TC Matthews Feature in Irish Independent by Seán Gallagher.
Congratulations to Brendan Cumiskey owner of TC Matthews Carpets on being featured by Sean Gallagher in the Irish Independent. This article by Seán Gallagher shares many valuable insights into what it takes to build a retail chain.
It is nice to have been mentioned too.
You can click here to read the online article published by Independent Business or read the print version below.
The story of how Kevin Egan Car Sales has grown from selling cars from the side of a house to being a rapidly growing business employing over 20 staff from the local community of Carraroe in Co. Sligo is truly remarkable. Even more remarkable is the short time frame over which this Success Story has taken place. I visited Kevin as he was preparing to move to his new site as part of his expansion plans having recently joined the Peugeot franchise. Kevin has all the traits you’d expect from a successful entrepreneur ; drive, focus and ambition. His passion for what he does was immediately apparent as he gave me a walking tour of his operation and described the evolution of his business.
“ I’ve been in business 8 years and have been dealing with ActionCOACH for 4 of those years now. We first moved into the yard with 14 cars but within a few months we grew out of it and needed more space so we ended up having to rent another site at the back of the yard from a separate landlord. We then hired 2 after sales staff to run the workshop. We got extra space and could offer more cars online and grew from there.”
It didn’t take long for Kevin’s success to appear on the radar of the Irish car industry. Not only did he need a spacious trophy cabinet but banks were also beginning to take note.
“In 2013 we won our first Irish Car Dealer of the Year Award and that put us on the map. After that we had banks on the phone offering us loans and more credit. From 2012 to 2015 we went from 15 cars to 115 cars in the yard.”
With 4 staff and a growing business Kevin had a vision for where he wanted to see his business go. Like all good leaders he was not only aware of his own strengths but he recognised the areas where he needed additional skills and experience. He explains his decision to start working with his business coach, Jeannette Naughton.
“ActionCOACH came on in 2014 and guided us through how to go about expanding the business, to manage it cash flow wise, internally, staffing wise, as well as on how I coped with it too. A few years ago I was a sales person now I was a business owner managing an expanding business. The business was working and making money but the growth needed to be managed and that’s where ActionCOACH came in.”
2 Key Decisions
The business’ growth accelerated between 2014 to 2017. Whilst many people would be forgiven for accepting the limitations that come with being a new small business, Kevin overcame every hurdle with a systematic strategic approach. He had two key decisions to make to ensure continued success into the future.
“We were at a disadvantage with the size of our yard compared to the dealers we wanted to compete with so we needed to compete online. We invested just over €80,000 in a turntable to make our website look better and have a 360 view of the cars rather than just a static image. That was a big decision but it’s paid off as it made our website stand out from the crowd.”
With a website now delivering a best in class experience by allowing customers to have a 360 degree view of the entire inventory from any location, Kevin turned his attention to planning for the potential impact of Brexit.
“The other big issue for the business was Brexit, we import a lot of our used cars from the UK. It’s been great in 2017 and end of 2016 year with Sterling rates but at the same time too once 2019 kicks in what do we do? Do I wait until 2019 or have a plan B now, so that’s why I bit the bullet and took on the Peugeot franchise. We couldn’t have done all that without the help of Jeannette at ActionCOACH.”
The growth of Kevin Egan Car Sales has been staggering, growing from 4 staff in 2013 to over 20 staff in 2018. It is clearly set to grow further having joined the Peugeot dealership and recently moved to a bigger site. As Success Story’s go this one will require many more follow ups to document the continued rise of Kevin Egan Car Sales as Kevin outlined his ambitions for the future;
“I want to grow the business again and from the ActionCOACH point of view have a profitable business that works without me, we are getting there but are not there yet. It’s a case of building an asset for myself.”
Take a look at our short video documenting this Success Story.
If you would like to tell us more about your own business and discuss how we can play a part in your Success Story call us today or complete the below form.
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Research shows companies that seek external expert advice achieve a stepped change in their growth and performance. Yet many SMEs can still be reluctant to take the leap.
Paul Clarke, Financial Director and General Manager of TC Matthews Carpets, the largest independent carpeting and flooring retailer in Ireland shares his experience on how engaging an external Business Coach has helped galvanise their team, increase sales, and achieve real growth. Listen to Paul’s story below:
We hope you enjoyed listening to Paul’s experience. If you feel that your business could benefit from a fresh perspective, and you would like more information on how you could achieve similar results to TC Matthews, we would be delighted to speak with you.
Please take a moment to fill in your details below and we will be in touch:
Last week when listening to a feature on the cost of childcare in Ireland on Today FM’s Last Word with Matt Cooper, I was struck by the rather alarming findings from Early Childcare Ireland on the cost of doing business in the sector.
Their report states that the average childcare service in Ireland, whether private or community run, urban or rural, is operating on a break-even basis.
For those that do make a small profit, it’s usually too little to re-invest or provide good career opportunities for staff, making recruitment and retention of good team members a huge challenge.
Consider the additional external factors coming down the tracks such as an increase in minimum wage, increases in refuse costs, rents, rates and insurance, the task of building a sustainable, profitable childcare business may seem unachievable!
Making a Profit In Childcare
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. Just like any other type of business, you can build a very successful and profitable childcare business by implementing some small but significant changes to your business model, and introducing systems to measure the numbers.
Hear Nessa from Little Learners Success Story…
Case in point is one of our clients Nessa McNamara who established the award winning Little Learners Montessori & Pre-School in Drumcondra in September 2011.
Back then Little Learners was a preschool running for 3 hours a day, catering for children aged 3 – 5 years, with a maximum of 33 children.
Nessa’s business concept was an instant success. Parents loved her unique combination of a creative curriculum delivered through the Montessori method. The business strived to be a friend and support the family first. The business end of things came second as a result it struggled to keep it’s door open at the end of its first year.
Nessa sought help and funding from her local bank, and her AIB bank manager suggested she consider a Business Training and Coaching programme run by ActionCOACH. This course informed and opened Nessa’s eyes on how to structure a business without losing its essential charm.
Today Little Learners is starting into its seventh year, employs over 30 team members, has 3 locations and caters for over 380 families. Nessa has turned what she originally described as a ‘hobby’ business that was just covering the costs into a highly profitable enterprise that has won multiple awards, has a firm plan for the future and most importantly of all has not lost its heart.
Please take a moment to listen to Nessa’s success story in her own word’s in this short 1 minute video:
If you would like more information on how you could achieve similar results to Nessa, we would love to speak with you, so please take a moment to fill in your details below and we will be in touch: