Eye for Business

Omagh designer Terry Mc-Clean admits that opening a new business during a recession was always a worry.

However despite those worries in 2009 he recalls “the time felt right”. With the support and belief of his girlfriend, family, friends and clients, he opened creative design agency iDesign on the Brookmount Road in Omagh.

While he always had an interest in art and design, studying the subject right up to degree level at John Moore’s University in Liverpool, it was Terry’s love of designing DJ and band flyers where his forte really shone.

Moving back to Omagh in 2005, Terry took on a graphic design job in a printers, however after four years and with hopes of getting married, he reveals he decided it was time to take the chance.

Like many new start-ups in the area, the designer’s first port of call was the Omagh Enterprise Company, highlighting some obstacles the Omagh man had not even considered.

“The accounts module was the most worrying for me as I had no prior knowledge of that side of the business. “Despite my concerns I was not daunted by this, but it did make me realise it would be more difficult than I originally expected,” he recalls.

It was a busy week at the end of June 2009 for Terry when just one week after getting down on one knee to make his girlfriend Michelle his fiancé, he opened iDesign.

With a clear set of objectives from the outset to provide a unique graphic design service alongside basic printing services, the designer says those objectives have been both met and surpassed.

However with success came the workload. “Within weeks my graphic design standards increased significantly as I successfully completed projects and in turn gained new clients. In less than three months I was working an average of thirteen hours a day, often seven days a week just to manage the workload.”


While many businesses have struggled amidst the recession, Terry says he has been able to adapt to the downturn.

“Some people said that it was a big risk opening during the recession and I know a lot of business are struggling, but we have used the poor market conditions to our benefit, selling our services to them as a means of ensuring their survival in this climate.”

He also warns businesses that cutting back in advertising may save them in the short-term, but could have a long-term negative impact.

“Advertising now could give a company an advantage over their rivals. While some of their competitors are scaling back, advertising now could be the perfect opportunity to try and win over some of their customers.

“The right advertising campaign could easily capture the customers out there that still have money and are still spending freely,” he asserts.

Taking on two new members of staff over the last two years has allowed the Omagh business to offer wider array of services, which has continued to help increase iDesign’s turnover.

“I have always had an abundance of ideas for the business and this allowed me the time to implement these and our own new marketing strategies,” says Terry.

One of the most significant expansions has been the new web services, with a notable increase in orders, while the Love Box Wedding Stationery has also proved very popular.

Describing the service as unique, he says, “We merge creative graphic design with designer papers, elegant embellishments and creative minds to create hand finished beautiful contemporary stationery.”


It’s the ability to offer many services from under one roof that Terry feels gives iDesign the edge.

“Now we can supply all business branding and marketing needs, graphic design, print, web design, social media integration and mailshot advertising. We offer a high standard list of services for affordable prices.

“We can put clients mind at ease by managing their marketing needs and importantly maintain a branding standard through all the services we offer.

“This paired with determination and working all the hours in the day has helped make iDesign a success.”

Despite the recession, work has continued to flow in steadily for the Omagh business, with growth coming quickly. It is the world of e-commerce that Terry hopes will allow that growth to continue with the redevelopment of the company website which allow the company to sell design services, print and web design online to UK mainland and the whole of Ireland.

Looking back on three busy years, the Omagh man discloses that his only regret was not to start out on his own earlier than he did.

“The best piece of advice I have ever been given was probably from all those people who urged me all those years ago to go out on my own and not to be a busy fool.

“My advice I would offer to anyone thinking of starting their own business would be if you have a great idea for a business and heaps of determination and willingness to work hard and put in the hours then nothing is impossible, just get stuck in!”

For more information visit www.idesignni.com or the printers on 5a Brookmount Road, Omagh.

Source: ulsterherald.com