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Limerick Chamber Member Interview: Ann Lyons, Gift Innovations

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Limerick Chamber Member Interview: Ann Lyons, Gift Innovations

Thank you to Limerick Chamber Member Ann Lyons, Owner of Gift Innovations, 8 Ashbourne Business Park, Dock Rd., Limerick for being in the spotlight.  Gift Innovations is a rewards and recognition business based in Limerick and serving leading organisations nationwide. 

If you are a Limerick Chamber Member and would like to be interviewed, please email Maura McMahon mmcmahon@limerickchamber.ie  or Call 061 217604.

 

  1. Tell us about your business?

Gift Innovations is a rewards and recognition business based in Limerick and serving leading organisations nationwide. We offer a comprehensive suite of recognition solutions from glass awards and service awards to implementing strategic employee recognition programmes. We help organisations to develop a culture of appreciation, which helps to increase employee engagement – the top HR concern in 2017.

  1. How did you get into the industry? 

I set up the business in 2002 as a corporate gift business. I began to notice a growing market for employee rewards and recognition and decided to refocus on this area. Over time, Gift Innovations developed the tools and services that companies required to meet this growing need. Today we offer expertise, intuitive tools and premium rewards that create deeper moments of recognition for employees.

  1. What’s the best thing about being in business in Limerick?

Limerick is an affordable city in which to grow a business. Our online employee reward programmes are implemented in leading companies, nationwide, from Cork to Belfast. Limerick is a great central location allowing us serve our clients across the island of Ireland. We recently purchased a 3000 ft2 premises on the Dock Road, Limerick City. Our location helps us to distribute gifts easily across the country.

  1. What do you find most beneficial in regards to being Limerick Chamber member? 

Gift Innovations has recently re-joined Limerick Chamber. We want to be actively involved in the Chamber’s activities. We believe that Limerick is a great place to grow a business. Being a Member of the Chamber allows us to be part of a greater vision and broader community, while growing our business.

  1. What has given you most satisfaction in business? 

The rewards and recognition industry is a positive industry to be involved in. We get great satisfaction from providing seamless solutions to companies, which help them to recognise their employees. After all, a recognised employee is an engaged employee, and one who will remain long-term. We also practise what we preach and I get a great sense of satisfaction when I see happy, engaged employees.

  1. Who are your business icons or inspirations?

One stand-out icon has to be Bobby Kerr. He has overcome adversity and remains positive and supportive of the SME business community. I also love his coffee 😊.

  1. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it? 

Staying relevant to our clients is important to remaining in business. We have to constantly expand our reward options and develop our recognition solutions. Being a member of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Europe helps us to stay abreast of international trends and best practice in the rewards and recognition industry.

  1. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?  

Growing a business requires great effort so early mornings and long hours don’t bother me. It is important, however, to know when to switch off and focus on family and friends. Since we moved the business to the Dock Road, it takes me less than 15 minutes to walk to the office – which is a great start to the day.   

  1. What is the first thing you do every day?

I put the kettle on and check emails.

  1. What advice would you give to someone starting out in business? 

Starting out in business can be a lonely proposition. Begin by joining networking groups like BNI and Network Limerick that have regular meetings. They teach great lessons about referring business and I still have great friends from these groups.

 

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