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Chambers Ireland, in association with Griffith College, created these resources to address the key concerns raised by business owners nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis.

These below resources will be available through late August 2020. 

Topic 1: About my business - where am I now? Where am I going?

  • Where is my business now?
  • What can I control?
  • What do I want to achieve?
  • SWOT on self
  • What can block me?

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Topic 2: What do I want to develop?

  • Key drivers of change for my business?
  • What is the extent of change needed? What should the tone of your communications be?
  • Do I need to develop my Current Business Model, add new services or enter new markets?
  • How can I enhance my current product/service and delight existing customers?
  • Relationships and leadership

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Topic 3: How am I going to develop my business post-COVID-19?

  • Internal review of business capabilities
  • Conducting a capabilities audit
  • Changing consumer behaviour patterns
  • Innovation and resourcefulness
  • New business opportunities post-COVID-19

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Topic 4: What resources do I need for my business development plan?

  • Internal resources, for example, staff.
  • External resources such as Chambers Ireland, LEO and networking opportunities and a good transport partner
  • The importance of good information, ‘Scaling Up’ by Verne Harnish
  • Trading online
  • Planning and writing things down

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Topic 5: How do I manage my cash flow in a crisis?

  • Cash management
  • Working capital management
  • Dealing with the banks
  • Dealing with Revenue Commissioners
  • Government assistance available to businesses

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Topic 6: Who do I need to work with to deliver the plan?

  • Dealing with change – emotions, reactions at the supports required
  • Case study of how Green Angel have adapted and who they worked with
  • Decision making - Instinctive versus deliberate
  • Supports available through groups and mentoring
  • Key stakeholders to work with and top tips from Green Angel.

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Topic 7: How do I protect my business and the people I work with?

  • Re-organise and diversify
  • Communications
  • Positivity and resilience
  • Implementing positive change and trust
  • Changing Relationships: Roles within the business, re-organising staff roles
  • External Relationships: Customers, suppliers and other business relationships

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Topic 8: How do I implement my marketing strategy, including digital communications?

  • Making tactical versus strategic marketing decisions in any-sized business
  • The four priorities of your business
  • Re-juggling your resources to continue in a crisis
  • Promotion
  • Digital metrics

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Topic 9: How will I tell my customers?

  • What should the tone of your communications be?
  • What medium should you use - social / radio / local press / TV?
  • How do you ensure your company is featured in this media?
  • Map your plan
  • Communicate trust

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Topic 10: Staying strong, staying well in business - my rebooted business development action plan

  • Stress management
  • Building resilience
  • Change management
  • Staying well – human being versus human doing
  • Finding meaning and purpose

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Further Information
Topic 1: About my business - where am I now? Where am I going?

This session is the starting point of the “Reboot Your Business Development Plan” process. The focus of this session is to assist the participants to define their current business situation. Participants are encouraged to apply techniques which will help them prepare for subsequent sessions and decide on areas they wish to focus on.

Lecturer Biography: Denis Coleman is a business owner and supply chain consultant with over 35 years’ experience gained across a number of business sectors.

He is also a Behavioural Analyst, Change Consultant, LAB Profiler, Values System Consultant, Professional mBIT Coach, SCRUM Master Certified Project Manager, safeTALK & ASIST Certified, Global Training Partner - VMEdu, Certified GENOS International EI Practitioner and an associate of the Marshall Goldsmith organisation.

Denis has been a Cherie Blair Foundation Mentor Alumni for many years and he is an Associate/Adjunct Lecturer & Academic Supervisor at Griffith College (Dublin & Limerick), University of Limerick and IT Carlow.

Guest Presenter: Shona McManus MBA, is the President of Drogheda & District Chamber, M1 Skillnet Promoter and CEO & Owner of Osborne Recruitment

Topic 2: What do I want to develop?

This session examines the fundamental drivers of economic and societal change for businesses during and beyond COVID 19. It is a practical session on how to define short-term, mid-term and long-term objectives and strategies that businesses can apply to their development plans.

