Posted by: inshin | July 21, 2010

Grainne Sherlock

Grainne has 18 years experience in hospitality, management & supervisory positions. Her goal has been to make a career out of promoting all tourism related businesses in Ireland. She started Emerald Discounts a promotional company for tourism products in Ireland in 2007 and then set-up Local Discounts to include all businesses in Ireland in May 2009 .

The Person

When or at what age did you first feel that you wanted to run your own business?

I think once I turned about 30 I started thinking of it.

Is there any history of entrepreneurship in your family?

No none at all , not sure where it came from, think it was a passion to please people in a way that suited me not an employer and the freedom to choose

What sort of periodicals or newspapers do you like to read?

The examiner, and some of the tabloids .

How would you feel if someone told you that you need never work again for the rest of your life and all your material needs would be covered?

Not sure, I do most of my work for passion and pleasure so its not really work so this would probably continue. I love Tourism and think I would end up giving my time for free to please a tourist .

The Work

When or how do you get your ideas for the business?

I lie in bed a night like other people and dream up ways of doing business and creating better experiences for people. I am also inspired by others and their ideas and love talking about ideas to other business people, it helps to be creative.

Do you have a set routine that you follow on a daily basis, or do you have a different approach?

LOL I am a total non believer in the 9 to 5 concept so this gives me the flexibility to work outside this. This also means I may not start until 10 am or I may end up doing some work at 11pm but when you love what you do its not a problem

How do you manage the balance between business and personal worlds?

I work from home at the moment so you have to learn to be inventive and have been known to take calls sitting in the car in my driveway, given the way I work the too blend together nicely, and working from home means I am there for my family.

How do you approach your own work when it comes to reviewing it?

I am very critical of my own work and I am always looking for ways to bring a better service to my customers.

The Clients

What type of businesses do you try to connect with?

Anyone really as you never know where your next sale will come from and I try not to categorise people. I have seen this mistake being made by others .

What methods of connecting with clients do you use, which do you find effective and why?

I find informal chats on the phone lead to sales, I also think Facebook has huge potential and I have gained alot of customers through it , twitter is great for leads but I don’t think its a suitable place to sell, and should only be used as a means of communicating with your customers.

Is it important to you how clients react to your work?

It is one of my downfalls. I love what I do and feel that if a client doesnt love it too then I have not explained it properly to them.

Have you received negative criticism and if so how have you managed that?

I am getting better but I really take negative critisism to heart and blame myself for not seeing whatever the person comes back with.

The Business

There are so many small and medium size businesses in Ireland, and more again starting, what has been your approach to starting and establishing the business?

Firstly I would advise networking and building up a large volume of contacts, I have done this and find it invaluable. I always have someone in my contacts whom would help or give advice to me when needed.

Do you feel that there are support mechanisms in place for new or developing businesses?

There is lots of help out there the problem is knowing where to look and how to tap into to those mediums .

What is your opinion of the impact of the internet on business?

I feel that you can take a home based business and develop it into a worldwide business, the internet is an important part of reaching your target audience and is becoming more important everyday and everyone should be as up to date as possible on currents trends and developments.

We’re half way through 2010, and a difficult period in business, do you feel that there are signs of things improving and what can we do to encourage more confidence .

I honestly think that most people are optimistic about the economy and are striving to change and adapt to their current situations , its about attitude as much as it is about surviving.

——–  End  ——–

Thanks to Grainne for agreeing to take this interview. You can follow Grainne on Twitter and don’t forget to visit Local Discounts.

Excluding introduction, ©Denis Vaughan.

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