Asset 2

Grow your business – a panel discussion

11 June 2018
Screenshot 2020 05 25 At 14


Last week, I attended Baker Tilly Hughes Blake’s Tax and Economic conference at the Shelbourne Hotel to hear excellent speeches from three leaders in their fields:

Alma O’Brien – Head of Tax at Baker Tilly Hughes Blake
Fergal O’Brien – Director of Policy and Public Affairs at IBEC
Jim Flavin – Founder of DCC

The final talk with Jim Flavin was a fireside chat with Baker Tilly’s Managing Partner, Neil Hughes, where he discussed starting DCC in 1976, the growth of the business and their investment focus backing entrepreneurial management teams.

He also gave some really insightful tips on how to build a large company and what was key to their success. Being in Mason Alexander and seeing our own growth over the past 5 years, it was great to hear his thoughts.  I’ve outlined some of his top tips below:

  1. Keep good people around you i.e. management team

  2. Return on capital employed – forget about margins

  3. Cash generated v low working capital intensity

  4. When growing, whether new offices internationally or by acquisition, you need to have a diversified group. You need the right management structures to develop the diversity and management need to have core knowledge of the area

  5. Board Directors – attract outside talent on to your board

  6. Have good and trusted professional advisers

  7. Have weekly central management meetings – be disciplined; review last week and plan for the week ahead. Keep very good minutes

  8. Team building – have a strategy session each year

  9. Attention to detail – think of your customers and suppliers

  10. Cut your losses and focus on your winners. Don’t waste management’s times on things that aren’t working, put effort in to the things that are and concentrate on that

  11. Technology – someone in management has to always be thinking about technology. Needs to be assigned

  12. Ingenerate belief and commitment in the company

  13. Celebrate success


Other good points he made:

  • – Comradery in a team – no internal politics

  • – Key traits of a person when hiring:

  • – Rooted people

  • – Nice people with good interpersonal skills

  • – People who fit in – he would always hire better personality over skill set

  • – Must have passion and commitment

  • – Skill set


His final point: Never shy of taking holidays – switching off is very important and helps gather your thoughts.


Written by: James Lynch

(01) 685 4414