Q: Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: The Irish Experience is an authentic Eco Adventure Tourism Company based in the South East of Ireland. We love Ireland and we love adventure! Our job is to show our clients the beauty, the heritage, and the history of the country from a truly unique adventurous perspective, while importantly to us respecting the environment and leaving no trace of ever passing through our beautiful land.
Q: Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: Wexford born and bred, I like to think of myself as the heart and the drive behind The Irish Experience. After pursuing a career in Multimedia and then in Purchasing Management, I finally gave into his passion and packed my bag to go travel around the world. Working in adventure tourism along the way seemed to be something that just fitted perfectly. I mean I was always a big ‘outdoorsy’ guy but back home in Wexford it was never thought of as a career. Traveling the world opened my eyes and I returned to Ireland in 2013 to study Adventure Tourism Management in the kingdom county of Kerry. I had a plan and on the strength of this plan The Irish Experience was born.
I think I’m a natural adventurer and adrenalin junkie really, there is little I haven’t tried – from negotiating raging rapids on rivers in New Zealand to jumping out of perfectly good planes at 19,000 feet. There will be more to come for sure.
Q: What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: During my travels I was struck by two things – the lack of dedicated adventure tourism providers in Wexford and Ireland in general and more importantly the potential this beautiful country has to host adventure travelers. Our natural resources for adventure knows no bounds.
Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Believe in what you are doing even when others don’t. If you believe in yourself then that is all that matters. You WILL prove them wrong.
Never Never Ever give up on your dream or settle for something lesser then you really want.
Keep your mind open to advice; don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to other likeminded people and you might find it extremely helpful. “two head are better then one”
Q: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Self-Motivation – You just have to have it, those long nights won’t be possible without it.
Communication – You need to talk to people!
Flexibility & Adaptability – You can’t afford to rest on your laurels.
Q: How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: Physically 12 and Mentally 24.
Q: To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Hard work and dedication is top of the list but that has to be backed up and supported by many other aspects in your live. Without the backing of my family and friends my dream would have never materialized.
Q: How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: I went down the road of all the normal channels of marketing. Online with Social media, Google ad words etc. Also print media with Newspaper ads, brochures and anything else that would stand out. But believe it or not it is word of mouth that wins the day. Nothing is more powerful than a friend’s opinion.
Q: Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: My biggest investor was myself though savings accumulated on my travels for that exact purpose of setting my company up. I may look at future investors as I look to expand the business further.
Q: What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Let me tell you that in 5-10 year!!
Q: Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: I really see myself being owner of the biggest/fastest growing tourism business in Ireland. I see great things for The Irish Experience and there is a lot more to come!
Q: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: There are a few companies’ out there which I can look at and say “I’d like to be where they are now” But the one which I admire most is Wilderness Scotland. They hold the same kind of business morals as The Irish Experience and have won many accolades for it.
Q: How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: For me, in the tourism/hospitality industry having the right staff is essential to the success of your business. These people are the face of your business and first impressions are everything! They have to share similar values to myself so that the company image is projected who I would want it projected. This is easier said than done but I have been very lucky in this way.
Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: The moment I got the first booking was a moment I will never forget. It is what all that preparation was for. Sales are everything because without them you don’t have a business, When that first booking came in I then knew I really had a business!