John M Shanahan & Co.

linking practice to business

Chartered Accountants
Registered Auditors

Phone: 057 93 22100


Starting your Own Business Today

Whether you’re researching promising market opportunities, thinking about business ideas or already have an idea which you think could be the “next big thing”, we’ve got the resources at Shanahan’s to guide and inspire the entrepreneur in you which will ultimately help you on the path to start-up success.

Angel Investors

Starting your own Business

Start a New Company & get Tax back

Company Secretarial Duties under the Companies Act 2014

Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Things you should know about Selling


The things everyone should know about Selling

There are thousands of books out there on Selling, How to sell etc etc however, everything you need to know about selling really boils down to the following simple rules:

1. Specialise in Selling one thing and get good at it

The notion that a great salesperson can sell anything to anybody is as silly as the idea that a car mechanic can service any engine. The more you specialize in terms of product, service, and industry, the more likely you are to sell successfully.

2. Sort through the sales Leads

When you're selling, the last thing you want or need is a huge list of sales leads. You only want to spend time on prospects who will probably buy. Therefore, the tighter your target list, the more likely you'll find someone who's actually interested.

3. Do your Research

Never, ever, contact a prospect before you've checked out the person's LinkedIn profile, researched his or her company and industry, and found at least one good reason why the prospect should want to talk with you, today.

4. Talk your way in

Your initial goal is not to sell but to get into a conversation to find out if it the prospect is a potential customer. Remember, a wrong sales pitch -whether spoken, written, videoed, or whatever -is not just a waste of time; it's actually preventing a sale from ever happening.

5. Be a person not a salesperson

There's absolutely nothing wrong with selling for a living or having to sell in order to make yourself or your company successful. However, most people dislike any behavior that smacks of the showroom. Be yourself, not a clone of  your top Sales Idol.

6. Quickly qualify your prospect

When you do get into conversation, your goal is to find out whether that prospect has a need for what you're offering and the money to buy it. If not, eliminate that prospect from your list. Don't waste your time or that of the prospect's.

7. Focusing on the customer's customer

When you're assessing needs, what's most important is always what your prospect's customers need from your prospect to be successful. Your job is to help the prospect meet those needs. Your own needs, of course, are your business.

8. Adapt to a Buying process

Selling is not something that you do to a customer. It's something that you do for a customer. This means understanding how the customer buys the sort of thing you're selling and providing assistance as needed to make the purchase happen, while working upon the repeat business.

9. The Close

When you've got what you hope is a bona fide potential customer, it's hard to risk hearing a no that smashes your dream of a big sale. Nevertheless, if you don't ask for the business, or wait too long to ask for it, you're going to lose the sale anyway - timing can be everything.

10. Long term Relationships

The only way to make selling easier is to build up your database of business contacts, not just of contacts but of people whom you've personally helped become more successful. Eventually, you won't need to sell as vigorously because your friends will do your footwork for you.

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Time management Tips for Small Business Owners

July 30, 2015

If you’re a small business owner I need not tell you how important your time is. In fact there is no resource more precious than your own time.
You might be of the view that money deserves that particular accolade but you can always make more money. On the other hand, there will only be 24 hours in a day and that won't change for the foreseeable future unless you have invented a time machine. If that’s the case I doubt that money will be much of a concern either.

1. E-mails

You may spend a surprisingly sizable chunk of your time everyday checking and replying to your emails. The best thing to do is set a specified time where you will take care of your emails and any responses that you need to formulate. If you send and receive a massive amount of emails each day, maybe first thing in the morning, at lunch time and before you leave in the evening.

Checking your emails throughout the day really just takes you away from doing other tasks. You need to get into the mindset that just because an email pops up in your inbox doesn’t mean that you have to reply to it immediately, forsaking whatever other work you were doing. Rather, you shouldn’t allow anything to take your attention away from your work unless it is absolutely critical that you respond at that time.

2. Plan your day

The most productive time you will ever spend is the time you schedule, a simple Excel sheet on the face of your computer is a start. Whether you do this in the evening for the next day or first thing in the morning, having an idea of how your day will go is a powerful tool.
After some practice you’ll be able to tell within reason what you can expect to get done each day. The next step is to put the most important tasks that you need to get done at the top of your to do list.
As the days pass, you’ll find that you are consistently getting critically important work done on time and your business should be in good shape as a result.

