My Influences: Karen Weir, MD of Weir Insurance

The Blyth-based firm arrange and give advice on all aspects of general insurance from travel, car and home insurance to corporate insurance and everything in between.

This year Weir Insurance is marking its 40th year in business with expansion across Northumberland and a recruitment and apprenticeship drive throughout the firm, in a bid to get more young people into the industry.

An entrepreneur you admire
Fiona Crozier (Cruikshank). She never let the ‘real Fiona’ escape out of the culture of her business, despite its enormous success. Fiona’s guiding inspiration, which lives with me to this day, is that whatever decisions I make I always ask myself, “is this the right thing to do for the business?” This has helped with some very tough choices over the years.

Favourite or current book you are reading
“The-hundred-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared”, on my (trusty old) iPad(1) – a friend recommended it and now I can’t put it down.

Favourite holiday destination
Anywhere in Italy – my husband and I got married in Florence and they are just so stylish over there. They also love kids which is a bonus as we have three!

Favourite band or music
My daughters are obsessed with One Direction, and I think I am a bit of a secret fan too. Amelia Lilly was excellent live in Milan last month – I think I am re-living my youth!

Favourite film

Will always be Monsters Inc. It’s a real family favourite in our household and I never get tired of the jokes, I think it must be a hoot to work at Pixar.

A piece of advice they would give to a new start up
Always look after the detail – it’s the least sexy part of running a business, but it really can finish a business before it starts… Oh and make sure you have the right insurance! Our country is so litigious now that you really must have liability insurance to protect yourself.