We examine the extent of change – what is the current scope of your business, your product and key markets. Is a radical overhaul and change of direction needed or will a more incremental adaptation to the new reality suffice for your business? Resistance to change will also be assessed.

Lecturer Biography: Kevin O’Hara brings fifteen years’ lecturing and business start-up experience to his role as module leader for business management, business plan and strategic management at Griffith College.

He previously led educational programmes in academic institutions in Ireland, Switzerland and the U.K. He also founded and led his own educational consultancy and recruitment business in the U.K, working with a variety of universities and higher education institutes.

He has led both programmatic review and programme development processes with university partner higher education institutions and has acted as a facilitator for inspections and reviews by the U.K Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Guest Presenter: Aidan Murphy, co-founder of Galway Hooker brewing company, holds a MSc in Brewing and Distilling and is a qualified member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. The company is a national brand located in Oranmore, County Galway. The company has won numerous national and international awards for their ales, lagers beers and stouts.

Topic 3: How am I going to develop my business post-COVID-19?

This session examines issues from a consumer perspective, looking at what the new consumer behaviour trends are since COVID-19 and how life after COVID-19 can create new opportunities and new consumer segments. This session also identifies practical ways to reach and stay connected with consumers.

Lecturer Biographies: Mark Dowling & Roseanne Dunne

Roseanne Dunne is a graduate of Dublin City University with an MBS in Strategic International Marketing and a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult Education from UL. She is an experienced and competent business professional with over twenty years’ experience gained across the FMCG, pharma, charity and community sectors. Roseanne has ten years' experience lecturing and teaching in business and marketing areas drawing on a wealth of relevant industry experience.

Mark is a member of the business faculty team at Griffith College, lecturing in areas including strategic management, sales management, international business environments and international marketing. Mark’s professional experience in sales, marketing and business spans over three decades, with a proven track record of building and developing strong and profitable relationships in the IT and mechanical services industries. Currently, Mark is studying for a doctorate degree in Technology Enhanced Learning at Lancaster University UK.

Guest Presenters: John O’Mahony & Helen O’Donnell

John O'Mahony is Managing Editor with the Irish Examiner and Head of Content. He has worked in the media industry for almost 30 years, 22 of those with the Irish Examiner.

Helen O’Donnell is the proprietor and manager of the Hunt Museum Café and bespoke event catering business. A native of Sligo, Helen was educated at College of Catering, RTC Galway.

Among her many accomplishments, Helen is currently Chairperson of Limerick City Tidy Towns committee and a member of the JP McManus Benevolent Fund committee. She was a founder with Paul O Connell and JP McManus of Team Limerick Clean-up. Helen is Chairperson of the Board of Management Crescent College Comprehensive SJ and Governor An tÚarás Rialaithe MIC. She is also Chairperson of the Safefood Advisory Board, a North-South body established under the Good Friday Agreement.

Helen was formerly the Chairperson of Adapt Woman's Refuge, President of the Limerick Federation of Women's Organisations and served on the board and executive committee of Limerick Chamber of Commerce. At a national level, Helen served as a member of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation. Helen was Limerick Person of the Year in 2012.

Topic 4: What resources do I need for my business development plan?

This session covers how to make decisions for your business based on the current climate. It examines how other businesses have responded to economic challenges by diversifying their service or product offering. The content provides an approach to impactful planning that enables businesses to prioritise critical actions with a specific focus on the short-term needs of the business, with resultant change for long term business growth.

Lecturer Biography: Helen Murphy is a Programme Director with Griffith College Cork in the Graduate Business School. She has significant experience in strategic planning and developing and in creating award-winning communications campaigns. She is a mentor with Enterprise Ireland working with SME’s in the South-West. Her industry experience extends to working with the pharmaceutical industry, luxury goods in an EMEA role, Commercial Director of Dublin Zoo, a consultant with PwC for the SME market and Deloitte in the UK. Her specific area of interest is unlocking the potential within a business, identifying the possibilities and helping the company grow in their markets.

