In January of 2014, I was about 6 months into my research of Thermoduric Bacteria in the dairy Industry. It was at this time that I first experienced the dairy lifestyle at its fullest.
Shortly after this research, I launched Lir Agri as a way to communicate to dairy farmers and build a community. We first started off with a small number of local customers, then we added a couple of local agri merchants and then on to fifty merchants in a year. Ultimately, the goal was to provide the tools necessary for dairy farmers to feel confident about expanding their herd.
We continued researching, creating new products, and expanding for several months. It was very rewarding to share my experiences of growing the company, and connecting with other individuals who struggled with my same challenges.
Lir Agri was very small at this point, but I always had a larger vision for what it could become. Many people would continuously question the potential of the company and call it a niche market with limited room for growth. They would ask, "what happens when these dairy prices fall?"
FROM RESEARCH TO BUSINESS
In Autumn of 2014, I attended a Young Entrepreneurs bootcamp event in Longford. I pitched the idea and got a lot of positive feedback and actually won the local competition.
It was this young entrepreneur bootcamp project that helped focus the business plan and I found out the scale of the challenge ahead of growing a business.
Lir Agri's community was moving along as normal, when I was contacted by a Sunday Business Post reporter. The reporter was doing a story on young up and coming Irish start-ups.
Lir Agri was featured in a Sunday Business Post article and used that story as a pad to push on sales development.