martin and Nuala Murphy champion.

Lean In Belfast Chapter

Lean In Belfast

Lean In Belfast

Lean In’s Camilla Long, Nuala Murphy and Sarah Travers

Lean In is a global non-profit organisation that empowers women to achieve their ambitions.  It was founded by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, in 2013 to encourage more gender equality in leadership in the workplace and society as a whole.  Here in Northern Ireland, you can take part in Lean In by attending events and joining online forums.  We love the fact that the network is facilitated online! That means that if you still be part of it, even if you can’t get out during the working day or attend evening events.  You can still get involved and share your expertise with others, to become part of a supportive community that reciprocates when you need it. It’s the ultimate #giversgain!  The other great thing about a network that’s both online and offline, is that it makes that nerve-wracking first event automatically easier too.  When you attend an event, and meet someone in person that you have only ever spoken with before on Facebook, it’s the ultimate ice-breaker!

Search Lean In Belfast Chapter – Non-Profit Organisation on Facebook to join.


Lean In Belfast is championed by Nuala Murphy. Nuala is a chartered marketer and the founder and CEO of momenthealthapp.com, a mental health support app for new and expectant Mums and families.


Aspiring Women in Enterprise (AWE NI)

AWE Aspiring Women in Enterprise

AWE Aspiring Women in Enterprise

Geri Martin was inspired to set up AWE NI after setting up her own business, The Chocolate Manor. She knew that she couldn’t be the only small business-owner to feel the need to get out and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs. She wanted to set up a network locally in Northern Ireland that would offer the same support and encouragement that she had experienced in other online communities that she had joined.   By creating a local network, she wanted to connect people online, so they could meet up in person anytime.   So Aspiring Women in Enterprise (NI), or AWE NI, was born!

AWE NI is a Facebook group for female business owners. Running a small business can be isolating and as women, very often we are anxious about revealing to others that we need help. Being a member of AWE takes away that anxiety and provides a place where members can ask questions, and receive honest feedback and support.  Geri says, ‘Members understand that we are not there to compete, but to encourage. AWE keeps you connected to others who face the same challenges, and can provide a warm welcome when you need it most.’

Search AWE NI: Aspiring Women in Enterprise NI on Facebook to join.


Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.

AWE NI is championed by Geri Martin. Geri is a mum of two, and founder of The Chocolate Manor.  The Chocolate Manor specialises in printed chocolates for events, gifts, retail, promotions and hospitality.

 

 

 

 

Speakeasy Club – Media Interviews


speakeasy club media interviews

 

TV and radio are an opportunity for you to amplify your influence.  But how do you get a journalist interested in your story?  And what steps should you take to prepare for a media interview?

Attend this one-day course help you to learn what journalists need from you to create a newsworthy story.  We’ll show you camera presenting techniques and we’ll help you prepare for journalist’s questions, even on difficult or sensitive issues.   You’ll benefit from invaluable mentoring from an experienced broadcaster to give you the inside track on media interview preparation!

 


Course dates coming up.

Belfast – Tuesday January 30th (One-day course)

 

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

Techniques for confident media interviews

  • Stress management techniques
  • Saying what needs to be said with control and assurance
  • Body language and building rapport

Navigating the broadcast industry

  • The dynamics of a newsroom
  • Using social media to build a journalist contact base
  • Building up a media campaign

Planning your Radio or TV Interviews

  • Questions to ask the media production team in advance of your interview
  • Planning your key message
  • Delivering a message in a short sound-bite for radio, video or TV
  • Camera interview practice with critique from an experienced broadcaster mentor

HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE?

The Speakeasy Club for Media Interviews is a one-day course.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

£249 + VAT (£298.80 to be precise!) per one-day course. Discounts may be available – check below for details!

COURSES COMING UP- REGISTER NOW!

I’M INTERESTED! KEEP ME POSTED.

If you’d like to attend a Speakeasy Club, but our current schedule doesn’t suit, please add your name below and we’ll keep you posted about future Speakeasy Club dates.