Guest Presenter: Paraic Horkan, of Horkan’s Garden Centre, is a Qualified Horticulturist from the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin and runs four garden centres in Ireland located in Mayo, Galway, Sligo and Wicklow. He has a passion for sharing his knowledge and experience on national media as resident gardener on Pat Kenny's Newstalk FM radio programme, the Virgin Media TV Ireland AM gardening slot and his weekly garden programme on Midwest Radio.

 

Topic 5: How do I manage my cash flow in a crisis?

This session provides guidance on cash management, working capital management and dealing with the banks and Revenue Commissioners. The aim of this session is to give businesses support to develop a cash-flow action plan so they can assess their risk and arrange the necessary supports to emerge intact from the crisis.

Lecturer Biography: Noel Daly is a qualified accountant and is currently Deputy Head of Griffith College Cork, with responsibility for academic programmes. Noel has been an accounting lecturer for over 20 years both at home and internationally. He brings a wealth of practical and academic experience to the programme. 

Guest Presenter: Eoin McGee CFP, is a certified financial planner and in addition to his private practice he presents the popular RTE1 TV show “How to be good with money." He has also recently released a book of the same name. Eoin is a regular contributor to radio on RTE, Newstalk and across many other stations. 

Topic 6: Who do I need to work with to deliver the plan?

This session focuses on the people you can work with to begin implementing your business plan. It provides an opportunity to examine your role in all aspects of people management, training and development, supplier and outsourcing considerations, and key stakeholder management. The content provides insights into how unexpected change can impact people in different ways with practical tools to support you and your employees as you negotiate this challenge.

Lecturer Biography: Michael Mulligan is one of the foremost qualified coaches working in Ireland today. In 2015, Michael completed an MA in Positive and Coaching Psychology at University College Cork. He then founded Go1Better which develops high performance and leadership capability through 1% continuous improvements. Michael provides Leadership Coaching to emerging and established leaders across industries. 

Guest Presenter: Green Angel was founded in 2006 by Chris and Mary Mitchell when they saw a need for a natural skincare brand that really works. Chris grew up in a home where seaweed was regularly harvested, and Mary had a passion for essential oils with a vision to create a product that suited her sensitive skin. Their business has since gone on to have strong in-store and online sales. They recently converted their production facility to produce hand sanitiser to meet market needs as a result of COVID-19. Despite starting their business in a recession, they have developed a company that shows that with extensive market awareness and adaptability, an economic crisis can present global opportunities.

 

Topic 7: How do I protect my business and the people I work with?

This session highlights key legal issues concerning the implementation of a business plan from an HR and commercial perspective. It looks at the legal options available to effect change and the criteria for their effective use (including re-training and restructuring).

There is also a focus on strategies for positive change, including protecting the well-being of staff and avoiding legal/HR issues. Commercial relationships, including an overview of best practice for increased online activity, data protection, social media policies and commercial confidentiality is also covered in this session.

Lecturer Biography: John Eardly is Programme Director of the LLB (Hons) full and part-time programme in Griffith College Dublin. As a barrister, his general practice involved a particular specialization in employment and industrial relations law. He is widely published in his field and has contributed as a guest speaker to many professional practice conferences and programmes, including at the King's Inns and the Law Society of Ireland.

Guest Presenter: Vicki O'Toole is the owner and Managing Director of JJ O’Toole Ltd, a Limerick-based company that designs and supplies packaging to many industry sectors including retail, hospitality, hygiene, food & drink. She has won many business awards and was a finalist in the 2018 E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

 

Topic 8: How do I implement my marketing strategy, including digital communications?

Marketing is one of the core functions of any business. At a time of rapid and unprecedented change, business owners and managers will look to adapt their marketing strategies and activity to position themselves for a return to growth. This webinar examines some of the key aspects of marketing that businesses must consider, the continued relevance of the Four Ps, juggling limited resources and balancing long and short-term marketing activity. The session includes insights on how Griffith College has repositioned its marketing in response to the crisis.