3. Out-source and Delegate

Delegating tasks to trusted staff frees up your time to do the more important and critical work. When running a small business it can feel like you need to do everything yourself - don't! Generally that's not be the best approach, especially if you can improve staff morale and give yourself extra time through delegating.
Think about it this way, would you rather do reports which a staff member would be capable of doing and put back an important meeting with a client or delegate the reports and go ahead with the meeting which could generate new leads.
If certain expertise does not exist within your company, perhaps consider outsourcing if your budget allows. If you spend 4 hours resolving a problem which takes an expert  say 30 minutes to do for a relatively small fee, then you need to think long and hard about exactly how valuable that time is to you

4. Interruption

One thing not to do when planning your day is to allocate all of your time from 9 to 5 to carry out certain tasks and then put pressure on yourself to complete them. That’s not feasible.
You are going to be interrupted at least once during the day, whether you need to deal with a customer issue, help a member of staff, it’s going to happen. If you expect to be interrupted then you’ll have to learn to prioritize the most important of your tasks and you won’t be giving unrealistic promises about when you will have your tasks completed.

5. Saying NO!

Are you a ‘yes person’? If someone asks you to do something do you do it out of politeness even if you don’t want to? Learn to say NO, because the time you need to run your business properly is more important, if its not something in your field, it will take a lot longer and may never pay you - upshot -you are not happy your customer is not happy; if you cannot do and are happy to say NO refer where possible.
Unless it’s something you absolutely have to do, you shouldn’t be doing anything that you don’t think will be productive for your business.

6. Idle time

Whether it’s waiting for meetings, appointments, the train or having a sandwich, we all spend idle time throughout the day. Use this time efficiently if you can.

It could be a great time to catch up and reply to those e-mails you haven’t read yet. If you can get small tasks out of the way while you wait, they won’t eat into time you have set aside for other tasks later in the day. Use your Tablet or phone Apps to speed up applications

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The Duties of the Company Secretary under the Companies Act 2014

July 30, 2015

The Companies Act 2014 (the “Act”) states that every company must have a company secretary and in relation to their duties, the Act states:
The duties of the secretary of a company shall, without derogating from the secretary’s statutory and other legal duties, be such duties as are delegated to the secretary, from time to time, by the board of directors of the Company”.

These duties come from statute, common law and contract law and are in addition to those duties as are delegated to the company secretary by the directors. Primarily those duties cover co-signing the annual return with one of the directors, maintaining the statutory registers, maintaining up to date minute books of meetings of the Board and the Annual General Meeting. They also ensure that all filings made in the Companies Registration Office and the Revenue Commissioners are made accurately and on time.

Statutory Duties

The existing statutory responsibility of the Secretary to ensure compliance with the Companies Acts which is contained in the Companies Act 1963 has been removed and is now the responsibility of the Directors. However, the company secretary may still be open to prosecution as an “officer in default” for failure of the company to comply with a relevant requirement.
As is the case with directors, on appointment, the company secretary must make a public declaration acknowledging that they have legal duties under the Companies Acts, other statutes and common law.

Common Law Duties

Company secretaries also owe some limited fiduciary duties to the company, unlike directors however, the Act does not set out an easily identifiable list of those fiduciary duties. The company secretary does not have any voting rights at board meetings and cannot make decisions at board level, unless the company secretary is also a director. The company secretary may be held liable for any loss arising as a result of or a breach of duty, particularly when a company secretary is also acting in some other capacity e.g. a company director or as an employee of the company.

The Appointment of a Company Secretary

The Act imposes new duties on directors when appointing the company secretary in that they must ensure that the “person appointed as secretary has the skills or resources necessary to discharge his or her statutory and other duties”. For private companies it is the discretion of the board to determine the appropriate skill set of the secretary.

The directors have a duty to ensure that the person appointed has the skills necessary so as to enable him or her to maintain the records required to be kept under the Act.

Here at Shanahan's we can assist your company with all company secretarial aspects relating to the new Companies Act 2014.  Our team have extensive skills, knowledge and expertise to assist and advise companies with regard to their company secretarial compliance and governance requirements.

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Angel Investors and what they are looking for in a company.

July 21, 2015

Bear in mind you must be prepared to give Angels Investors what they want if you want them to invest in your company. Also you need to know that angel investors typically reject three quarters of investment proposals sight unseen.

So how do you get an angel investor to invest in your business?

What are angel investors looking for?

Read more: Starting your Own Business Today

Business Links

Outlined hereunder are a list of useful contacts which can provide assistance and information which in many respects acts as supports to those running a business today.

Central Statistics Office          
Citizens Information
Chambers Ireland
Companies Registration Office
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Department of Social Protection
Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI)
Enterprise Boards
Enterprise Ireland
Environmental Protection Agency
Guinness Enterprise Centre
Health & Safety Authority
Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC)                              
Irish Exporters Association
Irish Franchising Association
Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME)
National Standards Authority of Ireland
Irish Patents Office
Revenue Commissioners
Small Firms Association (SFA)
Údarás Na Gaeltachta








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