THE OFFICIAL STUFF

Refund Policy

If you cancel your place up to 14 days before the start date of  your Speakeasy Club course, we’ll give you your money back in full. Cancellations received within 14 days of the start date will not be refunded. We’ll do our best to apply your fee to a future Speakeasy Club instead, although we cannot guarantee this.

Terms and Conditions

We reserve the right to cancel or amend the timings of Speakeasy Club events.

We welcome Speakeasy Club members from all walks of life and are pleased for you to share what you learn with others. If you’re considering offering commercial courses, we’ll be happy to make a paid arrangement with you to share our content with your own course participants.

If you wish to pay for your Speakeasy Club by any means other than card, we’ll be happy to oblige.  Thing is – non-card payments attract a surcharge of £10, so we’d prefer if you paid by card, because we really don’t want to charge you more.

Speakeasy Club – Foundations

 

Do you work in sales and marketing and wish that you could develop and deliver strong messages? Do you manage contracts and present frequently to your clients? Do you run your own business and want to present to prospective clients at events? Or maybe you have a big event coming up and you’re wondering:

  • “What if someone finds out I’m not good enough?”
  • “Will I sound all right?”
  • “Where do I even begin?” or
  • “It’s been a long time since I’ve given a speech – I’m a bit rusty”

We’ve worked with people who’ve told us they avoid speaking in public for a variety of reasons:

  • Difficult past experiences with public speaking stop them from trying.
  • Their colleagues will judge them.
  • Whenever they stand up to speak their mind goes blank.

Whatever your reason for holding back,  the good news is that public speaking is not a talent, it is a skill. And the great news is that it is a skill that can be learnt with practice. The Speakeasy Club offers you a safe, supportive environment, where you can build up your skills week-on-week under the guidance of experienced facilitators.


 What will I learn?

  • Speaker impact. Learn body language secrets to build rapport with your audiences.
  • Tried and tested structures. Learn approaches to structuring, so that you’ll always deliver a great presentation no matter how little time you have to prepare.
  • Visuals and props. Find ways of enhancing your words.
  • Harness the power of storytelling to deliver your message with impact.
  • Find your own speaking style. We’re all unique, there are no templates or prescriptions in this workshop. You’ll learn techniques that suit your personality to fill you with confidence when you step on stage.
  • Grow your confidence. You’ll learn how to overcome the nerves and develop a public speaking style that suits you and wows your audience.

This is an interactive workshop with lots of practical work to help you to apply what you learn right away!

How much time does it take?

The Speakeasy Club Foundations course takes place over two half-days. This gives you the opportunity to build up your skills week on week. Additionally, you should allow up to four hours to prepare a presentation that you will deliver in the second session.

How much does it cost?

£395 + VAT for two sessions.

I’m interested! Keep me posted

If you’d like to attend a Speakeasy Club, but our current schedule doesn’t suit, please add your name below and we’ll keep you posted about future Speakeasy Club dates.


THE OFFICIAL STUFF

Refund Policy

If you cancel your place up to 14 days before the start date of  your Speakeasy Club course, we’ll give you your money back in full. Cancellations received within 14 days of the start date will not be refunded. We’ll do our best to apply your fee to a future Speakeasy Club instead, although we cannot guarantee this.

Terms and Conditions

We reserve the right to cancel or amend the timings of Speakeasy Club events.

We welcome Speakeasy Club members from all walks of life and are pleased for you to share what you learn with others. If you’re considering offering commercial courses, we’ll be happy to make a paid arrangement with you to share our content with your own course participants.

If you wish to pay for your Speakeasy Club by any means other than card, we’ll be happy to oblige.  Thing is – non-card payments attract a surcharge of £10, so we’d prefer if you paid by card, because we really don’t want to charge you more.

Speakeasy Club for Business Storytelling

speakeasy club business storytelling

Has it been a while since you’ve changed your presentation style? Would you like new ideas to get your message across more meaningfully? Would you like to build more compelling sales pitches?

