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Working with each other in your own company – What is it like?

Running a business together – Our Experiences

Thanks to everyone who answered my questions on this and your patience waiting for me to set it live.

Tell me about your business

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. Mostly Industrial and Pharmaceutical.

Graham and Daithí – The Cupcake Bloke
We’re a sweet Bakery and opened our retail shop in 2018. Known for Cupcakes, Tea Bracks, Soda Breads and our reworking of “retro” biscuits. In the shop we have an added focus on small Irish food producers with a selection of Cheese, Jams, Honey, Chocolate, Coffee and more from artisans.

Audrey & Abi – WeirdWatercolours
We design, illustrate, paint and print eco friendly, meme inspired greetings cards for any occasion www.weirdwatercolours.com

Joanne and Dave – Devhaus
Owner of a software development company

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
Our business is Valentia Island Vermouth. We are the first Irish vermouth and we launched on the 14th of July 2021!

James and Eoin – Faerly.ie
Faerly.ie is an online sustainable store and we sell products from small Irish makers and independent brands that are natural, handmade, ethical and sustainable. We’re had a rollercoaster year since we launched and were thrilled in our first year to win the Repak National Online Green Packaging Award and to be a finalist for the Retail Excellence Online Store of the Year award. You’ll find us at www.faerly.ie

Why did you decide to work together?

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
We had an immersive theatre events company together in the UK so by starting another business together I guess we are obvs gluttons for punishment 😉

Audrey & Abi – WeirdWatercolours
We ended up isolating together in March 2020 after going on a date and reuniting after 6 years. We are both creatives and wanted to keep busy during the first lock down. We started doing live drawing over Instagram and getting viewers to join in and after a few evenings of this WeirdWatercolours was born and people started asking if they could purchase our work.

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
Our skills complement each other and we both had a vested interest in making it a success. We work really well as a team in our personal life so extended that to our business.c

Graham and Daithí – The Cupcake Bloke
Necessity. D had been laid off in June and returned to college, Graham was made redundant the same November, we had to do something. We had been thinking of our own business so had looked at premises etc but it was researching for the future. Literally the morning after Graham was told of his redundancy we got a phone call offering a kitchen space, a second offering an industrial oven and a third offering stainless steel work benches – we hadn’t told anyone, ANYONE, our news so it floored us. We jumped at all three offers and decided to give the business a shot. Coincidence, fate, someone looking down on us, whatever, the universe was making something possible we had to go with it.

James and Eoin – Faerly.ie
I’d been working in a large multinational for 10 years. A secure job and a great company to work for but I was ready for a change. I’d an idea in my head for a business for a long time but never acted on it. The usual, never had the time…….

Well, working from home during the first lockdown and suddenly having no daily commute, as well as our social life vanishing, I suddenly had the time and space to really explore it and actually do it. I started thinking about it seriously in March of 2020 at the start of the first lockdown and by May I had decided to go for it and started setting up the business in earnest. I did a ‘Start Your Own Business Course’ online with my Local Enterprise Office.

Our whole ethos is sustainability and we wanted our business to be properly sustainable for us. So rather than going big and borrowing money, renting space etc. we decided instead to do everything ourselves and keep it small, setting it up from our home. I’m not sure if I would have definitely made the leap to do it if Eoin hadn’t literally pushed me.

Joanne and Dave – Devhaus
It was mostly circumstance, having moved from an urban to a rural environment and starting a family, it made sense to do what we could to cut out the hours long commute to the city. Dave had gone from being a sole trader to establishing a limited company with a business partner, and that relationship didn’t work out. I was a social worker in dublin and similar opportunities were not available to me locally so I stepped in as a director of Devhaus in 2013.

Do you do different tasks in the business?

James and Eoin – Faerly.ie
Very much. I work full time in the business now and I look after all the business side of things, accounts, marketing, purchasing and most of the day to day work of shipping our orders.

Eoin is already a busy man, he works full time as a Guidance Teacher in a secondary school in Dublin. When he’s not doing that he helps me with whatever needs to be done, from packing orders to making deliveries. He’s also paying all the bills now that his is the only income coming into the house. We took a major hit to our income in the short term with me giving up my job.

He’s also my main person to talk to about the business and bounce ideas off. Eoin prefers to be more behind the scenes when it comes to the business but he’s the driving force in terms of support and giving me the energy to it.

Joanne and Dave – Devhaus
Yes, Dave is the technical whiz, acting as CTO and I manage the clients, projects, staff and finances.

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
Anna is the maker, producer and decision maker
Orla looks after the getting it out there and does a great job of drinking it

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
Yes

Graham and Daithí – The Cupcake Bloke
Yes, Graham is baker, product development, creative. Daithi is logistics, payroll, accounts, nuts and bolts.

Audrey & Abi – WeirdWatercolours
Yes we both have several titles within the business. From bookkeeping to handmaking our own envelopes and everything in between.

How do you disconnect at home?

Joanne and Dave – Devhaus
Work inevitably spills over into our home life. As business owners, we have to handle various things outside of business hours. But when we’re done one will say ‘we’re not talking about work any more’ and we do something else. We’re lucky to be occupied by the antics of our four kids, I do a lot of campaigning and community work and Dave is a GAA coach, so it’s actually quite easy to switch into the reality of our home life. Dave also builds Lego technics, so he’ll disappear down that black hole for a couple of hours at a time!

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
We only talk business for a short time early in the evening and get on with our lives after that.

