Summary of Business:Fergusons Hearing Aid Clinic is an independent Hearing Aid Audiology practice owned and managed by Peter and Margaret Ferguson who are both qualified hearing aid audiologists. Being independent means that we are not affiliated to any one laboratory or manufacturer and this allows the practice to offer the wearer hearing aids from the widest possible selection.
What led you to starting your business?The late Willie Ferguson, Peter's father, established the practice in 1967 which was incorporated into the existing family pharmacy business in Limerick where Margaret also worked. After Peter qualified as a pharmacist he went on to qualify in Hearing Aid Audiology. As Peter developed the practice he decided that this would be his area of specialty and it quickly became apparent that more space was needed. The pharmacy business was sold and the current premises purchased and renovated to a very high standard in 2000. Margaret subsequently qualified and their son-in-law Cian who also qualified in the past number of years has now joined the practice.
How did you raise the funds you need for your business?We funded the purchase and renovation with a mixture of savings and bank loans.
What is the most significant lesson you have learnt in running your business?To take a long view in all major decisions. Grow the business slowly and make it the "go to" place for whatever you are offering. Be consistent in your customer care and put the customer first and your income will follow.
What has been the proudest moment in your business so far?We are extremely proud that Peter and our practice team are three times winner of the prestigious Audiologist of the Year award for Ireland. This is a Europe wide competition where patients are invited to share their stories and say how their audiologist has made a major difference to their lives.We are also the only Irish practice to be invited to join the Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Practitioners (AIHHP). AIHHP is a UK based network of highly qualified individuals from different countries all focused on the same objective - to provide excellent audiological care to those who require help and advice with hearing related issues. Membership opens doors for us, and in turn our patients, to some of the foremost names in hearing aid audiology and hearing aid audiology research, Ear Nose and Throat consultants and a host of other healthcare professionals.
What have been the biggest challenges in your business to date?The biggest challenges we face are keeping on top of regulation and returns in a small practice.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business?Look after the business and your income will follow.
What’s the best business book you’ve ever read?The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
Who is the entrepreneur you admire the most?Our son Will who has set up an IOT company,VT Networks, with his partner Mark Bannon and it is admirable how they have effectively fund raised and grown their start up company in the very difficult business climate in Ireland in the last few years.
What’s your website?http://.ferghac.ie
What Social Networking sites does your business use?https://www.facebook.com/FergusonsHearingAidClinic
How has the SFA helped you in your business?SFA helps us cope with regulation, HR issues and anything that arises in terms of running a business. A quickly responded to email or phone call allows us deal with issues as they arise rather than waiting and having to follow up.
Contact details:Margaret Ferguson
Fergusons Hearing Aid Clinic
Telephone: 061 313833
Address: 61 Catherine Street, Limerick