90% of Companies In Ireland Have Under 10 Employees
It may not surprise some of you but it did slightly surprise me when you keep hearing about all the multinational corporations and big brands that have set up base in Ireland in the past 10 to 20 years.
The very underbelly of the domestic market in Ireland is held together by the SME and the strength of that SME has been tested to the extreme over the past few years.
I currently work on a project where we are updating the entire business database for Ireland not through the CRO or Public Directories but where we actually talk and verify the contact details for over 700 SME’s every day even on Saturdays. We have talked too and updated 120,000 companies so far.
When you ask them how they are doing and although trying to remain positive the overall answer is that business is still a struggle and the domestic market has still some time to go before an SME owner can start to feel comfortable again.
Challenges that we see are not necessarily access to credit or increased consumer confidence but in the shape of two pillars that will reshape how we will do business in the future
Eircodes or the New Irish Postcode system and the EU Data Protection Legislation due for implementation in 2017 or 2018.
Eircodes will not be compulsory for the consumer to use so they will not have any immediate effect on an SME but for a marketeer or data person they will be like a golden waterfall where we finally can deliver mail or goods without the van driver going missing for 2 hours and we can finally match addresses accurately and quickly on any database.
The applications wlll result in getting your data into shape, getting rid of duplicates greater profiling of your data so you can clearly see who your most profitable customers are and where precisely on this lovely Island of ours they actually reside
Data Protection however introduces an entire new challenge to every SME as it will be the responsibility of the owner to understand there obligations under the new Data Protection rules (No Excuses) so for example that list you gave to your top sales guy Jonny to call and make some sales could be in breach of DP rules as you will most likely need to get the recipients consent to contact them for unsolicited calls or the 50 emails you picked up online and you decide to contact them out of the blue could also be regarded as a breach of DP rules as explicit consent was not given to you to make contact with them. Allot has yet to be formalised but the new Data Protection Legislation will be a game changer so keep an eye on this.