SFA E-zine - The Tuesday Edition
 

Dear Member, 

 

Welcome to this edition of the SFA e-zine.

 

I hope 2019 has gotten off to a good start for your business. Keep an eye out for your copy of the latest edition of the SFA magazine, Better Business which should be arriving in the post shortly. You can also view the digital version of the magazine.

 

As part of our Grow, Scale, Succeed campaign, we have prepared a guide to help you source new employees to combat those recruitment struggles. This week we look at what companies need to do if they wish to satisfy the Labour Market Needs test when hiring non-EEA nationals under some types of employment permits.

 

We bring you advice from Revenue on how you can prepare your business for Brexit. We invite you to take part in our National Minimum Wage Survey 2019 which will allow us to collect up-to-date information on the impact of changes to the minimum wage on members’ businesses and prepare our submission to the Low Pay Commission on the appropriate minimum wage rate for 2020.

 

Tickets are limited for our Business Connect event taking place on 7 February in the Aviva Stadium so book your place now. We have a great line-up of speakers who will discuss how to stand out from the crowd, our connected world post-Brexit and case studies of successful cooperation models between big and small businesses.  After a successful event in Drogheda last week the next stop in our Smart Business Workshops is Gorey on 15 February. 

 

Now is the time to plan your training calendar for 2019 – to make sure that vital upskilling does not get usurped by the urgent but non-important day-to-day distractions. Take a look through our 'Training Matters' training courses to identify what courses are needed to enhance key skills in your business. Our three digital marketing masterclasses have been rescheduled, the first event on social media fundamentals for small businesses is now on 21 February. We also provide a summary of recent press coverage.

 

As always, we’d love to hear from you about any queries you may have, issues you wish to have raised with Government or other stakeholders and your ideas on how we can improve the business environment for us all. Please contact me on tel: 01 605 1602 or e-mail: sven@sfa.ie or tweet: @SFA_Irl or visit: www.sfa.ie.

 

Kind regards, 

Sven Spollen-Behrens

SFA Director


SFA IN THE MEDIA
Recent press coverage
 
  • Smart Business Workshops
  • Grow, Scale, Succeed online platform
  • 7 key challenges facing Irish SME owners-and how to tackle them
  • Prompt Payment Code

Smart Business Workshops

 

SFA and Vodafone Ireland issued a joint press release on 7 January launching their ‘Smart Business’ workshops. The regional events will take place across five locations: Drogheda, Gorey, Galway, Cork and Limerick. This was recently covered in the Wexford People, Enniscorthy Guardian, Gorey Guardian and the New Ross Standard on 15 January. This also featured in the Sunday Business Post on 27 January. 

 

SFA launches Grow, Scale, Succeed online platform

 

The SFA issued a press release on 17 January launching a new online platform as part of its National Grow, Scale, Succeed campaign to empower small firms to recruit and retain the right people. This was covered in the Irish Examiner on 18 January and in the Evening Echo on 18 January and 21 January. 

 

7 key challenges facing Irish SME owners-and how to tackle them

 

SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens wrote an article in the Sunday Business Post on 27 January discussing the seven key concerns facing small businesses in 2019 and and practical routes to tackle them.

 

Prompt Payment Code

 

The SFA was referred to in an article in the Sunday Business Post on 27 January as a supporter of the Prompt Payment Code

 

NEWS
Guide to sourcing new employees to combat those recruitment struggles
 

As part of our Grow, Scale, Succeed campaign, we have prepared a guide to help you source new employees. Read on to see what this invaluable guide can offer your business to help combat those recruitment woes...


In our last article we launched our Grow, Scale Succeed campaign which has been developed to help small businesses find and keep the right people. In this article we share a guideline that helps small business source new employees.

 

The guide details a four-step process in recruiting new employees from understanding your target audience, how to identify where you can reach your target audience, ensuring your recruitment message is clear to attract new candidates and the importance of a recruitment process.

 

The guide offers a comprehensive list of recruitment resources that are specific to a wide range of sectors. This includes job websites and publications for professional roles, the not for profit sector, retail, the tech sector and much more. The process section will help you develop and understand the need to see if your recruitment search is yielding you the results you need or whether you should go back to the drawing board.

