‘Fear of failure is a failure in itself’
2008-07-03 15:26:20 -

In the latest instalment of Metro Éireann’s MEET THE BOSS, SANDY HAZEL speaks to Noemi Beres, who operates the car hire agency ReservaCar Dublin Airport.

Noemi Beres came to Ireland from Hungary four years ago with a background in language studies. “I am a Danish-Swedish linguist and when I finished university, myself and my husband wanted to travel and try something different. I got the first job that I applied for, which was in Ireland, so we came here,” she says. That job was with an international call centre support service in Dundalk that needed Danish speakers. At the same time, the lack of a Hungarian community in Ireland prompted Beres and her husband to find a more international circle of friends, which has also helped with their English.

“You really need to have some level of English to make a start here,” says Beres. “You don’t have to be perfect, but as we learn a British type of English in school, understanding the Irish way of talking is a new experience.” As a linguist, Beres suggests that watching television and listening to the radio are good ways to learn a language. “And to find out what is going on locally too.” Having settled into life here, Beres decided she wanted to set up her own business. “I saw that starting a business in Ireland could be more straightforward here,” she explains. “Back in Hungary there are more restrictions, and I wanted to take the opportunity here.” Beres went to a franchise exhibition to explore what was on offer, and did some market research on the internet. She soon found an ideal niche in the car rental business.

“I knew nothing about car rental up until that point, now I know plenty!” she says. The franchise deal offered Beres full training and a package which included marketing tools, a website and contacts. “It is an online company,” says Beres. “This enables people to get the best deal while booking car rental.” Beres’ business, ReservaCar Dublin Airport (reservacardublinairport. com), acts as an intermediary between various car rental companies and customers for both airport and holiday car hire worldwide. “We are able to offer good deals on rental because, for example, we are affiliated with insurance for hire companies in the UK, so we would be buying bulk insurance,” she says.

There are some things that Beres had to learn herself, such as local knowledge and legislation. “Although the franchiser helps a lot in the beginning, now we have to market ourselves, find clients, get ourselves known in the marketplace.” Her language skills are invaluable at this stage, as Beres can advise clients on deals, explain driving rules in different countries and sell her own service in a couple of languages. “My call centre experience is very handy now for dealing with people by phone and explaining things to them like why they cannot have a left hand drive car here,” she says.

The main piece of advice Beres has for anyone looking at a possible franchise opportunity is to read everything. “Go through all contracts with your solicitor,” she emphasises. “Be prepared for all eventualities.” Beres feels that many women do not take the plunge into starting their own business as they fear failure. “But not starting a business for that reason is a failure in itself. Just because something does not work first time around, that is not a failure.”

She finds that the business community in Ireland provides a very supportive atmosphere. “I’m part of the Irish Business Women’s forum online and they are good for advice and help. It’s one of the things I like about Ireland, the support I receive.

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