The Hare Branding
I had been working in the Print & Signage Industry for the last 9 years, starting in production and graphic design, and after moving to account management. This can be a very stressful industry as most projects have a tight deadline, but I love what I do and getting things sorted for my customers give me a rush! When the lockdown hit I was put on unpaid leave for a few months and after that, I was working from home. This made me realise I could have a better life/work balance and I could still get my work done with the same quality while having quality breaks, eating better, being able to walk my dog and looking after my home. Unfortunately, management didn’t see it that way and we were ordered back into the office full-time as soon as the restrictions were lifted. I tried to negotiate to no avail, so I decided to quit and start my own business, using the contacts I had made during all those years. Starting your own business is a rollercoaster, but it is definitely worth it! The support I have been getting from DSCP and LEO is amazing and everyone I’ve been in touch with so far is genuinely interested and want to help me. Being a Sole Trader means I have to look after everything myself: from meeting customers to design, filling out documentation, quoting, managing suppliers and contractors, accounts and so on… it can be very stressful to be on top of things, but at the same time when I finish a job and the customer is happy it is very rewarding! And the best part is that the profit is mine now! In the past year, I have been able to retain a few blue-chip customers, and I plan to register as a Company by the middle of the year so I can start to expand. I am sure DSCP will offer guidance when I get to that stage. Thank you all so much for the help and for the opportunity to share my story.
I was put in contact with DSCP when applying for STEA and they have been amazing. I got suggestions of courses and grants I could apply when setting up the business which really helped me. They check in with me from time to time to see how things are going and are always helpful in pointing me in the right direction.
Start with a SYOB course. It will give you an overall look at everything that setting up a business means and requires. After that, keep in touch with LEO and DSCP, there’s always a course or talk, and if you need information on anything they will either help you or point you in the right direction. Start participating in networking events and join business groups in your area, or if you are a woman you can join women entrepreneur groups, for example. If you are not Irish like myself you can join groups of people from your country that have businesses here as well. These groups are a great source of information, networking, and inspiration. But the most important advice I would give is: believe in yourself and do the work, it will be hard, but it will be worth it!