Belfast Telegraph

Pitch perfect performances from firms with can-do approach

Boozeberries is the toast of entrepreneurs as it claims place in London final

By Ron Immink

In a week where the blood is dripping out of the radio, the TV and the newspapers, (double dip recession, default, Greece, austerity) it is great to spend some time with positive people.

I had the pleasure of being on a panel at The Pitch in Belfast where entrepreneurs presented their businesses - very positive experience.

These were great stories of passion, determination and success. Boozeberries, a Northern Ireland company and a member of Small Business Can, won and will be pitching at the final in November in London.

We want to make sure that it wins and anyone that has any tips on winning pitches, please let us know (on the site).

It is timely because the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards is also looking for applications and those tips will come in handy to other Small Business Can users.

At The Pitch event Danny Moore talked about his success at Wombat, how he got the New York Stock Exchange to Belfast and about his vision for restoring Belfast to its former glory as one of the top cities in the world (as it was before the beginning of the 1900s). Why not?

Lara Morgan, founder of Pacific Direct, talked about how she became an overnight success and how she sold her company for £20m. What was particularly interesting was her view on exporting.

Lara travelled all over the world from a young age and she does not understand what the big deal about exporting is.

It is selling to everybody that wants to buy. She thinks we overcomplicate the issue by labelling it as "exporting", with connotations of complex, difficult, etc. Export as a state of mind?

We talked about cold-calling, selling, social media, the internet, managing goldfish (reference to the attention span and the impact of the internet on our brain) and Lord Sugar (what would Alan Sugar say when he would listen to your sales pitch?).

Funny enough, these are very similar to the discussions that are taking place on Small Business Can. With the same positive attitude to match.

It is just as pleasurable to read the post of contributors that are part of what one contributor calls the 'can clan'.

About getting paid, about closing sales, about export, about new business ideas, about how to get from contact to contract and my favourite thread, '11 reasons to be optimistic about Ireland'.

If you are looking for an injection of positivity, or have anything to add, please feel free to visit the site.

It will cheer you up and will be a nice antidote to the negativity. It will connect you with other positive people who refuse to buy into the doom and gloom.

You will find there are still lots of businesses with good stories to tell.

By Ron Immink, co-founder of Small Business Can. Visit their website,