Tag Archives: outsourcing

Busy Lizzie Business Brain with Olwen Dawe @ Irish Business Intelligence

28 Aug

Do the boring stuff: market research, planning and financials

This week we interview Olwen Dawe who is the creator of Irish Business Intelligence.

1. Why did you decide to start your business?

A culmination of events! And a genuine desire to work for myself… I had always harboured a real interest in running my own business, but hadn’t ever been brave enough to take the plunge.  When things became somewhat turbulent in the late noughties, I took my chances and dove  head-first into self-employment.  Enterprise and regional development were  natural choices for me; I’ve always been interested in individual and collective growth and development, making change for the better – thankfully the times we’re in are conducive to those kinds of projects so I’m very fortunate.

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

There are lots of challenges in business; mainly managing ones’ own feelings about things, I find! There are lots of swings and roundabouts in the early days, and I found that a little troublesome to start withI always say that you’re tested in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine when you run your own business, but you also learn an infinite amount about yourself and others in the process! My biggest challenge has also been an achievement: being able to handle ambiguity.  I could well have been referred to as a tad of a control-freak in my managerial days, however, that’s all changed now! In business, you carve out your own destiny – but equally, you have to be able to accept that a lot of things are beyond your control.  Deliver excellence at every turn and accept the learnings that come your way.  A tangible achievement has certainly been the fantastic clients I work with: exciting SMEs with amazing vision and drive, charismatic entrepreneurs and forward-thinking regional and rural development agencies and organisations – all making an important contribution to Ireland Inc’s recovery.

3. What are your plans for the future?

I am delighted to work in the area I do, and want to continue to do so into the future.  Much of my work is project-based, so I constantly seek to broaden my portfolio in terms of sector and delivery outcomes.  I relish a challenge, hence why I work in the enterprise and regional development end-of-things! Every piece of work is different.  I’m hoping to do some more work in the creative and social enterprise arena, as well as cross-border initiatives – and as time goes on, I identify new focuses… the grey cells are seldom bored!

4. Who do you look up to in business?

There are so many people I admire… I’ve been fortunate to meet many great Irish entrepreneurs, all from different walks, through my association with Network Ireland – a few names that spring to mind? Tina Roche, Norma Smurfit and Nicola Byrne are very inspiring ladies [and I could think of dozens more too!].  I think the essence of entrepreneurship is vision, resilience and persistence.  If you can keep yourself on that track at all times, you’ll stay focused.  I’m also a big fan of Richard Branson, mainly because of his unfaltering commitment to innovation within a brand, he carries himself in a very genuine, unfussy way which is also very welcome… obviously, the same could be said of the late Steve Jobs, another extraordinary entrepreneur.

5. What is your advice for other entrepreneurs?

Do the boring stuff: market research, planning and financials.  Most entrepreneurs either a) hate it b) avoid it or c) pretend they did it. Don’t kid yourself; in business, what you don’t know will always hurt you.  Do have a vision:so many start-ups think it’s big picture and not ‘for them’. It is.  The big vision will keep you focused during the tough times and you’ll be able to revel in it when you’ve started to see the results.  Do have a team of honest supporters: beware the cheerleaders! Honest but supportive peeps are necessary when the going gets tough.  They’re also the pat-you-on-the-back types when things come good.  Don’t give up: you’ll know if there’s no future, but when you know there is – don’t throw in the towel

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

In my line of work, most client projects are gained through longevity and reputation – however positioning is helpful.  I blog regularly on topics related to my area of expertise, as well as utilising social media [LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook] and forums.  I enjoy writing, which means I find blogging enjoyable, and as a result, tend to get quite a bit of newspaper coverage too!

7.   Do you use any Social Media?

I’m a major advocate of social media, it’s fantastic to be able to connect with so many individuals and groups – as well as sharing knowledge and information.  My media of choice are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  From a business point-of-view, LinkedIn is a great tool for building relationships, whilst Twitter allows you to interact, share [and learn] what’s going on in the business community and elsewhere.

More about Olwen

Olwen Dawe is Owner and Principal Consultant at Irish Business Intelligence [IBI]. Olwen works in the enterprise and regional development sector, project managing and advising agencies and enterprise organisations on specific areas or rural, regional and enterprise development. Offering a hands-on and practical approach, IBI also acts as a Business Partner for SMEs, providing strategic business development and communications advice and support, focused on real results for clients. Olwen also mentors and supports start-up enterprises through the various enterprise agencies.

Olwen graduated with a BBS [BA] Hons. in HRM and IR from NCI, and has also studied at the IMI [Irish Management Institute]. During her career, Olwen has worked with some of Ireland’s best known corporate companies [such as Tesco Ireland] as well as well-established indigenous Irish companies [imag!ne, Celtic Invoice Discounting Limited]. Olwen’s experience spans HR, Operations Management, CRM and Marketing, in retail, telecommunications, manufacturing and professional service sectors.