Lecturer Biography: Michael is an experienced strategist with a background in market research and strategic planning. He currently lectures with the Graduate Business School in Digital Business and Business Intelligence technology. His passion for robust, objective insight has led him to develop a new methodology that addresses a gap in the market currently. This method is called RADAR - the opportunity to merge research and actual human behaviour using data analytics. Michael has spoken in Google and Hubspot about data analytics and cybersecurity. 

He has worked with Enterprise Ireland clients and FMCG clients in broadband supply, entertainment, utilities, food and beverage and cars. Michael has experience working with many different clients in an insight capacity, from commercial clients such as Sky and the Volkswagen Group to charities such as The Terrence Higgins Trust. He currently works with a selection of clients in Ireland, the UK and the US who are passionate about growth and their vision to make a difference.

Guest Presenter: Steven Roberts is Head of Marketing for Griffith College. Over the past 20 years, he has held a range of marketing and senior management roles in Ireland and overseas, specialising in the areas of education, heritage, strategy and tourism marketing. Steven is a certified data protection officer and a non-executive director on the board of The Discovery Programme. He is a regular columnist for Marketing Magazine and was a judge for the 2019 Marketer of the Year award.

Topic 9: How will I tell my customers?

In this session, experts from the communications industry provide guidance to businesses through the basics of communications planning to help them manage their reputations and evoke trust amongst employees and the public during the critical reopening period.

Lecturer Biography: Aoife O’Donnell is the Managing Director of Vital Communications, a Healthcare Specialist PR consultancy and has over 20 years’ experience in the communications industry, working with international brands across the corporate, consumer and healthcare sectors. In addition to her private practice, Aoife is a lecturer on the BA and MA Public Relations programmes in Griffith College Dublin.

Guest Presenters: Susie Horgan founded Springboard PR & Marketing in 2011, and has developed the business into a multi-award winning communications agency. She has worked for over 20 years in senior marketing and public relations roles advising many household names. In 2017, Susie was named Network Cork Businesswoman of the Year. She is a Non-Executive Director of UCC Academy and on the Board of Governors at Fota Wildlife Park.

Melissa Curley is the founder of SocialBee Communications, a soft skills and communications training consultancy that believes open and transparent communication, as well as the art of storytelling and an authentic voice, are essential to business success in the future of work. Prior to setting up SocialBee, Melissa enjoyed successful careers in education as well as travel writing. 

 

Topic 10: Staying strong, staying well in business - my rebooted business development action plan

In this session, participants reflect on what they have learned, what decisions they have made and how they can move forward. Participants also take guidance from clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy on practical ways in which they can strengthen their mental health in order to grow their business post-COVID-19 and implement their rebooted business development plan.

Lecturer Biography: Denis Coleman is a business owner and supply chain consultant with over 35 years’ experience gained across a number of business sectors.

He is also a Behavioural Analyst, Change Consultant, LAB Profiler, Values System Consultant, Professional mBIT Coach, SCRUM Master Certified Project Manager, safeTALK & ASIST Certified, Global Training Partner - VMEdu, Certified GENOS International EI Practitioner and an associate of the Marshall Goldsmith organisation.

Additionally, Denis has been a Cherie Blair Foundation Mentor Alumni for many years and he is an Associate/Adjunct Lecturer & Academic Supervisor at Griffith College (Dublin & Limerick), University of Limerick and IT Carlow.

Guest Presenter: Dr Eddie Murphy is a clinical psychologist and adjunct associate professor with the UCD School of Psychology. He is a well-known TV psychologist, where his trusted style, practical, respectful and hope-orientated approach has a strong solution focus. His passion and enthusiasm about wellbeing are anchored in evidence-based psychology. He is the author of the bestseller Becoming Your Real Self – A Practical Toolkit To Manage Everyday Problems. He is a psychology author for the A Lust For Life School Wellbeing program.