February 26, 2016

What To Wear Under Cover

Briefly put, many males are reluctant to shop for the bare necessities of clothing, those essential items that are glimpsed rather than seen by all except their nearest and dearest. Even the more hygienic are prone to the threadbare look when it comes to the 'socks, jocks and tees' department of their wardrobe.

And somewhere in his mind, the Irish male of the species hears his mammy's voice worrying over the state of his underwear if he were to be rushed off unexpectedly to hospital. Yes indeed, what would the neighbours think?

Underneath It All

Well mammy, those next-door neighbours or anyone getting up close and personal with the nation's wannabe gentlemen need judge no more, for help is at hand in the form of this week's guest on Kickstart Your Business.

With a family background in men's fashion (Galvin For Men), Rob Galvin noted that men were often slow to shop for quality underwear essentials. A recent graduate of UCD's Innovation Academy, he decided to set up www.Stor.Supply, an online service supplying regular consignments of underwear to reluctant shoppers.

Reluctant gentlemen shoppers, and those who love them, can sign up for a subscription that sees those simple, bare necessities delivered undercover of some elegant packaging once a month or every three months. Sure Mammy wishes she'd thought of it herself.

Boxing Clever

George and Gerard both enjoyed Rob's undercover assignment, with George vowing to change his boxers more often as a result.

In particular, Gerard admired the way in which Rob has cleverly included the nearest and dearest as key target customers for his growing business. Pinpointing the ideal customer and those who buy for them in this way is inspired, and should keep Rob focussed on what matters in his business.

The Whole Package

What do you suggest that Rob might do to get the whole world of men happily wearing only the finest underwear essentials. Not to mention the joy he brings to their nearest and dearest.

Listen back to Rob on Kickstart Your Business (with thanks to Energia), and tell us what you think? We'd love to hear from you.

Kickstart Your Business is broadcast on The Right Hook on Newstalk every Thursday around 6.25pm, and is available for playback immediately afterwards at Newstalk. com .

February 19, 2016

Jam Packed With Quirky Goodness

There is much evidence, even in mainstream retailing, to suggest that customers are looking for something out of the ordinary when they make their weekly shop.

Although the traditional staples still feature large on the supermarket shelf, growing numbers of highly-original takes on these original foods have jostled their way onto those same shelves. Once left to shout their wares from the stalls of farmer's markets and craft-shops, these bold upstarts now stand proudly side by side with foodstuffs that can seem frankly dull by comparison.

What To Do In A Jam

When Olive Germaine, and husband Pat, became redundant from work within one week of each other, they decided to return to the kitchen and cook up some high quality chutneys, relishes and preserves, and go to market under the quirky name, The Birds And The Teas.

Their produce proved so delicious that when our George tasted some at his local supermarket, he was immediately prompted to invite Olive to feature on Kickstart Your Business on The Right Hook.

Relishing The Prospect

George was already a fan, but Gerard was also won over by both the tasty jams and the playful invitation to table in the name and packaging.

The Birds And The Teas evokes a tea-party in wonderland, and this is reflected in many of the names Olive and Pat have given to their unusual combinations: Last Mango In Paris Chutney, Rhubarb Rhumba Preserve to give just a taster of two of the many more on offer.

The Preserve Of Experts

What would you do to get the whole world jamming along with Olive and Pat?

Listen back to Olive's Kickstart Your Business feature and let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you.

Kickstart Your Business broadcasts at 6.20pm every Thursday on Newstalk's The Right Hook, and is available on playback immediately following the show.

February 12, 2016

Queezy Does It

Throwing up, whether as a result of car or sea-sickness, pregnancy or a tummy bug, is never a pleasant experience. But that same experience is made even more stomach-churning (for both the one throwing up and the one catching), when the receptacle for all of that nastiness is as makeshift as a hastily-grabbed paper bin, shopping bag or handbag. What they both wouldn't do for a thoughtfully designed queasy bag, to help safely catch and dispose of the unpleasantness.

The Catcher On The Fly

When Carrie Doorley, our featured guest on Kickstart Your Business,  found herself playing catch-up for her first child Liam who suffered from travel sickness, she looked in vain for sick bags in several shops and pharmacies near her home. To her surprise, none offered anything more suitable than clear plastic bags, and so she decided to design and produce her own.

And so, in the absence of designer sick bags, Queezy Bags were designed and born. Featuring a number of innovative features such as an easy hold rim, discreet patterning and a slot to twist the bag and seal in the smell, Queezy Bags are a real catch.

Retching For The Stars

Both George, who brought up in graphic detail his own sea-sick adventures, and Gerard were immediately impressed with Carrie's innovative solution to a problem that can afflict someone almost any time or any place.

Think cars, boats, planes but don't stop there; include hospitals, night-clubs and anywhere a toddler or a mum-to-be frequents. As Carrie memorably puts it in her tagline: Life Is Busy, Don't Hold Back.

Both also admired Carrie's clever name, Queezy Bags, which really says it all, but Gerard suggested that the overall packaging is unremarkable and doesn't give her product and new brand the stand-out it requires to establish real elbow room on the shelves and shop-floors of pharmacists and retailers everywhere.

Glad You Brought That Up

What else do you suggest that Carrie does to capitalise on this yawning gap in a worldwide market?

Listen back to Carrie's Kickstart Your Business feature and let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you.

Kickstart Your Business broadcasts at 6.20pm every Thursday on Newstalk's The Right Hook, and is available on playback immediately following the show.

February 05, 2016

A Helping Hand For Helping Hands

The call for volunteers to help in any worthy cause typically prompts a generous response from people willing to lend a hand. But those same willing hands often get tied up completing the inevitable paperwork that now accompanies the not-for-profit initiative, rather than being put to good use in the field. 

With safety first the priority both for the voluntary organisations and those who regulate them, how can the local sports club or fundraiser fulfil their duty of care without getting overwhelmed by form filling?

Now Generosity Knows No Bounds

When David Miller, our featured guest on this week's Kickstart Your Business, and his colleague Rowan Devereux needed to recruit other parents to the various working groups at their local football club, they realised there was a massive gap between paying lip service to safely bringing volunteers on board, and doing it right. And so they decided to develop the Complyfile software to help organisations everywhere safely recruit volunteers.

Making Time To Save Time

With their own backgrounds in volunteering, both George and Gerard immediately appreciated the benefits of this new software to everyone concerned with the voluntary organisation, from committee members to working groups to volunteers.

Gerard particularly liked the ease of navigation through ComplyFile.com and noted how the site authors cleverly advise on the length of time (60 seconds) it takes to watch the introductory video, which enables the visitor to easily choose whether or not to view it. Too many publishers ask for an open-ended commitment, the same type of commitment that David & Rowan address through their time-saving and coherent on-boarding software.

Step Forward & Say What You Think

How do you suggest that David and Rowan can get the whole world volunteering in a safe and practical way?

Listen back to David on Kickstart Your Business and let us know what you think; we'd love to hear from you.

Kickstart Your Business broadcasts at 6.20pm every Thursday on Newstalk's The Right Hook, and is available on playback immediately following the show.

A note from Gerard: When I'm not helping to Kickstart Your Business, I work with business-owners of all shapes and sizes to help them build a brand that stands up to the competition and stands out in the marketplace. You can find out more about my work at Islandbridge. 
Once a year, I work closely with twelve ambitious business-owners through our six-week Raising A Brand Programme. Our next programme kicks off on February 9th for six Tuesday afternoon sessions; you can find out more at Raising A Brand