Audience expectations are shifting all the time and attention spans are contracting.  Great storytelling helps you to overcome this problem and make a real connection with your audience.  This course will help you to become more authentic in your presentations, so that when you speak your audience really listens.

If you regularly give presentations as part of your role at work, the Speakeasy Club for Business Storytelling will help you to bring a new energy to your next presentation.

 


Course dates coming up.

Belfast – 16th January 2018 and 23rd January 2018  (Tuesday mornings)
Derry – 24th April 2018 and 1st May 2018 (Tuesday mornings)

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

  • The dynamics of storytelling in a business presentation.
  • How to create buy-in using storytelling.
  • Getting your message across concisely.
  • Using your presentation to compel your audience to act on your proposal.
  • Tried and tested structures, so that you’ll always deliver a great presentation no matter how little time you have to prepare.
  • Timed talks. Learn the discipline of visual presentation in a limited timeframe.

This is an interactive workshop with lots of practical work to help you to apply what you learn right away!

HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE?

The Speakeasy Club for Business Storytelling takes place over two morning sessions of three hours each. Additionally, you’ll need to allow up to three hours of your own time to prepare a presentation for the second session.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

£199 + VAT (£238.80 to be precise!) for four sessions. Discounts may be available – check below for details.

Courses coming up- Register Now!

I’M INTERESTED! KEEP ME POSTED.

If you’d like to attend a Speakeasy Club, but our current schedule doesn’t suit, please add your name below and we’ll keep you posted about future Speakeasy Club dates.


THE OFFICIAL STUFF

Refund Policy

If you cancel your place up to 14 days before the start date of  your Speakeasy Club course, we’ll give you your money back in full. Cancellations received within 14 days of the start date will not be refunded. We’ll do our best to apply your fee to a future Speakeasy Club instead, although we cannot guarantee this.

Terms and Conditions

We reserve the right to cancel or amend the timings of Speakeasy Club events.

We welcome Speakeasy Club members from all walks of life and are pleased for you to share what you learn with others. If you’re considering offering commercial courses, we’ll be happy to make a paid arrangement with you to share our content with your own course participants.

If you wish to pay for your Speakeasy Club by any means other than card, we’ll be happy to oblige.  Thing is – non-card payments attract a surcharge of £10, so we’d prefer if you paid by card, because we really don’t want to charge you more.

Inspired | Local Women Magazine | March 2017

Local Women Magazine March 2017
Local Women March 2017

Local Women March 2017 (North West edition)

 

Hello ladies,

Spring is in the air, and it’s a great time to step back and reflect on your business. Maybe there’s something you could be doing better or perhaps there’s an opportunity just waiting for you to develop? In this column, Siobhan Allan shares her incredible journey with us. We’ve had a behind-the-scenes peek at where she’s going with her high-profile film and tv business, the Extras Dept. We offer our top tips for making your own videos. And Anna Macauley, the Savvy Retailer, offers her trademark no-nonsense advice to retailers as we wrap up this financial year.

As always, it’s your comments and questions that inspire this column. Get in touch on our Facebook page or website. We’d love to hear from you!

Sarah and Camilla


Managing your retail business

The Savvy Retailer, Anna Macauley

The Savvy Retailer, Anna Macauley

This months question comes from a retailer. “I find the next couple of months really tough on trade as customers are still paying off Christmas and they don’t seem to have an appetite for shopping. Do you have any tips to get me through the final quarter of the financial year?”

Anna says ‘Firstly, most retailers are in the same boat, so don’t think you’re alone.  Where your focus for the third quarter was on driving sales, your focus will change now to three key areas.

 

Fragmented lines and sale

You need to decide whether this stock needs to be marked down to clear or put into your stockroom for a future sale. Some retailers do have a ‘last chance to buy’ area on their sales floor, but only do this if you can afford the space.

 

Merchandising new season stock

Sale stock should now be de-emphasized and your customer should see new season stock when they enter your store. Even if they are after a bargain, showing off your new lines will encourage a return visit after their next payday!

 

Invest in your business

Now is a great time for staff development, so plan in time to retrain, revive and refresh your colleagues and that includes you! This will help you and your team refocus on tasks and help to boost efficiency.


 

the speakeasy club

So you’ve decided to make a promotional video about your business. Where do you start?

 

At Bespoke Communications, here’s what we’ve learnt about making the process as streamlined as possible.

  • Know your audience. Who’s your best customer? Do you know a real, actual person who is your ideal customer?  Imagine you’re speaking to them one-on-one. That will help you to keep it real, and avoid the waffle.
  • Develop your message. What’s the goal of your video – how do you want people to feel? Maybe you’d like them to learn something?  And don’t forget your call-to-action. What’s the next step you’d like people to take?
  • Get out there and perform! Practice before you book the professionals – use your phone or iPad at home to get used to presenting. You’ll need to be yourself, but maybe just a shinier version 🙂

The Speakeasy Club can help you to brush up on your camera presentation skills – with advice from tv presenter, Sarah.


 

 

Lights, camera, action – can Siobhan Allan make you a star?

How many of us have grown up dreaming of the glamorous life on a movie set?  How would you like to rub shoulders with the stars?   Here in Northern Ireland, we have all watched as our film industry has gone from strength to strength.   We’ve seen global blockbusters like Game of Thrones and The Fall being filmed here. And through the work of Siobhan Allan and her business partner Carla Stronge, we now all have a chance to be part of the action! Siobhan and Carla set up Extras NI ten years ago to help film productions source non-speaking extra performers for their film sets.  At the Extras Dept, the team say ‘we love your face’, so it’s suitable for all ages and all shapes and sizes. If you haven’t tried extra work yet, why not log onto www.theextrasdept.com and give it a go?

 

The Extras Dept - The Fall

The Extras Dept – The Fall

So Siobhan, how did it all get started?

My daughter, Sam, had graduated from university and landed herself a job with a production company filming here in Northern Ireland. She phoned me one day to say that she needed to source 250 extras for her film, and that she had no idea how to find them.  I downed tools and helped her to recruit her extras from all over Northern Ireland and beyond.  During that first escapade, Sam introduced me to her good friend, Carla, who has an in-depth knowledge of the film industry.  I was ready for change in my career, and together Carla and I decided to give Extras NI a go!

The Extras Dept - Game of Thrones

The Extras Dept – Game of Thrones

Did you ever imagine how the company would grow?

Last year, our extras on film sets in Northern Ireland took home £1.9 million in pay.  I need to pinch myself to think how the company has grown over the last ten years. We now have over 17,000 registered extras on our database.  But remember, film sets are not all glamour.  The days are long and there is a lot of sitting around. Our role is to make sure that all of the less exciting aspects such as health and safety and insurance are taken care of, and that our extras are looked after.  We have to make sure that our extras have a great working experience, and that the production companies’ experience is hassle-free and seamless.

The Extras Dept - Dracula

The Extras Dept – Dracula

What’s next for you?

The film and television industries in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are continuing to grow, so we are looking forward to taking on our biggest challenge to date. Extras NI has rebranded and relaunched as the The Extras Dept in March 2017.  We’ve introduced a brand new casting platform and plan to move into the Republic of Ireland market to open a Dublin office. We have firmly established ourselves over the last ten years in Northern Ireland, and our film production clients are increasingly asking us to help them fill their extras roles in the Republic in the same way that we do here.  Another significant milestone is that Emma Sweeney, who has been Extras NI manager for the last 4 years, will become a partner in our company this year. There are clearly exciting times ahead for us all!

The Extras Dept - The Lodge by Disney

The Extras Dept – The Lodge by Disney

 

So what’s been your favourite moment over the last ten years?

