Mags Boland Murphy, located in Wexford is the Founder/Principal Consultant and Profit Planner of Bofin Consultancy. Mags in an interview with IIBN revealed that Bofin Consultancy works nationally and internationally with focused and committed SME businesses and business owners/managers who may have specific challenges in the business or who may be struggling with sales and marketing. We help them to overcome the challenges, to plan, make progress, package proficiently and promote in such a way that they reach their ideal clients consistently, recharge revenue, make a profit and achieve sustainable success.

You can visit the Bofin Consultancy website here

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

  • One key priority for me is to ensure that we maintain our client centric focus, this is essential. We need to continue to listen and hear the business owners and understand where they are and where they want to be. It is our job to help them overcome the challenges and help them to get to where they want to be.
  • Another priority of mine as a professional and as a business owner is to be honest and real with clients. We tell them the truth, time and money are too valuable to be wasted, I do not believe in wasting either.
  • We help businesses to make money, it is that simple. Bottom line, my goal is to help businesses focus on the full picture because it is all the pieces in the business that count and help you to make money, “one man on a pitch will not win the business game”.
  • I am dedicated to working with and supporting focused and committed businesses and business owners, I keep that goal and priority in focus at all times. These business owners are our people, this is who we enjoy supporting in the best way possible.
  • A goal I have always had in my role and in my business is to support and help businesses to reach their full potential and to help businesses to nurture potential. I am dedicated to helpings businesses, business teams and individuals in businesses to reach their full potential…..there may be more in the tank so to speak.
  • One focus I have every year in my business is to give back to charity in some way.
  • I also support our future generations every year and help them to believe that if you want to achieve and succeed, you can, it is making the smart choices along the way that counts.
  • As a business we need to continue to learn, develop, be innovative and grow. None of us know everything. We lead and champion this piece. Being “grand” doesn’t cut it. I am passionate about always upping the ante and being better with every client, on every day, in every month and every year that I am in business.
  • Surrounding ourselves with those who believe as we do is a priority. What I mean here is that I want my team to be on the same page at all times, be professional and be interested in the work we do and to have fun at work as well. We get the work done to a high standard while also providing an enjoyable work experience and that is super important for me; to have professionals who are happy at work, working with us.
  • One other priority for me personally in my role is to keep a sense of business work life balance in place. We need to care for ourselves physically and mentally to be the best version of ourselves. We need to see the bigger picture.

What are your biggest challenges?

  • I find that there are lots that I want to do and I need to remind myself that we need to take one thing at a time and go from there, it will all get done.
  • Managing time is a constant in the business, it will always be a challenge, we do it well and it is something that I must always be aware and cognizant of.
  • Saying “No” is powerful and at times it can be a challenge for me if I am honest.
  • Uncertainty is a challenge right now for us and for every business owner globally. Usually you can project or forecast in some realistic sense but not so now.

How has your business strategy been adapted in the context of the Covid-19 crisis?

Our strategy has changed in minor ways due to COVID19, we have now moved our business from 40% online/remote access to 100% online and remote access until such time as we are beyond COVID. We have also moved some of our programmes to online only.

Our revenue looked somewhat different prior to COVID but what we may have lost we have regained.

Prior to COVID we were about to commence the development of a new online portal for our clients only. This has now commenced and we will have it developed ahead of time which is great. Speaking support that we have provided offline moved to online events as of March.

Overall, we are doing similar work just in an alternative and innovative way, the work still gets done, the solution is still delivered, the client is still helped and supported, the job is still completed.

Tell us something interesting about the business.

We have never been defined by our physical location and have worked with businesses in Sweden, the UK, Sri Lanka and Belgium. The business is named after an island off the west coast of Ireland, Inishbofin. It is a mighty spot and well worth a visit after covid. The business is accredited as a Thought Leader in Revenue Growth Strategy. We do the work, we look after clients but a prerequisite for working in the business is that you must have fun too…..I insist on it ! J

Tell us the about the biggest risk you have taken in business. 

The biggest risk I took in my business was introducing two new pieces at the same time….remotely!

7 years ago, I introduced online and remote access and it was a risk as clients at the time (or so I thought) had to be talked into moving to an online manner of working.

The second risk was while I was based overseas for 12 months I made the decision to engage my first employee and that genuinely represented a risk to me. I have not looked back since.

Tell us about the worst day you’ve had since you started in business. 

This is not your obvious worst day in business but for me it was the worst one for me; my dad had just passed away, I was incredibly busy and my husband was working overseas, I was travelling from Dublin to Wexford, I pulled into the side of the road and I just broke down, cried my eyes out.

