People in Business : Nina Barbour
The Cheshire Magazine profiles some of the region’s biggest names in business
Nina Barbour - Managing Director, Bolesworth Estate Co Ltd
Bolesworth comprises of 6500 acres of active dairy farming land and has a varied portfolio of properties under management including Farms, Residential, and a wide variety of commercial properties. Nina set up Bolesworth Events 11 years ago, which now promotes two of the UK’s leading Equestrian Events, attracting over 50,000 visitors annually.
What led you into your industry?
With respect to the Bolesworth Estate, it was always the plan from an early age for me to take on the family business from my Father, and I grew up taking in lots of invaluable information from him and my Mother whoalso played an active part in the business. I set up the Events Business, with inspiration from the Equestrian world having attended some of Europe’s leading Equestrian events, together with my passion for horses and showjumping.
Who was an early business inspiration for you?
I have always been fascinated by the Facebook legend, Mark Zuckerberg, and how he created a Global Phenomenon in such a short period of time. I admire how he kept the platform simple, free and easy to use at the start, and also how he has developed the commercial model surrounding this, whilst maintaining a free facility for so many people to connect and take advantage of.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
To model what you are trying to do on the best in class that there is out there. For example, with the horse shows, I try and visit a selection of the best events in the world every year and take away a few things that we can strive to emulate at our own events.
What’s the secret of great leadership?
I think it is one of communication. Our biggest weakness as an organisation over the past 10 years has been our lack of communication, both internally and with our customers, and the wider world. The rebrand process has been a great driver to get the whole team together and given everyone the headspace to find out more about the business as a whole, but also to share ideas and points of view with other members of the team that they don’t directly work with.
Has there been a truly pivotal moment for your business?
A year ago, we engaged with Nicki Kavanagh and the Juniper Co, a strategy company, who have helped us come up with a new vision and strategic plan for the next 5 years. At a point where the business was growing faster than the systems and resource we had in place this has been truly pivotal and enabled us to take a big step forward with the business.
Which areas of your business will you focus on in 2019?
The biggest focus for us this year is the rebrand of Bolesworth. This process has been so much more than refreshing our logo and colour palette, we have used it as a vehicle to change the culture of how we work as a team, how we communicate with our customers, and to build a platform to promote the entire business, regionally, nationally and internationally.
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