Busy Lizzie Business Brain Interview with Pat Keogh @ Call Management

4 Sep

If you decide to go for it, just commit fully to it so that you are not wondering later on…what if

This week we interview Pat Keogh from Call Management in Cork.

1.Why did you decide to start your business?

I always wanted to work for myself as I wanted to be in control of my own future. I worked in the wine trade for 5 years and increased turnover from 200K to 1 million in that period. I got very little thanks so that really motivated me to set up on my own. The major obstacle was finding the idea as drive and ambition on it’s own is not enough.

2. What have been the biggest challenges and achievements for your business?

I left college with an Honours B Comm degree from UCC majoring in marketing & management but knew nothing about running a business such as…vat returns, prsi, employment law, payroll packages, limited company versus sole trader (advantages & disadvantages).

I had to learn as I went along which is crazy after spending so much time in college.

In 2008 we lost a client that made up 50% of our turnover with very little notice, that was a major challenge to stay in business and continue to pay staff and suppliers.

Our major achievement to date has been our ability to re-invent ourselves from initially offering just call centre inbound call answering we are now offering Live chat, e-mail handling, mystery shopping, business mailing address and a whole host of market research packages. I also decided to go back to college and did a Diploma in International selling with D.I.T. last year in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland to help us with our re-invention.

3. What are your plans for the future?

We are launching a new company in Sept 2012 called Arema Connect which will concentrate on the UK market.

Arema will be completely separate with it’s own website and identity but the work will be completed from our contact centre in Cork.

Arema will be using web-based technology such as live chat, large volume voice mail drops, social media management.

4. Who do you look up to in business?

John Concannon would be  a major influence on me because he is determined, successful and above all he never lost his sense of humour. I firmly believe that you should enjoy what you do and gain satisfaction from working with other people. I believe that our staff are our most valuable asset and John shares that philosopy and has always focused on growing his business by using Ireland as his hub. He has offices in Poland and South Africa but his head office will always be in Ireland.

5. What is your advice for other entrepreneurs?

If you find an idea that you are comfortable with, seek as much advice as you can but remember that the final decision is yours.

If you decide to go for it, just commit fully to it so that you are not wondering later on …. what if

6. How are you gaining visibility and promoting the business?

We have registered with Enterprise Ireland, entering awards such as ccma.ie, SFA, european business awards, registering with governing bodies such as ccma.ie and call centre helper in the UK, blogs, media articles, meeting with chamber of commerce, google adwords testimonials from clients, networking, referral partners  and good old fashioned word of mouth

7. Do you use any Social Media?

Currently we are using LinkedIn, Facebook & twitter

Call Management
1G The Atrium Building
Blackpool Retail Park

Blackpool

Cork

www.callmanagement.ie
Phone:- 00353 214824300

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