From Local to Global

The big question on the mind of lots of businesses is how to go from Local to Global? This was the topic of one of the National Women’s Enterprise Day (#NWED) events held around the country.  We were lucky enough to attend the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Wicklow event in Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow.

Both Sarah Slazenger, Managing Director of Powerscourt Estate ( and Aisling Hurley, Owner of The Business Fairy ( gave great inspiration to those in attendance.

So just how did Powerscourt Estate rise from the ashes of a fire in 1974 to the outstanding business that exists today?

The first thing we learned:

Sarah Slazenger uses EDGE as her core values – E is for Enquiring.  D is for Demanding.  G is for Generous.  These equate to E is for Empowerment.  They use this belief in everything they do and this has enabled their team in Powerscourt to achieve more. This achievement includes over 500,000 visitors a year to the Estate.

The second thing we learned:

Change and growth doesn’t happen overnight.  The Slazenger family had to look at the ruin of Powerscourt house for 22 years before any change happened.  The sold some land, a disused quarry.  The proceeds of this went to build a new roof on the original house.  After this the change continued with further improvements and the introduction of Avoca.

The third thing we learned:

You need to continually invest. With the proceeds from profit and sales, it is important to re-invest back into your business. This can be clearly seen with Powerscourt.  If, like me, you were brought to the gardens as a child, you remember the ruins.  It was a place that we visited at least once a year and it is great that there is a now new life on the estate – an Avoca cafe, a five star hotel, a whiskey distillery, golf courses, etc.

The fourth thing we learned:

Keep researching your market and listening to your customer.  Powerscourt Estate is a great tourist attraction, but they remain close to the customer to understand their needs.  They also know exactly where their customers are coming from.  Historically the UK and USA customers arrived in droves.  Nowadays it is more European and Asian visitors.  By keeping close to their customer, they can target their marketing accordingly.

Although Powerscourt is a tourist attraction that is visited by people from around the world, soon their produce will go global – their distilled whiskey!

The fifth thing we learned:

Aisling Hurley gave a whistle stop tour of all things marketing related.  But the big take away for us to share is when you’re going global to have the right domain.  If you are staying in Ireland, then a .ie domain is fine.  However, if your target is the UK then it would be useful to invest in a domain.  It is something very obvious, but often overlooked by businesses.

A big thank you to the Local Enterprise Office in Wicklow for organising the event.  A great big thank you to the inspirational speakers on the day.  The final thing we learned is that women love to talk and network…we did that well on the day too!