• Please introduce yourself to our readers.
John Hoy, formerly Chief Executive at Blenheim Palace from 2003 to 2016, and now Head of Rural with Bidwells LLP. Closely involved in Oxfordshire life with strong connections with the LEP and with Experience Oxfordshire.
• What is your brand philosophy and how does it give you a competitive advantage?
Always striving for quality and excellence, and always demonstrating that we are “well informed” as well as offering an in-depth knowledge of the area and a wide range of quality services. We are fully committed to delivering long-term success for our clients.
• What customer-centric strategies do you use and why?
Always putting the customer first; always responding quickly and efficiently to client requests and requirements; and always ‘going the extra mile’ to exceed customer expectations and to deliver for them on-time and on-budget.
• How does your business recruit and retain your employees?
Always searching for excellence and working hard to retain staff for the long term. Excellent graduate programme to get staff in at the ground floor and then ensuring that they are inspired, trained and mentored for their emerging forward careers.
• What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your business and how did you overcome it?
Life is about challenges – how we face them and how we come through them. Leaving Knebworth House to join the Tussaud’s Group in 1997 was a good career challenge; leaving Blenheim Palace to join Bidwells at the end of 2016 was another such challenge as it took me out of my comfort zone and into a new area with new challenges.
• What inspired the launch of your business?
Bidwells started life as a rural practice in Cambridgeshire in 1839 and today Bidwells is one of the UK’s leading property consultancies with a strong dominant presence around the Golden Triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London.
• What is the number one factor in your business success?
Client retention and client endorsement
• Describe your business model and what makes your business unique?
We thrive across the rural, residential and commercial sectors and we have a strong presence in Cambridge and a growingly strong position in Oxford.
• What future advancements do you foresee in your market and how are you preparing for them?
There are a number of risks and opportunities on the horizon – the rural sector needs to face the challenges to come from Brexit whereas Oxford and Oxfordshire can grasp the growth opportunities on the radar as well as the Oxford-MK-Cambridge corridor potential.
• What’s your favourite business book?
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins. Why some companies make the leap from good to great… and other don’t!
• How could you become a better leader?
It is always a challenge to be visible enough to colleagues and to make enough time for them on an individual basis – especially across a multi-site division – making more time and becoming more visible would make me a better leader.