How a small, family owned Irish business became world-class

How to maintain a culture of excellence as your business grows. With Deirdre McGlone, manager of Harvey's Point.

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How a small, family owned Irish business became world-class



I recently met Deirdre McGlone, the manager and one of the owners of Harvey's Point. I was blown away by her kindness, her warmth, and the extremely high level of excellence that she and her husband Mark maintain so consistently at the hotel.


Their attention to detail is simply jaw-dropping. More than that, they have created a wonderfully warm atmosphere and their staff are passionate about upholding the Harvey's Point brand.


Harvey's Point has been chosen as TripAdvisor's "Best hotel in Ireland" three years in a row, the hotel is also among the top ten in Europe and the top 25 in the world. So I asked Deirdre to share the secrets of their success.


Until very recently I had never heard of Deirdre McGlone, even though her hotel is world-class


Deirdre, just like Carmel O'Keeffe (Savvy Podcast Episode 7) and Joanna Murphy (Savvy Podcast Episode 8), is a wonderful example of a world-class professional you've never heard of. My aim with the podcast is to make listeners aware of the wealth of role models, especially female role models, that we can choose from.


It is my hope that their amazing example will inspire you to break new ground for yourself, and excel at your own passion. Deirdre talks very openly of the joys and the challenges of being a mother of three as well as a busy business owner. Her enthusiasm is contagious.


How a "mad as a hatter" Donegal girl came to manage 120 people 


Deirdre describes her younger self as "mad as a hatter". This is just one example of her humour and warmth. It's also a great inspiration to be true to yourself. Her spontaneity creates an immediate connection and is one of the foundations on which her excellence is built: making others happy makes her genuinely happy.


Over 25 years she and her husband Mark have managed to retain the "family" feel of their hotel. As it grew from a simple cabin to offering palatial suites, from three people to 120 staff, they pulled off the tour de force of making everyone, guests and staff, feel like they're part of the family.


"Swiss-made in Ireland": authentic branding that's also clever


Maintaining a consistent ethos and a vibrant company culture that doesn't get diluted over the years and as the business expands is a difficult challenge that many established companies struggle with, and still Deirdre and Mark have succeeded.


Deirdre's husband, Mark, is Swiss. Deirdre is Irish. Their brand reflects who they truly are, and it also capitalises on the reputation of Switzerland and Ireland. It's the perfect intersection that both reflects their identity and talks clearly to their customers.


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Resources mentioned in the podcast:

My Irish Times article on female role models.

Harvey's Point have a beautiful website and glowing TripAdvisor reviews.

I'd love to hear your feedback by email email or on twitterTwitter

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