 

If you find that your current recruitment search is not working out for you then visit the recruitment section of our Grow, Scale, Succeed online platform and download the guide today.

 

In the meantime if you have any specific concerns or questions please contact Helen on 01 605 1668 or at helen.quinn@sfa.ie or visit the advice section on our website.

Employment permits – The Labour Market Needs test
 

This week we look at what companies need to do if they wish to satisfy the Labour Market Needs test when hiring non-EEA nationals under some types of employment permits...


With the Irish economy at almost full employment, there is the growing issue of skill shortages for some roles. Employers are once again looking to hire non-EEA nationals to fill that gap if they cannot find a suitably qualified Irish or EU employee to hire for that role.

 

For the General Employment Permit or the Contract for Services Employment Permit, employers must satisfy a Labour Market Needs Test prior to either permit type being issued to a non-EEA national.

 

How does an employer conduct a Labour Market Needs test?

 

The employer is required to advertise the vacancy with the following:

  • The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Employment Services/EURES employment network for at least 2 weeks
  • A national newspaper for at least 3 days
  • Either a local newspaper or jobs website (separate to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection/EURES websites) for 3 days.

Under the Employment Permits Act 2006, the vacancy must include the following information:

  • A description of the employment
  • The name of the employer
  • The minimum annual remuneration
  • The location/s of employment
  • The hours of work.

How can an employer advertise the vacancy with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Services and EURES

 

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Employment Services network ensures that the vacancy receives national coverage and EURES (European Employment Services) ensures that the vacancy is advertised across the EU.

 

Employers can either log on to www.jobsireland.ie or www.welfare.ie and select the employer option. They have a number of self-help videos that take you through the steps for advertising vacancies which you can access here.  

 

Alternatively, employers/contractors can contact Jobsireland, National Contact Centre at LoCall 1890 800 024 or Tel. 01 248 1398 to register their vacancy by phone.

 

Once the vacancy is registered, employers will receive a reference number in relation to it.

 

An application for an employment permit can only be submitted when the Labour Market Needs Test has been completed. If you then apply for an employment permit, it must be submitted within 90 days from the date that the vacancy was on Jobsireland/EURES.

 

Do all applications for General or Contract for Services Employment Permits require a Labour Market Needs Test?

 

In general, yes. However, there are a few exceptions where the Labour Market Needs Test is not required:

  • Where the job is an occupation included on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List
  • Where the job offer is in respect of an eligible employment with a minimum annual remuneration of €60,000. However, employment permits cannot be issued for any occupations on the Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permit Listed regardless of remuneration rate
  • Where a recommendation from Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland has been made in relation to the job offer (this applies to client companies of Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland only)
  • Where the job offer is for a Carer of a person with exceptional medical needs and the non-EEA national has been providing care to the person before the application was made and that person has developed a high level of dependence on that non-EEA national
  • In the case of a General Employment Permit application, where the job is offered to a non-EEA national who held a General Employment Permit or a Work Permit Employment Permit and who, on a date after 1st October 2014, was made redundant and the redundancy occurred within the previous 6 months. This waiver only applies where the Department has been notified of the redundancy within four weeks of the date of dismissal.

If you have a concern about employment permits you can contact Helen at SFA on 01 605 1668 or at helen.quinn@sfa.ie or visit our HR and employment law advice section on our website.

Are you prepared for Brexit?
 

There are a number of preparations your business can make in advance of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union...


There are a number of preparations your business can make in advance of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. If you are trading  goods to or from the UK, an Economic Operators Registration identification (EORI) number is required to be entered on a customs declaration. In the post-Brexit environment, all goods movements involving the UK will require a customs declaration.

 

How do I get an EORI?

 

It is an online process completed via the Revenue Online Service (ROS).

 

Further guidance is available on Revenue's website

 

For more information on getting Brexit ready see the Brexit section on the SFA website or Getting Ireland Brexit Ready.

National Minimum wage survey
 

Members are invited to take part in the Small Firms Association’s National Minimum Wage Survey 2019...