That’s easy! That was the day that I walked on a film set to be greeted personally by the American actor and comedian, Bill Murray. My daughter Sam had been working with him, as an Assistant Director and Bill had been really impressed with her work.  He came over to me especially and told me that I had one helluva kid! The memory of that moment makes me feel very proud.

Inspired | Local Women Magazine | February 2017

Local Women February 2017
Local Women (mid Ulster edition) Feb 2017

Local Women (mid Ulster edition) Feb 2017

Hello ladies,

Welcome to our second ‘Inspired’ column, where we bring you business advice and celebrate local success stories of women in business and enterprise.   Every month, our readers ask their business questions and we’ll answer it the following month. If you’d like advice on growing your business, message us your question on Facebook or through our website. We’ll pick the best question to go in the following month’s column!


Using Facebook as a marketing tool

This month our burning business question is ‘How can my business build up Facebook followers?’   We asked the experts – business owners themselves – to get you the answers.

Louise Brogan Social Bee NI

Louise Brogan of Social Bee NI, Marketer of the Year 2016, works with women entrepreneurs to market their business online.

Louise says ‘For many business owners starting out on social media, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the more followers you have, the merrier.   It is far better to have 200 engaged followers on your Facebook page who have followed you because they are interested in what you have to offer, than it is to have 20,000 followers who are there because they once entered a competition to win a mini iPad.’

 

Aly Harte Artist

Aly Harte Artist

Aly Harte is a Belfast based artist and blogger, passionate about placing importance on the everyday.

Aly uses Facebook successfully to promote her business and says ‘Get really clear on who your target audience is. Think about what their interests are, where they eat, where they holiday, what they watch on tv. Yes! Facebook can help you target so specifically that in ads manager you can select the very box set on Netflix you know your audience love. An example of this is on own business. I am an artist with over eighty prints on my online store. I realised that the people who buy my landscape prints vary from those who buy my superhero prints. Therefore, a slight variation in interests in my ads manager means my work is in front of the right people’

Thanks so much to Louise and Aly for their insight and advice.  We’d summarise their expert advice by saying – to make the most of your time on social media, make sure to stop, reflect and plan before you post!


Jayne Taggart of Causeway Enterprise Agency receives the Queens Award for Enterprise

Jayne Taggart of Causeway Enterprise Agency receives the Queens Award for Enterprise

 

Can Jayne Taggart help you to start your own business?

Have you got what it takes to set up your own business?  Every month we meet women blazing a business trail in your local community. This month we were delighted to catch up with the inspirational Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of the Causeway Enterprise Agency.  Jayne is well known amongst female business owners for the amazing support she and her team offer to small business, so much so that she’s even been recognised by the Queen!  Jayne’s networking events are legendary for the inspiration they offer to local businesswomen just like you. We asked Jayne to tell us more about her work inspiring local business

Jayne Taggart of Causeway Enterprise Agency wins prestigious Women In Business Best in Professional Services award

Jayne Taggart of Causeway Enterprise Agency wins prestigious Women In Business Best in Professional Services award

 

 

What is the Causeway Enterprise Agency all about?

We help people to realise their dream of starting in business for themselves.  We offer a wraparound service – from business premises of all sizes, to startup finance, to networking events and practical business advice. We help want-to-be entrepreneurs to start and grow.

Our team at the Causeway Enterprise Agency really understands the needs of the startup business owner.   When it comes to the needs of a startup, one size does not fit all.  We know that women have different aspirations for their business, and we try to create an environment where women can be at their ease and can meet and learn from other like-minded female business owners.

 

You’re an inspiration to the many businesses that you support locally.  What led you to your current role?

It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when I knew this was what I was cut out for!  At school, I studied the subjects that I liked and I found myself drawn towards business.  I started work at the Causeway Enterprise Agency after my postgrad in Marketing, and have grown with the organisation ever since. Right now, I think our biggest asset is our team.  We are committed and flexible, and everyone takes real pride in the achievements of our client businesses.

 

For a new business startup, what three top tips can you offer?

