Business Insights from the Great Outdoors

Applying Glamping Wisdom to Small Enterprises

In the tranquil embrace of Milberry Green Meadows, Moira shares her entrepreneurial journey, intertwining the serenity of nature with the resilience required in business. Her story illuminates the path for small enterprises, urging them to embrace change and foster growth amidst the ever-shifting landscapes of entrepreneurship.

It’s 4 am. I turn over to find my husband, freezing cold, slipping back into bed. “Where have you been?” I whisper.

“I forgot to turn on the hot tub for the shepherd’s hut,” he replies.

Yes, founding a glamping start-up has not been easy at times. And as any small business owner knows, the work isn’t over when the clock strikes five. Matthew and I launched our glamping site, Milberry Green Meadows, in 2023. So, what have we learned?

Comfort and Innovation:

Just as glamping combines the comfort of luxury with the thrill of the outdoors, small enterprises can find success by balancing innovation with customer comfort. Consider your market expansion strategy. If you have to pivot your existing offer to adapt to market conditions, customer feedback, or new opportunities, avoid making drastic or sudden changes that may confuse or alienate your customers. You can use a phased approach, where you introduce the new product gradually, or alongside the old one, and give your customers enough time and options to transition. You can also use a hybrid approach, where you keep some of the features or elements of the old product, and combine them with the new ones, to create a familiar and consistent experience. Our customers are looking for an opportunity to get closer to nature, but if they are used to an urban environment, giving them some creature comforts, like somewhere to charge their devices, can help ease them into outdoor living. Just as glampers seek a unique experience without sacrificing modern conveniences, businesses can thrive by offering innovative solutions that enhance customer experience while maintaining a sense of familiarity.

Investing in Infrastructure:

We’ve invested heavily in high-quality tents, shepherd’s huts and amenities such as hot tubs. While some elements have been costly, we know that investing in good quality infrastructure now will mean we can provide a better level of service to our guests and save on maintenance. Opting for a cheaper, lower-quality option initially may mean it does not meet your needs or will require frequent replacements and upgrades. As a result, you may end up spending more money in the long run than if you had invested in a higher-quality and more expensive solution from the start.

Similarly, small enterprises benefit from investing in the foundational elements of their business, whether it’s robust technology, a reliable supply chain, or a skilled workforce. Try running a cost analysis, including the costs of maintenance and frequency of replacement, over a five-year period to get a true cost reflection. A solid infrastructure forms the basis for sustainable growth.

Customer Engagement:

Since founding our business we’ve had a weekly team meeting where we read and respond to customer feedback, good and bad. This has helped us to prioritise upgrades to our site and understand what is important to our guests. In the business world, understanding and responding to customer needs is key. Small enterprises can excel by engaging with customers on a personal level, providing customised solutions, and fostering long-term relationships.

Sustainability Practices:

We’re deeply committed to sustainability. You can read more about our re-wilding efforts here. Many businesses in our sector have a similar commitment, reflecting an increased global awareness of environmental responsibility. Small enterprises can draw inspiration from this by incorporating eco-friendly practices into their operations. Whether it’s reducing waste, adopting green technologies, or supporting local communities, a commitment to sustainability can enhance a business’s reputation and appeal. You may find that having environmental or carbon reducing policies in place will help you secure contracts from other businesses or government bodies that have already set ambitious climate change targets.

Adaptability in Unpredictable Environments:

The great outdoors can be unpredictable, requiring our glampers and business to adapt to changing weather and conditions. This may mean closing the site if winds are predicted to reach over 50 miles per hour, or banning campfires if the UK Fire Severity Index is high. Similarly, small enterprises must embrace adaptability. Being open to change, quickly adjusting strategies and navigating uncertainties are essential qualities for success in a dynamic business environment. Make sure to keep your customers in the loop. Sometimes things are beyond our control: acknowledge, apologise and give appropriate compensation.


By embracing innovation, investing in infrastructure, personalising customer experiences, practicing sustainability and fostering adaptability, small enterprises can not only weather the storms but also create an environment where they can thrive and grow. After all, in the world of business, as in the great outdoors, those who embrace change and learn from their surroundings are the ones who truly flourish.

Moira Clifton, Director, Milberry Green Meadows.

Moira and Matthew bring a diverse set of business skills and expertise to the table and are dedicated to assisting others in realising their aspirations. Our consulting services encompass a variety of areas, including startup guidance, effective management strategies, marketing solutions and technology consulting. If you think we can help, please get in touch!

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