Graham and Daithí – The Cupcake Bloke
Can’t always, honestly. We get phone calls at 11 at night, 9 on Sunday morning, Christmas Day looking to place orders. The business is our livelihood so it is a constant presence. Somehow though, talking something through on a long walk or even in the middle of dinner, in a more relaxed “non work frame of mind” works. It just needs to be done.

James and Eoin – Faerly.ie
We don’t get too much down time at the moment and we’re ok with that as it’s the early days of a new business so it’s par for the course. We try to keep work out of the house as much as we can. We live in walking distance of town so we like a stroll to the pub for a pint, especially on a summer’s evening. Eoin’s involved in a lot of community work here in Kilcullen where we live and is usually at some meeting or other or working on projects in the evenings. That gives us a bit of space from each other too which is healthy!

When we’re struggling to disconnect we head to a mountain. You’ll often find us somewhere like Glendalough or Lugnaquilla early on Sunday morning so we can hike on our own before anyone else gets there and that gives us life.

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
Don’t talk about work! When you want to talk about work explicitly say: “can I talk about work for a sec” or if you don’t want to, say “can we talk about this another time” Leave the home environment, the being out for dinner environment or the weekend environment free to talk about unicorns or the existence of dragons. You know, the normal stuff. Defo talk about hopes and dreams for the future in your down time.

With the lockdown home is now work and work is now home. How was that for you both?

Graham and Daithí – The Cupcake Bloke
Since Covid, our business has shrunk and we have had to give up the office space we had been renting so our living/dining room is now the office. It’s more about making the most of time off to switch off and it can take an effort – we manage.

Joanne and Dave – Devhaus
We’ve always been set up to work remotely, so it wasn’t hugely new to us. We’ve had many remote staff working across the globe over the years from Berlin to Phnom penh. Having said that, I did find it extremely difficult when the kids were off school, with four different primary school lessons to get through daily and a business to run, balancing anything was completely impossible. But we’re still standing and moving forward, and that’s all that matters in the end.

James and Eoin – Faerly.ie
Eoin’s lockdown project was to build a big pond in our garden and it’s right across from my office window. Now that I work from the garden, I swapped a long daily commute to a pretty soulless business park, for a stroll down to my office where I can look out at the pond all day and watch the world and wildlife go by. It’s really hard to beat.

Going from a large corporate environment to running our own micro enterprise has also been refreshing in many ways. You do miss out on the social aspect of course but that’s not all bad to be honest. You get to miss the office politics too. I quite like the solitude sometimes and I enjoy working quietly without distractions. I was actually worried originally that I’d be lonely but I’m not at all so far. There’s too much to be done.

We built an office/workshop in our garden and the business stays down there so there’s no laptops in the house or working at the kitchen table. That helps keep work life and home life separate, even though it’s all on the same property.

It took me a while to adjust when eoin went back to work in September. We were together 24/7 in the summer and now Eoin is gone from 8-5. But it’s probably healthy for us too.

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
We are lucky that pharmaceutical companies stayed going throughout so we didn’t get under each others feet only for a few weeks. We did house projects together on our down time. We rarely stop doing stuff.

Audrey & Abi – WeirdWatercolours
At our busiest time we both found it quite stressful as space was limited. We set up the studio with all our equipment in our spare room and managed to fit two workspaces in with the bed turned on its end against the wall. During winter and in the midst of lockdown we both also found it challenging to stay motivated and not get distracted by needing to do household things as our professional work space was our home space.

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
We ensured to create one neutral space that neither of us were working in (which was the kitchen). So it remained a work free zone

Have you wanted to murder each other?

Audrey & Abi – WeirdWatercolours
Yes on many occasions, that is all.

Joanne and Dave – Devhaus
Yes. I won’t repeat the episodes of violence that ran through my head at my lowest times. :-/

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
Yes but mostly not over business.

Graham and Daithí – The Cupcake Bloke
Not quite…. There are stresses which working together probably brings to our relationship which otherwise we might not have BUT there’s also a very strong sense of purpose and working together which possibly also wouldn’t be there so it’s a glue that binds probably more than an abrasive.

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
Ara of course we have. The point to hold on to is that we haven’t

James and Eoin – Faerly.ie
Ha! I don’t think so. We don’t tend to get on each other’s nerves too much and we both enjoy a bit of craziness it our lives, we’re easily bored. I can get a bit stressed sometimes but Eoin never does and is very good at giving me space if I’m being irrible and unreasonable. It never lasts long and we’re back to having a laugh. We wouldn’t work together if we didn’t enjoy spending a lot of time together.

How do you manage to prevent business disagreement spilling into the relationship?

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
We’re lucky that we can disagree without falling out. Listening to the other perspective though helps us come to a consensus usually.

Graham and Daithí – The Cupcake Bloke
I guess that we know each other so well and work together so well that there haven’t really been any major disagreements which have threatened us personally. We are pretty much a unit and we just get on with it.

Audrey & Abi – WeirdWatercolours
As I am an Aires and Audrey is very much a Leo things get fiery. We have recently learned, as adults, to listen better and in some areas compromise. WeirdWatercolurs takes its influence from the Irish and the everyday so the lines between our professional mode and our relationship mode are quite blurred in the best way.

Joanne and Dave – Devhaus
We have just learned to draw a line under it. It does affect our relationship but we’re both committed and determined (stubborn) and luckily we don’t give up on anything easily. We are ultimately greatly for the opportunities running our own business has given us, so it’s worth holding on through the hard times.

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
Try and chill the feck out about whatever it is that the disagreement is about. We made loads of mistakes and had a lot of disagreements in our previous business. So learning from all of those and trying to not make the same mistakes in this business!