Members are invited to take part in the Small Firms Association’s National Minimum Wage Survey 2019. To do so please use the following link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFANationalMinimumWageSurvey2019. The survey should take approximately two minutes to complete. 

 

Survey responses will allow us to collect up-to-date information on the impact of changes to the minimum wage on members’ businesses and prepare the SFA’s submission to the Low Pay Commission on the appropriate minimum wage rate for 2020.

 

If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone directly about the impact of changes to the minimum wage on your business then please contact Elizabeth Bowen, SFA Senior Executive at elizabeth.bowen@sfa.ie or on 01 605 1626.

Smart Business Workshops kick-off in Drogheda
 

On 24 January, the SFA and Vodafone launched their regional Smart Business Workshops in the Mill in Drogheda...  


On 24 January, the SFA and Vodafone launched their regional Smart Business Workshops in the Mill in Drogheda. 

Alongside Aboodoo, we shared the benefits of smart or flexible working and how to implement it in your business to increase productivity and attract and retain talent. Local businesses in Louth gathered in the Mill, a new co-working space in Drogheda to hear about:

  • The benefits of smart working and why you should avail of it
  • How technology can empower your business to work anywhere at any time through technology, connectivity and security
  • How to increase sales and profits by ensuring that every employee is a profit centre and loves what they do.

Details of the rest of the events: 

The events are free of charge and pre-registration online is essential. Places are limited so please book now through the above links to avoid missing out.

EVENTS
Business Connect
 
  • 7 February
  • Aviva Stadium

Get prepared for Brexit and hear from larger companies on how to open up new export markets 

 

SFA Business Connect is an exciting marketplace event designed to give delegates a window into the decision making and purchasing processes of Ireland’s leading companies.


2019 is the second year of Business Connect and will once again be hosted by Richard Curran on Thursday, 7 February 2019 in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. 

 

One of our sessions will look at Brexit and opportunities in new export markets. Business Connect will provide expert advice from AIB, Enterprise Ireland and Multinationals on how to succeed in a post-Brexit environment. See the full programme

 

An exciting addition to 2019’s event is the introduction of facilitated networking between delegates and purchasing decision makers in large organisations.


Registered delegates can put themselves and their businesses forward to sit down, in 10 minute slots, in front of decision makers in large Irish and multinational companies. 

 

Once registered for Business Connect, delegates will be invited to sign up for the Facilitated Networking and provide a few simple details to best match their business to potential purchasers.

 

The finalists of the SFA National Small Business Awards will exhibit at the event along with awards sponsors and partners.

 

Tickets are €49 for SFA Members and €99 for non-members and can be booked here

Smart Business Workshops
 
  • Gorey, Galway, Cork, Limerick
  • 15 February - 3 April 

The Small Firms Association and Vodafone have partnered to help businesses grow, scale and succeed in a changing business environment.

 

Alongside Abodoo, Vodafone will share the benefits of smart or flexible working and how to implement it in your business to increase productivity and attract and retain talent through a series of regional workshops. You will also learn about increasing your profits through employee-led models from the SFA. The first workshop took place in Drogheda last week and was a great success.

 

Set within co-working spaces, you will gain insight into:

  • The benefits of smart working and why you should avail of it
  • How technology can empower your business to work anywhere at any time through technology, connectivity and security
  • How to increase sales and profits by ensuring that every employee is a profit centre and loves what they do

Event details:

The events are free of charge and pre-registration online is essential. Places are limited so please book now through the above links to avoid missing out.

 

Agenda:

 

Time Topic Speaker
7:30 – 8:00 Breakfast / registration/ networking  
8:00 – 8:05 Welcome Sven Spollen-Behrens, Small Firms Association
8:05 – 8:10 What is smart working?

Vanessa Tierney, Abodoo

8:10– 8:20 The four pillars of smart working Treasa Doran, Vodafone
8:20 – 8:25

Implementing smart working in your business

Vanessa Tierney, Abodoo
8:25 – 8:35 How to increase your sales and profits and engage your people Marina Bleahen, Engage and Grow
8:35 – 9:00 Q&A and roundtable discussion at the pod of your choice  

 

 

 

 

 

Social media fundamentals for small businesses
 
  • 21 February

SFA are partnering with 3XE to deliver a Digital Marketing Executive Series for Small Businesses. Note all three events have been rescheduled and the first event is now on Thursday, 21 February 2019 and will focus on social media fundamentals for small businesses. The three hour-long workshop will be delivered by industry experts in the world of social media marketing. 

