Summary of Business:TMS Environment Ltd is an environmental consultancy firm. The company offers advice in relation to environmental impact assessment, management and control of environmental impacts with a particular emphasis on the water and air environments, noise and vibration and waste. The company has a specialised testing laboratory at their Tallaght premises and employs a team of scientists, engineers and environmental consultants at their main office in Dublin and a subsidiary office in Cork.
What led you to starting your business?I always had an ambition to own my own business and to shape the way that services were offered. My own strong belief is in top quality regardless of what it costs or what effort it takes, and I wanted to be able to guarantee that level of service from my own company.
How did you raise the funds you need for your business?For the first full year in business I had no external funding. I worked long hours on my own for 3 months to get some seed capital together, then gradually recruited staff and built the business from cash generated in the business. We had some tremendous support from suppliers who assisted us with purchasing specialised equipment by effectively acting as bankers in the early years as the banks were not favourably disposed towards funding scientific equipment for start-ups. Our first small overdraft was obtained after 15 months in business.
What is the most significant lesson you have learnt in running your business?Cash-flow, cash-flow and cash-flow – and I should also mention cash-flow!
What has been the proudest moment in your business so far?The moment we received notification of getting permission for a major client to build and operate a major new industrial facility after a challenging and long-drawn out review process. Followed in close second by the moment I wrote a ‘thank you’ email advising sub-consultants of the achievement.
What have been the biggest challenges in your business to date?By far the biggest challenges have related to obtaining funding for various business purposes – it seems to have been a challenge forever.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business?Be prepared to work hard, stick to your beliefs and persevere.
What’s the best business book you’ve ever read?Built to Last – Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
Who is the entrepreneur you admire the most?Steve Jobs
What’s your website?http://www.tmsenv.ie
What Social Networking sites does your business use?None
How has the SFA helped you in your business?The SFA has helped mainly in two ways. In the first instance we have been able to avail of the expertise of staff in the SFA when faced with HR and employment issues such as how to deal with redundancies, parental leave and so on. We have also benefited very considerably from advice and assistance in securing funding for various business purposes, especially in the last 3 years.
Contact details:Imelda Shanahan
TMS Environment Ltd
Telephone: 01 4626710
Address: 53 Broomhill Drive, Tallaght, Dublin 24