  1. Follow your passion. You need resilience and tenacity to build and grow your business. When the going gets tough, you’ll need to feel a real passion and commitment for what it is that you do.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Someone else has always had the same problem that you’re experiencing, or has tried out the approach that you’re thinking of trying.  Building up a support network will be one of the most important things that you can do.
  3. Network, network, network. Your network can be an important source of referrals to your business, and can also be a great source of positive ideas.  Being in business for yourself can be lonely, so get connected and build up those relationships.

Inspired | Local Women Magazine | January 2017

Local Women January 2017
Bespoke Communications Local Women Inspired column

Sarah and Camilla, Local Women column

Hello ladies,

Welcome to Inspired, our column for local businesses in Local Women magazine. Inspired celebrates stories of local female entrepreneurs and answers your burning business questions too. This month, we meet superstar Donna Moran of Moran’s Retail Group in the North West, and hear how she’s managed to run a successful business for many years.

Next month we look forward to hearing from our expert contributors as they answer your burning business question – How can my business build up Facebook followers?

Bye for now! Reach out if you’ve got a question you’d like us to feature in our column – we’d love to hear from you.

Sarah and Camilla


The Speakeasy Club

The Speakeasy Club

Camilla and Sarah with the very first Speakeasy Club members

the speakeasy club

We recently started the Speakeasy Club, a four-week workshop taking place in the evenings after work, to help reluctant public speakers to overcome anxiety about giving presentations at work. We meet two members of the Speakeasy Club and hear their story.

 

Niamh TaylorNiamh Taylor

www.digitaltwentyfour.com

Niamh Taylor is a multi award-winning digital marketing expert. Her company, Digital Twenty Four, specialises in helping businesses find customers online and once found, they work at retaining them.

What Niamh got from the Speakeasy Club

‘At some points during the four weeks I was out of my comfort zone but never felt uncomfortable. The support network was second to none. The Speakeasy Club went far beyond my expectations. I HIGHLY recommend doing it. You will not regret it.’


Angela Bonnar

www.angelabonnarhypnotherapy.co.uk

Angela loves working with people, giving them freedom to live the life they want and empowering them to make changes, as a life coach, using NLP and rapid transformational hypnosis.  But, her reluctance to present in front of a group meant she was missing opportunities.

What Angela got from the Speakeasy Club

‘The Speakeasy Club is a great way to identify your strengths and build on them.  It has changed my outlook as I now look upon speaking to a group about my business as an opportunity, not something to be avoided.’

If, like Angela and Niamh, you’d like to develop your skills, come along and try it out for yourself. You’ll be in good company!

Donna Moran – Changing Family Mealtimes

donna-moran-award

 

This month, we meet local dynamo Donna Moran, whose family business, Moran’s Retail, is changing family mealtimes in the North West. Donna and her family have built up a supermarket and retail business over many years, with their three Centra and Supervalu stores in Derry, Ballykelly and Coleraine.   With her glossy dark hair and twinkling eyes, Donna is the picture of fun when we meet.

We can’t help but wonder how she manages to stay grounded, as she keeps pace with the pressure of a successful business. ‘It’s about the team’, says Donna. ‘Working together, we try hard to keep up with changes in customer lifestyles’.

Some of the range of delicious fresh meals available from Moran’s

Some of the range of delicious fresh meals available from Moran’s

Over the last few years, Donna’s staff picked up on a trend towards customers becoming more careful about the food they buy.  Families are short on time, but want to give their children the healthiest food they can.  So in 2014, Donna and John launched Moran’s ‘Kitchen to Kitchen’ to meet their customer needs. Keeping it in the family, Donna and John’s brothers, Gary and Raymond prepare a range of fresh, healthy meals with their team every day in their purpose-built kitchen.

‘From our kitchen to yours’ is the promise that Moran’s make. Their chilled meal range includes family favourites like shepherds pie and chicken curry, along with a delicious range of salads, and fresh, tasty soups. They sell these meals from the chilled food section of their own stores, so that family mealtimes are happy and healthy whether you cook or they do it for you.

