Summary of Business:Elemex is a specialist manufacturer of industrial electric heating elements, process heating assemblies, and temperature control systems. We offer hundreds of standard products, as well as a bespoke design service, where we work with customers on their intended heating application, providing the optimal, cost effective solution based on many years of accumulated industry experience .Our expertise covers all areas and sectors, from commercial catering to hazardous area and off-shore facilities.
What led you to starting your business?Elemex was founded in response to a perceived need for a flexible and efficient source of heating solutions throughout Irish industry. We began with just five standard products, and over the years this has expanded to the present day situation where we have in excess of ten thousand recorded designs. We have a large, established customer base in Ireland and the U.K. and regularly export to Europe, the USA, the Middle East, and China.
How did you raise the funds you need for your business?The startup funds were borrowed personally by the founder and present CEO, having been initially turned down by a bank. This money was very quickly repaid, and the company has grown organically since then.
What is the most significant lesson you have learnt in running your business?The biggest and best lesson to learn in business, is that all business is about people. Personal relationships form the essential core of all enterprise, and business revolves around the interactions between a company and its staff, customers, and suppliers. Treating all with respect and dignity will pay dividends.
What has been the proudest moment in your business so far?We were runners up in the 2015 National Enterprise Awards, and were recognised for innovative designs and products. We also have many proud moments in our everyday business, when satisfied customers call to tell us how our service has helped them keep their businesses operating smoothly and efficiently.
What have been the biggest challenges in your business to date?There are multiple challenges to be dealt with every single day: funding and cash flow, staff, customer, and supplier relationships, bad debts, keeping up with technology, adhering to regulation and safety requirements, quality control, navigating government bureaucracy, and so on. This is what being in business is about, - constantly meeting these challenges, planning for the expected ones, reacting to the unexpected ones, making the best decision you can in each case, and then moving on to the next, without ever looking back in regret.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business?Keep going. If you believe in yourself and your business idea, you CAN make it work. Just don't give up and don't give in. There is always another way. If you are refused finance by a bank, there are other sources. If you can't get your idea or product to market by one channel, find another. If you meet a solid wall, go around it, or under, it, or over it, or through it. Or knock it down! Keep going, you'll get there.
What’s the best business book you’ve ever read?Good to Great (Jim Collins) and E-myth revisited (Michael Gerber)
Who is the entrepreneur you admire the most?Richard Branson as an entrepreneur who stayed grounded and enjoyed himself,
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as the men who most shaped our modern world
What’s your website?http://www.elemexheating.com
What Social Networking sites does your business use?https://plus.google.com/+Elemexheatingltd
How has the SFA helped you in your business?We have often turned to SFA for advice on areas of business and regulatory adherence. Their in house expertise is available whenever needed, and this alone makes the membership fee worth every cent. SFA also provides a networking forum for small and medium businesses, where examples and advice are also often freely available from other members.
Contact details:Gerard Healy
Address: U16, Newgrange Business park, Donore Rd, Drogheda, Co. Louth