James and Eoin – Faerly.ie
We have very different roles in the business and that helps. We don’t really argue much to be honest. I tend to make the final call on decisions relating to the business and so far we haven’t had any major fall outs on it. But it’s early days!

What are the pluses for working together? What are the minuses?

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
A plus is we understand time commitments and don’t feel upset when a personal event may need to be cancelled for work.
A minus is that if there is a cashflow problem we are both affected and it can get stressful to not have money coming in from a different source.

Joanne and Dave – Devhaus
Pluses are that we have complimentary skills and we learn from each other and push each other to do better. We enjoy each other’s company so don’t mind being together for long periods. We get to be with our kids growing up, get them from school, take them to activities. When they’re sick, we can stay home and mind them or take them to appointments. The minuses are that it’s ‘just us’, there is nobody else for support or help, we each rely heavily on the other. That can be a big burden at times. It’s not easy, you’re really working 24/7, at least in your head. It’s near to impossible to take time off, because there is nobody to hold the business together when we’re both gone. That’s something we’re working on, to take two weeks off next year.

Graham and Daithí – The Cupcake Bloke
On the plus side is that common purpose, common drive and genuine support of each other which strengthens us.

The minus is the business is always there, we just have to work at separating work and private life.

Audrey & Abi – WeirdWatercolours
Pluses: Same drive, same sense of humour, the mutual love of a creative challenge. Minuses: Not equally as organisationally equipped, a one sided irrational fear of admin.

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
Pluses = work becomes life. Find something you love doing, with someone you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Minuses = work can become life. You have to become hyper aware of your behaviour to not be a dick.

James and Eoin – Faerly.ie
Pluses are – getting to spend more time together, being closer to each other’s day to day – things like work stress are not abstract and we get to experience the highs and lows together so it’s a real shared experience. You get to be your true self at work because you don’t have anything to prove. If I feel worried or scared or whatever we can just talk about that. I don’t have to put on a work mask. We’re building this together and that feels really good. Maybe its because we don’t have any kids but it feels like we’re building something for us. Plus I don’t have to pay him any wages 🙂

Minuses – you have to work at having down time or life becomes just work, work, work. We’re not always great at that to be honest but we’re working on it. When you’re rarely away from each other you don’t get the joy of seeing each other again after a few days away.

Anything else you want to add that I forgot to ask?

Margaret and Alec – Climatech
It’s good to have someone you totally trust 100% to have your back to make decisions and bounce ideas off.

Anna and Orla – Valentia Island Vermouth
Both of us are just trying to do a thing that we have no idea how to do. Take the urgency out of stuff, so what if you don’t agree on stuff, and have a good feckin time doing the stuff

Political Party Social Media Stats 2022

January 2022 Irish Political Social Media Stats

  • Sinn Féin has more social media followers than any other party
  • Leo Varadkar is the party leader with the most followers and is bigger than all parties.
  • Micheál Martin gets leadership bump on Twitter
  • Sinn Féin has most engagement on all platforms
  • Sinn Féin has 18M YouTube video views
  • Simon Harris is the king of TikTok

A social media analysis by Mulley Communications of the social media accounts of political parties has shown that Sinn Féin has the biggest following across all social media networks while Leo Varadkar is the party leader with the most followers on social media.

More detailed analysis:

Sinn Féin has the biggest Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube numbers.
Sinn Féin also has the most YouTube views with 18.7M views. However Leo Varadkar has more Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers than all the political parties in Ireland and would be number one if he was his own party (make of that what you will)

..

Party Facebook Twitter Instagram TikTok YouTube Subs  YT Views
Sinn Fein 268.7k 153k 54.7k 58.5k 35.4k   18.7M
Fine Gael 43.4k 55k 8.7k 0 **   1.5M
Fianna Fáil 42.9k 50.3k 8k 5k 1.3k   2.2M
Labour Party 59.8k 54.5k 35.9k 841 ** 956k
People Before Profit 17.8k 21.5k 9.2k 10.7k 1.9k 238k
Green Party 10.7k 41.2k 6.9k 14 780 337k
Social Democrats 42.9k 29k 3.6k 2.7k 878 255k

** Labour and Fine Gael have not shown subscriber numbers for YouTube

Party Leaders:

Leo Varadkar is the party leader with the most followers on social media with over 720,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Mary Lou McDonald has the next highest number of followers with 370,00 followers and Micheál Martin has 179k followers.
Mary Lou McDonald has the greatest amount of Facebook followers. To note: Facebook has the oldest demographic where almost the majority of people are 40 or over. Instagram and TikTok have much younger demographics.

Party Leader Social Media

While we couldn’t find TikTok accounts for any party leader, Simon Harris is King of TikTok with 89k followers https://www.tiktok.com/@simon_harristd and has more followers than the political parties.Breakdown by Social network

Leader Facebook Twitter Instagram TikTok
Leo Varadkar 93.8k 432k 196.7k 0
Mary Lou McDonald 173.2k 167.1k 30.9k 0
Micheál Martin 25.8k 152.9k 18.1k 0
Eamon Ryan 8.3k 44,300 2.6k 0
Alan Kelly 9.1k 20.5k 1.6k 0

Micheal Martin saw a large bump in Twitter followers and a slight increase in Facebook followers since his election to Taoiseach:

Platform

March 2020

April 2020

June 2020

May 2021

Jan 2022

Facebook

19,400

19,700

19,961

25.3k

25.8k

Twitter

46,100

54,100

59,100

138.3k

152.9k

Fianna Fáil didn’t see the same bump though

Fianna Fáil

February 2020

April 2020

May 2020

May 2021

Jan 2022

Facebook

38k

38.9k

39.3k

41.3k

42.9k

Twitter

38k

42.2k

43.4k

49k

50.3k

Instagram

4044

4628

4950

7.2k

8k

Engagement of Political Parties

As well as having the most followers on every social network, Sinn Fein is getting more engagement on their accounts and more engagement per post.

