Tell us what your business does?Fairs Ireland run themed fairs nationwide. This enables SME’s, Crafters, Cottage industries ets., to have an affordable platform to showcase their wares. I specify different types of business’s as I have participated in markets & fairs myself in the past, and often people get lost. At least if someone is selling a particular brand of EG: makeup, they know the people coming to a Beauty fair will be interested in what they have. They automatically have a greater chance of making sales.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
In a word yes! I’ve worked in retail mostly, and I have always thought I could do things differently/better. I have in the past tried MLM type business’s , but found that that particular format was not for me. I love what I’m doing now.
What planning did you do before you started up?
I thought long and hard before I decided to open Fairs Ireland. I knew there was a gap in the market. There are occasional fairs up and down the country, and there are the big extravaganza’s such as the RDS. For most exhibitors, the former doesn’t happen often enough and the latter is way too expensive, being generally aimed at the bigger more established business’s.
There was nothing happening on a fairly regular basis. This is where I come in.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
Without a doubt, Samantha Kelly has to be top of the list! I’ve known Sam for a few years now, even before she had her first Business Funky Godess. I’ve seen her high’s and her low’s but never have I seen her about to give up.
And like the rest of us she’s had to do it all herself, with little or no help! She is now Tweeting Goddess, founder of the #irishbizparty, and is going from strength to strength helping other entrepreneurs establish their business and make contact’s and sales. All this, and raising two young girls.
What challenges have you faced & how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I faced is learning Pr and advertising. It’s not an area I’ve ever had to deal with before, but I’m getting there. I joined the Irishbizparty group on Facebook and introduced myself and my company. I also join in the #irishbizparty on twitter every Wednesday night from 9-11pm.
I have made many contact’s through both these social media platforms, many of whom will be exhibiting with me in the future.
I have also listed upcoming fairs on site’s such as Crafts Council of Ireland, What’s on Wexford. I have a press release sent to the Wexford Free Press, the on-line magazine The Wexfordian, & the Wexford Echo. I am also hoping to get an interview on local radio. Just today I took delivery of posters and flyers and they will be dispersed around Wexford.
I have done all of this with a non-existant budget!!
Where do you see your business in 3 years?
I plan to do 1 fair per month from June – December 2014. 2 fairs per month in 2015 and 3 fairs per month in 2016. By then I would hope to be able to have at least one employee.
I would like that people would know that a Fairs Ireland event is a good day out for all the family, and that the exhibitors know that they will get a fair deal and a well organised event, with plenty of time and effort put into promotion.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Firstly I would say *Go for it* It’s never going to be the right time, so just get on with it. Yes, it’s scarey, yes you will need help, yes you’ll be told you can’t/shouldn’t, but go with your heart! Surround yourself with like minded people who will support you. Make sure you trust the people who are giving you advice.
Never, ever give up! And lastly, Enjoy the journey!!!