3 ways to boost your local business

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There are brilliant opportunities out there to help drive growth for your business and to learn from those in the know


The past 12 months have been challenging for all Irish businesses, but it has also been a time of innovation and resilience. Driving sales is all about increasing awareness of your brand in clever ways. Here are three ways to access advice and support from the best in the business.


1. Join the #MadeLocal campaign

An incredible nine out of 10 businesses involved in the 2020 #MadeLocal campaign noticed a rise in sales. And so the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is bringing it back this summer. The nationwide promotion campaign was launched last summer by Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar and actor Amy Huberman as part of a drive to boost sales and revenue for makers and local retailers during this very challenging time for Irish businesses. The vast majority of retailers (87%) reported a positive impact on sales, which came as a welcome boost as pandemic restrictions significantly impacted the sector. Meanwhile, 64% of makers and designers reported an increase in sales.

Makers and designers  in every craft and design discipline from jewellery to furniture design took part, with 801 involved in the summer campaign and 977 in the run-up to Christmas. Participation is free. See here for more details on #MadeLocal. 

2. Upskill with a PR workshop

Many businesses benefited from the rush to support Irish in 2020, though some small companies, particularly those one woman/man shows running a business from home, may feel that they get lost in the noise. Hiring a PR or brand consultant on retainer can be prohibitively expensive for small businesses, and it can be hard to determine exactly what you should strive for when this isn’t your area of expertise.

Communications consultant Maeve Barry is running an online workshop media in March, to help guide small to medium Irish businesses through this challenging terrain. Each participant will also receive a follow up one-on-one consultation to discuss their specific brand and PR needs. Maeve will provide practical advice on little steps business owners can take themselves everyday to ensure that they stand out from the crowd.

The workshop will cover public relations, branding, social media, collabrations and corporate social responsibility. Irish Country Magazine readers who book a place on the workshop will receive a 10% discount.

The workshop takes place on 23 March, with follow up consultations arranged with each business afterwards. To book your place or access more information on pricing – e.g for physical shop owners whose premises are closed and are not trading online the workshop price will be at a reduced rate – contact hello@maevebarry.com.

3. Learn from successful women

Leading women in business and media will feature on the panel for an exciting online seminar hosted by the Women’s Inspire Network (WIN). The event, to mark International Women’s Day on Monday, 8 March, is all about clicking refresh, collaborating and thinking differently to get back on track after a challenging year.

Virgin Media News reporter Zara King and former politician Mary Mitchell O’Connor join organiser and WIN founder Samantha Kelly for the discussion which will focus on empowering women to reach their potential. Networking is so important for the many women in Ireland running their own businesses who may not have the resources those in large companies enjoy. The seminar will celebrate women, look at the tactics they have used to say focused and well this year, and how to drive sales during a difficult period.

The seminar costs €20 and can be viewed live or on playback. Book your place here. 


Main image: Nathan Riley on Unsplash