Irish Party Facebook Stats 2022

For Facebook
Facebook Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

And for a fairer look, you can see how wide the gap is.
Facebook Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Average engagement per Facebook Post:

Facebook post Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

For Twitter
Twitter Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Twitter Engagement per post
Twitter Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Instagram
Instagram Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Instagram Engagement per post

Instagram Per Post Engagement of Irish Political Parties 2022

Facebook stats for Irish Political Parties

Sinn Fein 268.7k
Labour Party 59.8k
Fine Gael 43.4k
Social Democrats 42.9k
Fianna Fáil 42.9k
People Before Profit 17.8k
Green Party 10.7k

Twitter Stats for Irish Political Parties

Party Twitter
Sinn Fein 153k
Fine Gael 55k
Labour Party 54.5k
Fianna Fáil 50.3k
Green Party 41.2k
Social Democrats 29k
People Before Profit 21.5k

Instagram stats for Irish Political Parties

Party Instagram
Sinn Fein 54.7k
Labour Party 35.9k
People Before Profit 9.2k
Fine Gael 8.7k
Fianna Fáil 8k
Green Party 6.9k
Social Democrats 3.6k

TikTok stats for Irish Political Parties

Party TikTok
Sinn Fein 58.5k
People Before Profit 10.7k
Fianna Fáil 5k
Social Democrats 2.7k
Labour Party 841
Green Party 14
Fine Gael 0

Startups and Ryanair. Ryanair, really?

854 words

I recently read Siobhán Creaton’s book on Ryanair. It was a great read. While Ryanair copied the operations aspect of South West Airlines, they didn’t copy their humanity and empathy. Ryanair and O’Leary bullied and harassed everyone. A very hateful company. Anti-union, anti-customer and literally told staff and customers to fuck off. As bad as Dunnes if you were a supplier too. South West were the most unionised, the most loved airline with happy staff and were still highly profitable. You can be a winner and be nice.

This is a good article from HBR called Building a Startup That Will Last and I’m going to summarise the article and compare it to Ryanair’s rise.

Point 1: Have a sense of purpose first and then profits will flow

Ryanair’s purpose was to be the biggest low fares airline (certainly not the most loved) and their drive was all about that. Michael O’Leary was Tony Ryan’s PA and was the bag man sent in to fix a badly in debt Ryanair. O’Leary actually suggested letting Ryanair die but Ryan pushed him to sort it and O’Leary got him to agree he’d get 25% of the profits if he did.

There seemed to be one question guiding O’Leary and Ryanair and that was “will this make us the biggest low fares airline?”. Other airlines mocked them for flying to airports in small towns that were basically sheds. Michael O’Leary’s attitude was that if they fly to an Airport 150 miles from Paris, people will fly with them if the price is low enough because a lot of their customers wanted to fly but couldn’t afford to. A whole new type of customer.

Point 2: Have a long-term vision. Plan the next steps after this step.

Europe’s biggest low fares airline was their goal after turning the business around. The next steps were that they built a playbook for an airport and a country and then replicated it. Screw airports, staff and suppliers, pick public fights that got you PR. Ryanair in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy etc. all followed this playbook. They then established hubs in these airports if they got even more concessions. It’s worth stating that Stansted was seen as a bit of a joke airport until Ryanair flew in 100s of 1000s of people. 1000s of jobs have been created all around these small airports because of Ryanair.

Point 3: Spot new opportunities based on data/experience, is there another customer need you could fulfil?

In 2020 Ryanair made €2 Billion (PDF LINK) from things like priority boarding, paying for drinks and food on board. Reserving seats. Scratch cards. Booking buses, trains, cars and hotels through them. As well as removing flight bookings (that cost them a fortune) from travel agencies, they started taking the ancillary products that travel agents sold.

Point 4: Scale up
Ryanair got the systems perfected and then added more airports and more planes. Ryanair makes money when planes are in the air so they got turnarounds down to 25 minutes and were able to do more flights per plane per day. Their profit margins were 23% when other airlines were 5%. The same planes across the fleet meant it was cheaper for training pilots and repair crews. Easier for parts etc. Boeing did a stress test on their finances and no matter the scenario, Ryanair never did worse than breaking even.

Part 5: Hold fast when the bumps happen.
Ryanair’s reaction to 9/11 was to reduce prices and increase flights. They flew their way out of the recession

Before 9/11 Ryanair cancelled an order with Boeing for new planes and put ads in Flight International looking to buy 50 7-14 year old 737s. They got 100 offers. When 9/11 happened they got 400 more offers from the ad. While they got cheap planes, they also used this as leverage for buying new planes from Boeing who were haemorrhaging money with canceled orders from everywhere. Ryanair had massive cash deposits and used that to get great deals. They knew they could weather this. Boeing allegedly gave them 30%-50% discounts to buy new planes. Much more recently they used the issues with the 737 MAX to get better deals from Boeing.

