ACORNS alumni and Mayo-based entrepreneur Barbara O’Flaherty talks about growing her digital business in rural Ireland.
We talk to rural women entrepreneurs from across Ireland who recently took part in the ACORNS programme.
Women in rural Ireland with new businesses or at least with well-developed ideas are being invited to join next phase of the programme ACORNS 8. The ACORNS programme is designed to support early-stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland through a peer learning approach. Thanks to the support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the voluntary contribution of time by Lead Entrepreneurs, there is no charge for those selected to participate.
“The interaction with other participants was a lovely sounding board for new ideas and different ways to do things”
The call is now open for applicants for ACORNS 8 and 50 female entrepreneurs from across the country will be selected to participate. Anyone interested in receiving an application form ahead of the midnight 23 September deadline for ACORNS 8 should register their interest here
Let’s Get Digital
Barbara O’Flaherty, from Bunnanadden, Co Sligo, has over 17 years marketing experience in sectors such as retail, tourism, hospitality, entertainment, industrial, and services. This gave her a solid foundation to launch her own agency Let’s Get Digital in July 2019.
For years, Barbara observed the dramatic shift in marketing towards digital marketing. She studied the trends closely and continued to gain knowledge and experience until she was ready to strike out on her own.
Let’s Get Digital helps Irish and UK businesses to increase sales online through a combination of paid search, SEO, paid social media, display advertising and email marketing. On average, the company has increased client online revenue by 25%.
Barbara initially worked from home before moving to an office in Swinford, Co Mayo. At the beginning, she identified any areas she needed more knowledge on or training in and immersed herself in the different aspects of digital marketing.
She also made a point of attending business events to expand her contacts and get to know the business climate. Through this, she began to get asked to talk at events, and give workshops and mentoring for government agencies and businesses in her specialised fields, which helped to build her client base.
Let’s Get Digital currently has one employee. It has a range of clients, from insurance to skincare and from government organisations to small businesses.
“ACORNS gave me the confidence to reach higher and to never give up. The interaction with other participants was a lovely sounding board for new ideas and different ways to do things.”
Barbara intends to grow her team in the next year and to grow revenue by 35% by 2023. She also plans to expand her client base, particularly by acquiring more international clients.