January Blues

Last year I was speaking to small business owners who were feeling good about pre-Christmas sales but pessimistic in advance of January. We all know people hold on to their purse strings after splashing out on Santa, food, gifts and many borrow money for this period. Add to that the many people through restrictions and lockdowns who want to remain safe and healthy have taken to shopping online rather than face the risk of catching Covid or queuing in crowed shops.

So prior to the dreaded arrival of January I asked them how the handled this time, how did they prepare. Many said they use this quiet time to brainstorm or innovate for the months ahead. This is a reaction during the downturn. Being prepared well in advance to hit the ground running while this slow down in sales is taking its affect is vital. Timing is everything.

Acting in advance rather than reacting when the inevitable time is upon them would give them an edge. Talking to their customers, asking questions about how they could encourage them, to come back to them during this time would give them good insights. This requires active listening.

Onboarding new customers during the surge in sales is a good tactic for growth in the slow months. This is easier if you have an online presence. Although most businesses have some kind of online presence, not all of them have, many still only have a Facebook page that they update every few months. Having an online newsletter for offers or campaigns and finding out what customers put on their “Wish List” looks like, special offers for returning customers or reductions on similar products can keep your business alive in your customers mind. Not getting caught up in spending on Google Ads, boosting posts or Tweets vital.

You have the capacity to build and keeping your marketing budget in mind for this time is crucial. This is usually spent during and advance of the shopping frenzy. Marketing does not have to cost a fortune when done properly. Besides relying on a solitary post to social media, using your newsletter and or YouTube to speak to your customers, both are free and effective. Do not make the mistake that this should be done daily and like everything else we try it should be monitored and if there is little to no traction then do not waste time or money on it. Be different to what’s currently out there and be impactful. This aspect of business can be an endless money pit and with little to no results.

There are many ways to market your business without using social media or other forms of marketing designed to depart you from your money. There are lots of business slots on local and national radio who are happy to interview business people free of charge. Also plenty of podcasts out there too that are well worth researching.

Best of luck.


Solutions Consultancy Ireland, "We challenge ourselves to be exceptional".

In October we worked with John Rankin, Managing Director, Corporate121 who developed a new and innovative service for employers and HR departments "a real-time online platform that looks at business systems from a personnel perspective and analyses if people are or will be good at working together or not, because 'people work with people".

Established in 2008 with an impressive array of corporate clients in their portfolio, the service covers Team Interaction Review, Conflict Analysis, People Collaboration Solutions, Stress Identification and Causes. Their programmes ensure the improvement of employee engagement by comparing personalities to see if they are compatible or not and offers real people solutions. This insight into human nature and interpersonal behaviour allows the business leader to impartially select the correct person to fit the right team - giving substantially higher productivity and profitability. Work can be done inb person or remotely in the global market.


Here is what John had to say about our service:

"Bernadette is an amazingly knowledgeable mentor and business consultant. The way she helped me view all the aspects of my business from looking at the question "Was I targeting the right type of client or business" to cost structures was a real eye opener. Highly recommended".

Solutions Consultancy Ireland are proud to challenge themselves to be exceptional. We work with SMEs, Micro-businesses, Start-ups and Entrepreneurs to provide them with the very latest tools for Innovation, Creativity and Transformation.

Bernadette Clancy,
Managing Director.

Solutions Consultancy Ireland, "We challenge ourselves to be exceptional".

Delighted with achieving 100% in my favourite subjects, Creativity, Innovation and Transformation, and it's my twelfth certificate from some of the best universities on the globe. The best thing though is that since 2015 as I study either in college physically or online, I apply all these new techniques and methodologies to my work as a management consultant, mentor or business advisor, so that I can deliver the very best to my clients. Building your repertoire is a vital part of being an asset to others and to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

The more industries you have worked in, the more experience you have gained at all levels, the further you grow through promotions, the more you can bring to the table. I have always been an advocate of CPD and this is something I have engaged in over the last twenty years. Pulling together what I learn and applying elements to projects I work on over the years, whether through state supports such as Local Enterprise Offices, Development Companies and Enterprise Ireland for all that encompasses entrepreneurship, from micro businesses to SMEs, with courses, workshops or boot-camps and in my business advice / mentoring sessions. Lately there is a higher demand for this one-to-one service as business owners strive to reinvent their service through redesigning their business model. 

Mentor at She is Mom

Bernadette Clancy has a wealth of experience in a wide variety of management positions and a spectrum of industries, ranging from hospitality to waste management, manufacturing and property development. She has post graduate qualifications in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise and Management Development.

She set up Solutions Consultancy Ireland in 2015 to provide a resource for innovation, design thinking and strategic skills to companies irrespective of size or function.

Since then she has been instrumental in helping start-ups, micro businesses, entrepreneurs and SME’s throughout Ireland to thrive and grow using the most current management techniques in Planning, Management Development, Business Strategy for Social Impact, Sales Strategies, Innovation and Design Thinking.

She also specializes in the Business Model Canvas and using the nine building blocks to differentiate your business idea, bring value and find the product market fit. The art of the sales conversation (yourself to employers and your business to investors) a toolkit which is essential for entrepreneurs stepping out into the world.

The importance of networking, how and where to network, tips that once practiced and fine tuned gives the entrepreneur confidence to make an impact on potential employers, clients or partners.

In 2020 she founded Crafters of Ireland, a support service for the arts and crafts sector. She is a believer in continuous professional development, and she has proven that even if you have left school early, you can learn what you need to know specifically for your needs to have a viable, remarkable, and thriving business and/or career.

Finally, learning can be tough, but it should also be fun. She is the mother of three grown up children who juggled rearing children with study and building her career. Bernadette really enjoys meeting new people and she strives to have a lasting positive impact on the lives of those she mentors.