Even when they lose, they manage to win. Ryanair opened up a route to Hahn in Germany. Hahn was not Frankfurt but they called the route Frankfurt (Hahn). Lufthansa formally complained about saying they were flying from Frankfurt when Hahn was at least 120km away and Lufthansa’s complaint was upheld. This gobby startup/upstart created nonstop noise with their public fights about this that they were always in German media. They put “Auf wiedersehen Lufthansa” on their planes flying in and out of Hahn airport generating more complaints and more press coverage.

The book is worth reading and I’m sure some will admire O’Leary and you see so many (morons) say he should run the country. It would not be a good country to live in but he’d be super rich. What is good to take away from Ryanair is perfecting a system and then being highly disciplined about it.

Be Like Apple

Be like Apple.

560 words

Ignore the hype men. Sometimes it’s not worth being first.

Apple wasn’t first with the smartphone or touchscreen phones or smart watches or VR glasses or cars. They did a huge amount of research and patents first and watched how the market reacted to something. They worked on many projects and did testing and then dropped some of them. They didn’t release something to the market just because they spent so much on it. They were happy to just learn and move on. Sunk costs and all that. Sometimes Apple was too early and sometimes they decided it would never work. Apple let others be first, noted their flaws and where they could do better and then launched. Some of the original iPhone team were actually in another company building an iPhone nearly 20 years before Apple but the tech wasn’t ready. So be like Apple when it comes to the shiny.

I see all these charlatans breaking their necks being web 2.0 consultants, being Periscope experts, being Facebook Live gurus, being TikTok experts, being Clubhouse consultants (remember Clubhouse?) and now being NFT or Metaverse or something that smells of horseshit. People who are the first to grab on to the next big hype cycle and drop everything else, why do they do that? For some they run to this because in an established and stable system, you can spot they’re full of shit so they’re running away more than running to something. Don’t be fooled by these people telling you to drop your website or that you need an app or to get into VR or the Metaverse. When it fails they’ll have an excuse like being too early or that you weren’t full invested. Wait for someone like Apple to open the door and turn on the lights.

The big big social media space in 2021 was TikTok. It’s gigantic and will get bigger. It’s also a lot of work to create something and then get traction. Consider running ads on it instead. The big issue with TikTok is you can go from zero to 1000s to 10,000s to a million followers faster than any other place online ever but you will go out of fashion just as quickly. The birth, stardom, and death cycle is hyper-accelerated. The place is full of one hit wonders. If you look at the YouTube superstars of the past while, those stars used to get 10m views on a video and now some of them are barely getting 5000 views. They made their money on Youtube ads and you got more money per view if you had big numbers. They’re earning nothing now.

Oculus from Facebook did very well this Christmas but this is still a small-fry piece of tech that’s not got a lot of games or developers. While it is good to work on apps for Occulus in order that you have the IP to port to Apple, once Apple comes along it’s probably game over for other headset makers. Remember Nokia? Do you want to pour money into a Nokia app? Consider that developers that made apps for Apple devices have made $230 billion since the app store opened in 2011. That’s the company you want to hitch your wagon to.

Hold fast.
As per this clip from Master and Commander. Hold fast. Be like Apple.

How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency

You just need to know what you’re doing. You need to know, and you need to have a very good accountant. And you have to have people, or maybe it’s just yourself, but you need to be very good at what you do, especially when you’re starting, you need to make an impact is digital marketing a good job. It can be any job can be a good job. If you’re looked after, if you’re paid well. If you’re given time off, if you’re given time to be creative. What are leads in Digital Marketing Leads digital marketing or qualified leads are, for example, you create a website, and you optimize this, so it gets found in Google. Then someone does a Google search. They find your website. They look at your website and there’s a form on your website and they fill in details in the forum because they want more information. So that could be a lead. Or it could be through an Instagram ad, you’re advertising something a new product for a client or for yourself, people click on through. To find out more, or download a brochure.

Mulley Communications – Reviews made by A.I.

I used Rytr to make these. Input was company name and what it does: Digital Marketing Strategy.Freaky.

I’ve been a client of Mulley Communications for over 5 years. They’re the best digital marketing agency I have ever met. They helped us navigate through all our campaign strategy and made sure we were always up-to-date with the latest trends. They really know what they’re doing and it shows in their work!

– Damien

Mulley Communications has been the best company I’ve ever worked with! They know everything about digital marketing strategy and they are always on the cutting-edge. They care about what they do and their clients, which is why you can trust them to help your business. They are so knowledgeable, I would recommend them to anyone looking for an expert in digital marketing.

– Damien

Are Facebook Ads worth it for SMEs? Yes

Are Facebook ads, worth it for an SME/small business?

Yeah, I probably think, for an SME, where you just don’t have enough time to be constantly updating Facebook (and you do have to constantly update Facebook to keep in people’s feeds) then advertising is actually a better way to use your time and use your resources.

Updates or ads – the costs

Work it out. How much do you pay yourself or s staff member an hour, how may hours a week or a month are then tending to Facebook just to keep people seeing you are there.You could have an ad campaign that maybe just cost 40 or 50 euros and you can have that run over a week or two. When you run that campaign, you’re going to (see my other post on Facebook advertising) you want to run a campaign, you can set it to go off and we go back to the main parts of your business, so you don’t have to worry about what content to put up today, or tomorrow, how to create engaging posts, or, or anything like that.

