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Local Business Profile: Keith Dolan, Dolan’s Mace

Name: Keith Dolan
Business Name: Dolan Retail Ltd
Business Location: Gortin Road, Kildress and Strathroy

How long have you been in business?
18 years.

How many staff do you employ?
38 and two Stevies (Armstrong and McMenamin).

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What are your strengths?
We are very much a community-focused company where we employ local staff for local customers. I would like to think we are very approachable, fair and flexible, where the customer is at the heart of all our commercial decisions.

What are your weaknesses?
With working seven days a week I find it difficult to switch off and hard to leave work incomplete. Maybe a perfectionist.

Has Covid-19 affected your business?
There are positives and negatives. We have discovered more people are shopping locally, which is a big plus, but the downside of this is that there is additional pressures of implementing health and safety measures and keeping members of staff and the public safe.

What makes your business unique?
We are a family-operated business. I get great support from my parents Nataline and PJ, my wife Maura, and my children Orla, Gearoid and Roise. We offer a fully-dedicated shopping service. We are firmly rooted in the community. We complement and enhance the goings-on in the community and support other local business – for example, post office services, health and beauty, dining, off-licence and fuel.

What does your business mean to you?
I’ve been in retail since the age of 13. I’ve seen all aspects of the retail business from stock boy to ultimately owning my own business. It’s been a lot of hard work, commitment, and sacrifice, but I am very proud of all I have achieved. I can never forgot the importance of the decisions I make and the responsibilities of my role and its impact on my staff, their well-being and livelihoods. I have an outstanding team of management and staff, I would like to thank in particular, Mairead, Lisa, Edel and Clare for their handiwork and dedication.
They have really stuck through the good times and the bad.
Aside from family and friends, who has been the greatest influence on your life?
Aside from family and friends, I have no particular influencer. I have remained independent and self-motivated but I have had to learn from previous mistakes and I can state that there is no substitute for hard work.

What are your plans for the future?
I will continue to do what I enjoy, I am always seeking new business opportunities and ventures. I am constantly trying to improve and expand my portfolio. I am a young 52-year-old who still feels like a 20-year-old, so no plans of retirement yet.

Any advice for anyone starting out in your industry?
Talk to people who are already in the business and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. You learn something new every day, my door’s always open to like-minded individuals seeking advice.

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If you weren’t in this field of business, what would you be doing?
A professional athlete or a coach for the Run For Enda training programme or maybe give my friend Austin a hand with launching Belleview productions.

What do you do to relax?
Occasionally walking the dog and a slight bit of running.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Enjoy the freedom to take more risks in business.

We might be limited in our travel at the moment but where is your favourite holiday destination?
My favourite place to travel to is London (so I’m told). I enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city.

What do you miss most about Tyrone when you are away?
When I am away, I miss the genuine people, friendships and the craic.

If you could swap lives with someone, who would you choose and why?
I would love to swap lives with a family member of the future generation to see how the business pans out.

And finally, take the chance to give a shout out to another local business who you think is doing great things (expand on why you’ve chosen them)?
Firstly a shout to my brother Peter at ADP Architects, who’s an inspiration to me, in how he has grown and sustained his successful business through recession and adversity.
Secondly, to my lifelong friend Dermott Lynch, of Vivo stores, Clanabogan, who’s not only an outstanding and selfless business man but someone who has supported me through every stage of my business career.

 

With thanks to our Local Business Profile partner Omagh Chamber of Commerce

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