Ramona Nicholas will be one of our guest speakers at the next IMAGE Networking Breakfast. She set up by Cara pharmacy with her husband Canice in 2002. The group now owns 15 businesses, which include twelve pharmacies, have a turnover of €24.6m, and Cara Home, which has three stores, with two more opening soon. The company plans to be a national brand in the next five years. But of course Ramona is most recognizable as a Dragon in RTE's Dragon's Den. ?Here she speaks to us about working from home and the problems with it, as part of the theme of our next Networking Breakfast Mind over Matter -
?I am not against the idea of working from home; I find when I need a clean sweep of a few hours? concentration, I'll work from home. I am in the process of getting my home office finalised and plan to take one full day per week away from the head office solely to make progress on projects, as opposed to the daily troubleshooting that happens within any retail environment. Working from home is not something that has ever cropped up at Cara; all our team members are required to be on the shop floor. We, as a company, always try to work as best we can to accommodate our employee needs, and a compromise is always derived. A happy team member means an excellent service to our customers. I think it's important to keep work and home separate. If someone, however, has a home that allows a complete space for a working environment equivalent to an office environment, then it's worth considering, but otherwise there can be many distractions. On the other hand, I think female entrepreneurs can set up any business from home today. I have seen many that start from a laptop on the kitchen table, but develop into them using an office space outside the home. Looking after a family and starting a business is a massive achievement. I think there is so much better gender balance now in the workforce, which allows women to be more progressive and confident in their ideas and aspirations.?
From IMAGE Magazine April 2013.
Our next IMAGE Networking Breakfast is at 7: 30 January 27th at The Marker Hotel. To book see here