Type of Facebook ads

You choose your audience, put up some content that you think the audience will be interested in, could be sales updates, it could be a video showing off a product could be a discount or anything like that can be just awareness, it could be a new business and a new town and you decide that the best way of getting interest is to run a Facebook ad, you can run that ad, you can run it to a certain age group, you can actually target any neighborhood, say in Cork or suburban Dublin, or just a whole county like Leitrim. You can run that ad, and it just goes out to those people. As the ad is running, you will actually see pretty much live stats on how many people have seen it so far, you can actually see what the device is whether it’s Android, whether it’s apple, whether it’s a desktop or a laptop. All that information is there for you, and you can see how many people clicked on that ad, or if you can send people to the website, or you can have the ad running so that you just get messages on Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook ads might be complicated to start with

The only thing that might actually persuade you not to run ads is the fact that setting up an ad on Facebook is slightly complex. You have to set up a campaign, and you have to put details in that, then you have to create an ad set and in that ad set you have to create an ad. So after the first couple of times you start to get used to Facebook advertising. The system is well designed pretty well. If you run an ad campaign before you can actually go into the ad system, click on that campaign, basically say duplicate that. So run it again but change the dates and change the budget.

Go for it

So for a small business with limited time, a limited amount of staff, you don’t have a full time marketer or you’re the marketer. In an SME you’re the manager you’re the accountant and everything else, then I think Facebook ads might actually work. So I advise a lot of clients to set up a Facebook page, and maybe do a bit on it to keep it ticking over, but actually to run some advertising and time them to go out. You don’t have to worry about that day’s updates and it’s just running there in the background. And hopefully you’ll get a return out of that. And I guess the beauty of all of these digital kind of ads in our systems, is you can measure it, to see, is it working or not and if it doesn’t work, you can just stop it or amended, make some changes and set it off again.

Try, fail, fail better, win!

With a newspaper ad that you commission and it runs once in a newspaper. For some say page ads in traditional Irish media you could be paying €3000 for an ad or €4000 or €10,000 for a full page ad. Once you committed to the ad, you can’t change it, if there’s a mistake or an incorrect website address, tough. With digital, you can change that straightaway. With digital you can make changes, measure what worked, make more changes and keep doing that until you get a very well tested ad.

Ads tested with real people and iterated

From that, then you have a data set, or in a way you have a crib sheet or a document or a template for future ads. So back to the question, I would actually suggest that they spend more time on ads than updates. Then maybe spend time on their website as you can get constant returns from ranking on Google.

Are Facebook Ads Worth It? Yes

Are Facebook ada worth it?

Yes I believe they are worth it, because they’re easy to set up and the targeting is really good. Facebook ads can target by gender, age, location, interests and then you can have the ad running on Facebook or on Instagram or on Facebook Messenger which are all owned by Facebook. You can choose your ad to be a video or an image, you can choose to place it in Instagram stories or Facebook stories, or just in the timeline of people. And because of the way the ads work, you’re guaranteed they’ll be seen.

Your ad is only seen by people that you’re targeting so you only get charged by the number of people that see it. You can pay a daily budget and close to 400 people 500 people or a few 1000 people could see it. All based on your budget. You can set a lifetime budget, which means that you can keep going for two weeks.

Once it runs out over those two weeks, it stops, once you set that. Those ads can direct people back to a Facebook page, or an Instagram page or you can get them to go to your website. I find the ads that work best are the ones that get people to click on the ad, and it brings them into a website where you’re selling something, or getting people to sign up to something. Video ads are very effective and what you obviously need is some of your own video content, and with video it means it starts playing in someone’s timeline and they start looking at that and if you have text in your video it means people will actually start reading that text, so they’ll pause maybe and start reading, and that gets them engaged.

So that’s a very good thing to do. And if you don’t have video content, you can just supply images and Facebook Instagram can turn those images into like a slideshow or a video or you can have multiple images and you can do a carousel, which means when people see the ad, they can swipe on that ad and see the next image. So, overall, I think it’s worth doing Facebook ads. And what you can do is because you can set your own budget you could actually set a budget to be just a euro for a campaign.

If you get a return on that, increase the budget and play around. I keep on using this phrase, fail fast, fail cheap. That idea actually works on Facebook and Instagram. The demographics on Facebook are probably people that are 40 Plus, which is still a couple of billion people and in Ireland, there’s two and a half million maybe on Facebook. On Instagram in Ireland, you have a couple of million and those people would be mostly under 40. In a way that demographic is ageing as well. The teenagers, they’re on Snapchat, and they’re on, Tik Tok.

So yes, do run ads on Facebook, try them. The Facebook ad system might be slightly complex to start with. If you find that is when you go into it, you could just start off by boosting posts on Facebook. Do a status update on Facebook from your business page and click on boost. From there it’s fairly simple, you put in your daily budget, how long it’s going to run for. You can choose targeting, age, location, gender, and interests. So start there. Start with a small budget, get a return from that. You can measure that return within 15 minutes of that starting to run. So go and enjoy playing around with those ads too.

Is Facebook going to end up buying Clubhouse?

Probably.

A16Z are investors in Clubhouse. Clubhouse gets valued at $100M. The PR and hype  cycle begins. A16Z are powerhouses at coverage. Then Clubhouse gets valued at $1 billion.

A16Z invested in Qik. Marc Andreessen was on the board of Skype. Skype buys Qik. This is a common enough thing it seems.

Marc Andreessen is on the board of Facebook too.  Zuckerberg comes on to Clubhouse for a chat.

Elon Musk big ups Clubhouse and joins a chat. Millions of more users join.

Then he gets Kanye involved.