 

Our aim is to give the audience a practical guide on social media on how to expand your network, connect with potential customers, engage with your customers and increase sales. If you feel you are not attracting enough customers from your social media platforms, then this the ideal event for you.

  • Date - 21 February 2019
  • Time - 9.15am to 12.30pm
    Venue - SFA/Ibec Offices, 84-86 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2
  • Cost - €135 +VAT SFA Members, €185 +VAT Non Members
  • Package - All three Digital Marketing Executive Series events €345 +VAT SFA Members, €475 +VAT Non Members
  • Book online now

Who should attend:

 

This Masterclass is ideal for Business Owners, Managing Directors, Marketing Directors, Marketing Managers, Sales Managers, Sole Traders and Entrepreneurs.

 

Tutors

 

Colm Hanratty

Colm has over 13 years experience in digital marketing. He began his online marketing career at Hostelworld.com, the world’s number one hostel booking website. During his time there he was responsible for establishing and growing their social media presence on a global scale. His work took him around the world as he produced award winning travel videos, guides and podcasts. His YouTube videos have generated more than 9.5million views to date.

 

Sandra Hennessy

Sandra Hennessy is the face and name behind Be Dynamic. Having started out working in the web world in early 2002 and since then has taken the plunge and set up her own business from her base in Tipperary. Sandra is well known in the online marketing world as one of the leading service providers of digital marketing training, consultancy and services in Ireland.

 

Felicity McCarthy

Felicity gained from her extensive digital marketing background at Facebook, eBay & Dell. Felicity now runs her own business, Sparkdigital, whose impressive client list including Daft.ie, Irish Times Training, Facebook EMEA, Pinterest UK, Grant Thornton Ireland, dylan hotel, AIB Startup Academy, Azon Recruitment Group, Bank of Ireland, IDA Ireland, Microsoft Ireland, 123.ie, Gigaset Europe & TopOil to name just a few.

 

SFA Digital Marketing Executive Series

 

This event is the first of three in our Digital Marketing Masterclass Series, see below details of the next events in the series.

 

25 March- Search Marketing

 

The second masterclass will consist of a three hour-long masterclass from experts in the field of Search Marketing. Each of the experts comes with a deep knowledge of digital marketing and implement search marketing campaigns on a daily basis. Their knowledge and expertise in PPC, SEO, and all aspects of traffic driving methods is beyond question.

 

9 May - Increase your business conversion

 

The final masterclass in this series will be a three hour-long masterclass that will focus on online advertising and increasing your business Conversion Rate Optimisation. Our speakers will be experts in the area of Online Advertising and will bring practical examples that can used in any company’s digital marketing strategy.

 

Who are 3XE Digital:

 

3XE Digital organise the best digital marketing conferences in Ireland. Every year 3XE host three conferences in Croke Park, each conferences covers a different area of digital marketing, e.g. Search, Conversion, UX, Social Media and Digital Transformation.

TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Training Matters - Essential skills to grow your people and build your business in 2019
 
Now is the time to plan your training calendar for 2019 – to make sure that vital upskilling does not get usurped by the urgent but non-important day-to-day distractions...

In 2019 the SFA is offering courses designed to address the needs of small businesses. Important versus urgent is a key distinction for small firms, but one which is not always easy to make.

Is too much of your time spent on tasks and meetings that seem urgent but are not important for the future of your business? At SFA, we’re here to help you create time for things that can make a real difference, like developing management capacity and other skills for you and your staff. The SFA training offering for 2019 contains an interesting mix of courses – online and off-line - to enhance key skills in your business.

They are delivered by expert trainers with many years of industry experience. Based on your feedback, the courses are short, so that you can get on with running your business. Now is the time to plan your training calendar for 2019 – to make sure that vital upskilling does not get usurped by the urgent but non-important day-to-day distractions. Below are the training courses, dates and booking links. You can also find more information in our brochure.