Meet The Entrepreneur
In 2005, Deirdre started her in her town, Bean me up, Coffee! ‘to boldly go where no café had gone before’.
When she is not naming companies using Star Trek puns, she spends most of her time being a hands-on manager. Hospitality is a challenging sector; competition from big chains and keeping up with changing consumer tastes are the least of her problems. She has difficulty getting suitably qualified employees and her broadband is expensive but still unreliable. She can barely update her listing on Limerick.ie sometimes, not to mention the customer complaints about patchy Wi-Fi.
Deirdre is a member of Limerick Chamber and while she trusts them to lobby on behalf of all businesses in the region, she would like to be able to contact the council directly more often as a ratepayer. She has phoned about the derelict building next door but can’t get through to the relevant staff. Deirdre’s unit is located in a lane off the main thoroughfares so she has concerns about footfall and is considering a move to a busier street.
Always trying to be ahead of the curve, Deirdre did lots of research on her potential relocation. Insight Limerick provided good-quality information including footfall counter numbers so she picked the best option. High-speed cables has been installed at her new site so the customers can surf the net and she makes sure to fill in the online surveys in My Point as part of her submission to the Limerick Development Plan in between serving cappuccinos and cakes. Some gadget in the CCTV has shown that Bean me up, Coffee! Is lucky to be based on a route with low traffic so there is a proposal to pedestrianise part of the street. Deirdre is so excited she has the web form ready to send to apply for a permit for picnic tables outside on the new paving.
She has noticed a gap in the local market to sell her custom coffee blend and novelty baked goods online (Kling-bun or Captain’s Yule Log, anyone?) and the Digital Retail Pilot is helping her to further develop her online presence and get her existing website and social media channels enabled for e-commerce. Her somewhat ‘nerdy’ business name, menu and décor have brought her to the attention to the local keyboard warriors, programmers and designers. A nice young lad called Sam from UL’s Computer Gaming Society organises meetings in the café along with Digital Champion workshops and the occasional ‘mapathon meet-up’ (whatever they are).
Deirdre has more time thanks to up-skilling her new workers using the Staff Training Portal; she is confident that the sky, or maybe the universe, is the limit for her business now.