‘Our business started a long way from where it is now’, laughs Donna. The young Donna met John in 1980, and together they spotted a business partnership, long before they had even married.  Supported by Donna’s dad, Colm, Donna and John first opened their doors as Foyleside Tyre and Exhaust Centre in Derry in 1984. Together with Colm, they ran a successful garage for many years, looking after their customers and becoming part of the local business community.  By the time they bought the entire business from Colm in 1987, Donna had become Donna Moran, and together John and Donna had 3 children.

Donna and John’s three children Brona, Colm and Eimear growing up

Donna and John’s three children Brona, Colm and Eimear growing up

 

Eimear and Brona with Conor on his 18th birthday party

Eimear and Brona with Conor on his 18th birthday party

Growing serious, Donna notes, ‘When you build a strong team, anything can happen. We work with a team of committed staff, and that is what gives our business such capacity’. So in the millennium year 2000, Donna and John rebranded their growing business. They launched Breico, inspired by their three children.  The business name was made up of the first letters of the children’s names – Brona, Eimear and Conor.  By that time, the business had become a modern service station and convenience store located on the Strand Road in Derry. After that, Donna and John then spread their wings further afield and bought convenience store and service station premises in Ballykelly and Coleraine.

‘We’re always looking at ways to give staff opportunities to develop and grow. It’s so important to us’, she continues.  Morans have been awarded Investors in People accreditation, and have also won the Neighbourhood Retailer Training Initiative Award for their work on staff training.  This is Donna’s pride.  She gets great satisfaction out of helping staff to achieve their ambitions and seeing them work hard to offer great customer service.  Staff stay with Moran’s because they enjoy the work environment, and they work hard to make sure that Moran’s customers have a great experience.

Donna Moran with her husband John

Donna and John winning the Neighbourhood Retailer Award for staff training

Here at ‘Inspired’, we’ve been buying the Shepherd’s Pie and healthy, hearty soup every weekend for our hungry children, and we’re thrilled!! No more vegetable peeling or pot washing, and still the children get a healthy, tasty meal, at a great-value price.

Before we leave we ask Donna for her top nugget of advice after more than thirty years in business. Smiling first of all at the idea of being considered a business guru, she grows serious for a moment to think. ‘For me, it’s all about the team’, she says. ‘Without taking time to build a great team, there would be no Moran’s.’

 

 

The Speakeasy Club (Coleraine)

When: We’re sorry! The current Speakeasy Club is closed to new members. Add your name to our waiting list and we’ll let you know when we’re open again!

Time: 7.00pm to 9.00pm. Allow extra time for the last night on March 29th – we’ll finish closer to 9:30pm.

Venue: Causeway Enterprise Agency, Loughanhill Industrial Estate, Coleraine, BT52 2NR

 

WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?

  • Speaker impact. Learn body language secrets to build rapport with your audiences
  • Tried and tested structures. Learn approaches to structuring, so that you’ll always deliver a great presentation no matter how little time you have to prepare.
  • Timed talks. Pecha kucha and Ignite talks are growing in popularity. Learn the discipline of presenting your subject in 20 highly visual slides in a limited timeframe.
  • Harness the power of storytelling to deliver your message with impact.
  • Find your own speaking style. We’re all unique, there are no templates or prescriptions in this workshop. You’ll learn techniques that suit your personality to fill you with confidence when you step on stage.
  • Grow your confidence. You’ll learn how to overcome the nerves and develop a public speaking style that suits you and wows your audience.

This is an interactive workshop with lots of practical work.  Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone to learn approaches that you can apply immediately to your presentations!

PREVIOUS SPEAKEASY CLUB MEMBERS HAVE SAID:

‘I learned so much in a lovely supportive environment. You brought us along with you week by week’

‘I never felt under pressure to perform – the group was very accepting of everyone’s hiccups’

‘Speakeasy helped me to do a talk without melting in a pool of panic’

‘Friendly and unassuming’

‘It’s great to take the time to improve ourselves and sometimes just to remind ourselves that we can do it!’