A member of Network Mayo since 2007, Olwen has served on the committee since 2009, becoming President of the branch in 2011. Olwen was appointed to the National Executive in 2012 as Secretary. Olwen is a previous recipient of a Network Mayo Businesswoman of the Year Awards, winning the ‘Employee’ category in 2009; she was also shortlisted for the national award and received a nomination for an IMAGE Businesswomen of the Year awards in the same year. This year, Olwen received a JCI Mayo TOYP award [The Outstanding Young Person] for services to business

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How Pinterest Is Revolutionizing The Home Decor Industry [Infographic]

23 Aug

Source: http://socialtimes.com/pinterest-home-decor-infographic_b101443

Busy Lizzie provides advice on all types of back office outsourcing solutions, including quality social media services.

Tel: 00.353.(0)1 514 3401|Skype: busylizzielifestylemanagement

Email: info@busylizzie.ie | Web: www.busylizzie.ie

Pinterest: How eTailers Can (and Should) Use it to Their Advantage

22 Aug

Starting a Family Friendly Business in Ireland

19 Dec

Starting a Family Friendly Business in Ireland

Working in a company or running a business may require additional time. And for that, you need to sacrifice the hours that you must spend for your family. As you grow as an employee or a businessman, the needs of your life partner and children grows as well. Because of it, you become to think that working, while it is actually for your family, is not at all family-friendly. Though, that would not be the case if you start your own business at home.

Running a home-based business is basically just the same as getting employed or managing a regular business. The difference is you are close to your kids and there are comforts that a regular occupation is not able to bring. Though, starting a home-based enterprise is not easy at the beginning. When you are at the early stages, cash flow is slow and your profits are limited. You are your own boss, nonetheless, so you have the option to stop or to continue. Since you chose the latter, let us move on to some helpful ideas to help you get started.

First, do not believe in alluring promises you see online. Certainly, an entity that pops out, promising that you can earn as much as 8,000 Euros in just one month is too good to be true. Home-based entrepreneurs testify that these promises actually are. There are no quick fixes when it comes to earning such a huge amount, so judge accordingly.

Second is research. Reading about the market on and off line will show you what exactly the consumers need. Manufacturing a product or offering a service that nobody needs will only lead to waste. Study your market before investing your capital. Conduct a feasibility study to determine whether a product or a service has a stable market. For example, a product and a service that does not go out of being needed is food. Use the power of the internet and social media to make the public aware about your food business.

Third, consider your capital. Your financial capability will determine the magnitude of your home-based business. In line with this, think about where you would get your fund. It may be from your savings or your job separation pay. You can augment your resources by availing loans. Just inquire to your preferred insurance company or your bank if you consider this option to increase your resources.

When you have everything taken into consideration, like you have finally decided on a company name, proceed on making your business legitimate. For this step, you may ask a lawyer or your local government offices for the proper procedures. One essential step on building up a business is visiting the website of Companies Registration Office. From there you can download the application form. After completing the form, mail it to their postal address; the information is included in their website as well.

Take advantage of the free business mentoring programs that the Irish government provides. This way, you can sustain your home-based business, or better yet, make it more successful. As you see, working and earning should not take you away from your family.

Busy Lizzie provides businesses and individuals with the time they need to focus on other tasks. We have a variety of services available to make the lives of our customers easier at an affordable price. Our office is staffed with experts that range from secretarial and administrative to experienced marketing and sales professionals.

Services Offered for Small and Medium Enterprises

10 Oct

Do you need an extra hand or an additional assistant for your business? Are you in need of services which offers an affordable price to make your lives easier? Busy Lizzie can help you since they provide businesses and individuals with the time they need to focus on their tasks at work. Operating since 2004, Busy Lizzie will celebrate their seven years in business this October.

Busy Lizzie, which is part of the now popular outsourcing venture, offers a whole lot of services that can help small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Example of services they offer are Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA), secretarial service, print/web design, e-marketing, bookkeeping service, corporate concierge, and medical transcription. The Virtual Personal Assistant (Virtual PA) can help run businesses in a scheduled basis. Their role is to inform you of your daily appointments, make travel arrangements, keep track of finances, and keep the business running smoothly. This service is perfect for business professionals who need to keep on top of their agenda. The secretarial service is someone who can answer the calls, send e-mails, and provide customer service. Busy Lizzie offers a virtual secretary to get things done for you. Print/Web Design helps with providing design and layout for business website, business cards, and posters.

E-marketing is responsible for customising e-newsletters and e-shots for your target market. E-newsletter marketing is important so that you will know which one the people like best. Bookkeeping service helps in keeping track of revenues and expenses, submits VAT returns, and look after weekly and monthly payroll.

