JOE chats to the founders of POSITIV Energy Drinks Ireland
Patrick Dowdall, 31, and Brian Bates, 28, are the founders of POSITIV Energy Drinks Ireland, and they sat down with JOE recently to chat about getting their business up and running from a standing start.
Starting off part-time, both Patrick and Brian quickly realised that their product would need their attention full-time, and they are now getting to the point where supermarkets across Ireland are beginning to stock their product.
We spoke with them about their business philosophy and their tips for anyone embarking on a new venture.
Tell us, what prompted you to start POSITIV Energy Drinks Ireland?
Patrick: Myself and Brian were looking to start a business as we felt the time was right with the economy slowly recovering, so we looked into the soft drinks end of things and noticed a slight gap in the market.
Six months later we were introduced to POSITIV Ireland, the great tasting healthy alternative energy drink and we felt this could fill that gap.
How did the company start and how have you got to where you are now?
Patrick: We started off part time. I was still working as an electrician and Brian was working in the motor trade, and we were working around this and building our client list.
We got listed with M.O.P.I, all the old Superquinn stores, soon after and that gave us the boost we needed to grow to where we are now.
We now have a number of large contracts in place and people will start to see our four great flavours on shelves in fridges across the country. We are already selling in Spar, Centra, SuperValu, Mace, Costcutter, Londis and other independent retailers in Leinster.
As young Irish entrepreneurs, do you think more people should go out on their own and take risks in business?
Brian: Yeah 100% I would even suggest that schools teach more kids about running their own business instead of just trying to fill college places or grooming them to just go out and fill job positions that are already in place.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to someone who is working to build a business?
Patrick: Find the right product or service, and if you can work at something that you like or love and it won't feel like work at all.
Brian: Follow your heart, don't take no for an answer and be as positive as you possibly can, the squeeky wheel always gets the grease!
If you had a blank cheque for any celebrity endorsement, who would you choose?
Both: Liam Neeson because he is an absolute boss and would be a great brand ambassador for Ireland.
What existing business impresses you the most, and why?
Patrick: Tesla, and the work Elon Musk is doing for the planet is really at the forefront of technology. It's people like him that are truly going to make a difference - it shows there are other ways than just taxing your way to a healthier planet.
What's next for POSITIV Energy Drinks Ireland?
Patrick: Our website and online shop should be going live pretty soon and we are running a competition over on our Facebook page where you can win two days' studio time in Westland music studios in Dublin.
Our new sugar free version of POSITIV Ireland will be coming out in time for the 2016 mountain bike season, for whom we will be the main drinks partner for the second year in a row.