Not only do we save clients money, we save them time

Inside Track: Ronan Leenane – We Can Save you Money

Ronan Leenane: we focus on managing the outgoing spend on essential’s such as electricity, gas, telecoms, mobile telecoms, broadband, waste and more

Ronan Leenane was in recruitment when the recession hit his business hard in 2009. Needing to reduce his overheads, he found that he'd been paying too much for all utilities and telecoms. "I thought that the same thing could be happening to other struggling businesses and, with research, found many of them were focusing on survival rather than on managing the outgoing spend on essential's such as electricity, gas, telecoms, mobile telecoms, broadband, waste and more."

Leenane set up shortly after.

What’s sets your business apart from the competition?

Customer size. We provide professional analysis and maintenance of utility, telecoms and merchant services products for any business, no matter how big or small. We will secure a consistently low market rate anywhere within the Republic. As a customer of mine said recently, we do all the work on behalf of our clients so that they can make an informed decision to choose the most competitive supplier for their business. And then we return each and every year so that our clients never pay more than they need to. Not only do we save our client’s money, we save them time.

What was the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?

Treat every customer with the same level of respect, regardless of their size. Our customer base ranges from a one man/woman band to large multinationals and each client is as important as the other. Our largest client was referred by a sole trader who was new to business and we’d helped to manage her electricity and set up her broadband. Her uncle just happened to be the chief executive of a large multinational and, when he heard how I took the time to help her, he brought me in to meet and they have been a client ever since – saving more than €123,000 in the first year alone.


What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in business?

Adding a new product to our portfolio and, due to the failings of the chosen supplier, losing a customer from the motor industry that we had for years. Since this happened, we have increased scrutiny of all prospective suppliers. We never leave a client behind and have learned a great deal from this loss.

And your major success to date?

Last year we saved Irish businesses more than €5 million.

We are also now a fully regulated Irish telecoms provider, providing IP telephone systems and call charges to business of all sizes, generating savings of up to 50 per cent when compared to traditional telecoms suppliers. The business has grown to nine full-time staff.

“I’ve trained all staff from the ground up, three of whom came through the Job-Bridge scheme. Of the three, two secured full-time employment with me, one of whom is still with me today in an associate director position. The third was head-hunted from us by a client.” Our clients include the Radisson Blu hotel, Sligo, the retail chain Sostrene Grene and JLL Property management.

Who do you most admire in business and why?

I admire any person who has the courage to set up a business, from the local greengrocer in rural Ireland to a tech start-up entrepreneur; I’ve the great privilege of meeting this type of individual every day.

Based on your experience in the downturn, are the banks in Ireland open for business to SMEs?

In my experience, the banks were not open for business when we established initially. But thankfully, now that we have proven the model and are successful, we would have no issue securing finance.

What one piece of advice would you give the Government to help stimulate the economy?

Support local businesses that have an appetite to create employment and develop staff. This needs to be done both on an urban and rural landscape so that our rural business communities can keep employment levels up. We need a national strategy.

What’s been the biggest challenge you have had to face?

For the first number of years, each and every client asked the same question: “what’s the catch?” They didn’t understand how we did all of the work to reduce their cost and there is no charge. Our service is free of charge to our clients. However, we do recoup our costs from the supplier, so we do get paid.

How do you see the short -term future for your business?

We have a loyal client base and are growing organically through referrals every day. Our current digital marketing strategy is allowing us to reach new clients and have a voice on social media.

We are looking to add additional consultants around the country. Our goal is to increase staff numbers to 20 within 12 months.

What’s your business worth and would you sell it?

At this stage, I am focussed on building the business and supporting my clients for many years to come. Selling in not an option for now. However, who knows what’s around the corner.