Corporate concierge service helps in doing errands like picking up mail and documents and dropping off dry cleaning. Medical transcription service can help provide transcriptions for medical legal reports, medical consultant letters, Educational interview verbatim scripts from video, mp3, tape and audio files, and Masters, under graduate and PHD projects.

With Busy Lizzie’s impressive list of services, you can have more quality time and productive days. To know more about Busy Lizzie services, visit their website http://www.busylizzie.ie

Google Wallet: Pay Everything in the Electronic World

19 Sep

Google Wallet is a new application powered by the Android software that literally converts your mobile phone into a mobile wallet. It is packed with cashless and card less purchase capability. This is an attempt on Google’s capability to accept electronic transactions without using the credit card issued. It operates to comply with the electronic transactions supported by NFC tagged electronic devices. The presence of NFC tags in mobile equipment allows transactions minus the electronic passage or reading or the credit card. NFC tags records everything about the credit card of the consumer and tags it in a safe memory somewhere the mobile equipment. This is what Google wallet is all about. The conduct of consumer purchases without the need of bringing wallets and credits cards for purchases in merchant stores.

Google Wallet is a promising merchant and consumer payment application.  The Google Wallet supports Citi MasterCard credit cards and the Google Prepaid Card, the rest of the credit card providers are still under negotiation. With the promise of security and efficiency, Google Wallet will soon be able to hold dozens of credit card information from the various credit cards that you hold in your wallet and sooner than expected, you may need to ditch your wallet and carry only your mobile phone.

Paying with Google Wallet is fashionably easy, all you need to do is register you credit cards to the Google Wallet Application that can be downloaded and installed in your smartphones. Register your credit cards by supplying the usual information about you and the expiry of the card and the 3 digit code usually asked when you purchase online. Wait for registration confirmation and then a list of accredited merchant stores will be easily accessible when you intend to make a purchase. When paying with your Google Wallet, look for the symbols that say they accept mobile pass, they usually appear on merchant stores with logos for wireless transfer, pay pass or ready acceptance of Google Wallet payment. Once you have identified the item of your purchase, tap the mobile phone near the reader to get access to the NFC tag storing your credit card information. The Google Prepaid Card on the other hand, is a virtual card that you can fund using your existing credit card to make purchases.

Google Wallet can also store gift cards from participating merchants. The electronic code and validity of the same can be stored in Google Wallet in the same way that you have supplied your credit card information. When using the Gift cards/certificates, the information is sent to the terminal of the merchant store recognizing the validity of your gift card and validating your purchase.  Google Wallet has been successfully launched and tested in Indonesia and New York. It is set to conquer merchant stores in Europe during the first quarter of 2012 as per announcement by Google VP of Payments, during the NFC Payments Europe 2011 Conference held in London. The city to where it will be launched is still undetermined at the moment.

Google Wallet is a card replacing electronic payment that is set to mark the new age of marketing trend. Google Wallet will be pre-installed in the upcoming versions of 4G smartphones from mobile producers. Mobile manufacturers and telecom providers have started tying up together to release the latest innovation in mobile phones, the integration of NFC tags, to make cashless transactions, card less and highly efficient, secured and convenient.

Dialogue Marketing

14 Sep

Overview

Dialogue marketing refers to the strategies exerted by companies to keep a constant and lasting interaction with their customers, partners and business allies. An excellent example of this is when marketing companies make use of relevant data to target different groups of customers that are ideal prospects in buying their products or services. The commitment of companies is very valuable to both the consumers and the companies involved. As data is gathered and collected, companies make efficient use of these to provide the best products and services to their target consumers. When consumers share their opinions, reviews, and preferences, they will receive bonuses and perks such as free product trials, discounts and a message of appreciation from the providing company.

For effective dialogue marketing, businesses and companies should have a complete understanding of their distinct values and how it affects their target consumers. Aside from focusing on their target consumers, they should also continue to innovate themselves and attract new prospects. Companies and businesses should be able to come up with new and innovative ideas to deliver their messages to the consumers. In return, customers will continue to connect with companies and patronise their products or services. An important aspect of dialogue marketing is measurement. With this, businesses and companies can keep track of their sales, and take note on whether they have reached or failed their target goals. This will also result to developing different strategies to maintain and improve the quality of their products or services.

Increase of Use

Together with the recent advancements in technology, companies and businesses are making use of different media such as the web, social networking sites, and other advertising strategies to communicate and engage with consumers. With this, referrals and brand royalty can easily be implemented.

Pros and Cons

When it comes to being cost effective dialogue marketing, there are many available options that will allow companies to communicate with consumers. There are many kinds of software that can be used to generate the desired output in engaging with consumers both online and offline.