HOW MUCH?

Club fee £170.00

Book before February 6th to receive an early bird discount of £10

All bookings made by credit card receive a further discount of £10

Please add me to the waiting list

LOGISTICS
Venue: Causeway Enterprise Agency, Loughanhill Industrial Estate, Coleraine, BT52 2NR

The Speakeasy Club meets over 4 Monday evenings – we’re currently closed to new members.  Please do add yourself to our waiting list and we’ll let you know when we’re next open!

6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Refreshments will be served on arrival.

THE OFFICIAL STUFF

Refund Policy

If you cancel your place up to 14 days before the start date of the 4-week workshop, we’ll give you your money back in full. Cancellations received within 14 days of the start date will not be refunded. We’ll do our best to apply your fee to a future Club instead.

Terms and Conditions

We reserve the right to cancel or amend the timings of Club events.

We welcome Club members from all walks of life and are pleased for you to share what you learn with others. If you’re considering offering commercial courses, we’ll be pleased to make a commercial arrangement with you to share our content with your own delegates.

 

The Speakeasy Club (Belfast)

When: Wednesday 8th March, 15th March, Wednesday 22nd March and Wednesday 29nd March

Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Allow extra time for the last night on March 29th – we’ll finish closer to 9:00pm.

Venue: The MAC, 10 Exchange St West, Belfast, BT1 2NJ

 

 

WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?

  • Speaker impact. Learn body language secrets to build rapport with your audiences
  • Tried and tested structures. Learn approaches to structuring, so that you’ll always deliver a great presentation no matter how little time you have to prepare.
  • Great video scripts. Put together a tight video script that gets the message across in a short time.
  • Presenting to camera.  Learn the secrets of a polished performance from an experienced tv presenter.
  • Timed talks. Pecha kucha and Ignite talks are growing in popularity. Learn the discipline of presenting your subject in 20 highly visual slides in a limited timeframe.
  • Harness the power of storytelling to deliver your message with impact.
  • Find your own speaking style. We’re all unique, there are no templates or prescriptions in this workshop. You’ll learn techniques that suit your personality to fill you with confidence when you step on stage.
  • Grow your confidence. You’ll learn how to overcome the nerves and develop a public speaking style that suits you and wows your audience.

This is an interactive workshop with lots of practical work.  Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone to learn approaches that you can apply immediately to your presentations!

PREVIOUS SPEAKEASY CLUB MEMBERS HAVE SAID:

‘I learned so much in a lovely supportive environment. You brought us along with you week by week’

‘I never felt under pressure to perform – the group was very accepting of everyone’s hiccups’

‘Speakeasy helped me to do a talk without melting in a pool of panic’

‘Friendly and unassuming’

‘It’s great to take the time to improve ourselves and sometimes just to remind ourselves that we can do it!’

HOW MUCH?

Club fee £170.00

Book before March 1st to receive an early bird discount of £10

All bookings made by credit card receive a further discount of £10

Please add me to the waiting list

LOGISTICS
Venue: The MAC, 10 Exchange St West, Belfast, BT1 2NJ

Wednesday 8th March, Wednesday 15th March, Wednesday 22nd March and Wednesday 29nd March.

6.30pm to 8.30pm. Allow extra time for the last night on March 29th – we’ll finish closer to 9:00pm.

Refreshments will be served on arrival.

THE OFFICIAL STUFF

Refund Policy

If you cancel your place up to 14 days before the start date of the 4-week workshop, we’ll give you your money back in full. Cancellations received within 14 days of the start date will not be refunded. We’ll do our best to apply your fee to a future Club instead.

Terms and Conditions

We reserve the right to cancel or amend the timings of Club events.

We welcome Club members from all walks of life and are pleased for you to share what you learn with others. If you’re considering offering commercial courses, we’ll be pleased to make a commercial arrangement with you to share our content with your own delegates.