I was grieving and until that moment I thought I was doing okay, but I wasn’t, it was a hard realisation. It was a tough day, I made a call and did something I have never done and cancelled appointments I had that day and appointments for the rest of that week.

I realised that I was not invincible and I was in pain. In business we often feel like we must keep going no matter what, sometimes life catches up and kicks us in the gut. We need to give ourselves time when life interrupts us and just allow ourselves to be. Business will be there to be done tomorrow.

How can IIBN members help your business?

Connect with me and with my business. We are all about connecting and finding out more about other businesses and business owners, that is what I love. Tell us about the great stuff in your business. Tell us about your challenges and if we can help, we will. If you want to connect, collaborate or engage with a positive and professional outfit who can think big and outside the box then we are here to support and connect.

How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?

I am actually on the Brexit panel for my region and working with businesses to help them assess the impact of Brexit on their business.

 

For me, it may affect us with regard to working with UK clients but we have prepared for that, we work with clients internationally and we have been as proactive as we need to be. It is great to see our own clients overcoming the challenge of preparing for being ready for Brexit, having knowledge and planning are powerful pieces for these businesses.

I am fearful for some businesses who are not giving Brexit real consideration, that may be a mistake. It is really worth considering how/if it will affect your business.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

Success for me is not all about the bottom-line. Yes, in business the figures really count and really matter. However, for me you need to get the balance right.

For us success is about sustaining the ideal clients and business we have and building on that in a balanced way. I also have a business where I can provide a livelihood not just for myself but for my colleagues as well. Success is also about helping others to succeed and nurturing potential.

What drives me? I honestly can say that it is my own background and my family. From a little girl, I always said “I am going to do better, I would love to work for myself”. I also wanted to make some positive difference in the world. My daughter drives me too, I want her to know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to and keep your kindness and humanity in the mix at the same time. Where you come from does not define where you go!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

I have 3 pieces of advice:

1.Don’t ever think you know it all, because none of us do. Invest in knowledge and learning. If you need expertise in business that you do not have yourself, then go and find someone who does.

2.Best piece of advice I was given is to go with your gut…..it won’t let you down.

3.Surround yourself with likeminded people and those who have your back.

What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

There have been some mighty moments but honestly the best ones were working with clients through challenge and change and seeing them rise like a phoenix. I absolutely love to see the sheer determination that clients have to adapt, change, overcome and achieve. It is tough stuff, it is true grit and it inspires me every day.

Moving from 40% remote to 100% remote has been successful. It was not easy but it has been a success and it has sustained our business.

Seeing one client in particular who was hugely challenged when lockdown hit succeed with a changed business model and exceed revenue figures from last year while managing to maintain 95% of their employees. This client business had a number of hard decisions to make and new habits to establish across the business and it was not easy for them but their success is something I championed and cheered for.

What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020/21?

 For businesses and the world in general I see the following opportunities for growth beyond COVID:

  • Significant departure to remote working.
  • Growth of innovative online technology and new offerings.
  • Overrun with online platforms, networks and connection initiatives initially which will overwhelm the individual professional and person but quality initiatives will prevail.
  • Connecting globally now more than ever will become more valuable than ever.
  • An increase in shift to online shopping from offline shopping.
  • Influencing factors will change for the buyer and are doing so as we speak.
  • Customer Service online and offline will now become more of deciding factor for the customer and a real-time success/failure factor for the business owner.
  • Brexit will affect businesses globally and ironically may also represent an opportunity for UK businesses and businesses globally to extend their marketplace and trade with new markets and new countries in new ways. It will boil down to making new choices.
  • A shift in how businesses will need and be required to execute sales & marketing is now happening and this will continue.
  • Some may think we crazy but I see opportunities for the travel, hospitality and tourism sector in Ireland to really win back their market. It will be a different challenge to overcome but this is a sector that those who provide a customer service and customer experience offer at a level of excellence can really win and showcase what they do at an optimum level. This can apply to the international tourism and hospitality sector as well.
  • A greater focus on work life balance and a change in priorities for people personally is coming and will be an opportunity for businesses to embrace and engage with.

For Bofin Consultancy and our clients I noted the following opportunities and plans going forward, we have lots to look forward to with the following;

  • Introduction of a smart and positive new online portal for our clients to support and make their business life a little easier and reduce the paper requirement.
  • Change and growth from 40% online and remote access business to 60%+.
  • We will retain a hybrid model of business; keeping the offline and online pieces in the mix.
  • Introduction of the Business Bites podcast where we can deliver bite sized business information that will support and be of value to the SME owner/manager/CEO.
  • We have just announced some new programmes to support specifics for the SME business owner/manager.
  • We are working with businesses to address and be prepared for Brexit and this will continue to involve our initiative “Your New Market – The rest of the world”.