Building Your Business
PLATO EBR Reflections from BorderBizcamp 2018

24 September 2018


Image result for border bizcamp 2018

For a seventh year running BorderBizcamp sought to create an energetic event in the Border counties to promote business people supporting business people. All business people possess individual knowledge, experience and skills, which can be of immense benefit to others in business or those thinking of starting up a business. BorderBizcamp is a day to showcase and share that talent for the greater good.

Some Speaker PLATO EBR highlights from this year’s event were:-

-   Paddy Matthews of MATTHEWS coaches, a story of very humble beginnings, to a multi-generational family business transporting the masses, almost 6,000 commuters in the border region daily. A good takeaway here was how important it was to take the business of serving your customer seriously but not take yourself too seriously and enjoying what you do!

Sinead Devlin, MD of Emergentics reminded us of the importance of the whole team – Sinead’s focus on cognitive diversity would have hit home with the small business owner who tends to employ people like themselves – is that just easy for the owner and is that not going to lead to stagnating the company growth?  

- Regina Byrne of Regina Byrne Coaching talked about the five-and-a-half mistakes business owners make about people and how to fix them.

-  Mistake 1: Failure to Manage Expectations and how to rectify this would be the need to ‘state the obvious’, what you say and what lands with someone else can be two very different things.

Mistake 2: Appreciation – appreciation needs to be about them not you the business owner so no point in saying “you have saved my life”, instead explain in detail what was good about a task and how they contributed. Rectify this by aiming for one a day!

Mistake 3: Avoidance – when someone is doing something they shouldn’t be doing/saying, instead of calling it you avoid it as a owner/manager. Instead you need to say what you see.

Mistake 4: Impact – business owners need to figure out what ares they should focus on to give greater impact, walking the floor is ok but do you confuse things and interfere when you do? How to rectify this one would be to ASK – ask what do I need to stop or start doing to assist you in your role – people need to call you on it, you need to listen to the answer!

-  Mistake 5: Communication – communication is not about giving out information. It is about getting through to people. In order to rectify this you need to Choose very carefully what to say what are the most criticl elements to communicate, this and this done by this time not sometime etc.

Mistake 51/2: Help! As business owners we don’t get help early enough and for the people issues in our company we do not get help often enough, even though people can be the backbone of the business. To rectify this get help, everyone should have a coach at some point in their development.


- Vincent Browne renowned and frank, print and broadcast journalist talked about this family’s humble beginnings and the falseness of the current political system, the lack of opportunity afforded to women in Irish society and how damaging this is to the future economy.


- Michael Cullen CEO of Beacon Medical Group’s story was controlled and measured discussing a business model that works and the ups and downs in the highly complex world of medical. Careful not to draw comparisons to public healthcare, Michael discussed issues relevant to any business with high start-up costs and working capital arrangements – a truly insightful story of BMG.


- Declan Savage Founder of HealthCo talked about the legislative importance of workplace health but also the economic dividends for companies in looking after employee physical and mental well-being. He recommended visiting and the value of surveying staff on exercise, eating habit, sleep work. HealthCo have developed helpful  Healthco Culture Challenge scorecards.


Gwen Noone of the Digital Bakery in usual Gwen style powered through the key future trends in social media offering businesses loads of helpful ways to stay in the right place of the curve by developing relationships between brands and customers through the combination of technology, video and communications.


- John McCormick is the epitome of what a keynote speaker should be – first to arrive in the morning and last to leave, seeping in the content of the day and re-framing it in relation to this talk to formally close BorderBizcamp 2018. John’s talk focussed on building bridges not walls, maintaining client focus and stealing market share in uncertain times. John distilled vision and strategy as: (1) Sell more (2) Charge more (3) Cost less – enveloping these is the purpose/value of the company. He said the number one factor we might consider when recruiting is for the person to be passionate about what they do and have a modicum of common sense, we need to hire for attitude. For under 35years old bracket, money shouts but opportunity squeals! Companies often fail to understand that they need to have role profiles and clear mandate if you have to make cuts, make it clean and fast – you need to free people’s futures! Clients are so important -  no clients  - no business – cashflow is still king! The value of relationships is heavily under-estimated but it is at the bottom of the pyramid and the foundation for ideas and action and money, if you spend more time at the bottom it will impact on the top. He concluded on the importance of looking after yourself as leader of the company, you’re worth it! Importance of sleep, we can all have a crap day! When asked what is the most critical way a leader can develop, John suggested it was to have a better self-awareness.


Quotes of the Day

“A shareholder will never give you a hug at the end of the day or tell you how much they love you like your family will” [John McCormick]

“People don’t leave companies they leave a supervisor” [Regina Byrne]

“They key to looking after your employees is do a little, often” [Declan Savage]

“The political system in Ireland needs changed” [Vincent Browne]

“People do not change, they transition” [John McCormick]

“Listening to understand and listening to respond are very different things” [John McCormick]

Thanks to all the Border Bizcamp Speakers who gave of their time to support other entrepreneurs along their growth journey. PLATO EBR is delighted to be part of the event!

  • Cavan
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghon