During NMD Enterprise Week, we are shining a spotlight on local businesses that have continued to grow and flourish despite turbulent times – thanks to the help and support of NMD Business programmes.
This year’s theme is ‘Make it your Business’, which we hope will inspire and encourage local businesses in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area to get involved in the many advisory and support services provided by NMD Business.
We caught up with Kevin Brogan from Mourne Road Tours, a recent participant at NMD Business, to learn more about his work and how our programmes helped him grow his business further.
Business: Mourne Road Tours
Owner: Kevin Brogan
- Tell us a bit about your business
Mourne Road Tours was established just three years ago in 2018. We are a local company which is all about showcasing our stunning local landscape.
We offer a bespoke service that allows anyone and everyone access to our beautiful and unique attractions, through tailored tours throughout the Mournes. Every tour is different as it is specifically designed around the needs and wishes of each party, so it really is a special experience.
- How many team members do you have?
We currently have one full time and three part time staff that make up our passionate team.
- How did you learn about NMD Business programmes and what made you apply?
I had previously attended some of the local tourism events hosted by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, where I first learned about NMD Business and the kinds of support they provide. It seemed to offer great opportunities for businesses like mine, so it wasn’t long before I applied. Luckily for me I was right, and have since received invaluable advice and expertise.
- What was business like before taking part in the programme?
The business had made a promising start and was starting to show signs of real potential. We had a growing customer base, all of whom really enjoyed the experience we were offering, so we knew we were on to something good.
- How, if at all, has your business been affected by the pandemic?
When the pandemic hit, it essentially closed our business down. We rely entirely on people’s ability to travel and enjoy what tourism attractions we have in our area. The lockdown and travel restrictions created a massive obstacle for us to do business.
Thankfully, this was temporarily and we are slowly but surely working our way back to full capacity again.
- How has NMD Business programmes helped your business?
We used the downtime presented by the lockdown to focus on our business strategy and enhance our skills. Taking part in the NMD Business programmes has helped us grow our presence online and improve how we communicate with potential customers, including our social media activity and approach to reaching wider audiences.
The training also encouraged us to take the business to the next level, creating an even better service for our customers.
- What was the best piece of support/advice you received?
We never had the opportunity to properly launch the business, so my mentor was able to provide us with a step by step guide on how best to do this and showcase our offering in the best light. The guidance we received helped give me a lot more confidence to be as ambitious as I wanted with the business and drive towards achieving my goals.
- What would you say to another company considering taking part in NMD Business programmes?
I would highly recommend NMD Business programmes to any companies thinking about taking part. It has been a great support for me and it is always helpful having input from other professionals with a different viewpoint and fresh ideas.
The pandemic wasn’t enough to bring Kevin’s burgeoning business to a halt, but he knew he had to use the time during lockdown wisely. By enhancing his skills and seeking advice from leading business experts, he was able to not only weather the storm, but also boost his business with a new strategy and action plan.
Kevin made it his business to avail of the support provided by NMD Business programmes, taking his business to the next level. And you can too!
For more information on NMD Business programmes or to register your interest in taking part, visit www.nmdbusiness.org.