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Belfast Start-up Night: How to start and grow a business

November 13th, 2015

ShredBank’s Philip Bain on whether starting a business is for everyone

A Belfast entrepreneur will share his guide to starting and growing a business at the AIB Start-up Night next week.

The event will take place on Tuesday, November 17th at McHughs Bar and Restaurant in Belfast.

Philip Bain, co-founder of ShredBank, Northern Ireland’s leading on-site document shredding company, will talk about his new book of advice for start-ups, Start to Grow.

Speaking ahead of the event, Bain said the book is based on his personal experience of launching and growing a business during a recession.

“The first thing I tell anyone looking to set up a business is you’ve got to get to a point where working for somebody else fills you with absolute dread. You need a real desire for freedom, power and control,” he said.

“If money is your only motivator, a year after you start your company and you’re not making any money, you’re going to be demotivated. But if you’ve got the freedom to set your own agenda, you’re going to persevere for the next 24 months until the thing starts to break even.”

Bain attributed ShredBank’s success to a genuine need in the market – any organisation that generates confidential information must destroy it in a legally compliant way or face financial consequences. The company’s mobile shredding trucks destroy confidential information on site, which gives clients peace of mind.

“The question you have to ask yourself is: is there a problem that exists in the market that you can provide a solution to? Do people want a solution, and is the price you charge for the solution less than the cost of enduring the problem?

“If you can sort that out, you can essentially sell in any economic cycle.”

ShredBank has raised over £40,000 (€56,500) for the Prince’s Trust, a charity that helps young people get into employment, education and training.

Bain is doing a number of speaking engagements, including the Start-up Night in Belfast, to raise money for the charity, and all in-person sales of Start to Grow will go directly to the Prince’s Trust.

Brendan Monaghan, managing director of IT consultancy, training and software development company Nueda, will also speak at the Belfast event.

Start-up Night Belfast is part of a national tour ahead of the second AIB Start-up Academy. The final stop is in Dublin later this month.

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