The more users Clubhouse has, the more it can be sold for. It’s at the top of hype lists now. The value will go up as more celebs and tech bros join and the general population flows in. It’s standard for social networks to do that celeb catnip trick. Other tech firms know the Facebook connection too so that might spur them to buy it at an inflated price to block Facebook. This will be fun.

Domains and business ideas

.ie domains for sale or rent

I have far too many domains these days so I want to offload them. I have many of these for years for projects I never got to start/complete. Make me an offer. Or if you want to rent a domain for a year to see if it works for you, let me know. domains@mulley.ie With a few exceptions I’d be looking for €500 ex VAT min for a domain. Transfer fees are €70ish and you’d pay those too. Some of these domains I would want 4-5 figures for. Or you can buy them in bulk from me in 5s, 10s or all.

15% referral fee
15% fee if you intro a successful buyer of a domain to us.

1916.ie
Well this was going to be for tours around Ireland tracing those in 1916. For Irish-American and Irish people from the UK.

65.ie
This age is used as the start of a demographic. Older people in studies are classed as those over 65 for instance. Could be very handy for a research project.

75.ie
Bought this for myself as it is a very very easy domain and email address to remember.

abortionadvice.ie
abortions.ie
abortionservices.ie
abortionsupport.ie
abortioncounselling.ie
One of these blocking purchases. To prevent other orgs with an agenda from using it so spout crap about abortion and what a skewed view of what the bible says. A rogue agency used one of these domains too to ensnare vulnerable people.

activewear.ie
For a client that sells activewear.

Algorithms.ie
A conference in 2022 maybe?

aran.ie – Taken
aran sweaters, aran jumpers, Irish fisherman sweaters as the Americans call them.

artificialintelligence.ie
A one stop portal on AI/artificial intelligence in Ireland.

backpain.ie
I went to a gym years back due to shoulder and back pain and it really sorted me out. The plan here was a site to refer you to gyms, chiropractors, physios and advice from real professionals on exercises you can do.

bears.ie
Gay culture, not forestry stuff.

beautyGigs.ie
Jobs site for hair salons and beauty salons

bloggeracademy.com
Currently used as a test site for blogging/SEO courses I do.

blogging.ie
Plan was to have it as an aggregator of Irish blogs, like what IrishBlogs.ie used to do.

businesscourses.ie
For the business courses I run and for partners/friends.

carter.ie
Brand name for a future business. Named after Agent Carter.

cashandcarry.ie
Nice and easy to market domain for a cash and carry.

Ceoil.ie
I just saw it expire and it’s a great short domain name with lots of potential.

ceos.ie
CEO forum type site. Events for CEOs and specific training courses.

children.ie
One of these blocking purchases. To prevent other orgs with an agenda from using it so spout crap about the family and what a skewed view of what the bible says.

christmas.ie
(Reserved until 2023) Well. This is the jackpot domain. Win the lotto, buy it off me. I love Christmas so you really need to make me a strong offer. We’re talking 5 figures here. Such an easy name for your brand.

classroom.ie
Online training portal was the idea for this. Again easy brand to send people to.

cloudcomputing.ie
A one stop portal on cloud computing in Ireland. Plus ad costs around the phrase cloud computing are huge. Buy me Microsoft, Salesforce.

company.ie
Nice and easy to remember. Handy for a portal for something.

connacht.ie
Another Geo type domain. Surprised it wasn’t taken.

contraception.ie
Another one of these blocking purchases. To prevent other orgs with an agenda from using it so spout crap about the family and what a skewed view of what the bible says.

consultant.ie
A perfect domain name for a consultant in any kind of area.

CorkDesigns.ie
Former web design agency. Really nice backlinks. Pointing here now so we’ll see will that boost mulley.ie in rankings.

CorkPassport.ie
Well, I had the .com of it. And I have the stickers and keyrings for it too.

cremations.ie
For those that work in this business.

culture.ie
Plan was to have it as an aggregator of Irish arts and culture blogs, like what IrishBlogs.ie used to do.

cum.ie
Look, it was there. Good domain for a sex toy company, currently redirected to one.

daddy.ie
Gay culture or if someone wants to buy it for like new dads or something.

dumps.ie
There are a lot of Google searches around where to dipose of your waste. Perfect for a waste collection company to down this site and sell on their offerings.

dietician.ie
The other way to spell this. I was thinking a directory site for dieticians.

DigitalMarketingStrategy.ie
Again maybe online courses or consultancy. Really simple to remember site.

democracy.ie
Works well in theory. Perfect for a new party once you’re not Nazis.

drag.ie
And the category is, domain purchasing realness. Drag is big now.

easter.ie
The cousin of Christmas but a bit more miserable as Christmas was about birthdays, this was about the torture of a beardy dude. Joy suck.

eCommerce Awards
ecommerceawards.co.uk
ecommerceawards.eu
ecommerceawards.ie
ecommerceawards.uk
ecommerceweek.eu
ecommerceweek.ie

I wanted to do an ecommerce awards thing across Europe. I think Ireland isn’t as fast as it should be to get more businesses to trade online but we are starting to.

egypt.ie – Taken, kinda
Fun in the Sun but nevermind all the guns.

entertainmentawards.net
entertainmentawards.tv
Another idea for an awards. Like People’s Choice Awards for the Irish Market. The existing entertainment awards are shite.

expertise.ie
The idea for this was a database of experts that the media could call upon for media/radio/tv interviews. People would put themselves forward and link to their media coverage.

fag.ie
To prevent it being used to abuse people. Or to encourage smoking.

fag.ie
To prevent it being used to abuse people.

florists.ie
This is a nice and easy to remember domain. No, I will not take payment in roses.

foodfight.ie
This is my current live food blog aggregator. It needs an upgrade.

