Irish Women in Business - Naoise McNally of One Fab Day
A LOT of planning goes into a wedding and it's far from an easy task trying to plan every little detail ensuring the perfect day.
Whether you want to go down the traditional route or opt for something more personalised, there are so many gorgeous venues in Ireland.
To find out more about the wedding planning process from a professional viewpoint, we spoke to Naoise McNally of One Fab Day for the latest in our Irish Women in Business series.
Where did the idea for One Fab Day come from?
One Fab Day started originally as a hobby, when my now-husband proposed and I turned to my business partner Susan Gallagher for some help with ideas for wedding planning. She was just about to get married and like me, she hadn’t wanted a beef-or-salmon wedding with all the standard trimmings.
She gave me a reading list of US wedding blogs, which were a revelation, especially when compared to what was on offer in magazines and online in Ireland. They celebrated the personal and unique and were full of great real weddings and ideas.
There was one problem though: everything was in the US. So we decided to curate the best of the best available here in Ireland and celebrate creativity and style at weddings. One Fab Day was born to inspire couples to do it their way, beautifully.
Having a great sense of adventure, but also a practical long-term view, at Trinity I studied Business and Russian. I decided it wasn’t for me long-term and I opted to stay in Dublin and join the team at Daft.ie when it was just a start-up.
I left Daft.ie to pursue a goal by developing a non-profit tech project, which was acquired by Volunteering Ireland. In the meantime One Fab Day was starting to take off so after the acquisition I decided to leap into One Fab Day full-time.
What are your personal recommendations for starting your own business?
Research is vital. Think about the problem you are solving, is it important enough that people will care about and pay for your solution? Is there a big enough market for your product or service? Get out and talk to your potential customers and listen to them carefully.
It’s tempting just to hear what you want to hear, but starting a business is a huge undertaking so ignore flattery, ask the hard questions and be open to feedback. This feedback could mean the difference between failure and great success.
Do your financial projections carefully. It’s essential to understand and be realistic about the finances from the outset.
A company must have adequate funding to grow, and you will need to know how you are going to manage personally. Ultimately, cashflow is king.
For anyone getting married soon, what are your tips for a (relatively) stress free day?
The most important thing any couple planning a wedding can do is agree on a list of priorities at the outset. Discussing what is important to both of you, and agreeing on the kind of wedding you both want will pay dividends very quickly.
Once that list is crystal clear to you both, when it comes to making decisions you’ll both understand what is important to spend money on, and where to cut corners.
There’s one golden rule for saving money at a wedding and that is: cut your guestlist. If that’s not an option, then opt for off-season months such as January, February or November and you’ll find great savings on venue costs.
When planning a wedding, where does one even start?
Once you’ve figured out your priorities, you should have a clear idea of the kind of wedding you both want to have – big, small, traditional or more personal. Then there are three steps to getting started: decide the guestlist; set a budget; find the venue.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
While growing up, my father and Uncles and Aunts were all entrepreneurs, so having your own business seemed the natural way of things. I never really doubted I would one day be my own boss. I probably underestimated how much hard work it was though!
Starting the company in the middle of a recession, there wasn’t much support or financing available so we had to tighten our belts and be very careful about money. This slowed our growth in some ways, but has made us very aware of the importance of financial management.
Without careful planning we wouldn’t have survived, hence why I advise every new business owner to manage their money closely.
Who has inspired you along the way?
Long before she moved to Yahoo as CEO I was inspired by how Marissa Mayerwas making it as one of the leading female tech executives at Google.
Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of Theranos is a huge inspiration – working mostly in secret for 11 years she stayed focused, pursued a clear idea and has invented something that will truly change people’s lives.
What does 2015 have in store for the business?
Over the past few years One Fab Day’s reputation and readership has grown hugely outside Ireland, to the point where it’s now the biggest online wedding magazine in the UK and Ireland, and ranked 6th in the world.
We recently launched international versions of the website and are concentrating on growing our UK audience even further.