On the other hand, if a company does not acquire professional services for implementing dialogue marketing, it can be a waste of time and financial resources when one is not knowledgeable in selecting the right kind of tools and implementing these to achieve the desired output.

Available Software

With the rise of business outsourcing, Co-Browsing is one of the most popular software being used by companies. This allows customer care experts to interact with their clients easily as they can view their screens in a real-time format. With this, help and support can be offered immediately. Assisting customers can now be done more conveniently and effectively.

Another kind of software that is used for dialogue marketing is called Voice Biometrics. With this, the identity of a customer can be authorised easily, and is more reliable than any other authentication process. Other software includes video biometrics, mobile and web based applications and many others.

Implementation in Companies

Once a business or company has established an understanding of their core values and have determined their target consumers, they will now be able to deliver their messages and assess its efficacy with various types of customers. Depending on the type of product or service, the effectiveness of their strategy can be determined in many ways.

Busy Lizzie provides advice on all types of back office outsourcing solutions, including quality social media services.

Tel: 00.353.(0)1 514 3401|Skype: busylizzielifestylemanagement

Email: info@busylizzie.ie | Web: www.busylizzie.ie

Outsourcing in Today’s Economy

26 Apr

Outsourcing refers to contracting with an outside individual or company for an assignment that would otherwise be done by an in-house employee. Outsourcing has become so much more than that, doesn’t deserve the bad reputation it’s gotten, and is actually necessary for many small and medium businesses during these difficult economic times.

If the skill set or time allowance is not available in-house, the first response usually is to skip or skimp on the project or task. But what if what is needed is providing good customer service, setting up a marketing plan or web site, running errands that never seem to get done (until the procrastination turns into an emergency!) or fulfilling the service or product orders that are essential to complete sales? Many smaller businesses simply do not have the resources or personnel to handle all the demands of a quickly growing business.

So what happens? Customers start to get frustrated, potential clients don’t even know you exist, the deliveries stop because the bills aren’t paid on time, and sales start to decline. Scary but many reading this can relate. Today competition in almost every market is fierce and volatile, and growing businesses simply cannot slip backwards and try to regain momentum.

Those specialised in multitudes of skills and talents are easily accessible in the online world. Outsourcing companies provide streamlined services and are able to focus only on what your requirements are, may have the technology unavailable to your small business, and if the work can be completed virtually, the available talent could be global.

Economically, outsourcing is just plain smart business. Outsourcing companies can provide services for less money because their contractors are usually not paid benefits and have less overhead. Work is completed with a specific time and budget. Meanwhile, the small business owner is able to focus on growing the business, while details are taken care of “behind the scenes”.

Outsourcing is not “sending jobs abroad” as it is sometimes seen, because independent contractors could be as local as a company’s employees are and it  allows current staff to be productive in their own jobs. And nothing is as bad for morale as the threat of a business failing because it couldn’t fulfill its responsibilities.

Busy Lizzie provides quality outsourcing resources. Please visit www.busylizzie.com/corporate for more information.

Crowdsourcing method to solve complex problems

1 Apr

Crowdsourcing is the new method for businesses to solve complex problems, perform momentous tasks, and gather/analyze large amounts of data.

Businesses are getting assistance with achieving their goals by putting out on the Internet an open call for responses to a question.  They potentially receive tremendous  mass collaboration, ideas, and creativity. Due to the technical advances allowing Internet access from even the remotest parts of the world, businesses can reach rich sources of information far beyond the boundaries of their own employees.

Crowdsourcing as a term, was first coined by Jeff Howe in Wired Magazine in June 2006  . The use of  Crowdsourcing has risen rapidly because of its obvious advantages as a source of quick solutions and wide range of talent, and it is inexpensive. Additionally, companies can broadcast out to a wide range of potentially very loyal customers who have been given the opportunity of contribution and collaboration.

However, it has vetting some criticisms that its older sister, outsourcing, has not. First, outsourcing is assigning a project or assignment to specific, identified group or individual outside one’s own environment. With crowdsourcing the targets are unspecified, open, and public. So, quality is questionable, and the fear of exploiting cheap or free labour is valid. These criticisms have led to the introduction of “brokers” to manage the traffic of communication back and forth.  Discrete work to individuals, rather than an open call, are brokered through such sites as CloudCrowd and CrowdFlower.

You might have been “crowdsourcing” without even knowing you were participating in a hot, new trend.  The rule for crowdsourcing is the same as with every fast advancing communication – use it wisely and use it kindly.

Busy Lizzie provides advice on all types of back office outsourcing solutions, including quality social media services.

Tel: 00.353.(0)1 514 3401|Skype: busylizzielifestylemanagement

Email: info@busylizzie.ie | Web: www.busylizzie.ie

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