FuckyouPayMe.ie
Cos I love the phrase.

futurist.ie
Grabbing it and I might put something on it. Bought it as I didn’t want to see it used by some donkey-brained expert.

gay.ie
Very. Not sure was this a porn site before. Ideally this would be an online resource for the Irish gay community or a historical repository.

grief.ie
I want to specialise in end of life, dying and death and all of these come with grief. Perhaps an online space for writing on this.

independents.ie
For a political party grouping, maybe? Or just coverage of them.

innishannon.ie
Great town. Great domain name that I was surprised was available to register.

innovation.ie
Well, it’s a fine domain. So many options to use this domain around innovation.

insulin.ie
For all things diabetes medications.

karens.ie
An online form asking people for their experiences of a Karen. This is live actually.

kyl.ie
Kylie, this is perfect for you!

leather.ie
Gay culture? Be a good site for a leathersmith and leather products too.

LifeCoach.ie
As the name suggests. Nice and easy to remember domain for a Life Coach.

marriage.ie
After equal marriage came in, thought it would be best to nab this in case of the “not Adam and Steve” lot grabbed it.

maternity.ie
Future business. Will explain in due course. Lack of LGBT maternity options in Ireland, I would like to see that change.

Mattresses.ie
Well, this is simple enough. Will swap for product.

measurement.ie
Conference on digital metrics that I used to organise.

merrychristmas.ie
I like Christmas. You may have noticed.

mna.ie
Just thought it would be a good domain for feminist writings.

moneyAndJobs.ie
That’s what the media want to know, right? Perhaps a space that has media training and guides.

NFTMarket.ie
Cos why not. I think this is going to be a legit type market in the future.

nightclasses.ie
Well there are 10s of 1000s of searches in Ireland for people wanting to know about nightclasses in Ireland. The competition is … not great.

notions.ie
Currently redirected to book listings 🙂 but this would be a nice site that lists some things like ooooh fancy type items.

oncology.ie
Straight up good information and options for those with cancer.

onlinepages.ie
This was a directory website. It has pretty good backlinks.

Orgasms.ie
Perfect domain for a sex toy company.

oxford.ie
Bit like carter. For a future business that will grow out of MulleyComms. Simple to remember.

paediatrics.ie
Another health related domain. Could be paired with contraception.ie, pregnant.ie, maternity.ie

parenthood.ie
I was worried that a fake pregnancy crisis agency would register them and give people bad advice. HSE, buy these!

Penis.ie
Should I redirect that to a politician?

php.ie
Strong three letter domain name. Ideal for people that do PHP development.

politicians.ie
Many thoughts on this. From a weekly ratings system for Irish pols to an aggregator when they are mentioned in the news. I had something like this for Politics In Ireland.

portlaw.ie
Geo domain. Town in Waterford or legal firm specialising in maritime trade?

postgraduate.ie
Portal for postgraduate courses in Ireland would be the original idea. Great domain for a college/university to buy and use as a brand/redirect for their advertising.

preaccelerator.ie
Startups, pre-startup, accelerators, pre-accelerators, even pre-idea seems to be a thing as well. Someone else has nabbed pre.ie. This could be a handy and easy to remember domain for a pre-accelerator or a directory of them.

pregnancy.ie
pregnant.ie

Expired around the same time. I was worried that a fake pregnancy crisis agency would register them and give people bad advice. HSE, buy these!

Reit.ie
REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors. Handy domain to have for this.

reminiscence.ie
Reminiscence is a very important thing for those ageing or having cognitive decline. Easy to communicate website for reminiscence therapy for example.

republic.ie
I offered this and 1916 to a political party before. No takers!

revision.ie
Leaving Cert and Junior Cert revision classes portal. Could originally signpost to all the courses that are on offer and then as traffic and reputation grows, start offering your own online courses.

RiverLee.ie
Did I mention I’m from Cork? I must have failed to mention it til now. Could be used for lots of things travel, tourism and activities related.

Sepsis.ie
Staying on things health.

sex-toys.ie
Sex toys! Cum.ie and Orgasms.ie would be the perfect domain threesome here.

shandon.ie
Another Geo, also surprised it wasn’t taken.

sme.ie
Most businesses in Ireland are an SME. Idea was for a portal of resources for SMEs. Or even as a redirect to a section of another website.

SEOTraining.ie
Site that sells SEO courses to people or has downloadable guides.

STEM.ie
Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths. Handy centralised site to focus on this areas.

subs.ie
Uhhh, sports? 😉

sun.ie
This was owned by the former computer company that got bought and wiped out by a database company. Ideally a competitor should buy it.

tribune.ie
Former domain of a Sunday newspaper. Amazing backlinks. Idea was to download a full copy of the old site from Archive.org and put it back online.

vaccinate.ie
See below!

vaccinated.ie
See below again!

vaccinations.ie
Cos I believe in them and didn’t want anyone to use it to spread fake and dangerous views.

webdesignandmarketing.ie
This site had good enough backlinks for this topic.

WeightLossSurgery.ie
This is a growing business in Ireland with operations like these costing upwards of €16,000. SEO this website and very good opportunities to generate referrals.

windfarm.ie and windfarms.ie
For a renewable energy client. And to prevent conspiracy theorists abuse it

Workouts.ie
Nice ideal domain where you allow people to buy various workouts from people. An online store of workouts from sports stars, celebs, bodybuilders.