Q. How did you start in business? On June 1, 2005, I bought a 22-cover coffee shop in Milnathort, which was my avenue to learn the craft of running my own business and realising my passion for expanding and developing my business concept.
Q. How did you get where you are? One word….persistence. At school when the careers advisor asked me what I wanted to do, I informed her I wanted to run a large hospitality business, to which she laughed. That was all the motivation I needed.
Q. Who has helped you on the way? I take things from every conversation and every encounter and use this to my advantage. I like to learn from people and factors which gives me the experience and necessary skills required for making important decisions and running my own business. I was lucky enough to have a mentor and good supporting family along with friends who understood that business had to come first. Anyone who believes in me is an asset in my camp.
Q. What was your biggest mistake? It is well know that cash is king and cash flow is crucial to the success and failings of every business. In hindsight, perhaps I should have tried to borrow as the growth, expansion and infrastructure may have been more streamlined and substantial but instead I opted for slow calculated growth.
Q. Your greatest achievement? Winning ‘Outstanding Contribution to Scottish Hospitality’ takes some beating. I have been very fortunate to win various awards and accolades throughout my career but this is my personal highlight to date.
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the future? Slow calculated growth for the Heaven Scent brand, with new additional sites and opportunities. In addition I would like to spend more time promoting my Victus Catering Consultancy business.
Q. Do you want to recruit? Currently we have a team of 35 and with more sites, we will require more team members. We are very fortunate we have a very small staff turnover as our induction and training techniques inspires individuals to develop and grow with the company.
Q. What is the hardest thing about running your own business? I am on call 24/7. This is difficult when trying to arrange a holiday or have family time. Every decision I make has a knock on effect to every employee and I have a responsibility to look after them. Additionally, external influences all have a direct influence on the bottom line.
Q. Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs? Being an entrepreneur is all about self-belief and never giving up. If you genuinely believe in your product or service start telling people all about it and never give up. And takes as much help as possible; the FSB has been a great support to me: you can’t be an expert in everything and they have a huge range of business benefits available to their members.